Connecting Professionally Through the Mentor Program

maia hanronMaia Hanron, Director of Career and Personal Development, Green Mountain College
LinkedIn:
www.linkedin.com/in/maiahanronsanford
Twitter: @GMCCareers

You could say I am relatively new at the career advising world.  While I am rounding out my eighth year in higher education, I am only in my second year in career cervices, coming from the admissions department at my current institution, Green Mountain College in Vermont.

The transition has been a perfect transferability of skills and one I feel is a lifelong fit! It was this idea of putting “transferability of skills” into action, that I have started to realize many things about the career advising world—one being that you have to practice what you preach! I have never worked within a field where you are constantly encouraged to step back and focus on your own personal and professional development while encouraging others to do so. If I encourage my students to network for various reasons, then I better have a good anecdote on how it has been beneficial in my own life. It’s the same with a concept like mentoring.

The idea of mentorship, while not a new concept to me in general, was definitely a new concept to me professionally. When I heard about NACE’s mentorship program, I didn’t hesitate to sign up. My department is very small, so although I wear the title of director, I undoubtedly have much to learn.

I was inspired to be able to maintain a steady relationship with another professional who might be able to shed some light on areas I either struggle with, think about, am working to improve, or any other off-the cuff matters that come to mind. Marc Goldman, my current mentor, fits the bill!  We have been communicating for about six months on a variety of topics ranging from student engagement, to employer relations, to various resources he has found beneficial over the years. Because of his broad range of experience, I truly value his insight!  He is also very candid to speak with, so it makes the conversation flow nicely. By our 3 p.m. phone calls, I am ready for a little comic relief!

I am glad that I have put myself out there to really try to connect through a mentorship program. Not only is it humbling to interact with professionals with such broad backgrounds, but it is also empowering to see mentoring as a great way to give back to your professional community down the line. I hope someday, I will have equally helpful advice to share with new professionals in the career advising field!

Do you need a mentor? Join the Mentor Program!

Read mentor Marc Goldman’s blog about his experience.

 

Mentoring: Providing Opportunities for Growth

Marc Goldman, Executive Director, Career Center, Yeshiva UniversityMarc Goldman, Executive Director, Career Center, Yeshiva University
Twitter: @MarcGoldmanNYC
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/marcjgoldman

Time and time again, there are discussions on campus and in the press about the need for and importance of mentors. Sure, students can use the career center and all the wonderful resources, services, and programs at their disposal. Many offices provide informational interview, job shadowing, and employers-in-residence options. More recently, broad-based mentoring programs have begun to spring up at colleges and universities, providing industry-specific career advice and shepherding through a job search and/or onboarding by way of a student’s ongoing relationship with an alumnus or professional from a particular field of interest. Both students and mentors tend to report that the relationships are beneficial and rewarding when all things click and both parties are committed to the relationship. The arrival of all of these niche and large-scale mentor programs has caused me to reflect on my own professional experience with mentors and as a mentor myself. I have certainly benefitted greatly, both early in my career and as a career center leader today, from experienced career services professionals in my sphere of influence, circle of friends, pyramid scheme, or what have you.  And I am not ashamed to call them out.

My first mentors were at the University of Maryland at College Park (UMCP), when I was a mere babe in the woods, aka graduate intern.  UMCP Career Center staffers like Linda Gast, Becky Weir, Linda Lenoir, and Cheryl Hiller helped me develop my personal framework of career counseling, provided me wonderful opportunities for growth and to contribute to a department, and encouraged me to stay in the field for the long haul. In my first full-time role at Suffolk County Community College, the ever optimistic and genuine Sylvia Camacho showed me how to run a flat office structure to great effect. Let’s not forget my boss of 13 years at NYU, my “Chief,” Trudy Steinfeld, who saw to it that I understood the Game of Thrones—I mean the politics that can occur in higher ed— modeled the fine art of schmoozing for me, and even rented me an apartment for a time. She is still someone I turn to in times of confusion or the need for advice. Her tag- team partner, Manny Contomanolis, has illuminated for me how best to manage up, has introduced me to the subtler ways and maneuvers of a director, and has always reminded me to stay true to who I am. I even have my very own support group or posse of peer directors who I can always count on for feedback and good humor. Presnell, Fredo, Nate, Lisa, and Jason all know who they are, or at least I hope so!

