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!

Introverts Guide to #NACE14

Chris Carlson

Christopher Carlson, Senior Manager, Talent Acquisition, Booz Allen Hamilton
Twitter: @cciCarlson
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/ccicrc

Taking a break from my social recruiting series to share some thoughts for my fellow introverts attending #NACE14.

On most tests, I am an “off-the-charts” introvert who takes after his father. There are people who write “don’t eat alone” and who encourage you to network, network, network. Not me. I don’t know about my fellow introverts, but I like a little quiet time to recharge the batteries before going back into a room of hundreds of people. I eat alone quite often, especially when I have been around a lot of people. It helps me relax and renew.

So, here are my introverted best practices for conference survival:

  1. Schedule quiet time throughout the dayGo to the NACE Conference Scheduler and pick out your absolute must-attend workshops and see if you can carve out some quality time for yourself in between those sessions.
  2. Be selective with your networking timeDon’t try to meet everyone, but in good introvert style, get to know a few individuals really well; connect with someone you want to get to know better.
  3. Don’t be afraid to find quiet corners at a receptionTry to entice someone to speak with you one-on-one rather than insert yourself in a circle of individuals talking. If you want, you can talk to me as I am usually quietly positioned in a corner.
  4. GO BIG at least once during the conferenceGrab a group of friends and get out on that dance floor and dance, I say, dance!
  5. Spend more time networking one-on-oneIt is easier to strike up a conversation with someone sitting next to you before/after a workshop than in a big networking session, so start there. Make a point to meet at least one new person and get to know him/her really well each day.
  6. Get outside and take a walkThe Riverwalk is an introvert’s dream come true, as there are many stretches with beautiful scenery and not a lot of people. I know from experience. It can be a very calming and relaxing spot.
  7. Above all else, spend time learning and connecting.  As introverts, we don’t have to meet everyone, just a few people who we will get to know very well.

Looking forward to seeing you all at #NACE14 in San Antonio! Look for me in a corner or at a table by myself and come say hello. Stay tuned for more insights into my journey into social recruiting as well as observations from the conference.

Don’t forget, I am presenting on Tuesday. The session is entitled “Everyone is a Recruiter” and will look at building social recruiting practices and engaging your employee base to help ensure success. (“Everyone Is a Recruiter” will be presented on Tuesday, June 10, at 3:30 p.m. See the #NACE14 Itinerary Builder for details.)

Attend Christopher Carlson’s session and take a selfie with him! A selfie with a session presenter is one of the 10 items to collect in the #NACE14 Scavenger Hunt!

 

Feed Your Career at NACE14

Cindy Billington

Cindy Billington, Associate Director, MBA Career Education Graduate Business Career Services, Texas A&M University
Twitter: @cindybillington
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/cindybillington

It is that time of year!  Once again, we are less than a month away from the NACE Conference & Expo, and this year it will be held in beautiful San Antonio, TX.  I look forward to this conference every year as an opportunity to reconnect with and meet new colleagues and friends.

Each year, I find myself returning from the conference recharged and ready for an innovative and successful year of career coaching at Texas A&M.  If you have not registered to attend this “can’t miss” professional development opportunity, I urge you to visit naceweb.org immediately.  If you are like me, then your career is probably begging you for some nourishment.  Don’t ever neglect your career nourishment folks.

For those of you who have already registered, don’t wait until you arrive in San Antonio to prepare.  I recommend following these steps in order to make the most out of #NACE14:

1. Begin your networking ahead of time.

2.  Plan your schedule.

  • NACE has implemented a new tool called NACE14 Itinerary Builder.  Where have you been all of my life?  This tool has allowed me create a tailored agenda just for me.  I love things that are made just for me.  I feel special, don’t you?
  • Research the keynote presenters.  If you are like me, you buy every book available. Be familiar with who is speaking ahead of the conference and reach out to say hello. Welcome any and all guests to our “FAMILY REUNION.”

3.  Brush on your networking skills.

  • One of my favorite books on networking is Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi.  Keith actually spoke at a NACE conference a few years ago.  I urge you to never break bread alone at a conference.  Eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner with someone else attending the conference.  Great friendships are made over coffee.  I promise.

4.  Follow up after the event.

  • As you travel away from San Antonio, don’t let your experience become a distant memory.  Return to your office and immediate send thank-you notes to speakers NACE staff and president, and the amazing #NACE14 co-chairs.  Pull out those business cards you received and connect with those folks on LinkedIn or Twitter.

5.  Implement what you learned.

  • Be very careful not to let your conference notes get dusty.  We all have a tendency to return to work after a conference and immediately jump back into old habits and the surge of e-mail.
  • Host a lunch and share what you learned with your office mates.  Ignite energy in those who work with you based on what you learned.
  • Start a conversation on the NACE LinkedIn Group page to keep those relationships and ideas growing.

I cannot wait to meet all of you at #NACE14.  Register today and get ready for a great time in San Anton.  And don’t forget to pack your proper attire for the Diamonds and Denim Celebration on Tuesday evening.

Black Friday…In April?

Chaim Shapiro

Chaim Shapiro
http://chaimshapiro.com/
http://www.linkedin.com/in/chaimshapiro
https://twitter.com/chaimshapiro

I know what you are thinking. It is finally April and that means baseball, warmer weather, taxes, and Black Friday.

Black Friday? No. You are not having a flashback to packed stores and stampedes the day after Thanksgiving and this isn’t an April Fool’s joke. I am talking about the #NACEBlackFriday chat with NACE President Dan Black scheduled for Friday, April 4th from 1-2 p.m. (ET) on Twitter.

Once again, Dan will lend his ears—and his last name—to a Twitter chat about all things NACE. Do you have questions or ideas? Are there any thoughts that you want to share about the conference or the future of the profession? This is your chance to bring them right to the top!

This time, you can e-mail your questions in advance to callen@naceweb.org or just show up and surprise Dan during the open forum portion of the chat (any guesses as to what I plan to do?).

So pull out that extra Black-Friday-Sale iPad you didn’t need and some of the  left-over turkey you don’t want to admit is still hiding in the back of your freezer and join us for #NACEBlackFriday because there are only  268 shopping days until Christmas (and 259 until Chanukah)!