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Pages tagged "Professional Development"


To Grad School or Not?

by Leah Lundquist
follow me on Twitter: @leahlundquist

Against a lot of people’s better advice, I’m cracking the old textbook spine again. Well, actually, I’m ordering my eTextbooks or searching for open-source options this time around. Wow, how much has changed since I graduated from my undergrad over four years ago! And the changes aren’t just relegated to the logistics of how much we’re willing to pay for a textbook, but the very perception of the value of a graduate degree.

It’s a valid point. Akhila Kolisetty over at Justice for All dubs it our “higher education dependency.” For too long there’s been a sense that education trumps experience, and that the best next step you can take after your undergrad degree is to enroll into a master’s program. We hear: “Do it while you have the motivation!” and “You’re not going to want to do it later.” We do it for more income, to evade the entry-level positions, to get our dream job title, to build our networks, or the potentially worst reason of all–because we just don’t know what we want to do! In 2008, a whole new reason emerged–recession dodging.

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Extra! Extra! Read All About It: The Insider scoop

Since the landing of the economic hurricane in 2008, professional development has remained a prominent buzzword for young nonprofit professionals (YNPs). With an overwhelming number of professional development opportunities in the Twin Cities, it was great to get the inside track on some of the advanced degree programs, networking opportunities, and trainings and workshops at YNPN-TC's  Insider event.

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Professional Development: 140 Characters At a Time

I’m a huge fan of Twitter. No matter your passion, you’ll likely find a like-minded community there full of influential and insightful people. This is no less true for the young nonprofit leaders’ community, where Rosetta Thurman (YNPNdc member) and Allison Jones (YNPN-NYC member) host a monthly conversation called #YNPchat. During this hour-long chat, young nonprofit professionals from all over respond to five questions on a set topic, and take this opportunity to engage with and learn from each other.

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A few good mentors

Emerging into your professional self is a lot of work. The through line isn’t apparent, and in that moment, it appears as if you’re just muddling along. But, you don’t have to muddle alone.

At the June Emerging Leaders Network Lunch  on mentoring, a friend who was in my cohort at the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits Leadership Institute identified me as one of her mentors. (I would have self-identified her as a peer with a certain skill-set.) Throughout our conversation about mentors and mentoring, it was clear that many of us simultaneously occupy both roles. 

In our jobs and as volunteers, we are often called on to help others. But at the same time we are also finding our way, developing and honing skills, and building our networks. This dynamic is one reason I find mentors and peer networks so appealing.

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