Having learned so much and come so far in part thanks to the presence of mentors in my professional life, when the chance came to serve as a NACE mentor, I seized the day, leaping up on my desk ala Dead Poets Society. (Sorry, I am known to be a bit theatrical.) I am currently in my fourth year of the NACE Mentor Program, and it has been a rich and rewarding experience for me. It has offered me a chance to meet both aspiring and seasoned professionals locally and throughout the country. I have connected with career services directors from large state colleges, small niche and liberal arts schools, faith-based institutions, and proprietary shops.  While I hope my mentees feel that they have gained from our year-long relationships, I know that I have learned a great deal about challenges faced on different campuses, in different locations, and with different student populations. The questions I am asked and perspectives I get to share help me reflect on my own past experiences and my current work more frequently than I might normally spend time doing. I am occasionally stumped too. Certainly, not every aspect of our business is in my wheelhouse, but I try my best to offer what insights I can from my 20 years in the field and point in the direction of helpful resources if I am at a loss. Wait, that sounds like something a career counselor might do. Funny!

What I like most about the NACE Mentor Program is that there are many colleagues out there who may not have had the luck I did in having mentors through situational and natural circumstances. And every professional can use input, feedback , or someone to vent to at some level. The NACE Mentor Program helps make that happen, and I am proud to be a part of it.

On Thursday, Maia Hanron-Sanford, director of career services at Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vermont and one of Marc’s mentees, blogs about her experience. Read her blog.

Become a mentor! Information on the Mentor Program is available.

Discuss, Share Critical Recruiting Issues at Employer Regulatory Summit

Shawn VanDerziel

Guest Blogger Shawn VanDerziel
Vice-President, Human Resources & Administration, The Field Museum
NACE Past President (2009-10)
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/svanderziel

When NACE announced that it was organizing an Employer Regulatory Summit, I immediately knew that I needed to attend.  This powerful event will focus on what’s happening in Washington D.C. and the critical issues that could directly impact the university relations and recruitment profession.

In order for recruiters to exceed in their jobs, we need to think strategically about what’s happening in the world around us and be keenly aware of what’s ahead.  That’s why the issues being covered at the Summit are so important: immigration, STEM, healthcare reform, tax reform, and recruitment of individuals with disabilities.

Once we understand the issues, we can begin to devise world strategies that will advance our recruiting agendas.  The hiring managers we work with will directly benefit from our knowledge as we partner with them to ensure that all obstacles to recruiting and placing top talent are minimized, allowing us to get a leg-up on our competition.

Of the issues being covered, I am particularly interested in hearing more about and engaging in dialogue around immigration reform and STEM graduates.  Having access to qualified talent in the sciences, technology, engineering, and math is of critical importance to my organization.  How we are going to develop future talent in these areas and how we are going to recruit and retain the talent is a national challenge we must solve together.

For me, probably one of the most compelling reasons to attend is the ability to hear from and interact with colleagues from both similar and different industries.  It’s always helpful to me to hear perspectives from colleagues outside of my organization.  I appreciate hearing how others are dealing with similar situations and hearing their fresh ideas.

There is so much we can learn from each other. Let’s all be in one place discussing strategic issues popping in D.C.

I hope to see many of you there.

Get details on the summit and register for the Employer Regulatory Summit at http://www.naceweb.org/events/employer-regulatory-summit.aspx.

Outcomes Data: Let’s Own the Opportunity Ahead

Marilyn MackesMarilyn Mackes, Executive Director
National Association of Colleges and Employers
Twitter: @NACEMarilyn
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/pub/marilyn-mackes/8/210/a70

There is very little these days that policy makers agree on—no big news there. The BIG NEWS is that our profession has an opportunity to lead in an area that many in the public and private sectors do care about and will most certainly impact the work we do in the future.

