Practicing Self-Care at Work

by Tiffany Waddell Tate

If you’re like me, you may often wonder: are we living the values we encourage our students and colleagues to live?  When we are in career coaching sessions, workshops, and meetings charging others to show up with intention, work hard, and also integrate strategies into daily practice to promote wellness… are we living examples of what that looks like?  Part of my role in the career center includes managing an awesome group of student staff who assist with the front-of-house office operations and client engagement strategy.  For some, this is their first job, and they are constantly juggling academic and co-curricular expectations alongside it.  It’s important to me that they each show up with intention each day—but also have a safe space to explore what it means to develop professional competencies and balance multiple expectations even when their days are full, knowing that it will not always work out perfectly, but the goal is to learn and grow along the way.

When one of them asked me recently if I ever “unplug,” I was taken aback by the question.  As a recovering “workaholic” or someone who takes a great deal of ownership and responsibility in seeing projects through (whether for pay, volunteer, or fun!) while being a quality teammate—the concept of self-care seemed a selfish one earlier in my career.  Over time, I learned that not actively addressing it could impact professional outcomes and have negative health implications as well.  Particularly in a profession where interpersonal engagement is a large part of the work, taking care of self ensures your ability to adequately and healthily support others.  As a relatively new mom, I have also been forced to recalibrate how I use literally every hour of the day to ensure that I am fully engaged both professionally and personally.  I have thought a lot about what balance could or should look like in the next phase of my career as I continue to take on more leadership. It’s imperative to take time to consider these things, or burnout is inevitable. For many, that may be easier said that done if you have always been successful juggling many different priorities without a tiny human, partner, or aging parent depending on you at the same time.  As I seek to continue to lead and inspire, how I show up and live my values is critical to how I create space for others to do the same.

Practicing self-care at work is crucial to maximizing productivity, focus, and promoting a culture of overall wellness. Here are a few strategies that I employ in my day to day to actively practice self-care at work:

Water, Water, Everywhere.  I love water. I have found, though, that if i’m not careful—I could go hours or even a whole day without drinking enough of it! When my calendar is stacked with back-to-back meetings and no built-in breaks, I have even been known to forget to eat. Terrible, right? One trick I’ve found is to find a large water bottle or cup (24-36 oz.) and fill it up at the beginning of the day. That way, even if I have limited transition time between coaching sessions or other meetings, my water is handy to sip throughout the day and i’m less likely to dehydrate. I especially love bottles with visible measurements so I can track my overall intake, too.

Take a Lap. What professional hasn’t seen articles on how awful sitting down for hours is for your body? A quick Internet search can provide you with a wealth of knowledge on the health implications of not getting enough movement throughout the day. I have some colleagues who take advantage of walking meetings (meetings on foot while walking around campus), but I have been known to take a quick lap around the main floor of the student union where I work in between meetings as time permits.  It provides a quick energy boost, a change of scenery, and a chance to see more friendly faces that I could go days or even weeks without seeing!

Peaceful Tunes. Prior to sharing an office space with another colleague, I regularly used an Internet radio platform like Pandora or Spotify to play “focus music.” Upbeat, but generally instrumental playlists were great for certain projects or work tasks when I wanted to focus in but still have ambient noise.  Now I pop out into flexible spaces if I need to focus in on a project or e-mail management with music sans headphones, and typically have a white noise machine blowing at all times to eliminate background noise or interruptions.

Phone a Friend. Lunch time is a great time to connect with friends or mentors you don’t have a chance to talk with during peak times in your life when time is simply limited. Scheduling phone or Skype time during lunch break is one way I try to be intentional about staying connected to those close to me, but also hold myself accountable for actually taking a lunch break away from my desk or work. This doesn’t happen often, but it’s always something to look forward to when planned ahead of time.

One and Done. Prioritizing tasks is vital when you want to accomplish a lot with limited time.  Typically, I am very good at this—especially when I have the opportunity to manage my workflow and time as needed. I am also aware that if i’m not careful, e-mail management could quickly become an all day thing!  Rather than multitasking on 500 different individual things, I create action lists and prioritize by what’s most important that day, week, or month.  If a project or meeting requires full attention, I have learned to shut my e-mail down until I’m done working so that I’m not tempted by new message notifications! I find that this increases efficiency and presence in the moment with individuals and projects at hand.

I would love to know what you do to actively practice self-care!  Please share in the comments below.

