Opportunity for Growth Starts with You

In today’s dynamic workforce landscape, professional development has become a vital tool for organizations to stay competitive and ensure employee retention and growth. However, the success of these programs doesn’t solely rely on their design or the expertise of trainers; the participant’s willingness to learn can play a pivotal role in their effectiveness. It’s the individuals’ enthusiasm, engagement, and proactive approach that turn training into a transformative experience.

Working in the training and development industry, it can be interesting to see how people find their way into professional development opportunities. There are those who are motivated intrinsically, looking to expand their knowledge and skills for their own benefit. And then there are those extrinsically motivated, looking for a raise, a promotion, or more prestige from their employer or colleagues. People will come by their own choice, by recommendation, or required by their organization. Sometimes they come alone, others with their team, or as a group representing an organization. People from all walks of life may find their way into professional development opportunities, but there is one thing they all have in common: the opportunity to grow from the experience lies within each of them.

You might find yourself intrinsically or extrinsically motivated, or maybe both, but you hold the key. Whether it is seeking personal growth, a promotion, or representing an organization that wants to stay on top of their industry, a willingness to learn is the driving force behind finding success. And so, seize the opportunities before you, or find the means to show others the opportunities that could propel them towards their own goals and aspirations.


UW-Green Bay’s Continuing Education and Workforce Training Division is continuously looking for ways to stay on the cutting edge of professional development for its clients. Be sure to check out the continuing education website, and reach out if you have ideas for new content you want to see! https://www.uwgb.edu/continuing-education/


Writing/Research Credit: Christopher Ledvina, UW-Green Bay Business Development Specialist

Social Media for Professional Development

Social media often gets a bad reputation for being a place filled with unnecessary or unhealthy communication. However, social media can also provide opportunities for connections across great distances and allow for the exchange of ideas from people of all walks of life and cultures. Today I want to share just a few ideas for what you can do to make new connections or find more content to build your professional social media skills up!

    1. #Hashtags – Searching for a certain phrase using a hashtag, such as #communicationskills or #servantleadership, is a great way to find content and people who are interested in those topics! In some cases, you can even follow certain hashtags to have content brought directly to your social media page, which makes the content more personalized but allows you to see a more diverse group of people’s posts.
    2. Association of… – By searching for “Association of…” followed by the topic you are interested in you could be introduced to a number of groups and organizations that are doing amazing things in your area of interest, but may not be in your region or even county! This could be a great way to get new ideas or new perspectives, and it works for all sorts of phrases such as “Organization of…”, “Club for…”, etc.
    3. Don’t be afraid to comment – Once you find a page, group, or organization that you are interested in, don’t be afraid to comment on their posts! This shows others in the community that you are interested, which can lead to additional connections. It also can boost the number of posts that you see on your page about the topics you enjoy.

Social media provides an exceptional way to connect with new people, new ideas, and new places in professional development. Take some time to look at how you are interacting with your social media pages and learn how you can expand your learning environment!


UW-Green Bay’s Continuing Education and Community Engagement Division is continuously looking for ways to stay on the cutting edge of professional development for its clients. Be sure to check out the CECE website below, and reach out if you have ideas for new content you want to see! https://www.uwgb.edu/continuing-education/


Writing/Research Credit: Christopher Ledvina, UW-Green Bay Business Development Specialist

Goal Setting Strategies for Anytime!

As much as I hate to say it, summer is going to come to a close soon. For many people that means a return to school, less time with the family and more time in the office, but it doesn’t have to include a lack of planning! Goal setting shouldn’t be a yearly process meant for New Year’s resolutions, or annual strategic planning sessions. Having a good process for goal setting can be used anytime, whether you are revisiting once a year, month, or whenever makes sense. Here are a few strategies you can use to start creating goals that you can count on:

    1. SMART Goals have received a ton of attention, and for good reason! The process of creating a goal that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely (SMART) leads to a great foundation of information for you to create action steps from. There are tons of websites and free resources dedicated to creating SMART goals as well, including this great article on MindTools.com
    2. A similar process to SMART goals is the PACT method. The acronym stands for Purposeful, Actionable, Continuous, and Trackable and is great for long-term personal goals. For more information about the PACT method, check out this article from the National Society of Leadership and Success.
    3. A final alternative goal setting method is the “5 W’s” technique. This process requires you to start with a simple idea of your goal, then asking yourself a series of questions based on the five W questions: Who, What, Where, When and Why. Answering questions based on these ideas can do wonders to solidify how you will approach your goals in the future. This article from LinkedIn does a great job of explaining questions you can ask yourself to get started!

There isn’t one goal setting process that’s better than another, it all depends on your goals and what makes the most sense for you. However, taking the time to set your goals, and planning for reflection and revision, goes a long way towards accomplishing them!


