It’s officially Spring in Pennsylvania. I can tell because of the things you’d expect to notice in Spring: the sun is shining, the trees are blooming, and it’s still light outside even when I’m eating dinner. But, I can also tell because all over campus at Villanova, backpacks are overflowing, notes are being taken at furious pace, and laptops are needing charge at all hours of the day. I’ve been there myself, and I’d know this look anywhere: it’s finals season, for sure.
As I start to think ahead to a quieter campus after the academic year concludes, I can’t help but get excited about one of the high points of summer: the NACE 2013 conference. I’ve been fortunate to attend the NACE conference twice since my start in the field of career services, and I’m looking forward to making the third time the charm.
It’s an honor to be a guest blogger for the NACE conference this year, and I solemnly swear to do my best to provide valuable tips, notes, and ideas I learn in my posts. In the spirit of that, I thought I’d kick things off by sharing some of the ways I’m preparing myself for the trip this year. To start, I offer you NACE’s conference website (pictured below), which is full of info to help you get moving.
And here are some of my specific to dos (some completed, some yet to be done):
- Tweeted that I’ll be attending the conference and used #NACE13 to see who else might be going in my network (and to see who I might meet in person!)
- I already looked the conference schedule of events to make sure I booked my flights accordingly, but I’m looking again now to familiarize myself with everything
- Read up on the keynote speakers – after watching his video, I am particularly excited for Jeremy Gutsche, but to be honest they all look interesting
- Begin to determine who I’d like to visit in the Exhibitors area at the conference. I’ve gotten to meet some people I’ve only spoken with on the phone and learn about some really useful products at the NACE conference. But, just like I tell students about career fairs, it’s important to have an idea of who I really want to see so I don’t get overwhelmed in the room.
- Review the list of conference Workshops and pick some of my favorites, specifically the “must haves.” Sometimes, I pick workshops because they are directly related to my role or work in the office, and sometimes I pick one or two because they will stretch me professionally. At the conference, I like to have a mix of being both a conversation contributor and an observer in awe. Picking the right workshops is a strategic move for me.
- Look up something fun to do in Orlando! I always have fun while I’m at the conference, and looking up some evening activities will make it even more enjoyable. It’s not quite a “vacation,” but maybe something in between. A “vayconference” perhaps?
So, that’s where I’ve started. How are you preparing for NACE 13? I’d be interested to hear your tips, too.