Tiffany Waddell TateTiffany Waddell Tate, Associate Director for Career Development, Davidson College
Personal blog:
http://www.tiffanywaddell.com
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/tiffanywaddelltate Twitter: @tiffanyiwaddell

10 People to Meet at #NACE17

by Marc Goldman

Las Vegas, baby! My first NACE conference back in 2001 was held in Vegas, and I never tire of returning there—that other city that never sleeps. Waking up in the morning to see people first heading toward their rooms. Surveying the blackjack tables to find NACE Past-President Dan Black holding court and making everyone laugh. Breathing in the scientifically designed air and squinting through the dusk- or dawn-like lighting of the Paris hotel to keep you wide awake and slightly off your game no matter what time of day or evening it might be. And all of this can be yours if the price is right! No, wait, that’s an entirely different form of gambling. All of this can be yours if you attend the NACE 2017 conference from June 6-9!

I was asked to resurrect my traditional (if twice counts these days) blog post about who to meet at the NACE conference. And I am happy to oblige. Having been to so many of these gatherings, I forget what it is like to be a first-time attendee or know very few people in the massiveness of the crowd. I mean 2,000 or so career services and campus relations professionals running roughshod to get that perfect seat at a keynote or to be first in line at the buffet table or beverage outpost can be daunting. Where do you begin? If you are a conference first-timer, why not say hi to two awesome and extremely enthusiastic individuals who are leading the conference first-timers team, Christine Dito of UC – Davis and Lindsay Moran of Liberty Mutual Insurance.   They will be in Vegas to welcome you and lead a fun breakfast session on Wednesday morning just for first-timers. But don’t feel like you will be on your own there. It is likely the largest event at the conference other than keynotes or celebrations. And Chris and Lindsay have assembled their own team of NACE rock stars to help them with this great program. Somehow, even I got on this committee! Well, I do a mean bit of karaoke, but the videos have not been put on You Tube just yet.

Looking to make a connection from the west coast? Do your best to meet up with Amy Adams from Pepperdine or Vicki Klopsch from Scripps. Amy just served as co-chair with Melissa Gervase of Turner Construction for the Leadership Advancement Program, and Vicki was a member of the 2017 Conference Program Committee with me. This soft spoken (ha!) New Yorker always enjoys conference time with these two California colleagues. They both have such dedication to their students and their institutions, and they provide interesting views on our field as well.

Interested in learning more about NACE leadership? Make Kathleen Powellsure to say hi to outgoing NACE President Kathleen Powell from William and Mary and incoming NACE President Glen Fowler from the California State Auditor’s office. They are always a joy to speak with and incredibly encouraging and supportive colleagues to have in your corner. Through them, you can gain insights into the history and inner workings of NACE as well as one career services and one employer perspective on our field. That is if you get to chat with both of them while at the conference. Challenge accepted?!

Many of you know that Marilyn Mackes is our stalwart and steadfast NACE Executive Director, but did you know that NACE now has an Assistant Executive Director, Matthew Brink, who oversees the many amazing programs and services offered by our professional association? Matthew comes from an extensive background in career services and is quite the conference raconteur. Always looking his dapper best, Matthew is someone to get to know if you have the chance to cross paths with him in the Paris or on the Strip!

And as always, feel free to say hi to me. How else will I know that someone has actually checked out this blog post? Throw me a bone here. Or better yet, toss me a $100 chip, so I can play blackjack with Dan! See you in June, and follow me at the conference for my anecdotes and observations. I’m @MarcGoldmanNYC.

Marc Goldman, Executive Director, Career Center, Yeshiva UniversityMarc Goldman, Executive Director, Career Center, Yeshiva University
Twitter: @MarcGoldmanNYC
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/marcjgoldman

#NACE17: Meet. Greet. Follow Up!

by Kathy Douglas
Make the most of networking opportunities at NACE 2017!

As career development professionals, we all know how to do this. We advise our students on networking at conferences, events, and career fairs all the time. So I know you know how, and the annual NACE conference is the perfect time to network with peers across the country in a super friendly atmosphere. It’s the proverbial opportunity to practice what we preach. Introverts and extroverts, thinkers and feelers, high and medium EQs alike can prep, reach out, and make the most of networking during #NACE17!