UW-Green Bay’s Continuing Education and Community Engagement Division (CECE) is always looking for ways to stay on the cutting edge of professional development for our clients. Be sure to check out the CECE website below, and reach out if you have ideas for new content you want to see! https://www.uwgb.edu/continuing-education/


Ways to Effectively Set and Achieve Your Goals

Writing/Research Credit: Christopher Ledvina, UW-Green Bay Business Development Specialist

Ending is the New Beginning: How to End Gracefully

According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, over 7.5 million Americans will be graduating from high school or with a post-secondary degree this year. That is 7.5 million Americans transitioning into the next step in their personal and professional lives! And that’s just in a formal educational setting. The end of one journey can be just as confusing and challenging as beginning a new one, but hopefully with some thoughtful actions the process becomes one of enthusiasm and not anxiety. Here are some thoughts on graceful endings.

    1. Take a deep breath, you’ve earned it! Relax for a moment and reflect on what you have accomplished without having to consider next steps. At this moment you have reached a peak, and that’s worth recognizing.
    2. Take stock in the current you. Let’s flip the classic interview question and change it to, “Where did you see yourself five years ago?” How did you define yourself when the journey began, and what has changed?
    3. Take-Aways. Now that you’ve reached this ending, what are you taking with you? Whether it’s physical, emotional or intellectual, you’ve got a whole new set of tools and experiences for the next step.

Every year millions of people find themselves at the end of one journey, but not everyone knows how to handle that. Once you’ve reached an ending, it’s natural to want to start the next step, even if that next step is to not start something new at all! Taking the time to find a graceful ending can help the transition process and make you feel even more prepared for your future endeavors. So, the next time you wrap up that project, complete that class, or decide it’s time to move on to your next adventure, make the ending just as good as your new beginning!


UW-Green Bay’s Continuing Education and Community Engagement Division (CECE) is continuously looking for ways to stay on the cutting edge of professional development for its clients. Be sure to check out the CECE website below, and reach out if you have ideas for new content you want to see! https://www.uwgb.edu/continuing-education/


Writing/Research Credit: Christopher Ledvina, UW-Green Bay Business Development Specialist

Design Your Solution

Using Design Thinking for Just About Anything

The idea of “design thinking” isn’t a new one, but the process can be used in a much larger scheme of situations than most people give it credit for. People in marketing, research, training and development, and other similar positions might be more familiar with the term, but why stop there? What if we stopped looking for solutions and started designing them in general? Here is a simple way of looking at the “Design Thinking Process” that can be applied to just about any situation:

Step One: Discover – One of the keys of design thinking is to put the end-user first. Whether that is your team of HR professionals or your children, look for information you can use to better understand the situation. Some ways to do this include conducting interviews, checking out the competition, and gathering data for analysis.

Step Two: Define – This is where you determine what the pieces of the solution might look like. Once all of that information from step one is gathered, now you can get creative and determine how to approach the situation. This step could include creating problem statements or experience maps, writing out examples of what the final solution could and should include.

Step Three: Ideate – Now that we know what we want, let’s take the next step and look for ways to achieve it. This step is when specific ways to solve the problem or address the situation are decided. Think about brainstorming sessions, creating blueprints, or even storyboards.

Step Four: Prototype – This is where we get our hands dirty. Most people want to jump to a possible solution right away, but without steps one through three, we’re letting intuition and guesswork control the process. Having a well-crafted way for people to practice or simulate the final solution is what makes this step critical, before they ever see it. Examples include mockups, test webpages and interactive presentations.

Step Five: Test – Here is the trick to step five: You should be asking for feedback throughout the whole process from your stakeholders. Include them in the process from the beginning, so that by this point you are validating what others have said before, not identifying critical elements this late in the process. Testing your design can look a lot like step one with interviews and observations, data analytics and metrics.

Whether you are designing a new performance review process or trying to decide where to go on vacation next, design thinking can be a useful tool for people to keep in mind. Following the process can increase confidence in your work and among those most impacted by the results. So, stop searching for solutions and start designing them!


UW-Green Bay’s Continuing Education and Community Engagement Division is continuously looking for ways to stay on the cutting edge of professional development for its clients. Be sure to check out the CECE website below, and reach out if you have ideas for new content you want to see! https://www.uwgb.edu/continuing-education/


Writing/Research Credit: Christopher Ledvina, UW-Green Bay Business Development Specialist
User Experience Learning at https://uxhints.com/.

What ChatGPT Can Do For Your Organization?

