Here’s What You Missed During Professional Development Week

Professional Development Week was filled with 14 incredible workshops geared toward young professionals. Not only did I learn how to expand my skills in the workplace, I learned lessons in which I will develop personally and professionally in my career. I enjoyed all of the events I attended and there were memorable moments in each.

Here’s a recap of some of my favorite events:

How to develop a professional development plan

This event was beneficial because I recently graduated from Kent State University and I’m trying to figure out what I want to do in my career, what my goals are and how to attain those goals. LaToya Smith, Talent Acquisition Manager for Fifth Third Bank gave great advice from setting up meetings with more experienced coworkers to discuss your future to taking a career setback that will propel your future career to keeping a log on everything you’ve accomplished that year in order to report on why you deserve that raise, new assignment or transferred location. She captivated the audience’s attention when she closed her speech. Smith told the audience to close their eyes and envision their inner child and picture if where they are today in their personal life and career, are they making their inner child happy and proud.

Crafting a work/life balance

This workshop provided beneficial, unique ways to maintain a work/life balance. Jayne Juvan, partner at Tucker Ellis discussed how if you keep putting things off you like/love, such as exercising or reading, etc., to put them in your calendar. Those appointments with yourself are just as important as the scheduled meetings in your calendar with your boss. She was inspiring when she talked about her personal experience of only receiving 50% of pay on maternity leave. She didn’t accept that pay and fought for herself and the future women on receiving 100% pay on maternity leave.

Sales Skills for Non-Sales People

I wanted to learn how sales can still be part of my life and career despite not wanting a career in sales. Marvin Montgomery, author, trainer and motivational speaker gave easy and effortless advice: “ask questions and listen, listen and ask questions.” This way you’ll be able to understand what the problem is that the person wants fixed. It allows the person talking to understand that you care about what they say and that they are important. It will provide you with a better triumph in the long run because you’ll gain better more thoughtful relationships.

Creative Problem Solving

Dan Fox, associate professor of law at Ashland University made his speech interactive and filled with valuable information. He discussed simple solutions on becoming a better creative problem solver by looking at the problem at different angles you’re not used to, understanding that the problem can be the person defining the problem and it’s easiest to solve problems when your mind is in a playful state. During his speech he gave us a wooden trinket in which we had to balance on our finger. No one figured it out until he hinted at a creative solution the audience didn’t think to try. It was a perfect example of thinking outside-the-box in order to solve a problem.

All of the 14 workshops I attended during Professional Development Week were beneficial. I took a lot of valuable, unique information that I will carry with me throughout my career and in my personal life. It was a great week for learning experiences for young professionals. I am excited for Professional Development Week next year. If you’re looking forward to future Engage! Cleveland events check out our calendar today!


Samantha Meisenburg graduated from Kent State University with a Public Relations degree this past May. She was born in Buffalo, New York and moved to the west side of Cleveland when she was three-years-old. While attending Kent State, Samantha studied abroad in Florence, Italy for four months where she got to explore many cities in Italy and travel to ten different countries in Europe. In her free time, she loves to travel, hike, read, try new restaurants, go to sporting events and concerts, and spend quality time with friends and family. Samantha has a dream to one day work and live in New York City. As a recent college graduate, she wanted to work for Engage! Cleveland to help other young professionals network and show them why Cleveland is a great city.   

Engage! ClevelandComment