Women in Big Data Global



WiBD Online Event – Dr. Michelle Chappel: “Create a Life That Totally Rocks”

Women in Big Data
Women in Big Data

By Elaine Kwok, Shala Arshi,

April 28, 2020

michelle chappel


As events continue to become more virtual, Women in Big Data continues to offer live online events to our members. The latest one was held on April 22, 2020 covering a very interesting and interactive Career Coaching topic by an amazing and inspiring speaker.

We were honored to have Michelle Millis Chappel, PhD and CEO of Creativity Rock Star Coaching & Consulting, join us to cover how to  “Create a Life That Totally Rocks.” Over 40 attended the event via Zoom platform.

Michelle started with a question to the audience : “Do you know the number one issue that holds women back from getting the lives they want?” Often there is internal talk about self-doubt such as “I’m not good enough, I don’t know where to start, I need training first, I need to take more classes, I just don’t feel ready”. She presented some of the latest gender statistics on salary disparities across geographies and high tech companies, to show the audience reasons why many may feel this way, but then also gave tips on ways to overcome this obstacle.

She pointed out that whereas only one-third of us know our inborn strengths, research shows that we are more likely to succeed when we develop our strengths rather than work on our weaknesses. By uncovering our hidden superpowers and using them to distinguish ourselves at work, Michelle introduced a new angle to career success that comes from finding the power within rather than making an effort to “push ahead”. She covered ways to make goals that matter by examining what one is naturally good at, combining personal gifts with professional goals, and creating space for inspiration, community, and activities that bring joy. Those intrinsic talents are where “superhero” powers come from, and she provided many examples and in-depth discussions about how to tap into them.

Michelle walked us through a reflective exercise which she calls EMPOWER questions:

E asy — What comes naturally to you that you may take for granted?
M oment — What puts you in the moment, where time disappears when you do it?
P assion —  What are you curious about, enlivened by?
O pinion — What do people ask you for advice about?
W eird — What makes you unique or stand out from others?
E arly — What were you drawn to as a child or young adult?
R ewarding — What would you do for free because it’s so intrinsically rewarding?

Attendees were very engaged during this session, and interestingly often came up with similar patterns in their own answers. As the audience provided their answers via chat and in discussion, Michelle was able to correlate ties across personal and professional interests. After an hour of presentation, another 30 minutes was allocated at the end of the session for deeper dive questions and answers. Many attendees stayed and enjoyed learning from each other’s superpowers.

At the end of the session, Michelle encouraged session attendees to contact her for questions and offered a free Superpower consulting session appointment with her through her website.

What are your superpowers?

Michelle Chappel does the Wonder Woman pose with TED speaker Amy Cuddy

Dr. Amy Cuddy is a social psychologist, bestselling author, award-winning Harvard lecturer, and expert on the behavioral science of power, presence, and prejudice. Cuddy earned her Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2005 and was a professor at Harvard Business School from 2008 to 2017, Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management from 2006 to 2008, and Rutgers University from 2005 to 2006. She continues to teach at Harvard Business School in executive education.










Read the presentation document.

View a recording to the presentation.

Dr. Michelle Chappel

Michelle Chappel has a Ph.D. in psychology from Princeton and was voted “Most Inspirational Professor” at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she taught cognition and creativity. Despite being called “crazy” by a few colleagues, she ditched academics to follow her childhood dream to be a rock star. Her award-winning tunes have topped overseas and U.S. college radio charts and been featured on ABC, HBO, Encore, and Showtime. Michelle also rose in the ranks of the corporate world from usability engineer to VP of Consumer Insights, leading brainstorming sessions and user research for such companies as Google, Yahoo, eBay, Yahoo, and AT&T. She’s helped thousands of people rock their lives by using their superpowers. Her book “Total Rock Star” comes out in 2020.



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