If you haven’t heard about ChatGPT yet, allow me to introduce you to one of the most talked about artificial intelligence programs in the world. This program, a chatbot that launched in late 2022, has taken the world by storm with advanced language usage and an ability to “learn” from your previous answers to create even more effective responses. While quite a bit of the press has focused on the education space, the uses for a program like ChatGPT have significant value for other industries as well. Here are some ways that ChatGPT has been used to either create or improve processes across organizations:

    • Creating advertising plans and writing content for social media or marketing purposes.
    • Developing coding, data analytics and cybersecurity suggestions.
    • Acting as a recruiter and responding to questions and providing information that a potential candidate might ask for.
    • Gaining a second opinion by gathering information on a subject and explaining the various intricacies.

ChatGPT can be used for a myriad of processes within an organization. However it is important to recognize its limitations as well. The program only uses data through 2021 and is not able to incorporate real-time information for topics such as finance. It also cannot guarantee that any responses it generates is 100% accurate and therefore should be considered a resource requiring additional due diligence. Yet ChatGPT can still be a powerful tool for generating ideas and creating process improvements. Don’t believe me? Here is what ChatGPT told me when I asked how businesses can use it:

“A business can use ChatGPT to improve customer service, sales and content creation, resulting in saved time and resources, as well as providing more personalized, efficient and accurate interactions with customers and clients. ChatGPT can assist internal employees by automating repetitive tasks, providing real-time data and insights and allowing for more efficient and effective processes, thus freeing up employees’ time to focus on more important and value-added activities.”


UW-Green Bay’s Continuing Education and Community Engagement Division is proactively looking for ways to stay on the cutting edge of professional development for its clients. Be sure to check out the CECE website and reach out if you have ideas for new content you want to see!


ChatGPT– ChatGPT by OpenAI

Writing/Research Credit: Christopher Ledvina, UW-Green Bay Business Development Specialist


The Metaverse & Working In-Between

In a post-COVID world, the phrases “work from home” and “remote work” have become a significant part of organizational culture. Related to this trend is the idea of the metaverse, or that space where work takes place between the physical and virtual desks. If you haven’t heard of the metaverse yet, just wait. History shows that the longer a trend continues, the more advanced technology will evolve to become more effective and more efficient. Tech companies are already moving beyond programs like Zoom and Teams to focus directly on creating virtual, collaborative workspaces that allow people to connect in more advanced ways than ever before. Just as access to real-time data and information has become a part of our personal lives, the metaverse augments the workplace and allows for employees to create, develop, and refine information in the professional world.

It is just as critical to consider the importance of the physical location in the workplace and organizational culture. There will always be elements of work that require a physical presence, but it is the location and accessibility of those locations that will become more crucial as time goes forward. The strategic nature of locating your business is just as important as access to any other resource. Considering the advantages of location, combined with access to virtual assets, will allow well-prepared businesses to adapt quickly and effectively, putting them in line for a more successful future.

As technology further blends the physical and virtual workspaces together, how a company responds to the workforce trends will make for critical choices in future development. Is your company culture adaptable to change? Does it offer employees the resources they need to be successful, wherever they are working? The metaverse is going to continue to expand and evolve. How will your company respond?


Offer employees the chance to develop their skills in the Modern Workplace Skills Certificate program. Enrollment is ongoing and the program is completely online!

Harvard Business Review. The Metaverse Will Enhance — Not Replace — Companies’ Physical Locations. Vladislav Boutenko, Richard Florida, and Julia Jacobson. August 16, 2022.

Writing/Research Credit: Christopher Ledvina, UW-Green Bay Business Development Specialist

Keys to a Successful Mentoring Relationship

Without a doubt, mentorships help people improve their knowledge and develop skills for the future. The mentor and mentee both benefit from this relationship. The relationship the two share is vital to creating a successful mentoring experience. So, how do you foster this relationship?

  1. Get to know each other

Like all relationships, a mentoring relationship will improve from getting to know one another. Become more familiar with each other’s interests and goals and talk about your expectations for the relationship. This knowledge will help create a more insightful, efficient and effective experience without any wasteful discussion.

  1. Set a schedule

Setting aside time for meetings is important. There should be some structure and understanding of how, when and how often you will meet. Dedicating part of their days to each other may also help the mentee and mentor stay present and attentive, giving them the best chance to learn and grow together. However, according to APA instruction, “Not every contact need be lengthy or weighty,” they can contain “small talk… necessary for establishing a relationship.”

  1. Prepare

The mentee can get the most out of their structured meeting time by preparing some questions and other ideas to share beforehand. The mentor can do the same by remembering learning situations and preparing to share stories with their mentee. Being prepared will help foster great discussion, and both parties will appreciate it. Farah Radzi of ADPList believes you should “Treat each session like a first date where both mentor and mentee are putting their best efforts to get as much information as possible.”

  1. Feedback

Be honest! Hearing what is good and bad about ideas nurtures better growth. Continually check in with each other. Mary Abbajay from Forbes, recommends asking each other, “How is this going for you? What’s been helpful? What hasn’t? What could I do differently to make this a more rewarding experience?”

