Jeannie Cole pivots to a new career with ReBoot Accel paving the way

by Linda Hubbard Gulker on December 11, 2017

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Jeannie Cole’s story is not unlike other Menlo Park moms. She came to Menlo soon after marrying and has stayed in the same neighborhood — if not the same house — ever since. She started her career in educational publishing before turning freelance when her second child was born. As her children got older, she realized she was at a crossroads.

“I needed to either re-up my freelancing or get an in-house position,” she says. “I decided on the latter as I really wanted to be in a collegial environment.”

Knowing she needed a lot more digital experience, she was among the first group of women to take advantage of ReBoot Accel career accelerator for women, staying on with that organization for another year helping to shape its programming. “I was doing content marketing which I’d never done before,” she recalls.

Her ReBoot experience — a “career pivot” as she call it — led to her current position leading communications and events for the Stanford-based DREME Network. DREME stands for development and research in early math education, and the Network consists of 12 professors at 11 universities along with 44 affiliates.

“Even though I’m employed by Stanford, my work involves all the universities,” Jeannie explains.

The Network focuses on math from birth through age eight years, with an emphasis on the preschool years. Network members and affiliates collaborate to conduct basic and applied research and develop innovative tools that address high-priority early math topics, which have been shown to be a better predictor of academic success.

“What is most satisfying about this job is that I get to help academics reach a wider audience,” she says. “A lot of what they do has practical implications for equity in education.”

Jeannie believes that her ReBoot Accel experience was pivotal to her getting her current position. “The application process required writing a communications plan, how I would use social media versus regular media,” she says, adding that it wasn’t specific to the job she was applying for but another fictitious entity. “These were all things I learned at ReBoot. I felt ready and confident for working in a digital age.”

We ended our visit with Jeannie on the Stanford campus with a fun footnote: Her mother also worked for Stanford, as a librarian at both the Cubberly and Green Library.

Photo by Irene Searles (c) 2017

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