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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.

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End of year reflection

As we head into the holidays, most of you will have holiday parties and family gatherings to attend. Many of you will take a few extra days to reboot before starting the new year on the 2nd or 3rd of January, and number of you will create a list of New Year’s resolutions. This is also a great time to evaluate your career goals.

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Are You Listening

One of the first lessons we are taught in Kindergarten is to listen, but somewhere between those early formative years and when we become adults, many of us seem to forget that lesson. Lee Iacocca, former CEO of Chrysler Corporation, said, "I only wish I could find an institute that teaches people how to listen. Business people need to listen at least as much as they need to talk. Too many people fail to realize that real communication goes in both directions."

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Focusing on the Elderly Consumer Segment

Given Black Friday was just a few days ago and we are now full swing into the holiday shopping season, I thought I would share my thoughts on a recent McKinsey&Company article/podcast entitled, Getting to know urban elderly consumers. It should be no surprise the over-55 set is growing – they are, after all, the baby boomers. But what this article points out is that this consumer group is not well-understood, nor is it generally targeted.

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Black Friday

The term Black Friday has nothing to do with the day retail stores move into the black, meaning they start earning profits. The term actually originated right here in Philadelphia!

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Creating a job search plan

Getting a job is a lengthy process and it requires a well-thought-out plan. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Kim Neubauer who is a Senior Career Counselor at Lee Hecht Harrison and a Resume Coach here at Drexel in the LeBow College of Business. We talked in depth about the job search process.

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Veterans Are Invaluable Assets

Finding a job as a vet can be difficult. According to, employers often do not view veterans’ skills as transferrable, they prejudice veterans based on stereotypes, they worry that veteran employees can be deployed again in the future, or they believe veterans won’t acclimate well, especially in corporate America.

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Communication is Key to a Corporate Reorg

A corporate reorganization often instills fear, anxiety, and paranoia in people, which then results in miscommunication, distraction, and even depression. In the October 2016 edition of the McKinsey Quarterly, Rose Beauchamp, and the authors of ReOrg: How to Get It Right (Harvard Business Review Press, November 2016), Stephen Heidari-Robinson and Suzanne Heywood take a look at how communication plays a significant role in effectively and compassionately managing a corporate reorganization.

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Interview with Valerie Germain - Part 2

This is the second part of my interview with Valerie Germain, a partner with Heidrick & Struggles – a leading executive search firm.

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Interview With Valerie Germain

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National Business Women's Week

Next week is National Business Women’s Week (October 17-21). There are so many incredible women who paved the way for my generation and the generations to come. Over the course of the next week, please follow us on Facebook and Twitter to pay homage to some of these inspiring women.

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Student Interview with Nora Kzirian

Work experience is an integral part of one’s journey, but returning to academia ten years later can present challenges. It is one of the biggest concerns for most returning students. Nora told me, “My online educational experience started rocky. I had not been a student for nearly a decade and at that point had forgotten many of the rules for academic writing.”

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Women in the Workplace

I came across McKinsey’s annual Women in the Workplace Report for 2016. The study was conducted by and McKinsey. It looked at more than 34,000 men and women at over 130 companies. While the results are not necessarily a surprise, it tells us there is much more work to be done.

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