February 16, 2023

‘Purdue Pursuits’: DevelopMe 2.0


Theresa Martin believes success starts with a plan, but laying out her goals for the future hasn’t always been an easy process. 

“Figuring out what I like, what I don’t like, what I want to do, what I see myself doing – I have to picture that,” she says. “I never really did that; I had always been focused on right now.”

Last year, Martin’s career at Purdue had mostly consisted of roles at the college level. In March, when she was selected for a university-level position as the assessment systems and specialized accreditation lead for the Institutional Data Analytics + Assessment Office, Martin quickly began searching for ways to adjust to the shift.

Determined to narrow down her career goals and create a clearer picture of her path toward success at Purdue, Martin enrolled in Human Resources’ DevelopMe 2.0 program, which provides West Lafayette staff with mentoring, coaching, networking and job shadowing opportunities over a six-month span. The career exploration program also supports the Equity Task Force initiative of Purdue’s Next Moves by providing expanded mentoring and community-building options and enhanced career development opportunities for Black staff.

Derived from DevelopMe, a program that fosters an independent approach to career development, DevelopMe 2.0 allows staff to connect with other participants in their cohort and meet with Purdue employee mentors of their choice. Martin’s picks – a senior vice president, vice provosts and other university leaders – reflected her desire to excel as a leader in her new role.

About 'Purdue Pursuits'

A variety of programs, workshops, fellowships and trainings are offered to Purdue faculty and staff each semester. How can Purdue employees use these opportunities as small steps in reaching their personal and professional goals? Purdue Today's "Purdue Pursuits" series will share employees’ stories of growth and development during their experiences as active participants of their campus communities.

Suggestions for the "Purdue Pursuits" series may be emailed to purduetoday@purdue.edu.

“Gaining leadership skills was my top priority,” she says. “I chose these folks to get a feel for what each of them does, and they were so easy to talk to. I think I was expecting a bit more formality from them, but it was more like ‘How are you doing? What is it you want to get out of this? How can I help you?’ That actually showed me to do that when I’m working with people. It was just a sincere feeling of service.”

For several months, Martin scheduled and attended one-on-one monthly meetings with each of her mentors, who helped guide her toward her passion by listening to her goals and discussing ways she could achieve them. They offered personality tests, suggested she start writing in a journal and encouraged her to set aside 30 minutes each week to learn something new about the university.

“They all have pushed me to plan for the future and to look at job shadowing at some point as I kind of narrow down what I might want to do,” Martin says. “Their willingness to give their time and their sincere interest in me – those things really stood out. These people are interested in what you want to do, what you’re thinking about doing and how they can help you. They may need to point you to someone else who can help you, but I never felt rushed or pushed off.”

In addition to connecting with mentors, DevelopMe 2.0 participants attend cohort sessions twice each month and participate in take-home activities like completing a 30-question career initiative assessment, creating an elevator pitch and updating their resume. The experience is tailored to the needs and capabilities of each individual staff member, and Martin says it’s an opportunity that all Purdue staff should consider.

“You may not know the direction you want to go, but this program gives you the tools,” she says. “I think it’s important for early career folks to join this, as well as people like me who are further along in their career.”

In the time it took Martin to complete DevelopMe 2.0, she expanded her network and strengthened her professional reputation – two goals she set out to achieve just one year ago. She hasn’t narrowed down her career path just yet, but she’s confident that the program and her mentors provided the necessary tools to prepare her for what the future has to offer.

“These individuals have introduced me to other people, so my network is definitely expanding and my professional reputation is growing with those new people I interact with,” Martin says. “I think I have learned to be more intentional with thinking about what’s ahead. What I do daily now, I think about how things can help me move forward.”

How you can participate

Full-time and part-time staff of all classifications on the West Lafayette campus with one year or more of service and successful performance can register for DevelopMe 2.0 through April 17. No supervisor approval is required, and participation is limited to 25 individuals. 

Participants should expect to dedicate approximately one hour each week to the program for up to six months. Those interested can view the 2023 DevelopMe 2.0 schedule for more information.

Questions about the DevelopMe 2.0 can be directed to Human Resources at  lod@purdue.edu.

Faculty-Staff News

More News

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

© 2015-24 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by Office of Strategic Communications

Trouble with this page? Disability-related accessibility issue? Please contact News Service at purduenews@purdue.edu.