Presenting is Perfect for Professional Practice!

Kathleen Powell

Kathleen Powell, Assistant Vice President, Student Affairs, Executive Director of Career Development, Cohen Career Center, William & Mary
President-Elect, National Association of Colleges and Employers
Twitter: @powellka

It’s time to share your knowledge and expertise! You don’t know of what I speak? Check your inbox. On October 29, NACE announced the “Call for Proposals” for the 2016 Conference & Expo in Chicago! It is NACE’s 60th-year  celebration and there is no better way to showcase your talent with the profession. You have until November 23 to submit your proposal, so don’t delay. That was my commercial to you and next I’m going to share what I know from personal experience!

If you’re like me, you might be thinking how do I start? What would I want to present on or about? Or, you might be thinking, “I’m sure everyone has a similar program to mine/ours.” Believe it or not, that may not be the case. If you want to contribute to the profession and build your professional portfolio, submitting and presenting at the conference will do the trick. I know, just because you submit a proposal doesn’t mean it will be accepted. But you won’t know if you don’t try. I know firsthand what it feels like to have your proposal accepted and rejected. So, here are a few tips to get you started on that proposal.

First, your title should be clear and grab the attention of the audience. Remember, there is a committee reviewing all proposals and if the committee doesn’t understand the message you are trying to convey, the membership may not either!

Second, make sure your topic is relevant, you clearly address the level of the audience, and that your objectives appeal to the group you are targeting.

Third, learning objectives should be clear and descriptive. What is your “hook” to entice attendees to your session? Write your objectives from the perspective of the learner.  What would I as an audience member/participant get out of this session? Consider objectives that are action or results oriented. Words like apply, analyze, discuss, develop, and the like are more enticing then learn, understand, and know. When you read your own proposal, are you excited? Share what you’ve written with others, especially those who have an interest in your topic. During their review, if they have questions, see typos, or need clarification, you’ve already taken the first steps to rocking your proposal!

Fourth, show what you know! Don’t be shy. Your colleagues want to know who you are, what experience you have around the topic you’re presenting, and that you have the answers and solutions to the questions or issues that will be top of mind during your presentation. In other words, make your bio speak to your talents, experiences, and knowledge of your practice. Remember, colleagues want to know you are qualified to do the presentation and the content is solid.

You’ve got this. NACE has made it amazingly easy for you to develop your framework for your proposal. Check out the 2016 NACE Conference site, follow the design to submitting your proposal and you’ll find all the resources you need. There are 80 spots to fill for the 2016 Conference. One of them could be yours!  Way better chances than Publisher’s Clearinghouse!



#NACE15: What Did You Do?

Busy days. Keynotes. Concurrent sessions. Expo Hall. Refreshment breaks. Innovation Labs and Campfire Conversations. Meet ups. Insight Labs. Reunions with friends and colleagues. Networking. International attendees.

Here are some of the highlights from the NACE 2015 Conference & Expo in Anaheim, California.

nace15-first timerMore than 500 wear the first-time attendees ribbon.





nace15-jerry housernace15-trudyJerry Houser, associate dean/director Career Services at Willamette University, wins the Chevron Award. Trudy Steinfeld, assistant vice president and executive director of Career Development at New York University, is named to the NACE Academy of Fellows.

The conference opens on Tuesday with a drumbeat. Then, keynote Maulik Pancholy shares his personal journey to embrace his heritage.

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Lindsey speaksLindsey Pollak, keynote speaker and Millennial workplace consultant, draws a standing-room-only crowd on Wednesday.






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Deputy Under Secretary of Education Jamienne Studley addresses critical issues in higher education in the Thursday keynote for another standing-room-only crowd.






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Keynote Bradley Snyder, military vet and Paralympian, shares insights into meeting challenges on Friday.





New for 2015: Innovation Labs, Campfire Conversations, Insight Labs draw crowds of attendees for extended dialog on professional topics and issues. (Click on pictures to make them bigger.)





Highlights from the First-Destination Survey of the Class of 2014 results were delivered by Edwin Koc, NACE director of research, public policy, and legislative affairs, and Manny Contomanolis, chair NACE’s First-Destination Survey Team. (You can read the final results on NACEWeb.)









Professionals in career services and university recruiting share tips, trends, and best practices in 80 concurrent sessions over two-and-a-half days. (Handouts are available to full conference registrants through MyNACE.)

