“I don’t want to be stagnant. I want to grow in my career,” said Rachel Melekian, IT business analyst and a member of Surge Energy Group, DTE’s Employee Resource Group for young professionals.

Rachel knows what she wants out of her professional development at DTE: to excel in her work and teach others. She has the power to make that happen and chooses to do by staying connected with people through Surge and on the job.

“DTE is a great place to thrive as a young professional; the sky is the limit,” said Melekian. “Surge is a great way to network with others who also want to learn, grow and move up in their career.”

Melekian, who started at DTE last year, leads monthly virtual meetings with about 150 colleagues across the company to teach them about the launch of new products and technologies at DTE.
Melekian’s two biggest tips for professional development is to communicate and connect.

“Being in Surge helps me meet and interact with others across the company, learn new information and get a greater sense of our thriving culture – and that helps me become a more well-rounded employee,” she said.

Shannon Brodie, strategist, Organizational Effectiveness Strategy & Special Projects and Surge member, takes time for self-reflection as part of her professional development journey.

“When the pandemic began and work from home was mandated, I decided to be proactive about my mental health and started having weekly virtual sessions with a therapist. This has allowed me to revisit my priorities, experiment with work/life integration changes and be mindful about how I spend my time,” said Brodie.
Being involved with Surge also allows Brodie to challenge herself as an individual and a leader, especially when it comes to having more meaningful conversations about important topics like social justice.

Brodie’s immediate team recently decided to add social justice action items into their engagement strategy for this year. A group of them are going to hold brainstorming meetings around what they can work on as individuals, a team, and a company.

“I’m eager to continue my own journey of being anti-racist and building even deeper bonds with fellow employees across the enterprise,” she said.
Rommy Sleiman, account manager, Major Account Services Business Energy Account Management, said that professional coaching is a part of his professional development plan.

Sean Gouda, manager, Business Development, Electrification, has been Sleiman’s coach and mentor since last year, helping him on his career journey with helpful advice and ideas.

“Sean wanted to make sure I have what I need at DTE,” said Sleiman. “It is refreshing to have someone take a personal interest in me and my development. I encourage everyone to search for similar mentoring and coaching opportunities.”

Want to learn more about how DTE is working to create a more diverse and inclusive workplace? Read more about our efforts here.