10 Professional Development

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Humphrey Fellows attend the Global Leadership Forum in Washington D.C.

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Humphrey Fellow Fernando Aguilar meets with other colleagues and President Jimmy Carter during an Enhancement Workshop in Atlanta, Georgia.

Fellows benefited from attending a significant number of professional development events across their various fields of interest. These included journalism, PR, nonprofit, fundraising and digital communications, to name a few. Conferences and professional development workshops offered the opportunity to build new networks for the present and the future. The Global Leadership Forum gave fellows the chance to gather in Washington D.C. with their Humphrey colleagues spread across the 14 host universities. Memorable moments from the GLF included a reception at the Department of State, visits to organizations like the USAID and the GLF discussions on Climate Change and Development.

Reflection Question: What was your most valuable professional development experience and why?

Volunteering in Native Health and doing a local affiliation at ASU’s Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development gave me a broader understanding of professional expectations in the U.S., an experience I was looking forward to before coming here. Wahida Ifat

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During the enhancement workshop Strategic Negotiation Skills held on the premises of IIE in Washington D.C. Maja Cakarun meets special guest Tom Healy, Chairman of the Board for the Fulbright Program.

During my Humphrey year, I attended almost 10 professional development conferences, in Arizona and across the country. Each was a unique learning experience and networking opportunity. The last one – a Humphrey Enhancement Workshop titled “Strategic Negotiation Skills,” was one of the most memorable, as it opened a horizon on the importance of valuable negotiation skills, especially in the communication profession. Maja Cakarun

I took a Comprehensive Project Management workshop by American Management Association that provided me with sources, methodologies and techniques that I could start implementing right away. It is something that can share and improve my organization back home. Ivana Braga

Reflection Question: Share one key takeaway from your professional development activities and networking experiences.

I attended some great workshops and seminars organized by ASU’s Commission on the Status of Women. During one session a faculty member shared these points:

  • Leadership no longer is about individual success. Provide pathways to help people find themselves in their roles, and succeed as well.
  • Being open to feedback about weaknesses is fundamental for leadership improvement.
  • If I can’t transform myself, I can change nothing around me. Ivana Braga
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Humphrey Fellows Rhonda Jaipaul-O’Garro, Steven Kapoloma and Maja Cakarun don’t sleep in on Fridays. They’re up for a 7:30 a.m. Toastmasters Meeting to polish their public speaking skills. 

Without networking it is hard to pursue professional development, as that can enhance valuable opportunities. Networking helped me with my professional affiliation. I met interesting professionals from my field, which enabled me to gain more information from the industry. Networking skills are crucially important for career success. Maja Cakarun

“Challenge yourself and challenge your assumptions constantly. The things that are true for now, will they be true in the future?” – Richard Gingras, Google. Derya Kaya

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Humphrey Fellow Hina Ali participates in an American Management Association (AMA) workshop on Persuasion. Photo Credit: Hina Ali

American Management Association organized a workshop in San Diego about expanding influence through persuasion that I attended. The most memorable takeaway was, “Persuasion is what you do. Influence is who you are.” Hina Ali

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