The advance planning

Reach out pre-conference on LinkedIn.  I just posted a discussion in the NACE LinkedIn group asking who is going to the conference, and confirming that my travel arrangements are done!  This can be a great way to get out in front of peers, and start networking well in advance. Once you have access to a list of conference attendees, you will also have the perfect excuse to connect. Update the standard LinkedIn invite: “I see you are going to NACE. I’d like to add you to my LinkedIn network, and hope to meet you there!” I did this several years ago for the New Orleans NACE, and did indeed meet up with a few individuals I had pre-connected with on LinkedIn.

Post to the NACE Community discussion board.  I just tried itwill let you know how it goes!  Hopefully I will hear from other conference goers, so I know who to look for in June!

Download, set up, and use the conference app. Conference apps offer some great resources and tools for streamlining social media, allowing messaging with peers, collecting session info and locations in one place, and providing real time information on session changes. Last year’s app included capability of making your own schedule, connecting with conference goers, creating your own profile, and linking to your social media accounts. Make the app part of your world for a few days, and if possible, set it up before you leave home.

Reach out to your established NACE and career services networks before the conference. If you have done MLI, RLI, career coaching, NACE blogging, committee work, or other NACE programs, reach out to peers to meet for coffee or dinner. Last year I was able to physically connect with a good half-dozen cohort colleagues from MLI, and connected with several more I didn’t have the opportunity to meet in person.  Ironically, I was also able to meet current and former colleagues from my own university that I rarely see, even in New Haven. And last but not least, I made it a point to meet NACE’s Social Media and Communities Manager, Claudia Allen, in person after we had been communicating via e-mail and social media for months. I made it a point to stalk her and track her down to say hello in person!

MLI 12 Alumnas meeting for lunch at #NACE16: Julie Labich, Associate Director of Employer Relations at USC Sol Price School of Public Policy, Kathy Douglas, and Ann Garner, Executive Director, Career Center, Johns Hopkins University

The obvious things to do

Tweet and Instagram.  Tag #NACE17. The first time Twitter made any sense to me was during #NACE11. In real time, conference goers were tweeting out take-aways from panels and recommending attendance to peers. I might have shuffled between sessions, hearing about one that sounded really great going on at the same time! It is a brilliant tool for real time communication. I used to feel a little awkward tweeting, thinking I wasn’t paying attention during programs, but have found just the opposite to be true: I listen much more carefully for take-aways to report out to the twittersphere. It’s a quick and easy way to share programs, spark conversations, recommend activities outside of the conference, and o congratulate peers.  And it becomes an historical record, saved indefinitely online.  Check out #NACE16 on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to see what you may have missed last year! 

Go where no woman or man has gone before

Don’t always travel with known colleagues during meals. There is comfort in avoiding “cafeteria angst” by meeting and sitting with people you already know, but it limits new connections and conversations.  Be bold and sidle up to a few strangers at breakfast.  Offer to pour someone’s coffee if you see them struggling with a plate and bowl at the breakfast bar. If you are with colleagues, split up at the table. Make the conversation light, talk about the food. Then ask a few questions about the person next to you, their institution or company and their role. Ideally they will ask you about you, too. But even if they don’t, find a follow up. “How is your recruiting going this year?” you might ask an employer rep or colleague. (Warning: Ask college sports-related questions at your own peril.)

Be curious, ask questions, then listen 

We all know that people like to talk about themselves, and genuine curiosity is inviting.  Try to find common ground as well as differences quickly with people you meet. And then ask more questions.  Offer compliments—”I can’t imagine how you manage to provide services to 10,000 students with a staff of 23,” I might say to a colleague from a big-10 school. “How do you do it?  What kind of third party resources do you use? How are you still standing?” Or you may ask anyone questions about activities outside of the conference such as: “Which zip line will you be doing this week?”

Extend the conference dialog

We’re all listening, learning, and discussing ideas, best practices, big picture themes, and new technologies over several days with fabulous keynote speakers. The topics of discussion are endless. Use the conference content for talking points.  During last year’s conference, you might have asked other people what they thought about Leland Melvin’s “orbital perspective,” or Lindsay Pollak‘s comment that McKinsey is now using “young leader” to characterize new recruit cohorts rather than using the terms “millennial” or “Gen Y.”  Have we come full circle?

Introducing two colleagues over breakfast: Alyssa Student, Assistant Director, CDO, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Welsley Thorne, Director of the Career Center at UCLA.

