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Business manager answers call to action with ongoing professional development workshops

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At this year's Richard A. Hadley APSAC Professional Development Series, featured speaker Susan Bulkeley Butler challenged audience members not just to trade contact information, but to build on their initial connections by forming meaningful networks and relationships.

Lucina Fluellen, business manager for the physics department in Purdue's College of Science, accepted the challenge. Fluellen already had gleaned helpful advice from Butler's book "Become the CEO of You, Inc: A Pioneering Executive Shares Her Secrets for Career Success," and Butler reiterated her messages during the workshop.

"She really stressed the importance of making decisions rather than letting things happen to you, identifying partners and advocates, and following through," Fluellen says. "It resonated with me. I realized through conversations during the workshop that other Purdue employees face similar challenges and have similar goals, and I thought it would be great if those conversations continued."

Since then, Fluellen has helped coordinate ongoing monthly meetings to further discuss Butler's book and her keys to success, which include creating a vision, building a team, developing a plan and navigating your journey. The group has met twice since the February presentation, and the discussions are scheduled to continue through the end of the year. Fluellen encourages others to join the conversation to help improve cross-campus dialogue, community and camaraderie.

"I've met some great people through these informal workshops, and I've become more aware about opportunities within the University, such as the Women's Resource Network and their book club," Fluellen says. "There isn't really one leader of the group; instead, we all act as each other's mentors by sharing our experiences, and we keep coming back to the book to explore ways we can initiate change and become more engaged."

Robin Shanks, APSAC chair for 2011-12, says he was impressed by Fluellen's initiative, and he hopes others will contact him or the current APSAC chair if they would like to participate in the ongoing discussions to further develop their potential.

"We're all responsible for our own personal and professional development, and this is a great way for Purdue employees to form new friendships and collaborate with others to discuss where you want to be and how to get there," Shanks says. "Lucy stepped up to coordinate these lunch-time discussions, and we've already seen a positive snowballing effect of connections and new perspectives as a result."

Sources: Lucina Fluellen, 765-494-5379, lorozco@purdue.edu
Robin Shanks, 765-496-1381, rshanks@purdue.edu