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Enrollment in Social Media Courses Now Open at The American College

shutterstock_307075406We’re excited to share that The American College has opened enrollment for its first formal social media coursework program, which Hearsay Social helped develop as part of a strategic alliance with the college to educate financial advisors on how to use social media to build their credibility, engage with today’s digital-first customers, and grow their businesses. The American College is an academically accredited, non-profit institution dedicated to leadership in innovation education and development for financial services professionals.
The initial course, “Social Media: Don’t Get Left Behind,” will offer financial professionals the practical skill sets required to develop, and manage, a successful social media presence, says The American College in a press announcement. The course – held online – is part of the Financial Services Certified Professional® (FSCP®) program.
In addition to helping develop the coursework, Hearsay Social and The American College will collaborate on additional opportunities that will empower thousands of financial services professionals to gain practical, hands-on knowledge and learn industry best practices.
Classes will begin January 2016 and seats are limited. Learn more and reserve a seat now.
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Hearsay Social and The American College Team Up to Strengthen Social Business Education

logo_tacWe’re excited to announce Hearsay Social’s new strategic alliance with The American College to develop the educational institution’s first formal social media curriculum, and help both new and seasoned financial advisors succeed in today’s increasingly digital world.
Founded in 1927, The American College is an academically accredited, non-profit institution that exclusively serves professionals in the insurance, securities and banking industries. It offers education, certification and graduate programs that arm its students with the skills and knowledge they need to have a successful, lasting career in financial services. The American College created the first financial designation in 1927 – the prestigious CLU Insurance Specialty – and has continued to develop and deliver innovative programs that meet the needs of the changing financial landscape.
Together, The American College and Hearsay Social will create and implement educational programs to help advisors leverage the power of social media, mobile and more to grow their businesses. It’ll be the first time that The American College is integrating social media into its formal curriculum. With Hearsay Social as a leading champion of the use of social media, mobile-optimized websites and other technologies so that advisors remain relevant in an age of digital disruption, this collaboration will provide opportunities for thousands to gain practical, hands-on knowledge and learn industry best practices.
“Advisors know that being social media and digitally savvy has become a prerequisite to reach and connect with both today’s and tomorrow’s generations of clients,” said Hearsay Social CEO and founder, Clara Shih, in a press release. “More than 110,000 advisors use Hearsay Social and Hearsay Sites today, and we are thrilled to partner with The American College to help them, as well as thousands of others, achieve the next level of professionalism and success through our new joint social media education offering. Advisors asked, and we are delivering.”
For more details, check out our press announcement.

Tech titans Sheryl Sandberg, Bill Gates, and Clara Shih participating in's "Hour of Code"

Thanks to the video from this week showing an 8th grader teaching President Barack Obama how to write his first line of code, you might have heard of the Hour of Code. This is just the latest in a long line of initiatives spearheaded by, a non-profit dedicated to expanding participation in computer science by making it available in more schools, and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color.
As part of this week’s “Hour of Code” event, I’m honored to say that Hearsay Social CEO Clara Shih will be joining tech titans Sheryl Sandberg, Bill Gates, and others in 15-minute video Q&As with 100 classrooms across the United States, including Pawcatuck Middle School in Stonington, CT, Birchwood Intermediate School in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, St Francis High School in Traverse City, MI, Cooper High School in Union, KY, Concord High School in Staten Island, NY, Perry-Lecompton Middle School in Perry, KS, and Houck Middle School in Salem, OR.
Watch Clara and her fellow thought leaders in the webchat at the bottom of the post. And here are some thoughts Clara will be sharing:

If an 8th grade girl thinks she might be interested in computer science, where would you tell her to start?

It’d be the same for girl or boy:

  1. Make sure you have a strong math, science, and general academic foundation.
  2. Start coding. It’s easy to start with Web programming and HTML.
  3. Attend summer camp, which is valuable even if you don’t end up doing computer science, which is becoming as foundational in life as reading or writing.

I am a girl and a nerd who is interested in computer programming. Who inspired you and were any of these mentors female?

  • Ada Lovelace (one of the world’s first computer programmers)
  • Grace Hopper (invented the first compiler for a computer programming language)
  • Anita Borg (computer scientist who developed the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology)
  • Marissa Mayer (CEO of Yahoo! and Google’s first female engineer)
  • Bill Gates (co-founder and former CEO and chairman of Microsoft).

What would you consider “key” decisions you made or crossroads you encountered to get to where you are today?

Think entrepreneurially. The best jobs of 10 years ago aren’t the best jobs of today or certainly 10 years from now. The most important thing you can do is build a solid foundation, learn how to think for yourself, and then be opportunistic.
In your opinion, what is the most influential social media platform out there today and why?

Social media has become so widespread that it’s basically impossible to answer that question, like answering what’s the most influential Web app. There are too many. Social has come to occupy different parts of our lives, from professional to family and friends to romantic to quick messaging utility. Aside from the obvious big three, Pinterest, Instagram, and WhatsApp are also very interesting to me.
As new social media platforms pop up everyday, how does Hearsay Social stay on top of trends and change accordingly?

We download and try everything. It helps to be based in Silicon Valley, because we live and breathe technology here.

Interviews with Marie Swift and Michael Kitces at #FPABE in Seattle: #HSonAir Episodes 6 and 7

Marie SwiftIn episodes 6 and 7 of Hearsay Social On the Air we introduce and review the Financial Planning Association (FPA) Business and Education Conference (#FPABE) in Seattle and sit down with two thought leaders there.

