THE SURFING CORPORATE PODCAST

Aileen and Glenda talk with veteran corporate survivors who share relatable, hilarious, and sometimes horrifying real-life stories about working in corporate. We get real about the struggles the've faced and and surfing strategies they've learned along the way to stay afloat in the sometimes savage corporate currents.

Episode 1. Being Authentic at Work: Good Luck with That Sh*t

SEPTEMBER 17TH, 2021 | 39:21 | S1:E1

EPISODE SUMMARY

Surfing Corporate shines an honest light on the everyday hardships of the corporate world, through a relatable and entertaining lens. In our first episode, we tackle the topic of “authenticity at the workplace.” It seems like authenticity is the new “hype” word these days. It’s suddenly become one of many company’s core values –– it appears in big graphic letters on the company’s orientation video; it’s highlighted in all of the fancy corporate decks; CEOs love to throw the word “AUTHENTIC” around at staff meetings, and HR tells any potential candidate how important it is for their employees to be authentic. But it seems like the more people talk about the importance of being authentic, the less authentic it becomes. We talk with a Senior Vice President of marketing in the media industry, who landed in corporate by chance. She’s a college dropout who considers that, in her case, being authentic worked to her advantage.

Episode 2. The Delicate Art of Corporate Communications

SEPTEMBER 30TH, 2021 | 39:46 | S1:E2

EPISODE SUMMARY

Corporate Communications professionals are critical to the success of a corporation. They are responsible for crafting those smoothly written memos and press releases that make a company and its leaders look better than they really are (like a beautifying Instagram filter). They also handle the employee-facing communications. In this episode, we talk with Michelle Alban, Vice President of Communications and Global Impact for a global media company, and she doesn’t hold back on the strategies she’s implemented and how they’ve worked out.

Episode 3. Opening The HR Black Box

SEPTEMBER 30TH, 2021 | 33:42 | S1:E3

EPISODE SUMMARY

Human Resources is the one department that EVERY SINGLE employee interacts with. There’s no escaping HR (and they have no way to escape the employees either). For Episode 3, we speak with Jennifer Mohammed, a Human Resources Director, and ask what it’s like being an HR person, what goes on behind the curtains, and we dive into some of the delicate questions people want to know but are afraid to ask.

Episode 4. Top 8 Not-So-Amazing Bosses (A Boss Day Special)

OCTOBER 13TH, 2021 | 50:50 | S1:E4

EPISODE SUMMARY

It’s no surprise to anyone that there are many different types of bosses. Some of them love being nurturing mentors, others are more of the tough-love type, and a few of them might even be full-blown sociopaths. In honor of National Boss Day, we’ve created a special episode where we deep dive into Surfing Corporate’s Top 8 Not-So-Amazing Bosses, and offer survival strategies for to those who work each one of them. After their 20+ years of working in corporate, Aileen and Glenda open up to share their own pearls of wisdom and bits of trauma to help you succeed—or at least laugh—with whatever type of boss you happen to have.

Episode 5. Tales of a Long-Term Corporate Relationship

OCTOBER 20TH, 2021 | 30:39 | S1:E5

EPISODE SUMMARY

Sometimes you can be a stellar corporate employee and prove your worth over and over a long period of time, yet, things may still not work out how you’d hoped they would. Long-term relationships can be fulfilling, challenging, character-building or heartbreaking. But the undisputed truth is that they’ll make you learn a lot about yourself. Our guest, Maria Aleandra Rodriguez, former senior director of marketing for a TV network, has lived through it all after spending 15 years climbing up the corporate ladder within the same company. She opens up about the good, and the not-so-good of her time in corporate, and talks about how an unexpected turn in her career changed her professional and personal life.

Episode 6. Corporate Horror Stories: A Halloween Special

OCTOBER 27TH, 2021 | 41:01 | S1:E6

EPISODE SUMMARY

In the spirit of Halloween, this episode is all about corporate horror stories, when things take an unexpected turn and go very, VERY wrong. We’ve all been there, either as the main protagonist of a horrible/ embarrassing event, or as a witness to one. For this episode, fellow corporate surfers share their tales of workplace horror that will make you cringe, laugh, and hopefully feel better about anything appalling that you’ve been through. 

Episode 7. Chief Operating Officer: The Role That Makes Sh*t Happen

NOVEMBER 3RD, 2021 | 27:34 | S1:E7

EPISODE SUMMARY

COOs (Chief Operating Officers) are critical to a company’s success since they’re the ones who typically are in charge of executing the CEO’s vision and strategy. But what does that really mean? And what does it take to be successful in that role? In this episode, we talk with Heide Werthamer, the COO of a technology services company, who tells us what it’s really like operating a multi-million-dollar business, her candid perspective on being a female COO (about 77% of COOs are male,) and why she LOVES being a COO, even though her career as one started out in the most unexpected of ways: with a death in the office.

EPISODE NOTES

You can find John Knotts’ definition of the role of the COO here

More info on the legendary Ian Schrager (one of Heide’s first bosses and mentors) here

Episode 8. Pivoting From the Corporate Path – How Joel Willis Went From Praised IT Leader, to Making Memes for a Living.

NOVEMBER 10TH, 2021 | 43:48 | S1:E8

EPISODE SUMMARY

Joel Willis is the Editor in Chief of “The Dad”, one of the biggest digital parenting brands in the US, with over 15M followers across its social media platforms. But Joel actually started his career with a corporate job as an IT leader at one of the most high-profile, top tier Fortune 500 companies in the world. Despite a true passion for Excel and spreadsheets (yes, that’s a thing for some people), he decided that the corporate life he had carefully created for himself was no longer what he wanted, so he crafted a 5-year escape plan into a world of creativity and comedy. We talk with Joel about his corporate career and how it helped push him to where he is today, and he shares some insightful and hilarious advice based on his own professional journey.

Episode 9. How to Handle Corporate Politics Without Losing Your Soul (Entirely).

NOVEMBER 17TH, 2021 | 31:29 | S1:E9

EPISODE SUMMARY

Office politics are the unwritten rules that determine who gets what, when, and how–and who the hell doesn’t. Deciphering these unwritten rules of corporate politics isn’t easy, but the fact is, there’s no way around them. To better your chances at long-term corporate survival, you have to learn how to play the game. In this episode of Surfing Corporate, we talk with Frank Sutera, a veteran corporate surfer who began as a producer in Hollywood and then landed a corporate job as Executive Director for Sony Pictures Television International Networks. We tackle the topic of corporate politics, including the ever important politics of meetings, and we dissect the good, the bad, and the ugly of it all.

Check it out and tell us what you think. Your feedback will help make our podcast as solid as a white male CEO's annual bonus.

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