Student Profile: Melissa Suey “Learn While You Earn”
Keynote speaker Melissa Suey looked out over her audience and asked a question: How many people had tuition reimbursement available for training? About three-quarters raised their hands.
She asked a second question: How many were currently using the benefit? Three.
Melissa was making a point that represents a hallmark of her 19-year career: “Learn while you earn.” Take advantage of educational opportunities, formal or informal, on the job or in the classroom.
“Self-employed folks make it their business to gain up-to-date knowledge and skills. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be in business! In my opinion, we should all act like we are self-employed when it comes to our own development, especially in this tough job market.” Melissa has done an impressive amount of training, and her high praise for USM’s Nancy Ansheles and Peggy Page carries significant value.
Melissa is training and development manager for Delhaize America, the parent organization of Maine’s Hannaford Brothers supermarket chain, and is based in Scarborough. She leads a team that trains the people conducting Delhaize supply chain operations - from product sourcing and category management through pricing and getting goods to the stores.
Melissa Suey has had a varied career. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in journalism from Bowling Green State University in Ohio, then worked as a television reporter/anchor, marketing consultant, media relations and marketing trainer, and then honed her entrepreneurial skills consulting with small businesses.
Along the way, her talents and interests led her into advising her clients beyond marketing – in relevant business issues and other areas in their lives. She realized that in order to really help her clients see where they were stuck and move forward, she needed to coach the whole person. It was then that she invested 120 hours in professional coach training from the highly acclaimed Coaches Training Institute and subsequently founded Red Sky Leadership, a coaching and training company.
As she continued to coach and facilitate groups, she felt she needed more. “Most of my education around training was informal, so I felt it was important to get that formal training,” she explained. “That’s why I so appreciated Nancy and Peggy. They are experts and are DOING it in their current work– practicing what they teach.
“Besides the new knowledge, the courses reinforced what I was doing. That gives you confidence.
“The added value was getting to know my fellow participants. I can’t emphasize enough the value of building relationships with your peers in the industry. There were professionals from all over Maine, large and small organizations. We still share best practices and lean on each other for feedback.
“And I send my employees to USM. It is part of their job to come back and share what they’ve learned.”
She now is the mother of two children and, besides her fulltime position with Delhaize, coaches several clients and delivers occasional keynote speeches through Red Sky Leadership. It comes as no surprise to hear she is currently enrolled in a training program to prepare her for the rigorous credentialing process with the International Coach Federation.
With her current responsibilities, as well as her broad career background and extensive training experience, Melissa knows exactly why the USM training is so important.
“There is no such thing as job security,” Melissa says. “WE are our job security – it’s all in here (indicating herself). It’s all about your knowledge, skills, experience, talents, work ethic, reputation... Whether you are working for an organization or self-employed, you take those with you wherever you go.”
USM Professional Development Programs - Student Profile
Learn More about our Fall 2012 Professional Development Programming