Easy-Breezy Tips for Attending the 2014 Conference

If you’re new to NACE’s annual conference, if you’ve never been to San Antonio, or if you’re looking to make your conference experience easy-breezy, here are some tips:

barcodeNEW TECHNOLOGY this year! Scan-and-go stations will help attendees pick up their name badges! Bring the special e-mail with the barcode sent to all pre-registered attendees with you to the registration area. Scan the barcode, and then proceed to the badge pick-up station to get your name badge.

Choose your shoes for comfort. Business casual is the recommended dress for the event, but comfortable shoes are the key. While all conference events are within a short walking distance, going to workshops, visiting the exhibit hall, and hitting the general sessions means the potential for a lot of wear and tear on your feet. Pack your most comfortable shoes.

thermometerKeep your water bottle filled. Temperatures are rising in June in San Antonio. Daily highs are typically in the low 90s; daily lows in the low 70s. Drink water frequently. Keep the water bottle in your registration package filled using the water stations placed throughout the conference area!

appDownload the app. Set up your itinerary and use your smartphone or tablet as your daily guide. The conference app offers access to information on all workshops and sessions. It also links you with NACE’s social media so you’ll get fresh updates on all conference activities. You can also message other app users through the app. (Go to your app store and search for NACE14. The app is free.)

conference-human-signageLook for flags and signs. You don’t have to be an explorer to find your way around. NACE will post teal and orange flags along the route between the two hotels and convention center—all sites of conference activities. Look, too, for NACE staff holding lollipop signs directing you to the next activity.

If the shirt is green, it’s Sunday. Questions? Looking for help? NACE staff is easily identifiable by the color of their shirts. Look for staff in emerald green shirts on Sunday. On Monday, the shirt of the day is rich red. Tuesday is blue. Wednesday is purple!

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Identify your colleagues at a glance! Badges are color coded this year. Employers badgesget red badges; career services professionals get blue badges; and business affiliates will wear purple badges.

Snag a little Wi-Fi. You can get your Wi-Fi free in the NACE space at the hotels and convention center, including session rooms and public areas. It is not available in the exhibit hall or the Grand Ballroom at the Marriott Rivercenter. Password: NACE14.

smiley_faceSmile pretty! A photographer and a videographer are documenting the conference with pictures and videos to be used in promotional materials and publications, on the website, and on other platforms. If you don’t want your photo taken/used in this way, please notify the photographer/videographer or a NACE staff member.

 

NACE14 attendees! Register for any of five free webinars based on popular workshops at the conference.

 

What Happened in Vegas…Didn’t Stay in Vegas

ongDavid Ong, Director, Corporate Recruiting, Maximus, Inc.
Twitter: @dtong2565
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/pub/dave-ong/0/604/513

So it’s official, I’m now a NACE blogger! For those who don’t know me, I manage corporate and campus recruiting activities for MAXIMUS, a professional services firm in Reston, Virginia. I’ve also been a long-time NACE member (for nearly 15 years). After serving on the Board of Directors from 2011-2013, I will soon be the new Vice President, Employer, starting this July.

As I prepare for these new responsibilities (which you’ll be hearing about in the coming months if you follow this blog), I find myself occasionally reminiscing about my early (aka, clueless) years as a NACE member. So join me for a trip down memory lane to my first official NACE event—the 2001 Conference in Las Vegas—and how it impacted my career.

If you’re a newer member, you might not be aware that up until 2001, the NACE conference was an every-three-years event. Thankfully, the NACE leadership team had the strategic vision to change it to an annual conference (more on a couple of these leaders later).

So just how did these three-days in Vegas change the course of my career?

I established new relationships. Back then, I had just finished my first year of recruiting for Citigroup in NYC, and was busy building relationships with several new schools from which I’d never recruited. One of those schools was New York University, whose career center was headed by Trudy Steinfeld (#nyuwasserboss). To get to know her team a little better, I invited Trudy and her staff to join my team for a “refreshment break” on the first afternoon of the trip.

