Service Corps Professional Development Seminar

This past Saturday, the Service Corps Program hosted a professional development seminar featuring two free sessions.  Doug Hughes, an investment advisor from Comprehensive Financial Consultants offered a presentation on “Your Next Three Financial Moves.”  Additionally, Mark Case, the Director of SPEA’s Office of Career Services, presented on job offer negotiation.  As the Nonprofit Community Coordinator, I was pleased at the turnout and engagement from both Service Corps Fellows and students from the general SPEA graduate student body.  In total, we had about 85 attendees.

After listening to the presentations, I had a better understanding about how to plan for my financial future.  Mr. Hughes emphasized the importance of realistically assessing the type of income flow you may have and then planning your portfolio around that knowledge.  He also advised all of us to plan for the unexpected by prioritizing putting money into savings accounts and making it a regular habit.

Mark Case gave a brief presentation and then fielded questions regarding job offer
negotiation.  One of his main points was that in a tough job market, offers may or may not be negotiable.  You must do your research and know how much your skills are worth.  Although job offer negotiation seems a bit daunting, it was helpful to learn that being prepared and researching current salaries can make you more likely to successfully negotiate.

As part of the Service Corps Program, we offer professional development opportunities throughout the semester to complement training that occurs in the classroom and on the job.  Besides providing professional advice, these opportunities have also allowed me to network with professionals in the community.  I thought that the information provided on Saturday was very helpful, and it made waking up a little early on the weekend very worthwhile! (The catering from Bloomington Bagel didn’t hurt either!)


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