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Professional Studies Blog

The Goodwin College of Professional Studies Blog is a warehouse of relevant information, tips and tools for students and professionals looking for career development and advice. Topics range from leadership and management skills to interpersonal communication and innovation in the workplace. Our Department Head of Graduate Studies and faculty member, Anne Converse Willkomm, along with guest expert contributors provide weekly insights into the latest professional trends, challenges and skills needed to thrive.

Image of a female silhouette with the words like grateful and thankful in a word cloud

On being grateful

I’ve been thinking about gratitude a fair amount over the past couple of weeks as discussions about thwarted Thanksgiving plans are tossed about. This year has certainly taught us many lessons, one of which should be gratitude. And it is especially relevant in this season of giving to reflect on all that we are grateful for in our lives.

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Two neighbors talking as they run into one another. Older men, one with a bicycle

Stop saying,"How are you?"

I came across a CNBC article from May of 2019 and it brought me be back to high school when a classmate complained that people were hypocritical when they asked, “How are you?” When she responded honestly, she was stunned, frustrated, and angered when these strangers looked at her in silence conveying, they were only being pleasant, not really interested in the truth. She railed at the hypocrisy of the question and the expected response.

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I miss my colleagues

A few days ago, while listening to the news, one of the newscasters asked, “What do you miss most about the office?” In that moment, as if in a Harry Potter book, I apparated back to my Drexel office, but like the last time I was physically there, the office was empty. Eerily empty. Depressingly empty. Reminders of the time that has passed since we all congregated in the halls posted on the side of my computer or white board. Then the following day, Alba Berberena – the glue of Goodwin College - emailed us all and asked, “What do you miss most about the office?”

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Photo of a Zoom Call with a few people on the call.

The Unintended Invitation From Zoom

Zoom or other video conferencing platforms are not new, but in mid-March much of the workforce found itself spending the bulk of the day on Zoom meetings, and as such extending an invitation to colleagues, strangers, professors, students, etc., into their homes. But what about the unintended invitation? The intimate view into the lives of our students, professors, peers, colleagues, or clients?

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Yes, design matters

I am not speaking as a designer, rather I am speaking as a professor and a professional who cringes when I see poorly designed presentations or presentation materials. Keep in mind that poorly designed materials will prevent you from conveying your intended message. Follow these six tips to create presentations and presentation materials that are designed well.

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Image of the upper body of a woman in a suit, but her face is not visible. She is holding a sign: Chief Executive Officer

Offering a woman a leadership role is no longer enough

According to the Wall Street Journal, less than 6% of CEOs are women. Sure, companies can check a box when they hire women in leadership roles, even though those roles are often “more female oriented” such as VP of Human Resources, but its time companies cultivate and foster female advancement. Jane Stevenson, vice chairwoman of the board and CEO at executive-recruitment at Korn Ferry said, “The women who do make it to CEO, they’re almost flukes because there’s not a consistent pipeline being built.”

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Image of an empty desk with an Apple computer on it and a few other items, suggesting a home office

Looking toward the new normal

While you may have stopped talking about the “new normal,” there is no question most of the workforce who was suddenly catapulted into a home working environment, is wondering what work will look like post-pandemic. The answer is likely a hybrid model with employees working from home part of the time and in the office the rest of the time. Currently, employees are feeling burnout, having difficulty maintaining boundaries, and feeling a lack of community. These will all need to be addressed regardless of the number of days we return to the office.

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Image of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, wearing her black robe and infamous white collar.

Lessons to be Learned from Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Legacy

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the second woman nominated and conformed to the United States Supreme Court died on Friday evening as the Jewish New Year began. Many found their way to the steps of the Supreme Court to honor the Notorious RBG and her legacy. There are many lessons to be learned from RBG – her resilience, her dedication, her fortitude, and how she approached disagreements. There is one other lesson and that comes from the support and honor bestowed upon this larger than life woman by her colleagues on the Court.

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Please read this!

Carlyn Ferrari, the author of "You Need to Leave Now, Ma'am: I was mistaken for a prostitute at my job interview," clearly laid out so many issues I have written about, such imposter syndrome, dressing for interviews, and preparing for interviews. But I never wrote about those looking through the lens of a Black woman who also felt the heavy weight of racism being pushed upon her by numerous institutions.

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Take a break: The value of rest 

In the age of COVID-19, it's more important than ever for employees to take time off. Read more on how management can support employees through PTO.

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Tips for students learning remotely and online

According to the College Crisis Initiative, of the 2,078 colleges and universities who have reported plans for the fall term (Fully online, primarily online, hybrid, primarily in person, or fully in person), 47% have opted (as of this week) to offer primarily or fully online courses to their students. When you add in the 457 schools offering a hybrid model, the result is 66% of students across the US will be taking multiple online or remote synchronous (live) courses.

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5 Tips for brainstorming in a virtual world

I've written before about the value of brainstorming, the electricity that fills the air as colleagues share their ideas and those ideas begin to gel. The brainstorming I talked about happened in a collaboration room or a conference room or an office, where the people involved could look at one another, scribble or sketch something on a piece of paper or on a white board for the others to see. I never described or thought about brainstorming through a computer. So, is it possible? Of course it is, but it takes a bit more planning.

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