What is it that the President and legislators in both parties agree on? The need for detailed outcomes data about college graduates and their first destinations after receiving their degrees.

In 2013 we saw a number of federal and state initiatives launched to meet the growing demand for accountability and transparency about college outcomes.

  • In February 2013 in his State of the Union Address, President Obama introduced the College Scorecard designed to provide data on affordability, value and employment potential by institution. http://collegecost.ed.gov/scorecard/
  •  According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, nearly 20 states have moved formally to performance-based funding for higher education institutions and the majority of states report interest in doing so.
  • Numerous efforts from both parties are being proposed by federal lawmakers to collect and report data about the value of education and the specific first destinations of college graduates.

What does this tell us? The demand for hard data is real and the expectation for data delivery is imminent. The time is NOW if our profession wishes to lead in determining how we can best collect and report data about college graduates and develop the means to do so.

In January at our Advocacy Mashup in Washington D.C., NACE will be releasing Guidelines for First Destination Surveys, developed and reviewed by NACE members. More than 150 members provided commentary and recommendations related to the formulation of these guidelines.

Those attending the Mashup will have the opportunity to discuss the scope and content of the Guidelines as well as consider how to strengthen the data collection and reporting for their institutions. They will also look at how we as a profession can come together to meet the demands being placed upon us externally for accountability and compliance. We hope you can be part of that conversation—but if you can’t, it won’t end there. We look forward to engaging our members in this discussion on an ongoing basis and encourage your participation in the future.

Let’s make sure we don’t let others pave the way for what is certain to happen. Let’s create opportunity and strengthen the role of our profession as we come together to provide high quality and timely data about the outcomes of our graduates.

For more information about the Mashup or to register, go to http://www.naceweb.org/events/advocacy-mashup.aspx.

525,600 Minutes: How do you measure a year?

sue-keever-wattsSue Keever Watts
Owner, The Keever Group
Blog: http://keevergroup.wordpress.com/
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/pub/sue-keever-watts/0/aa/b60
Twitter: @SueKeever

“Seasons of Love” is a song from the wildly successful Broadway hit, Rent. It’s sung at the funeral of one of the characters and asks the question, how do you measure a year of life? According to the Gregorian calendar year, there are 525,600 minutes in a year. Now that we’re coming to the end of 2013, it’s time to ask, how and what are you measuring?

I find that in business, numbers matter more than anything else. What’s your cost per hire? What’s your interview to hire ratio? What’s your time to fill? While I appreciate the straightforward nature of statistics, they do little to inspire action and even less to answer the question of why? Why did one of your top candidates accept your offer? Why did another reject your offer? Why were you more successful at one of your target campuses than another?

Your employer brand continues to be the greatest weapon in your recruiting arsenal. It’s intended to answer the question of why – why would a talented student want to join your organization over any other? To gauge an employer brand, you have to be able to measure the intangible. It’s hard to quantify feelings, but it isn’t impossible. Here are five tips for measuring a year in the life of your campus recruiting team:

  1. Establish a vision: Statistics reward short-term thinking. And, we all know that recruiting a student is a four-year proposition. If you’re truly looking to impact your presence on campus, you have to create a vision. Your vision is what it will look like when your employer brand is relevant, memorable, engaging and desirable to students on each of your target campuses. It’s the vision that gets people excited. Be certain that leadership and your campus team members are fully aware of your long-term vision.
  2. Create a roadmap: Clarify exactly what you want students to say about your organization. Describe what you want students to feel after they’ve been interviewed. State what you want students to tell others about your company and the people who work there. Be clear, be specific, and don’t make it complicated. Your vision is about creating a feeling and backing it up with a positive experience.
  3. Get people onboard: You have to make certain that leadership and your team believes the journey is worth the effort. Describe what will happen when your vision becomes a reality. A vision is aspirational in nature; however, it has to be something that people believe they can achieve. Describe the many benefits of creating and maintaining a strong and desirable employer brand. Don’t underestimate the power it will have on every aspect of your organization. A strong employer brand is a corporate asset.
  4. Measure what matters: Quantitative research will tell you how many, but qualitative research will tell you why. I advocate using both. Analyze your numbers, but don’t stop there. Conduct focus groups of interns, new hires, and students on your target campuses. If you send out surveys, be certain to include open-ended questions to gather qualitative responses. And, ask each of your team members to record anecdotal feedback throughout the recruiting season.
  5. Expand your reporting: It’s great to be able to announce that you’ve reduced your cost-per-hire by 10 percent. It thrills the accountants. But, it gives people an emotional boost to learn that you hired the top candidate on one of your campuses because of how your organization treated her throughout the job search process.