Be generous by introducing people you know or have just met to each other

The currency of real networking is not greed but generosity.
Keith Ferrazzi, Author of Never Eat Alone

Be a facilitator at your lunch table, or at the phone charging stations. Be generous and introduce people you know to other people you have just met or colleagues from other schools.  Facilitate group introductions around a table, and ask a good general question for anyone at the table. Once a conversation gets going, sit back and be an active listener.

Try this simple conversation starter

Use the fun NACE name badge ribbons as a conversation starter (and be sure to select a few for yourself!). “I see this is your first conference. How’s it going so far?”  Or “I see you need coffee before speaking to anyone in the a.m.  Me too.  Have you had any yet?”  Or, “Oh, I see you’re presenting.  What’s your topic?”  “What year did you do MLI, and did Manny present?”  Or “I see you’re an MLI alum.  What is MLI?”


Be a career services or industry researcher

Come with questions for your own research, and use them once you learn some basics from a new connection. What do you want to know to help you professionally and to improve your office? Pick a few topics that you can use over the course of the conference. You might poll several people: “Does your office have any diversity and inclusion initiatives?”  “Have you felt the effects of changes in federal hiring for your population?” “How is your office structured, and what are the relationships among the career office, student affairs, admissions and other administrative units?” “Do you provide services for alumni?” “What population is your company recruiting for this fall?” “Does your office offer professional skills workshops, and if so, what are they?”  “What was the best new program you did this year?”

Think about networking as relationship building

One of my favorite quotes on networking comes from Pete Leibman:

Here’s the truth: Networking is NOT all about who you know or who knows you. Networking is all about who likes you and who respects you.
When possible, go beyond the simple exchange of contact information or business cards. Let new connections know something personal about you, even a small thing.  Claudia Allen became my BFF over e-mail once we mentioned our grandchildren. Take a few extra minutes to share a joke, talk about a great bookstore (or comedy show) you found around the corner from the hotel—try to connect on multiple levels.

Taking a break at #NACE16 to celebrate and make some new friends!

Don’t forget to follow up

Follow Up. This is what we all tell our students.  Take quick notes with the gist of any productive conversations and note the follow up you would like to do. “Send so and so that article on salary negotiations for women.” “E-mail a copy of our first advising session checklist.” “Introduce so and so to so and so.” “Thank so and so for great idea and tell them you hope to see them at NCDA.” “Check in about X university’s policy on accepting offers.” I use business cards I collect to write on, and supplement with paper or the notepad function on my phone.
And remember: What happens at NACE should NOT just stay at NACE. Keep the connections alive. Happy conferring!

KKathryn Douglasathy Douglas, Senior Associate Director Career Development Office, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/douglaskathy
Twitter: @fescdo
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Yale-FES-Career-Development-Office/134339426609741
Website: environment.yale.edu/cdo

3 Tips to Build a Better Talent Community

by Trong Dong

In the world of HR, a “talent community” is no longer an unfamiliar term to recruiters. Why? Because employers want to find the most qualified and fit talent, and talented candidates want to get the best jobs, but candidates do not necessarily find the best job for them at the time they visit an employer’s’ website. A talent community is a medium enabling employers to connect with candidates who don’t see an immediately available opportunity with the company. It’s a hub where candidates can submit their information to a company without committing to a specific position.

Not only do talent communities help employers find candidates who are truly interested in the company, but they also capture the most qualified candidates who may be ideal fits for an organization. Liane Wuthrich, assistant manager at Famous Footwear, said, “A company’s talent community could be your most valuable resource. It saves you time, money, and helps you find not only good employees, but great employees.”

Improving talent communities is a necessary tool for recruiters to hire the most talented candidates for their firms. Here are the three tips to keep in mind to help you build a better talent community.

Think like a marketer

In order to come up with an effective engagement strategy with candidates, employers need to think and act in terms of marketing. They need to ask basic marketing questions such as, “How do I develop four Cs (consumption, curation, creation, and connection) of content marketing?” “Who are my target audience and how can I reach these people?” and “How can I make myself visible so that people can follow me?”

Answering these questions will help talent community builders better develop a top-of-mind brand marketing strategy. This strategy includes having a good content marketing plan that engages talent communities with relevant articles and makes people think about the companies. It also involves an effective segmentation plan that categorizes your target audience into groups based on geography, age, gender, or fields of pursuit (IT, nursing, public relations, etc.) so that you can send relevant and targeted information to each prospect.

