Madeira School’s May 2015 Invest in Girls (IIG) Program

Ms. Kisha Salters was the keynote speaker at The Madeira School’s May 2015 Invest in Girls (IIG) Program. IIG offers high school students important lessons in financial literacy and an introduction to careers in finance. Ms. Salters provided insightful, easy to implement, real life financial management tips to help this next generation reduce student loan debt and build wealth. 

New Generation Wants To Be Challenged 

Change Management expert Kisha Salters met with graduate students from the Higher Institute of Management at the University of Versailles St. Quentin on Georgetown University’s main campus on October 30, 2013. The professional briefing, organized by Georgetown’s Center for Intercultural Education and Development (CIED), gave the visiting French business students the opportunity to discuss key management questions. Ms. Salters currently leads the Change Management practice for a global organization.

During the meeting, Ms. Salters said that each person has a unique way of communicating change, such as talking on elevators, in casual conversation, at meetings, or having sudden insights while musing. The best way to communicate change management is to explain the need for change to employees, and assure them that you pose no threat to them. Build up the employees—make them willing partners in implementing the proposed changes. Although people prefer to do jobs the old way, show them they are an integral part of the change as well as part of the company’s future.

“If you identify a people or process gap within an organization, never be afraid to share your idea with the right people and encourage execution. Working hard is important—there is no substitute,” said Ms. Salters, a DC native. “I beat myself up over projects that didn’t go perfectly, but remember perfection is a myth.”

The NYU grad earned her Master’s degree in Organizational Development from George Washington University. She advised the group to take advantage of educational opportunities and earn the necessary degrees and certificates in order to excel. As she put it, “the new generation wants to be challenged!”

Kisha also discussed other projects which enhance communication, training, and business processes for internal and external stakeholders. In addition to career advice, Ms. Salters discussed methods and shared her insights on handling employees while implementing change, and how to enhance the value of change managers inside organizations.

Outside of work, Ms. Salters provides financial management advice and works with students to manage their loans. For more information, visit her website Student Loans B Gone.

Sallie Mae Spotlight: K.D. - A Goal-Setting Role Model for Future Graduates

K.D. is a master at goal-setting. In 1997, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and political science from New York University. Two years later, she received her master’s degree from George Washington University.

K.D. used a combination of loans totaling about $25,000 to pay for her undergraduate and graduate degrees. When it came time to repay the loans, she increased her monthly payments and paid the balance off early. Her repayment strategies involved willpower and dedication. While living in Virginia, she rented a studio apartment rather than a more luxurious space in order to put more money toward her loan debts. Instead of driving a car, K.D. walked.

She credits her grandmother for giving her a sense of fiscal responsibility. “My grandmother was orphaned, lived during the Depression, but bought a home at a time when women needed a man’s signature to do so. The bank gave her 20 years to pay for that home; she did it in 10,” K.D. says.

K.D., who resides in Washington, D.C., is committed to helping others learn the benefits of responsible borrowing. She’s created a website that provides information on goal setting, budgeting advice and common sense tips to pay off student loans more quickly. In addition to speaking at universities and facilitating workshops, K.D. offers one-on-one coaching to help individuals with limited resources lessen their student debt.

"I’m someone whose student loan debt was not paid off by their parents or a husband," she says. "I want people to know that they can do the same thing. In many cases, it’s about a simple lifestyle change—taking in fewer movies, having dinners at restaurants or cutting back on shopping sprees can make a big impact and put you closer to your financial goals."