Obviously, we spent a good deal of our time talking about recruiting initiatives, but we also veered off to more social conversations where we immediately hit it off. That first conversation not only established a connection between my employer and NYU, but also created the beginnings of an invaluable friendship. Today, I can count on Trudy for guidance and advice (and the occasional refreshment break).

I met NACE leaders. This conference was my first exposure to the NACE leadership team. As (lady) luck would have it, I met then-NACE President, Kathy Sims from UCLA right after the opening session. She was so welcoming to me, a relatively new member of NACE. [On a side note, having served on the Board of Directors, I now know the President has a crazy conference schedule, so the time she took to get to know me is even more impressive.]

Kathy asked about my background, my goals for the conference, and when I was going to start recruiting at UCLA (naturally)! And, being a great leader that she is, she asked me if I was interested in becoming more involved with NACE. Flash forward 10 years and Kathy was one of my nominators for the Board of Directors and provided me with a ton of advice and encouragement when I decided to run for Vice President. You may be aware that Kathy has announced her retirement from UCLA, so I have many bittersweet feelings as I write this.

I experienced a range of emotions. I remember the gamut of feelings running through me from the start of the opening session all the way to the end of the conference. Nervousness because I didn’t know many other attendees. Confusion over what sessions to attend. Frustration at not being able to remember the names of everyone I met. Awe of all the learning opportunities. Appreciation for the generosity of my peers as they shared their knowledge. And that was all okay because I got so much out of the experience.

Fortunately that year, what happened in Vegas didn’t stay in Vegas. The networking that took place led to relationships that lasted well beyond the initial three-day conference. So whether you are attending this year’s conference for the first time (or second or third or fourth, for that matter), I hope that you will make the most of your experience. Track me down, tweet me at the conference, or just stop to say hello. If you can’t attend this year, start thinking about next year—trust me, it will be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make!

NACE14 attendees! Register for any of five free webinars based on popular workshops at the conference.

Take a Side Trip or Two While You’re in San Antonio

While you are busy at the NACE 2014 Conference, there are plenty of things that your spouse and your children can do in San Antonio. Here are a few, with links to detailed information:

The Alamo & Missions: Five Spanish colonial missions are located in San Antonio. The Alamo—Mission San Antonio de Valero—was the first built and served as a way station between Texas and Mexico. An IMAX movie theater at the Alamo offers a depiction of the Battle of the Alamo.

Riverwalk: The San Antonio River Walk is a public walkway along the San Antonio River, one story lower than the streets of downtown San Antonio that features shops and restaurants.

El Mercado: The Marketplace, featuring a farmer’s market, street vendors, souvenir stands, dozens of shops, working artists, musicians, dancers, and Mexican food, is a 15-minute walk from Riverwalk.

Japanese Tea Garden: A public park located near the San Antonio Zoo, the tea garden features an open-air pagoda, koi ponds, and a waterfall.

Tower of the Americas: Climb to the observation deck of this 750-foot observation tower/restaurant in HemisFair Park to get a 360-degree view of San Antonio. The tower was built for the 1968 World’s Fair.

San Antonio Zoo: Cranes of the World, Toadally, Africa Live!, Butterflies. More than 9,000 animals on 56 acres. This is the “zootennial,” of the San Antonio Zoo, celebrating its 100-year-anniversary.

Six Flags Fiesta Texas: Dress comfortably. Wear sneakers. Take your bathing suit if you want to use the water park.

SeaWorld San Antonio: See the sea lions, dolphins, turtles, penguins, and beluga whales.

Enchanted Springs Ranch: An old western town out of the 1800s, a theme park, a movie set used for western films and commercials, this 86-acre working ranch is home to Texas longhorns, horses, buffalo, and more.

Try this link for information on other things to do in San Antonio.

Get information on the National Association of Colleges and Employers!