Given the heat of social media availability nowadays, it is essential to expand your accessibility on popular social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Social media is an ideal tool for sourcing and advertising, thereby assisting talent communities to attract and encourage candidates to follow their companies.

Encourage referrals

Companies rely on internal referrals to have a successful talent community. A big accounting firm like Ernst & Young set ambitious internal goals to increase the proportion of hiring that come from internal referrals. Larry Nash, director of experienced and executive recruiting at Ernst & Young said, “Although Earnst & Young looks at every résumé, a referral puts them in the express lane.”

The benefits of having internal referrals are promising. The inside perspective of current employees will help referred candidates better understand the company culture and the demands of the position. Thus, it should come as no surprise if referred candidates stay twice as long as others.

The most recent CareerXRoads Source of Hire Report showed that referrals are effective, weighing in at the #1 spot for sources of hires.

Always leverage the long-term value of your community

Having a strong talent community is nice, but maintaining and taking advantage of it over time takes extra effort. In order to exploit the maximum benefits of your talent community and enhance members’ commitment, I recommend the three R’s steps—reduce, reuse, recycle.

  • Reduce: Communicate with members consistently to reduce costs in advertising jobs. Try sharing job opportunities directly with candidates.
  • Reuse: Re-use candidates who have not been hired, but prove potential for the current open positions.
  •  Recycle: Use candidates who are not qualified for one position for other possible positions, thereby keeping them engaged with the community.

I recommend applying these three steps to improve your talent communities and hire the most talented candidates out there. What other methods would you suggest to better talent communities?

Trong DongTrong Dong, CEO/CTO at Rakuna
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tddong
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/trongdong

 

 

 

Learning Through Heavy Lifting

by Tenley Halaquist

Recently, I was given the opportunity to attend a unique professional development event. Usually educational trainers attend conferences, webinars, or read articles for professional development, but this time I was expected to learn through a more physical means. The event is called GoRuck Tough. Rucking is a verb meaning “to put weight on your back and go for a walk.”  During the GoRuck Tough, you are expected to carry at least 30 lbs. (if you weigh over 150yes that is me) and hike for 15 to 20 miles over a 10- to 12-hour time span. The event I attended started June 24 at 9 p.m. and went until June 25, 9 a.m. There were 15 of us in the class.

starting with situps

 

Participants are “welcomed” with a series of exercises, including pushups, butterfly kicks, and burpees.

 

 

The event—designed to improve communication skills—started out with a “welcome party” which was pretty much military-style boot camp. We learned different casualty carries, crawls, and did plenty of push-ups, butterfly kicks, and burpees. Our first mission after the welcome party was to carry casualties using the fireman’s carry technique from one destination to the next in a certain time. Unfortunately, as a team we did not complete the mission, therefore we had a punishment exercise. Punishment exercises were expected after all unsuccessful missions.

burpeedemo

A burpee demonstration. Burpees are a combination of a squat that kicks into a pushup and ends with the participant standing.

 

The next mission was to complete 75 pull-ups as a team in an allotted time limit. We completed this task ahead of schedule.

After a nice brisk walk with my crew, we were asked by our cadre (GoRuck leader who is/was a leader in the armed forces and who communicates our missions) to stand aside while he looks for our “friend.” Upon his return, we then had to complete the hardest mission—carry a huge log found next to railroad tracks 2.5 miles through the city of Albany. This was a humbling experience for sure! For those of you who have not had the pleasure of visiting Albany, it is on a hill. We had to carry this huge log up a hill through the middle of the city to get to our destination.

log lifting and carry

 

The group finds a log by the railroad tracks, then has to lift and carry the log uphill through Albany.

 

 

Our next mission was to find a target under the allotted time. Once the target was found (a fountain), we had to get in the fountain and complete water burpees until the cadre was satisfied. Following this activity, we then had another casualty mission. We needed to carry a casualty using a stretcher made of rope to our next destination in a time cap. We completed with flying colors. We then had a similar mission to the last where we needed to carry casualties using the rope stretcher method. Only this time, we had two casualties, the casualties needed to rotate every block, everyone had to be carried at least twice, and communication could not be used. The reason communication was taken away was to mimic silent attack missions in the military where they need to capture a target without anyone knowing. Unfortunately, we did not make it to our destination in time, so we had a punishment exercise (100 burpees).

 

middle of the night demoThe cadre was explaining the importance of effective communication and was sharing real life examples from his military career because we did not execute our first mission. We then had to perform our punishment exercise: 100 burpees.

