Photo by Andrew Burdick
Jennifer Dziura writes career and life coaching advice for young women in a column called “Bullish,” appearing on TheGloss.com and TheGrindstone.com and headquartered on GetBullish.com. She believes you can make money and influence the world without being a jerk. She believes in working harder and smarter now, so you can have “balance” when you’re wrinkly and covered in diamonds. She believes in starting businesses on zero dollars, selling expensive things to rich people, and doing real things in the world rather than trying to “manifest your dreams.” She writes about class and gender issues in business, assertiveness, sexual ethics, “gentlewomanly living,” multiple income streams, and the value of women talking openly about money, careers, privilege, and influence. She likes to help.
Jennifer started her first company, an internet marketing firm, during her sophomore year at Dartmouth College, where she majored in philosophy (and was, at one point, the first woman captain of the newly-reformed boxing team.) She had eight part-time employees by the time she graduated in 2000.
After the end of her dot-com, she parlayed her philosophy degree into a one-woman show entitled “What Philosophy Majors Do After College,” in which a humorous lecture about the history of Western philosophy is punctuated with tales of the sundry professions she’s held since: corporate drone, art model, spelling bee impresario, egg donor to a gay man, grammar-obsessed comedian, and finally, gentlewomanly advice writer.
As an educational humorist, Jennifer has since developed two more shows: “¡The Punctuation Show!” and “The History of Women in 60 Minutes.” All three shows are available for bookings at colleges, libraries, library conventions, and other places “where people who know their semicolon from their colon are to be found.”
Jennifer has appeared numerous times at the Geek Week Comedy Festival and the Women in Comedy Festival, both in Boston. She has performed at Manhattan Marymount University, Palm Beach State University, Dartmouth College, West Virginia University, the University of Indianapolis at Bloomington, as well as comedy clubs from Boise to Memphis.
Jennifer has toured the Middle East entertaining the troops, appeared in a Sci Fi Channel pilot for the television show Brain Trust, has been heard numerous times on NPR, has written for McSweeney’s, and is a contributor to “The Idiot’s Guide to Jokes.” In 2010, the Oprah Winfrey Network released to the Wall Street Journal an inspirational clip featuring Jen giving advice to her younger nerd-girl self.
Jennifer has perfect scores on the SAT and GRE, and a 780 on the GMAT. As an entrepreneur, writer, and instructor in the education space, she has helped thousands of people beat the SAT, GRE, and GMAT. She is the author or co-author of over one dozen test prep books (most recently, this one.)
Since 2004, she has co-hosted the Williamsburg Spelling Bee, the nation’s most popular adult spelling bee, as featured in the New York Times, on NPR, and in international press from Tokyo to Sydney.
Long ago, Jennifer was the state debate champion of Virginia (twice!)
Her last name is Polish; in fact, it is the Polish word for “hole,” so if you type it into Google Images, you get photos from Polish websites of black holes in space and various general craters, and Jen. Her family pronounces its last name as “Di-ZUR-a,” which is not how anyone in Poland pronounces it.
Jennifer is most proud of being the first person in her family to attend college, and of moving to New York on her own with $400 cash, and figuring things out from there despite numerous indignities.
She’s also pretty proud of ringing in her thirtieth birthday by holding a male beauty pageant, in which eight studly young men squared off to be declared the Cuddliest. Winner Nick Tong performed Elvis’ “Blue Christmas,” and the event was a rousing success among all ladykind.
Jennifer lives on espresso and whisky. She enjoys owning as many pairs of glasses and shoes as possible, feeding ducks, and solving math problems on airplanes.