Kickin’ It With Kiki: Cali Edition

by | Jul 30, 2018 | Women's Leadership | 5 comments

Last week, I went to San Fransisco with my aunt. We went there on business, but we also had a couple of days of play time in the city. We were originally there to meet with a production company called AthenaOnline. AthenaOnlne is a platform for micro-learning where they produce and distribute short video segments on a topic related to leadership. My aunt is a faculty member with the Institute for Management Studies, which partners with AthenaOnline. Jon Peters, the cofounder of AthenaOnline, invited my aunt to the studio to tape segments of her materials.  Spending time at an actual production company was amazing! For all of you who don’t know, when I graduate college I want to work in the production industry, specifically television. So being able to see production first hand was a great experience! And being able to ask Jon questions about the industry was helpful.
Prior to arriving in San Fransisco, my aunt had to write out about 18 scripts for the video session, each being anywhere between 2-3 minutes long.
My job, as her assistant, was to edit them down and condense some of the material to make the lessons shorter and more conversational to aid her in reading from the teleprompter. So it was really cool to be able to work with scripts!  The folks at AthenaOnline taped extra segments for me to edit into segments specifically for her use.
Everyone at AthenaOnline was professional and great to work with! In general, the experience of being in a studio was amazing! As we walked into the building we saw this life-size Darth Vader replica as well as a replica of Indiana Jones’s costume. The company that we were working with, AthenaOnline,  also works with Pixar! So I was able to see different things related to Pixar all around the studio.


The material my aunt was teaching in these sessions was about women and leadership. She had a lot of insightful information.  The one lesson that stuck with me the most was “Moving from Fire-fighting mode to Fire-prevention mode.” As my aunt teaches in her lessons,  when you’re in Fire-fighting mode,
  • You typically move at a fast pace.
  • You think primarily about the short-term.
  • You focus on quick fixes.
  • You get accustomed to busyness.
  • You are good at problem-solving in this mode, but it’s a very reactive mode.
  • Working in this mode brings with it a constant feeling of energy drain.

I seem to often be in fire-fighting mode. I do things at such a fast pace, I don’t take the time to slow down, which often leaves me feeling tired at the end of the day. She goes on to discuss three other Modes:

  • Burn-Out mode (which is the place we all get to if we don’t learn to get out of constant fire fighting);
  • Fire-management mode (which is more proactive and balances short endlong term perspectives);
  • Fire-prevention mode (in which a leader is proactive and focused on the long-term).

Something she said stuck with me: too often women who are good at solving problems, fail to transfer that problem solving to broader organizational learning. Therefore, they get stuck as being seen as good fire fighters but not as strategic thinkers and leaders. I highly suggest being on the lookout for her lessons that we will be promoting soon! They have a lot of great information regarding women’s leadership in the workplace.

Two out of the four days we were in San Fransisco was playtime! The first day was when we arrived, my other aunt, who’s house we stayed at in Oakland California, picked us up in a Mercedes Convertible! Yes, you read that right! A Mercedes convertible! I was so stoked to be in California, yet alone to ride around in that! We drove over the Golden Gate Bridge to get authentic  Mexican food at a Mexican Restaurant; they had the best Enchiladas I’ve ever had!
After we ate, we drove up a huge hill overlooking all of San Fransisco. It had an amazing view of The Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and the beautiful bodies of water! It was so windy on the hill, you can tell in the picture below, where my hair looks wild!
The day after the video-taping, Aunt Jeanne and I took the BART into San Francisco and took the street car over to Fisherman’s Wharf. We had a nice lunch at a restaurant overlooking the pier. Then Aunt Jeanne saw a restaurant serving authentic Beignets. I had never heard of them and she insisted I had to try them. Ahh! You should have seen my face as I bit into the powdered, sugary-greatness! From there we got on one of the famous SanFrancisco cable cars!
I was able to take a picture in front of the Pixar studio, and many of different places! You can see I added another picture of food in the photos to the left! So it’s safe to say I ate well in Cali, from all the pictures of food I inserted into the blog!! Lol
Overall, I had such an amazing time in San Fransisco! I want to give a big thank you to Jon from AthenaOnline for allowing me to sit in on my aunt’s studio session and providing me with footage to edit as part of my internship. I want to give another thank you to my Aunt Colette for allowing me to stay in her beautiful home with my Aunt Jeanne and showing such an amazing time in San Fransisco! And lastly, I want to give a big thank you to my Aunt, Dr. Jeanne Porter King for taking me on such an amazing trip, and for everything she’s done for me this summer regarding my internship and so much more! I’m learning a lot from her about business and also about having strong relationships in the business world. I’m also learning from her to incorporate fun-time into work trips!
Also, big thanks to the Makeup artist, Maurisa Rondeau, who did my aunt’s make-up for the video session! She had my aunt’s makeup on point!! Thanks for reading this weeks post for Kickin’ It With Kiki!
Stay tuned! 🙂


  1. Bruce

    Fantastic Read Kiki!!

  2. Jon Peters

    Was terrific having you at the Athena studios Kiki! Cannot wait to see what you do with the footage that we shot together.

  3. Patrina Williams

    Kiki I enjoyed the read,
    Dr Porter & staff w enjoy
    seeing your successful

  4. Kristen

    Love the photos!!! You all were grubbing! Lol ❤️

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