Episode 6: Marie Swift

In episode 6, we interview Marie Swift of Impact Communications to discuss how she works with independent advisors and planners on their marketing and public relations activities. Also, if you’ve ever wondered whether social media activities can be traced back to real ROI–in dollars–this is an episode you don’t want to miss.
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Michael KitcesEpisode 7: Michael Kitces 

In episode 7, we extend our coverage of the FPA’s conference in an interview with Michael Kitces (financial planner, commentator, speaker, and educator at and partner of the Pinnacle Advisory Group@MichaelKitces). We learn about the evolution of his views toward social business in relation to financial planning, the power of having a blog as a content cornerstone, and the creativity of niche marketing.
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As always, remember to  join the conversation on Twitter with @VictorGaxiola and @ronnykerr using hashtag #HSonAir. We love hearing your feedback!

Creative problem solving and the evolution of STEM education at #FortuneTech

This week Hearsay Social CEO Clara Shih (@clarashih) had the special privilege of speaking at Fortune Brainstorm TECH, one of the world’s premier technology and innovation events, on the growing demand for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.

Fortune Brainstorm TECH 2014
Maria Klawe (President, Harvey Mudd College) and Clara Shih (CEO, Hearsay Social)

Fortune Brainstorm TECH 2014
Colin Bodell (CTO, Time Inc.), Maria Klawe (President, Harvey Mudd College), Clara Shih (CEO, Hearsay Social), and John Chambers (CEO, Cisco)

Other prominent speakers at the conference included CEOs John Chambers of Cisco, Daniel Ek of Spotify, Aaron Levie of Box, Satya Nadella of Microsoft, Jonah Peretti of BuzzFeed, and Kevin Systrom of Instagram, as well as Starbucks Chief Digital Officer Adam Brotman and JPMorgan Chase & Co. Vice Chairman James Lee.
On Tuesday, Clara joined John Chambers (CEO, Cisco) and Maria Klawe (President, Harvey Mudd College, @MariaKlawe) to discuss the state of STEM education in a session moderated by Colin Bodell (Chief Technology Officer, Time Inc.). See Fortune’s coverage of the panel here; our key takeaways and full video are below.

The growing demand for STEM education

Maria kicked off the session, describing how Harvey Mudd College transformed its student body from 27% females in engineering and 30% females total to, in the class of 2014, 56% females in engineering and 46% total. And that took just eight years.
Changes implemented by the college to spur that transformation were simple. The college’s recruiting materials showed 50% females, tour guides were 50% female, and today the faculty is 40% female. As Maria explained, “We just made it really clear that being a female engineer, physicist, mathematician, computer scientist—that’s normal.” Not only that, but their courses placed an emphasis on creative problem solving.
“I have yet to meet a young person who doesn’t want to be creative and who doesn’t like problem solving,” said Maria.
It’s an incredible accomplishment for Harvey Mudd but, as Cisco CEO John Chambers explained, there are still many steps until we will see changes like this globally. “K-12 is broken,” he said, and it will require major rethinking of education and identity to fix it.
“When you do a Google image search for ‘computer scientist,’ it’s all white male.” said Clara. “And that’s the societal view of it right now, so there’s an issue of identity.”
Clara spoke to her personal experience as an immigrant and women in the science and math fields. As she argued, parents, teachers, and the students themselves are responsible for cultivating a new, disrupted educational landscape where technology is not something to be intimidated by, but something to embrace.
Watch the full conversation here and see tweets from the session below:


Hearsay Social CEO Clara Shih to speak alongside execs and influencers at Fortune Brainstorm TECH 2014

Every summer, Fortune gathers the top thinkers across technology and media at Fortune Brainstorm TECH in Aspen, Colorado to exchange ideas about the future of business. We’re proud to reveal that–for the third year running–Hearsay Social CEO Clara Shih will be one of the event’s key speakers.

At Fortune Brainstorm TECH 2013, from left to right: Clara Shih, CEO and Founder, Hearsay Social; Adam Pisoni, CTO and co-founder, Yammer; Todd Pierce, EVP Operations and Transformation,; Deep Nishar, SVP Products and UE, LinkedIn; and Phil Libin, CEO, Evernote


Next week, Clara will be joining an esteemed group of speakers including CEOs John Chambers of Cisco, Daniel Ek of Spotify, Aaron Levie of Box, Satya Nadella of Microsoft, Jonah Peretti of BuzzFeed, and Kevin Systrom of Instagram, as well as Starbucks Chief Digital Officer Adam Brotman and JPMorgan Chase & Co. Vice Chairman James Lee.
On Tuesday, July 15 at 9:45 AM, Clara along with John Chambers (CEO, Cisco) and Maria Klawe (President, Harvey Mudd College) will take the stage to discuss the state of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. The session will be moderated by Colin Bodell (Chief Technology Officer, Time Inc.).

Watch Clara’s session at Fortune Brainstorm Tech 2013 and learn more about technology and innovation:

Calling all girl geeks

I was so excited to be invited back to my alma mater, Stanford University, last month to speak to 50 high school girls who are learning how to code as part of a she++ summer course taught by Professor Steve Cooper.

It’s 2013, and there still aren’t enough schools or programs providing young Americans with an education in the core fields of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), and nowhere are the numbers more stark than with young girls and minorities. There are roughly 14 million unemployed Americans, but there are 3 million STEM jobs sitting vacant, with more being added every day (we have many openings for engineers, developers, and designers at Hearsay Social).

Any way we can, we need to encourage our sisters, daughters, and young girls to take on the challenges of a STEM education and empower them with the self-confidence and self-esteem needed to stick with such rigorous training. She++ is a wonderful organization doing just that with the help of great mentors like Professor Cooper.
I was very impressed by the energy, creativity, and swift learning demonstrated by this remarkable group of young women–congratulations to each and every one of you. Keep up the great work and don’t stop believing in yourself. I hope you start great technology companies someday or come join us at Hearsay Social!