Don’t-Miss #NACE 14 Sessions

If you’re a first-timer at the NACE14 conference, here are some don’t-miss suggestions from several of the NACE Conference Committee members:

Meg J. Flood, campus recruiter for EY: For first timers, I highly recommend the first-timer’s session as it provides amazing networking opportunities so you can build connections early in the conference. Also:

  • Diversity and Inclusion Breakfast
  • Awards Presentation. It’s always inspiring to hear what others are doing and great to support colleagues!

Toni McLawhorn, director of career services at Roanoke College: Three things I would not miss at the conference or that I would recommend for others to be sure to do:

  1.  Attend the opening conference reception, it’s one of the few times you’ll get to network with everyone at one time, in one place, and get the conference started off right!
  2. Attend as many of the break-out sessions as you can—one of the reasons for attending conferences is for professional development, and with the fast-paced changes in our industry, we need to keep up with what’s happening!
  3. Exhibitors—Learn about the new technologies and resources available to help us in our jobs

Rosette Pyne, senior associate director of career services at the University of Pennsylvania: Don’t miss the conference opening and the keynote speakers! Also:

  • The session given by Tom Devlin and Kathy Sims on Impacting Our Future: Game Changers for Career Services.  Their presentations at the conferences are always interesting and dynamic with great audience participation.
  • One of the following breakfasts depending on whether you are an employer or college representative: College Communities Breakfast / Employer Forums Breakfast.

Maria K. Stein, associate vice president for cooperative education and career development at Northeastern University:

  1. The Exhibit Hall—It’s a great opportunity to network, meet new people, connect with colleagues, and learn about products and services that help us do our work better/more efficiently.
  2. The Denim & Diamonds Celebration—Who doesn’t like a great party, or for that matter denim and diamonds? It’s also a great excuse to dust off those cowboy boots or better still buy a new pair of cowboy boots!
  3. Meet the Award Winners & Great Ideas Showcase—This is a great opportunity to learn about all the wonderful innovations in our field.

NACE14 attendees! Register for any of five free webinars based on popular workshops at the conference.

Who to Meet at NACE14 in San Antonio!

Marc Goldman, Executive Director, Career Center, Yeshiva University

Marc Goldman, Executive Director, Career Center, Yeshiva University

Twitter: @MarcGoldmanNYC

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/marcjgoldman

The NACE Annual Conference is less than a week away. My flights and hotel are booked. Soon, I will bid my family and co-workers adieu for a brief time. They will be missed, but I look forward to a great event in San Antonio. I have been attending these professional association conferences since Las Vegas 2001. And I will always recall fondly the 2007 program in New York City, the one and likely only time the conference will occur in the Big Apple. In light of all of my conference attendance, I write this blog post with some simple suggestions of people to make sure you try to connect with during your time in Texas. Go for it! Have a blast!

Dan Black
Dan Black

 Dan Black – It is hard to believe that his term as NACE President is almost complete. If you get a chance to shake this man’s hand and have a brief chat, you will not soon forget him. Part Energizer Bunny, part club comic, part shy accountant (Okay, maybe not so shy!), part cool wingman, part high-stakes gambler, part bacon lover. I know. I know. Sounds like a true bromance here! I certainly do appreciate him as a NACE brother from another mother of sorts. And he is a treasure trove of information, an advocate for our profession, and an all-around great guy.

Chaim Shapiro

Chaim Shapiro

Someone With a Cool Twitter Handle – When Amber MacArthur presented about social media trends at a recent NACE conference, there was a big question mark as to Twitter’s longevity. Well, a few years later, more and more people are getting into the Twitterverse. Many career services and campus recruiting professionals, universities, companies, and, of course, celebrities (Yes, Chaim Shapiro, I am speaking of you!) have taken to the art of the tweet. I try, but I am more of a reader and re-tweeter compared to many of my colleagues who are providing original content. If you want to learn more, just look for someone with a ribbon that has an “@” symbol followed by a catchy nickname or funky turn of phrase like @nyuwasserboss, @PWRecruit4EH, or @MarcGoldmanNYC (That one’s me. How creative!) for example.