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The Expo Hall attracted attendees looking for the latest information, products, and services for career services and recruiting professionals.

nace15-expo hall glassesnace15-expo drawingnace15-3nace15-4





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Kate Brooks, executive director, Office of Personal and Career Development, Wake Forest University, and Alastair Dawe, head of U.S. operations for Explore Horizons, check on their offices between sessions.










The Thursday night “Surf City USA” celebration featured music, dancing, and refreshments.









Awards were announced throughout the week with an Innovation Showcase on Thursday featuring winners and finalists with their top-notch programs and best practices.


Award Winners:

Mentor of the Year Award: Brian Guerrero, University of California – Los Angeles
Volunteer Meritorious Service Award: Chaim Shapiro, Touro College 
Member’s Choice Award: Denise Hopkins,  Kathryn Hutchinson, Michelle Kyriakides, Joni O’Hagan, and the Career Services Team at SJU
NACE/DirectEmployers Catalyst Award:
Jill Miller, Novo Nordisk Inc. 
NACE/Spelman Johnson Group Rising Star Award Winner: Kevin Grubb, Villanova University

See you in 2016 in Chicago, June 7 – 10, 2016!

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Innovation Labs Pull Standing Room Only Crowds


image6“Sparking insight and innovation”–the theme for NACE15–came to life at today’s Innovation Labs, a new offering for NACE’s yearly conference.

NACE15 attendees looking for information on recruiting, data collection, salary negotiation, student success, and new technology packed two ballrooms.

Attendees sat in chairs and on the floor, and stood three-rows deep along the walls.

Innovation Labs sparked animated conversations among attendees and with presenters. Attendees had to lean in to hear what everyone was saying because there were so many discussions going on.

Thanks to the interactivity of the labs, presenters and attendees alike shared the excitement and energy.






























Highlights From the #NACE15 App

Everything you need to navigate the NACE 2015 Conference & Expo like an expert is at your fingertips with the NACE app.

(You can download the app for free by going to your device’s app store and searching for NACE15. Plus, every time you open the app, it will update with any changes or additions to the conference schedule.)

Here are some of the tools you’ll want to use:

Connect: This tool will help you connect and network with any conference attendees and get their contact information effortlessly. First, click on Connect and set up a virtual business card. (You can set up more than one card. Use different information on your card depending on who will see it. When you make a connection through the app, you’ll choose which card to share.)

Look through the attendee list (in the connect area). Click the + next to a person’s name and then choose the card you want to share. After you’ve selected the card by clicking on it, you’ll slide the card up the screen to the person you’ve chosen to share you information with. That person will then accept (or reject) your connection. Once connected, you’ll see their contact information and they will show up on top of the general attendee list as “connected attendees.”

You can tap the “edit note” bar on the card of anyone you’ve connected with and add notes about where you met or how you will get back in touch with the person.

Also, your contacts will show on your scheduled events. For example, when you view the MLI Meetup, you’ll see contacts that are attending.

Your connections through the app can be edited up to two weeks after the conference ends. The contacts and information saved will be available to you until 12/17/2015.

Three little bars or buttons in the upper right corner of the screen: What you get when you tap these depends on the device you are using. On the iPad, you can access to your virtual business card and connections, check for conference updates, share the “help” guide, and turn push messages on and off. On an android phone, the three buttons offer a link to searching the “help” guide and checking for conference updates.

Schedule: This is the first link on the left side—and it offers a lot of information. Plus, here’s where you’ll populate the “My Schedule” to personalize your conference experience.

Click on the name of the event and you’ll get a map that shows where the event is being held and a short description of the event. You’ll also see a button—Add to My Schedule—at the bottom of the page. Click that + and it will be added to your personal schedule. Then, when you’re at the conference, you can use the My Schedule tab to view your personal schedule.

Social: Keep up with announcements, event reminders, and general chat going on during the conference. Use to Social tab on the nav bar to get direct links to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and the NACE blog.

Maps: Never get lost at the conference. Detailed maps of the Marriott floor plan and the Hilton Anaheim Ballroom are included. Use your fingers to make either map bigger or smaller.

To-Do: While you’re scheduling your concurrent sessions, you may want to add a list of the exhibitors you want to see. Click on To-Do and the “Add New” button at the bottom of the page. Click the + and add the name of an exhibitor. You can update any note you put in the to-do list.

