Alumni Perspective: Diane Weller

Degree and graduation year:  Organizational Leadership, 2012

Current hometown: Beavertown, Pennsylvania

Current career and workplace:  Personal and Business Coach, Diane Weller Coaching; Performance Consultant, Résumé Writer, Speaker

What does a typical workday look for you?
I try to ask myself each day: What will it be today? A typical day might consist of coaching, writing, preparing presentations or professional development workshops, relationship building, or working on my business. The beauty of self-employment is that I can choose the environment in which I do my work, whether that is in my office, by a mountain stream, or overlooking a large body of water. I choose the environment that will best feed my creativity.

How did you get into the field you are currently working in?
One opportunity led to the next — and preparation. As Oprah Winfrey has said, “Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.” Studying organizational leadership, while taking on leadership roles in my first career in information technology, led to my interest in human resources, which led to special projects, which led to a refined interest in people development and performance management. Working with a professional coach for six months confirmed my new career path.

How has Penn State World Campus impacted your career?
My academic studies with Penn State World Campus provided the gateway to discovering my natural talents, passion, and second career. It gave me the knowledge and credentials to confidently take on bigger roles and new opportunities in my first career and then take a big, scary leap into a second career.

What were some of the challenges you faced when you were a Penn State World Campus student? How did you overcome these challenges?
As an adult learner, spouse, mother, and full-time career person with a long-distance commute, I shared the challenges of many Penn State World Campus students. I’m not sure I could have overcome the challenges I had — and finished my degree — without the incredible support of my husband and daughters. Mindfulness and coming to know what worked best for me, concerning reading time, writing time, etc., were key. Fortunately, I had already developed organizational and time management skills, which served me well.

How do you stay connected with Penn State?
I stay connected with Penn State in several ways. I am a board member of the Penn State World Campus Alumni Society and serve as a Penn State World Campus Alumni Ambassador. I’ve been invited to serve as an expert for online résumé review events hosted by Penn State Alumni Career Services, and I stay in touch with friends and professional colleagues at Penn State, having had the pleasure of working with many for more than 24 years!

What is some advice that you would give to current Penn State World Campus students?

Engage with instructors, fellow students, and alumni more than you currently do! People love helping people. Know that no matter where you are in your career you have something to teach another, so be a mentor. You have support lines all around you; utilize them and make completing your degree not only possible, but also easier.