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Professional Buzz

Professional Buzz

Professional Buzz is a blog warehousing 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. The blog is written and curated by Associate Dean of the Graduate College, Anne Converse Willkomm – drawing on her academic and professional experience to provide insight into the latest professional trends, challenges and skills needed to thrive in today’s everchanging workplace.

Image of a resume sitting on a desk with a cup of coffee - implying the individual is apply for a job.

Want a good professional development activity?

Going through the job seeking and application process is arduous, but also a great professional development exercise. When you apply for a new position, if you’re doing it right, you take the time to reflect on your skills, areas for growth, and your goals. We should do this on an annual basis as part of our professional development.

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Black and white image of the right and left side of a brain - the left is circuits and the right is more artistic swirls.

We can't ignore ChatGPT

Unless you are avoiding the news, you likely have heard something about Chat GPT and other forms of artificial intelligence producing relatively high-quality writing. Before I take a deeper dive into what Chat GPT is, keep in mind, we’ve been dabbling with this type of technology with voice assistants such as Siri and Alexa for some time now, just at a lower level. Both Siri and Alexa are highly limited in comparison. So, I thought I would ask Chat GPT to define itself.

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Graphic in Black and White with green and red accents spelling out Black History Month

Black History Month: Celebrating Young Leaders

As we wind down Black History Month, I wanted to celebrate some incredible up and coming young Black leaders. We often focus on historical leaders, which mightily deserve our attention and recognition for their innovation, sacrifice, leadership, scientific contributions, pioneering endeavors, strength, and advocacy. We asked our graduate students to help us celebrate Black History Month by writing names of Black authors, leaders, politicians, inventors, heroes, athletes, etc. on our board. No surprise names such as Barak Obama, Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou, and Jackie Robinson appeared. There are also some lesser known (but noteworthy) names such as Terrance Hobbs (guitarist), Charlie Mitchell (NYC’s first Black Michelin Young Chef), and Esteban Hotesse (WWII hero). Some of these people are historical figures who are no longer with us, others are older, well-established folks who continue to have influence. I wanted to celebrate younger newer Black voices, leaders, innovators, and advocates – they are the future

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The Impact of Too Many Meetings

There have been many articles published on employee burnout and Zoom fatigue, but one important element folks don’t seem to be discussing is the lack of time available to get things done because there are just too many meetings. This has really sparked my interest. As I look at my own calendar with very few openings during the day, and as colleagues talk about not being able to get work done other than in the evening or over the weekend, it is clear - we need to do something about the excessive number of meetings. The statistics are a bit staggering: 83% of employees spend as much as a third of their week in meetings, 47% report these meetings are a waste of time, and 45% feel overwhelmed by the number of meetings they are asked to attend.

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2023: to stay or go

Each new year, plenty of people set professional goals and aspirations. Similar to personal resolutions, some will follow through on those – many will not. A common goal is to get a new job. Before you add this to your list in permanent ink, let’s talk about it.

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7 Types of Rest

Recently, I have noticed more and more colleagues, students, and friends commenting on a lack of down time. As the holidays quickly approach, down time will be even harder to attain. Then today, a Facebook friend posted on the 7 types of rest. This really resonated with me, and I’ll go into them in a moment, but I wanted to know who came up with this amazing and spot on list. It did not take me long.  Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith, MD is a physician and researcher. She wrote the book, Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore Your Sanity. She has been featured on Fast Company, FOX, MSNBC, and in Psychology Today.

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The Skills Matrix

When you get ready to apply for a new position, typically it begins with reviewing your resume or CV to ensure it is up-to-date. But to be truly ready for a job hunt that involves taking the next step up the ladder, you should begin at least a year in advance. Why? No one has every skill or required experience listed in a job description – nor should they. And as a reminder, women typically only apply for jobs where they have 100% or darn close to 100% of the requirements while men will apply holding far less. You should consider a position for which you have between 60% and 70% of the requirements, which may mean you have to build upon your skills and experience to be ready to apply for that next great position.

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Image of Rachel Mroz, featured in the center with other staff members in the Graduate College. Also in the image is the Grad College vertical sign.

Making the most of coop

I love to share student's thoughts on career development experience. Each year, The Graduate College, hires a Spring/Summer coop student - Drexel's commitment to experiential learning is heralded through our renowned coop program. This year, Rachel Mroz joined us and worked on the Communications and Events team under the direction of Sandra Strang, Director of Communications and Events. Rachel has done amazing work for us and I asked her to share her experience with the coop program. Although Rachel is an undergraduate student, the lessons she has learned and experience she has gained through her coop experience is also highly relevant to graduate students who opt to participate in coop.

Please enjoy reading more about Rachel's experience.

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Rainbow colored words stating "Make Things Happen" with a set of cogs behind the words and a silhouette of a person as if they are talking.

Bored at work? Then take initiative

While many employees are feeling a bit overwhelmed managing their position and responsibilities of other positions that have not been filled for either budget reasons or the inability to hire a qualified candidate, that is not the case for some. Over the past few months, I have heard more and more folks, especially those new to the workforce, comment about being bored or not having enough work to do. If you do not have enough work to fill your time, you have an amazing opportunity knocking on your door – don’t waste it.

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7 tips for gearing up for a job search

I’m going to be honest – searching for a job, whether you are just entering the field or looking to change positions – is not for the faint of heart! Over the past year, I have mentored and counseled a number of folks in their job search journey, and it is a process – in some cases, a long process. I want to share with you seven things to think about as you prepare to set forth on your job search journey, so you can ultimately be successful!

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White background with the word "Burnout" in black bold font with a hole burning through it.

4 ways to beat burnout

One can’t help but see post after post on LinkedIn about feeling the burn and I’m not talking Bernie Sanders. More and more employees, as well as students, are feeling burned out. And, in all honesty, why wouldn’t we all feel burned out. We have been tugged, pulled, and pushed for 30 months or over 900 days due to COVID. Then add in George Floyd, how could one not feel exhausted after watching the life literally be pushed out of him? And he was not the only one! There were the impeachment hearings, the election, hybrid work, which turned more into 24/7 work, and now there is Monkey Pox and if you get sick, some unspoken expectation has emerged that you just work from home. Finally, the heat - anyone who still denies our planet is heating up due to climate change, must be living 30 feet underground.

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Goal Setting in 6 Steps

As you scroll through LinkedIn, it is very likely about half of the posts are dedicated to people in your network announcing a new position or a promotion. Whether you just earned a promotion or took on a new role within your current employer or you are moving to a new company, now is a great time to do some goal setting!

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