As humans, we’re both analytical and emotional. So when it comes to measuring your year, report what you did, but be sure to add how you made them feel.

Make Your Resolution to Join the Advocacy Revolution

Marilyn MackesMarilyn Mackes, Executive Director
National Association of Colleges and Employers
Twitter: @NACEMarilyn
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/pub/marilyn-mackes/8/210/a70

Before we know it, we will be reliving our holiday festivities through our phone camera pics and will be making New Year’s resolutions for 2014. Hmmm—choosing a new diet plan? Practicing the latest exercise regimen? Expanding the reading list?

Advocacy Mashup for Career ServicesI recommend creating an impact on our profession and the specific work we do by being a part of NACE advocacy initiatives. And there is one really great way to get started.

On January 31, 2014, NACE will host the Advocacy Mashup for Career Services in Washington, D.C. Those attending this one-day event (space is limited to the first 120 people registered—as of this writing we are filling up fast!) will participate in three focused sessions:

  1. First-destination surveys,
  2. Unpaid internships, and
  3. International students and immigration reform.

I know all of us engaged in career services recognize these as “hot topics” that directly touch the students and employers we serve. And they surface MANY questions for which we need answers.

So here’s my list of why attending this event should be one of your resolutions for the New Year:

  1. As lawmakers and institutional leaders place more emphasis on outcomes and “scorecards,” we need to know the what, how, and when for collecting data about our graduates. NACE’s First-Destination Task Force has released preliminary guidelines for career centers and institutions to deliver reliable and comparable outcomes data. (Federal agencies and legislators are already interested in these guidelines, so what better way to be prepared than to join us at the Mashup!)
  2. There has been much debate about the practice of unpaid internships—“valuable” work experience vs. “free” labor. You will gain information about the role of career services in the context of this issue and engage in discussion about current regulatory guidelines.
  3. Advising international students continues to challenge career services as current hiring restrictions limit their ability to gain employment. You will learn what proposed immigration legislation entails and how this could impact your services to students.
  4. Overall, you will hear from Washington experts from federal organizations and public policy groups addressing the issues that matter to you and your institution.
  5. This could be a great way to engage others at your institution that care about these issues, your vice-presidents and institutional research administrators in particular. Together you can get first-hand access to federal perspectives.

For more details about the event and to register, visit www.naceweb.org/events/advocacy-mashup.aspx

One last thought regarding your New Year’s resolution: Your voice counts, so whether it’s at the Advocacy Mashup or other advocacy initiatives that lie ahead, GET ENGAGED! To learn more, check out the information provided on NACEWeb.

Finally, though a bit early, I wish you all a very happy new year … and huge success with your resolutions!

Note: An employer-focused relations and recruiting mashup is planned for late March. Watch NACEWeb for details.

Ask All Your Questions on Black Friday

If you want the answer to a question about NACE or would like to make a suggestion for a new program or benefit, who should you talk to? Well, the easiest thing to do is buttonhole Dan Black, NACE President, 2013-14.

On Friday, December 6, Black, the eponymous spokesman of @NACEBlackFriday, will answer questions and take suggestions in a Twitter chat. Anyone who wants to pose a tweet should use the hashtag #NACE BlackFriday to get his attention.

Ask him about the new membership model. Get his thoughts on the direction NACE is going. Make suggestions for new programs.

Here’s how to participate:

Log into your Twitter account. If you don’t have a Twitter account, go to twitter.com and register—it’s free.

