Marc Goldman, Executive Director, Career Center, Yeshiva University
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 – 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.
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 – 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!”
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 – 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 Exhibitor – The 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.
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!