General Info: Quickly identify your colleagues by their profession using the badge colors. Career services practitioners will be sporting blue badges, university relations and recruiting professionals wear red badges. Need help? NACE staff have black badges (and shirts with the NACE logo).

Attendees: Trying to locate friends and colleagues. Click on this part of the nav bar and search for friends by name.

If you get stuck when using the NACE15 app, there’s online help at

Make Your Conferencing Easy

Whether you’re new to NACE’s annual conference or this is your 10th time attending, here are things that will make this hectic and fun week easier.

Download the app and schedule your time. Set up your itinerary and use your#NACE15 app smartphone or tablet to be your daily guide. The conference app offers information on all workshops and sessions, plus it links you to NACE’s social media so you can get updates and reminders for conference activities. (Go to your device’s app store and search for NACE15. The app is free.)

Weather Forecast: The average temperatures in the Anaheim area in early June are typically in the mid- to upper-70s.

shoesChoose your shoes for comfort. Business casual is the recommended dress for the event, but comfortable shoes are 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. Wear your most comfortable shoes.

Drop into the TECHbar in the Expo Hall to get quick demonstrations of how to use apps that will help you to be more productive. Look for “TechBytes,” special presentations on tech topics. (Sponsored by Macy’s.)gapingvoid

Recharging Lounge: Recharge your electronic devices while you recharge yourself by looking at artwork from (See more from in booth 304.)

Picture this in the Headshot Lounge: Need a professional photo for your social media profile? Folks from University Photo will take your picture.

Tenley HalaquistIf the shirt is turquoise, it must be Tuesday. Questions? Need help? NACE staff is easily identifiable by the color of their shirts.

  • Wednesday, staff will wear emerald green.
  • Thursday, the shirt is red.
  • Friday, staff will be wearing light blue shirts.






Registration is open. Pick up your registration packet. Tuesday, June 2, registration is open from noon until 8:30 p.m. in the Platinum Ballroom; and 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday. An information desk will be open from 7 a.m. to noon on Friday.

Get free Wi-Fi in the NACE space at the conference. Password: NACE15.

Toss in a card and win a prize. Look for entry forms in your registration packet to enter prize drawings—and drop them off each day at Booth 136 in the Expo Hall to win.

Campfire Conversations Join one of 10 brainstorming-the-issues sessions with your colleagues from 4:30 to 5:15 p.m. on Thursday, June 4, in Grand Ballroom J-H. (See page 34 of the program for a list of conversation topics and facilitators.)NACE15PartyAd

Bring your Bermuda shorts and your favorite beach shirt. Surf City USA, a Thursday evening celebration, features a live band and relaxed networking.

Don’t Leave Your Room Without: Room key, electronic device with the NACE15 app and your schedule loaded, and conference badge (you can’t get into any sessions or events without it). Consider carrying a light sweater in case session rooms are chilly.


NACE15 Networking Tips

Chaim ShapiroChaim Shapiro
Twitter: @chaimshapiro
Blogs from Chaim Shapiro.

We are almost there! NACE15 is so close that I can almost taste the salt-water air in Southern California.

The NACE Conference is the best time of the year for networking. All the leading professionals, both on the college and the employer side, will be in one place. Here are five tips to maximize your networking opportunities at NACE15.

  1. Start Tweeting using the official #NACE15 hashtag. Conference-related conversations have already begun. Get involved and show your expertise! The correct, official hashtag is #NACE15. Make sure to use that hashtag for all your Tweets so everyone can see them.
  2. Download the NACE15 attendees list and connect on LinkedIn. After you register for the NACE Conference, you can see the attendee list under “Events” on the “MyNACE” tab. I recommend downloading the list to a PDF so you can study it carefully. Make a list of your must-meet and network folks from that list and send them a personalized connection request mentioning that you would like to connect and meet with them at NACE15. Feel free to connect with me:
  3. Engage the NACE leadership. I learned very quickly at my first conference five years ago that the NACE leadership is very accessible and open to engaging with NACE members. Make a list of the NACE Board Members and former presidents and introduce yourself at the conference.
  4. Reach out to workshop presenters. I always make a list of the workshop sessions I plan to attend. Create that list and e-mail the presenters of those workshops to tell them that you are looking forward to their presentation. Make sure you introduce yourself and thank them after their presentation.
  5. The old standby—meet for coffee! Nothing beats a face-to-face! Choose the top five folks you must meet and invite them to coffee. I am a bit biased here, because my favorite coffee shop (The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf) is an eight-minute walk from the conference hotel.