We then walked a few miles with no mission and came upon a couple of military monuments. Our cadre talked about each one and gave us time to really look at them. After the last monument, we had one more mission to complete. We needed to carry five casualties using the fireman’s carry to our starting point under a time constraint. The casualties were to never touch the ground. We completed the mission by the skin of our teeth and did not have to complete the grueling “after party.” The “after party” is similar to the “welcome party,” but much worse.

After our group picture, we received our GoRuck Tough patches, hugged each other, and went our separate ways.

done

 

Finishing at daylight, group members hug each other and head home.

 

 

Our group walked a total of 18 miles. The whole purpose of the event was to work as a team, use effective communication techniques, and strengthen mentality. We learned that communication is crucial in completing tasks and that everyone may not understand the way your communication has been relayed. We constantly had to state and restate what we were doing in different ways to get everyone on board. We also learned that a human body is an incredible thing. Your body can withstand pretty much anything; you just need to train your mind to think the same thing.

Now you are probably wondering how this translates to my career at NACE. We communicate with people every day to make sure our events run smoothly and successfully. To do this, our communication needs to be precise and accurate so that everyone knows what we need done. Perseverance, persistence, and grit are some other qualities emphasized in this training. When one way did not work, we thought of other ways to complete our tasks. At NACE, we always have to think on our feet, keep options available, and keep pushing until we get it right. Again, this was a different professional development opportunity and I am glad I was able to learn so much from it.

Editor’s note: Tenley went on vacation after her GoRuck Tough experience.

Tenley HalaquistTenley Halaquist, M.Ed.
NACE Professional Development Associate

 

Top 5 Reasons to Submit a Workshop Proposal for #NACE17

by Chaim Shapiro

As the college year and the new recruiting cycle get underway,the NACE Conference in June may seem far off in the distant future and a low priority, but that is NOT the case!  The call for workshop proposals for #NACE17 will open this week, so it is time to get cracking!

Why should you bother? Here are the top five reasons to submit a workshop proposal for #NACE17!

Chart the future: As I always like to say, NACE IS the place to become actively involved in charting the future of our profession. People come to the conference to learn the latest ideas, techniques and best practices. GIVING a workshop allows you to be the teacher as opposed to the student and help set the agenda for your colleagues.

Know it better than ever: I like to fancy myself as a thought leader in the use of LinkedIn.  For all the talk and articles and expertise, there is NOTHING that compares to presenting before your colleagues. When you give a workshop, YOU are the expert, there is NOWHERE to hide and you have to be ready to answer some tough questions. Your workshop preparation will ensure that you know your topic better than you EVER have!

Promote Your Employer: I like to joke that I am on the “present or perish” model for conferences. In other words, I love to go to conferences, but I ONLY get to go when I present.The reason is simple; it is a great way to help promote Touro College. When your proposal is accepted, your company/institutions name will be included in the program that is read by THOUSANDS of your colleagues!

Promote Yourself:  I didn’t forget! When you present, YOUR name is also on the program.  Thousands of your colleagues will see your name and equate you with expertise in that subject area.  I can attest that a WORLD of speaking opportunities opened up for me after my first NACE presentation.  Several years ago, I asked the organizer of a conference why she offered me a speaking slot without knowing me or having heard me speak.  Her answer; I saw that you presented at the NACE Conference, so I had NO questions about your ability.

Build your professional network:  I often say that the primary job AFTER a conference presentation is answering ALL of the interactions it generated on Twitter.  When you present, you are front and center.  I have met MANY valuable contacts after my presentations, and I ALWAYS make sure to connect with them on LinkedIn and Twitter so I can continue the relationship.  

So, GET those presentation proposals in!  I have been working on two of my own since June 11!
Chaim ShapiroChaim Shapiro, Director of the Office for Student Success, Touro College
Website: http://chaimshapiro.com/
Twitter: @chaimshapiro
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/chaimshapiro
Blogs from Chaim Shapiro

Chaim has given two workshops at the NACE Conference & Expo.

Career Services Programs that Engage Employers

Irene Hillman

Irene Hillman, Manager of Career Development, College of Business, Decosimo Success Center, The University of Tennessee Chattanooga
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/irenehillman

College career fairs can feel like a blur. Hundreds of college students—many of them prepared, but just as many of them unprepared— shuffle in and wander from table to table giving employers their pitch. Employers return the favor and point these young professionals to their websites to apply for positions. It’s a way to build visibility on both sides—company and candidate—but creating a meaningful connection simply isn’t in the cards.

