For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

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 middle-aged woman with long brown hair shrugging as if not sure what to do.

Using AI for Advice

We have all been in a position where we are not sure what to do or how to respond to a specific situation. So, why not turn to AI? Sometimes our issues are not ones we can discuss with a co-worker—they must remain confidential, whether due to internal politics or the nature of the issue.

Read Full Post
Image of circuits with the letters AI superimposed over them in a neon blue on a black or dark navy background

AI is here to stay:

In a recent article Inside Higher Ed article, it noted that employees who learn how to use AI could see their pay grow as much as 35% over their peers who are not comfortable using AI. As I have noted, AI is here to stay, it is only going to get better and better as the technology advances. So, now is the time to learn how AI can help you in your career and personal life.

Read Full Post
Illustrated image of a computer showing a number of emails floating around.

Read your emails

I’m hearing more and more complaints from a wide variety of folks about people not reading their emails. I know we get far too many emails on a daily basis – according to Prosperity Media – the average office worker receives 40 emails per day. I believe that is conservative. Personally, I get over 100 each day. While we need to work, collectively, on reducing the number of emails we receive (and send), it is so important that we read our emails, and not just with a cursory glance, but actually read them.

Read Full Post
Photo of a Graduation Cap and a Resume

Preparing for a Career After Graduation

This month, I asked our co-op student, Rachel Mroz, who is a senior – about to finish up her coursework – to write a post about the job search. Whether you are a student about to graduate or already in the workforce and starting to look for a new position, her approach and tactics are spot on!

Read Full Post
Image is of the word Yes filled with colorful Nos.

Yes: The bad 3-letter word

The word “Yes” – on the surface – is a good word. A collaborative word. However, using the word unchecked, it can be a bad word. The word “No,” on the other hand, carries with it power and the ability to stabilize. When we say no to something, we are taking control of our time, and we ensure we do not get overloaded and overwhelmed.

Read Full Post
Illustrated image of a woman climbing the corporate ladder.

Advice to New Managers

It is exciting to get promoted to a leadership role with management responsibilities! However, most new managers are not trained or groomed for that role, some figure things out with many bumps and bruises (to the ego) along the way, while others never quite get the hang of it to become good, strong managers. Here are 7 tips for new managers!

Read Full Post
Woman of Asian descent looking frustrated as she stares at her laptop

Combatting complacency and burnout

If you spend any time on Linkedin, you will read many articles on how US workers are feeling complacent, overwhelmed, or burned out. While there are a couple of key structural elements to these feelings, both of which revolve around earned vacation time, this is becoming a broader issue, with consequences. Here are a number of tips to combat complacency and fight feelings of being overwhelmed and burned out.

Read Full Post
Illustrated image of a man high on the ladder holding his bag of money, with a woman of color standing at the bottom, where there is a broken rung.

Tactics to Fix the Broken Rung

There are a whole host of reasons for the leadership gender gap. However, it begins with the first opportunity to move into a leadership position, “For every 100 men who are promoted from entry level to manager, only 87 women are promoted, and only 82 women of color are promoted.” This has become known as the “broken rung,” referring to that corporate ladder. This puts women behind from the very start, which then makes it really challenging to move ahead into more senior leadership positions.

Read Full Post
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.

Read Full Post
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.

Read Full Post
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

Read Full Post
Illustrated image of computer screens showing a person in multiple meetings

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.

Read Full Post