Learning on the job

JHU's professional development courses are designed to help you hone your skills and fulfill your career aspirations

Image caption: Kathy Forbush heads up HR’s Talent Management team, whose mission is to “retain the best people and help them achieve meaningful careers.”

Credit: Will Kirk / Johns Hopkins University

If you're a full-time JHU employee, you may not be aware of one perk you're entitled to: taking up to three workdays a year for professional development opportunities.

That could mean attending a class to hone your public speaking skills or to learn new tricks in Excel. It could mean watching a webinar on ways to avoid procrastination or stress at work, or taking an online course on a new type of software. It could even mean getting pointers on applying for your next position at Johns Hopkins.

These types of offerings are the domain of the Talent Management arm of Human Resources.

Under a new leader, Kathy Forbush, the team is putting a lot of thought into not only how to hire the best employees but also how to keep them learning and prospering throughout long-term careers at Hopkins.

"We want to retain the best people and help them achieve meaningful careers," Forbush says of her team's mission.

So, along with working on recruitment strategies (for both internal and external hiring, as well as for emphasizing the HopkinsLocal initiative), the Talent Management team provides an array of training and development opportunities—through courses, workshops, and consulting. Their offerings span all corners of the university, from introductory courses on SAP for new employees to leadership training for senior managers. (See below for more information on resources.)

For Forbush, the steppingstones within her own career path have helped inform her approach to this new role.

She started in sales for Nabisco in New York before getting her MBA from Syracuse University and shifting to training and management positions. Next she worked in a variety of human resources roles, including for an $8 billion medical device company, Boston Scientific, and an international Internet security firm, Verisign. She also earned another master's degree—from JHU's Carey Business School—and has run her own consulting firm.

Since joining Hopkins last fall as senior director for Talent Management, Forbush has been focused, she says, on getting her team "to think about talent more holistically—from the moment we first encounter a candidate for a job and then, once hired, throughout [his or her] career path."

Here are a few ways to take advantage of Talent Management's offerings:

  • Take a Professional Development course. The MyLearning catalog offers thousands of courses—online or in-person, from 10 minutes to a full day. These include training in software and compliance protocols, education on employee benefits, primers on diversity and disability issues, and advice for personal growth both inside and outside of work. In addition, there are many classroom and online offerings for managers looking to improve leadership skills or better navigate Hopkins' procedures. To get a copy of the fall catalogue, which includes several new courses, email the Management and Staff Development Office at MSDProgram@jhu.edu. Most courses are free for employees as part of their Johns Hopkins University benefits. Some you can take immediately online; for others, you register in advance. The online system also lets you set up a calendar and keep track of past and future courses.

  • Advance your career. Talent Management offers a range of resources for career growth, such as online tutorials on resume writing or interview skills, and guidance on your transition to a new job. Many of the MyLearning options mentioned above are also geared toward skill development and career building, such as classroom courses on networking and delivering effective presentations.

  • Improve your team's effectiveness. The Organization Development and Effectiveness team's role is to help senior leaders and managers be their most effective at building teams, setting goals, and addressing conflicts. Consultants are available to help leaders articulate their vision, or to get through times of transition (such as merging with another department), along with challenges such as disputes between employees. To set up a consultation, contact Heather Mason at heathermason@jhu.edu.

  • Pursue other job opportunities at Johns Hopkins. The Talent Management team can help current employees (who have completed at least one year of service in their job) explore other internal positions to achieve their career aspirations. To begin your search, check out the JHU Careers page. And keep checking—the team is currently working to build a new and improved careers site for both internal and external applicants that will launch early next year.

Posted in Benefits+Perks, Tools+Tech

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