Open a window for your tweet by clicking in the box with the quill pen at the upper right corner of your screen. Using 140 characters or less, ask your question or post a comment. Be sure to include #NACEBlackFriday in your tweet.

Here’s an example:

My #NACEBlackFriday question is: How can I get on a NACE committee?

Click on the little “Tweet” button in the bottom right corner of the tweet box.

If you want to follow the full conversation, search for #NACEBlackFriday. You’ll see the questions asked, the answers, and comments from your colleagues.

Expanding the Reach of Our NACE Membership

Marc Goldman, Executive Director, Career Center, Yeshiva University

Marc Goldman, Executive Director, Career Center, Yeshiva University
LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/marcjgoldman
Twitter: @MarcGoldmanNYC

I have always been proud to be an active NACE member, volunteering my time and efforts for the betterment of our profession and the chance to connect with colleagues across the country and the world.  In the past, from a financial standpoint, it has been challenging to share this membership with my team.  I have wanted my staff to feel like a part of our profession on a grander scale and to benefit from such a robust wealth of resources, information, and support as much I have throughout the years.

Until this year, I was a member under our institutional membership status, and one staff member also had an e-membership.  Now, under the new tiered membership system, our member fees increase by only about 50 percent, but this allows FIVE professionals in my office to have full membership instead of TWO!  As soon as I saw the NACE e-mail promotion of this new system, I called NACE to adjust our 2013 membership status, so my team could reap the same rewards from NACE that I have enjoyed for so many years.

The Spotlight online newsletter and extensive survey reports issued by NACE will be shared across our two campuses and members of our team much more easily.  NACE website information, Principles, white papers, best practices, and networking will be easily accessible by members of my team when they choose to research and explore for their own professional development and the improvement of our office.  Member rates for conferences and webinars will also extend to more team members, making the case for their attendance and involvement an easier one to make to upper administration.

There are clear gains in sight for our future with this new model of membership.  My team will be better informed and more involved with a greater sense of commitment to our field and our professional organization.  I have always tried to emphasize a team approach to effectively functioning as a college career center.  In spirit, our staff structure is as flat as we can possibly make it.  I believe NACE has taken a great step forward in making this more feasible than ever before.  Thank you, NACE!

NACE Membership: Making It Personal

Dan BlackDan Black, Americas Director of Recruiting, EY LLP
2013-14 NACE President

LinkedIn: Dan Black
Twitter: @DanBlack_EY
Ernst & Young LLP

Among the items I always carry with me are my car keys, my phone, and a reminder that, every day, I need to personally connect with at least one NACE member. Why? Because I believe in the power of networking and, when a personal relationship develops, it reinforces the strength of the profession.

Empowering members to make personal connections—to people, resources, and professional development opportunities—is central to NACE’s new membership model, which was designed by a task force of NACE members to break down the layered complexity of previous structures and provide expanded benefits to all members. I was proud to be a member of the task force and very excited to see the new model being rolled out.

What does this mean for you? The first key benefit is inclusivity. Under the new model, you can bring more people from your organization into the fold and help them develop their own professional expertise. It promotes the learning, networking, and engagement of staff at all levels of your organization.

The second key benefit of this model is access. You and your staff will have expanded access to “non-benefit” resources. For example, I participate in all of the surveys NACE generates for employers. Under the new membership model and because I am a survey participant, all the members in my organization will now have access to these surveys’ research reports. Being able to operate from the same foundation of information and resources is important to my organization since we strive to attract, engage, and hire top-level candidates as “one team.”

It doesn’t matter if you’re part of a large corporation with a global recruiting presence or you’re a one-person career services office at a small college—you will benefit from NACE’s new membership model. It will give you greater access to the information you need, the development opportunities you want to take advantage of, and the personal connections you want to make.

Make the change today! You don’t have to wait until your scheduled renewal to take advantage of the new structure. Bring membership benefits to more people in your operation right away by contacting the NACE Membership Team at customerservice@naceweb.org or 610.868.1421.