  1. Reflect

Between meetings, reflect on what you have learned. Reflecting will help you remember more of the important points of the meeting and apply them later. It may also help you remember something unclear so you can ask for more clarification during the next meeting.


You, too, can nurture career-enhancing relationships at your business or organization with a Mentoring Certificate Program developed by UW-Green Bay to help you establish a mentoring framework designed for success. Only three sessions. Now enrolling. First session starts February 23.



Forbes. “Mentoring Matters: Three Essential Elements of Success.” Mary Abbajay. January 20, 2019.

APA. “Getting Your Mentoring Relationship Off to a Good Start.” 2008.

ADPList. “How To Build a Successful Mentor-Mentee Relationship?” Farah Radzi. December 22, 2021.


Writing/Research Credit: Benjamin Kopetsky, UW-Green Bay Marketing Intern

September is Self-Improvement Month

Self Improvement Month reminds us that we all need to improve. It’s an opportunity for us to assess how satisfied we are with ourselves and to take the necessary steps to become who we aspire to be.

The editorial team at Indeed came up with “20 Project Ideas for Self-Improvement,” and we offer some suggestions about how you might get started.

  1. Play the stock market – Check out Motley Fool’s “Guide to Investing for Beginner’s.”
  2. Volunteer in your community – There are plenty of opportunities at the Volunteer Center of Brown County.
  3. Identify long-term goals and make a plan.
  4. Build an app.
  5. Join community theater or speech club – Our Marinette campus offers vibrant adult and children’s theatre.
  6. Start a journal – Amazon curates their best-selling journals here.
  7. Design a website – You won’t believe what you’re capable of with web creation portals like Wix and Squarespace.
  8. Meditate – UW-Madison’s Center for Healthy Minds offers a free app that tracks your mental healthy journey.
  9. Take a continuing education course – Our “Career” page is a good place to start.
  10. Listen to podcasts – Lifewire profiles 16 of their favorites here.
  11. Read books – Try James Clear’s Atomic Habits, a New York Times best-seller, which has sold over a $1 million copies worldwide. He also offers free articles if you sign-up for his newsletter.
  12. Exercise regularly – Prevention Magazine offers “25 Easy Ways to Fit in 10 Minutes of Exercise.”
  13. Use your mornings.
  14. Learn to cook – The inimitable Gorden Ramsay has created a tutorial “How to Master 5 Basic Cooking Skills.”
  15. Write every day.
  16. Take a walk.
  17. Make a garden.
  18. Start a collection – Good Housekeeping has put together “The Ultimate Guide to Gardening for Beginners” for vegetables and flowers.
  19. Build your brand.
  20. Make a bucket list – Create, track and achieve your life goals at buckletlist.org.

The Link Between Storytelling & Mentoring

The Star Wars Saga famously uses Joseph Campbell’s monomyth framework of storytelling. Sometimes called “the hero’s journey,” the protagonist begins with a “Call to Adventure,” and proceeds through seventeen stages, including “Supernatural Aid.” That is, once the hero – through a few stops and starts – is committed to their quest, they are aided with a magical helper or supernatural mentor.

Think Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker. Obi-Wan trains Luke in the ways of the Force, ways that benefit Luke on his quest. Yoda appears as another mentor for Luke later in the saga.

In science fiction and fantasy movies, mentors can be wizard-like as is the case in the Star Wars Saga and the Harry Potter Series between Professor Dumbledore and Harry.

They can also be teachers or coaches as in the examples of Professor John Keating and his students in The Dead Poet’s Society and Coach Ken Carter and his basketball team in Coach Carter or Gordon Bombay and his hockey team in The Mighty Ducks.

Not to be excluded are family favorites The Karate Kid between Mr. Miyagi and Daniel and Mary Poppins between Mary Poppins and the Banks children.

We also see this mentor relationship play out in animated movies in examples such as the genie and Aladdin in Aladdin, Mushu and Mulan in Mulan, and Mufasa and Simba in The Lion King.

The fact is, mentoring is elemental to storytelling. We are primed to look for guidance and lend advice, depending on where we are in our story. Once you gain awareness of this dynamic in storytelling, you will see mentors everywhere.

See how universal mentors are by reading this list of the top 25 mentoring movies of all times from The Chronicle of Evidence-Based Mentoring.


Mentoring Certificate Program
Where are you in your journey? UW-Green Bay offers a structured mentor training program to enable business leaders and HR professionals to maximize the benefits of mentoring for both mentor and mentee with tips for implementing, enhancing success in any field or level. Now enrolling for a virtual session in September. Certificate can be completed in three weeks. Each session is four hours long – 2 hours of self-study content and 2 hours of online live discussion and activities.