I look forward to seeing you at NACE15—and yes, I’d love to meet for coffee!

Chaim Shapiro will facilitate “Social Media Best Practices,” cone of the campfire conversations, 4:30 – 5:15 p.m., Thursday, June 4, Grand Ballroom J-H.


Apps to Keep You Sane!

James Marable

James Marable, Manager, Social Media (Executive & College Recruitment) @Macy’s Inc.
Twitter: @JMarable

Imagine living in a world without multiple deadlines, no crazy travel schedules, no back-to-back (to back) meetings, or a world where you don’t have to rush from work to your kid’s band practice because you forgot it was your turn to pick him or her up! Now imagine living in a world where your spontaneous ideas weren’t forgotten as fast as you came up with them, or a hard drive crash erases the presentation that you’ve been working over a month on because your hard drive crashed! Well keep dreaming because most of those things are still going to happen, but there are some great tools to help minimize all of this stress.

We live in a nonstop world—it’s almost a full-time job to keep up with everything going on. With the advent of the smartphone, we are armed with a device that allows us to be creative, informed, entertained, and productive. Although smartphones have great power, they can easily become another distraction without the right set of apps to keep you on track.

The first app that I recommend is Todoist, a productivity tool which allows one to detail project tasks in a very meticulous manner through a simple and direct interface. I was introduced to this program in 2013, and I can’t remember how I got by before it. I sometimes liken myself to the “absent-minded professor,” because I’m constantly working on something (whether it’s for my role as a social media manager or for one of the countless external activities I’m involved with) and it’s easy for me to forget a step or two (or three). It allows me to separate all of my projects, then break down individual tasks, and even share responsibilities/tasks with individuals I may be partnering with. The app is accessible on almost every device/platform you can think of; iOS, android, PC, Mac, Gmail, and Outlook, so you can access your lists whether you have your phone or not. Tasks can be flagged with “priority levels,” allowing one to decide what needs to be done and in what order. It’s very flexible—it allows one to mesh their own approach to productivity. If you want to gain greater control over defining what needs to be done Todoist is worth a look.

So you’re running a little late for a flight and after doing lap after lap of the parking lot, lugging all your (and/or someone else’s) bags, and making a mad dash to the terminal only to find out your flight has been delayed. Ever happen to you? Yeah, me too.

tripcaseTripCase is a great app for iOS and android devices (there’s a web version too), that lays out an overview of a full trip itinerary in chronological order, detailing flight information, hotel addresses, car rental reservation numbers, and more. It strips out all of the unnecessary information in those ridiculously long confirmation e-mails and just gives you the pertinent facts. TripCase also updates flight status in real time so you aren’t that guy racing through the airport (unless you’re really, really late)!

Inspiration strikes at a moment’s notice; when it hits, you want to be able to capture it completely to expand upon later, and Evernote is the app to facilitate this. One could evernotesimply write off Evernote as just a note taking app and question why one shouldn’t use the notepad on their phone. My pushback to that thinking is based on its flexibility and connectedness. Evernote lets you create all kinds of notes; text, photo, voice, and video, and gives you access to them on all of your devices (PC, Mac, android phone/tablet, iPhone/iPad/iPod). No matter where you capture your thought, it becomes accessible on any device that has the app. The interface is totally user friendly and everything is searchable via keywords and tags. All your notes are stored within digital notebooks that live in your personal cloud, so you don’t have to worry about your notes dying with a malfunctioning/lost device or misplaced piece of paper. Whether you’re in a team meeting and forgot paper and pen to capture everyone’s ideas, or you’re on an evening jog and the solution to world peace comes to you, Evernote allows you to compose your thoughts and store them in an archive you will always have access to no matter where you are.

These are just three of the apps that I use to bring a little order to my life from home to work to play and back again; give them a whirl and see if they don’t increase your productivity!

Lastly, here are a few other apps that I’d recommend you take a look at: FeedlyPocketCudaSign, and Google Drive —they are great time savers and make life on the go that much more bearable.

James Marable is the social media manager at Macy’s Executive Recruitment & College Relations. Macy’s is sponsoring the 2015 Conference TECHbar in the Expo Hall.