So, how can colleges support the authentic engagement needed for their students to build relationships that will help them launch careers and their employers to gain in-depth access to a targeted and valuable candidate group? Here are some methods being used by the College of Business at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga to provide some inspiration.

Take the Freshmen Employer Tour

The Company Tour Program was developed specifically for entering freshmen to help tie them into both the UTC and business community very early on in their college careers. The college develops a schedule of bi-weekly tours for approximately 20 students (lasting one to two hours) into the facilities of the area’s top employers and these students gain access to companies to learn more about the area’s economy, explore potential employers, and network with Chattanooga’s business community in a very familiar and engaging fashion. This encourages students to think about how their degrees can be leveraged and their academic learning can be applied following graduation, motivating them to be better students who are engaged in networking within professional circles of the city.

Invite Employers to Lunch

Through Bridge Luncheons, the College of Business invites businesses seeking a way in which to connect with current students, pending graduates, or alumni to sponsor a business meal. This series brings business students and local or regional organizations together in an intimate setting over a served lunch where candid and interactive dialogue can occur. Typically this is used by companies as a recruiting venue for open positions. Such events are an effective means for companies to spend quality time with multiple candidates at once and serves, in many cases, as a first and simple step in the vetting process. Bridge Luncheons are by invitation only based on the criteria set by the sponsoring companies and students receive e-mails requesting an RSVP if they care to attend. It is also an ideal place to practice business meal etiquette.

Jennifer Johnson, UTC accounting student (Class of 2015), says “The luncheons have given me an opportunity to connect with local businesses and to build relationships with their owners and employees before joining the work force.”

She adds, “I am very thankful that UTC has provided me with the opportunity to participate in these luncheons because they have helped ease my apprehension interacting with potential employers and colleagues.”

As an additional perk beyond assisting students transition from students to professionals, colleges can consider such luncheons as a minor revenue stream since a reasonable flat rate can be charged to companies and remaining funds (after catering and room costs are covered) would be retained to support other career services activities and events.

Pair Students With Professionals

The Business Mentor Program is available to sophomore, junior, senior, and graduate students. Experienced professionals support students who are paired in a mentoring relationship based on common professional interests in order to guide students toward best practices for career success. Valued employers are encouraged to nominate a seasoned professional to the Business Mentor Program. The program provides a great opportunity for professionals to counsel and influence the next generation of business leaders and increase the work force readiness of future recruits. Undergraduates may even engage in the program for academic credit (one credit). The course integrates academic learning with business world application and experiences. Students meet in class for one month to prepare for the mentoring relationship and then pair with mentors for the remaining weeks of the semester.

Use Feedback From the Professionals

The semiannual Resume Week and Mock Interview Week events are another way to help recruiters and students engage in effective networking and develop significant dialogue. During Resume Week, the college seeks out a few dozen professionals (hiring managers or recruiters) whose careers align with the College of Business academic programs and invites them to participate in the event. Students visit the centrally located student lounge with their resumes to give managers and recruiters from participating companies a chance provide their professional opinions through a 15-minute resume review while networking one-on-one with these high-impact business people.

Bios of the volunteers are provided to students so they can plan who they want to meet. We encourage students to dress professionally and bring a business card to make a great first impression on our visitors.

Abdul Hanan Sheikh, UTC human resource management student (Class of 2015),  summarizes the impact that the Resume Review event has had on his career launch: “By attending this event, I received remarkable feedback, which helped me make adjustments to my resume. This event helped me get more engaged in networking effectively. It was a great opportunity for me to make connections with business professionals from around Chattanooga. Furthermore, I believe these events helped me land my first internship last fall and then my summer internship as well, and those positions gave me the experience I needed in HR to feel confident about finding a great job after graduation. So now I have a strong resume and solid experience.”

A month following Resume Week, the college holds a similarly arranged series of events for Mock Interview Week. Not only do students walk away with invaluable advice on developing a robust resume and interviewing successfully, but they get a chance to ask questions about launching their careers to people with realistic answers. And the hope is, as a result, a connection is made and networking flourishes between the student and the professionals with whom they have met.

Engaging with employers need not be an awkward or hurried venture that happens once a semester. When students are provided multiple opportunities for directed networking, relationships can unfold in an enriching manner for our students and our employers!