Katrina Zaremba

Katrina Zaremba

Katrina Zaremba – Katarina Witt will be there? Not quite. But this NACE conference newbie from the University of Kansas has made one fantastic video about why she is thrilled to attend her first annual conference. Check it out at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EFr39KOeVs and then welcome her to the NACE gathering with open arms and a “Howdy partner!”

Great Ideas Showcase

An Award Winner or Finalist – As co-chair of this year’s Honors and Awards Committee, I know how talented and accomplished this year’s pool of finalists and winners truly are. They should be recognized, congratulated, and most importantly, probed for knowledge and advice. You can meet them in passing by noticing their respective ribbons dangling from their name badges, or you can see them all at the Great Ideas Showcase on Tuesday, June 10, from 5:00-6:30 p.m. (I had to throw in that shameless plug!)

Megan Ogden

Megan Ogden

Megan Ogden – If you want a fun game at #NACE14, just play this variation of “Where’s Waldo?” and try to find Megan Ogden. As the behind-the-scenes guru of the NACE conference planning and implementation, she is the engineer that makes this massive career services/campus recruiting locomotive stay on track at full steam ahead. But don’t expect to see her settled in any one place at the conference for more than a few seconds because there is always the next important puzzle piece for her to handle or fix. If you do luck out and spot the Nessie of NACE 2014, give her a great big hug and say, “Thank you!”

An ExhibitorThe Exhibition Hall is a must for any conference attendee. It is sometimes hard to squeeze in a visit if you have a packed agenda of programs, meetings, meals, and pool time. But enough about me! There are some amazing resources out there, and NACE offers a one-stop-shopping opportunity to check out the latest and greatest. I recall meeting two bright young lads with a start-up idea at a NACE conference a decade or so ago. They were just starting out, but I was curious and listened to their story. The rest was history. Today, their R2-D2/dalek (sci-fi geekin’ out here) kiosk product has evolved into InterviewStream!

Someone You’ve Never Talked to Before – Not only is the NACE conference a wonderful place to hear about new trends, discover new resources, and spend a few days away from the office (while still checking in via several modes of communication throughout the entire trip), but also it is a fabulous chance to network with people you know. However, I dare you to introduce yourself to people you don’t know, which for most of us (other than perhaps conference co-chair Fred Burke) is a much larger pool of potential colleagues. You never know what can arise from these initial conversations.

Marc Goldman, Executive Director, Career Center, Yeshiva University

Use this picture to find Marc!

Me! – Find me. Introduce yourself. I am somewhat subdued and introverted, so it might take you awhile to draw me out of my shell, but please do attempt it. (The NACE staff is certainly cracking up or rolling their eyes as they read that last bit.) I’ll be easy to find because I have this awful habit of trying to collect as many ribbons for my name badge as possible each year. It is like collecting Olympic pins in a way I guess, and it is really just a big joke between me and the amazing NACE team at this point. I cannot wait to see y’all in June!

Find Marc Goldman—or another member of the NACE Blog Team—and take a selfie! A selfie with a blogger is one of the 10 items to collect in the #NACE14 Scavenger Hunt!

Good Advice: The Best Graduation Gift of All

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

 

50 Rules Your Children Won’t Learn in School was written by Charles J. Sykes in 1996. Sykes offers honest, sometimes harsh advice to students about the real world. Whether you’re about to say goodbye to students for the summer or hello to graduates who will soon join your organization, it’s a good time to revisit a few of Sykes’ words of wisdom.

Rule 1: Life is not fair – get used to it!

Rule 2: The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4: You think your teacher is tough? Wait till you get a boss.

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping—they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes, and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent’s generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.

Read more from Sue Keever Watts.

 

 

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.