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Amy Deitrich: Helping employees hone skills, develop career paths

Approximately 14 years ago, Amy Deitrich began her career path at Purdue University. The first 12 years she served in various roles in the department of Botany & Plant Pathology in the College of Agriculture; her last position there was as the communications coordinator for the Plant and Pest Diagnostic Lab and the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology. Two years ago she transitioned into her current role as an instructional training specialist within Human Resources’ Organizational Effectiveness team. As part of the Leadership and Organizational Development unit in that area, Deitrich has first-hand experience helping others broaden and strengthen their own careers.

“There is a lot of variety in my job,” Deitrich said. “Some days I’m traveling all over campus giving presentations or meeting with leaders, while other days I’m engrossed in data, crunching numbers and preparing reports.”

Most recently career coaching has been added to Deitrich’s duties. As part of the new program, DevelopMe, offered through Leadership and Organizational Development, she now also spends time meeting one-on-one with staff assisting them with individualized career growth opportunities. 

“We are very excited about DevelopMe, our new career development program, which was created in cooperation with APSAC and CSSAC,” Deitrich explained. “One of my favorite things about this new program is that it gets people thinking about their work at Purdue as a career, not just a job.

“Typically staff are given plenty of professional development opportunities to help them do their job, but one of the things that’s been lacking is the career development aspect,” she said. “Not only are we helping employees set goals to help move them forward in their career, but we are also working directly with the managers to make sure that they are having career conversations with their staff, and are developing them appropriately, taking into consideration each individual’s performance and potential.”

Deitrich said her favorite thing about her job is the broader knowledge that she’s gained about the University.

“With regards to my duties in managing the annual staff evaluation system, I’ve been able to get a much better understanding of the organizational structure of Purdue and the unique contributions of each area,” she added.

She also enjoys the fact that she has been able to meet so many different people from all over campus and has built great relationships. Her role in the DevelopMe program will continue to expose her to new people and relationships as well.

It’s apparent that Deitrich handles many different things on the job and admittedly that’s the most challenging thing. As she interacts with all the different people across campus every day, it can sometimes be difficult to keep track of variety of timelines, projects and other details for each organization. Luckily for us, Deitrich has some tricks that make it look easy.

“In order to provide excellent customer service, I try my best to keep organized to make sure we are meeting the unique needs of each area,” she said. “I rely very heavily on my Outlook calendar and to-do lists. I’m a very organized person and love the details, but more often than not, my desk is covered with post-it notes with various reminders.”

Even though there is a lot going on in her daily work life, this is nothing new to Deitrich. Before work each morning her main goal is to get her two daughters up, fed and out the door on time with minimum drama. Many of us can relate to that exact scenario. Once she arrives at work, she checks her daily schedule as well as the schedules of the other members of her team, in anticipation of what the day will bring their way. Once email is handled, she’s ready to start the rest of her day.

Once work is over for the day, Deitrich’s busy schedule doesn’t stop. There’s homework, dinner, Girl Scout activities and gymnastics and / or soccer practice. Spending time with her family and friends is at the top of her list when she’s not at work.
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