Lots of Updates!

Created by: Katie Smith, 2012-2013 Career Advising Fellow

You could probably guess how I’m going to start this post.

You would be right.

We’re busy!

The last couple weeks have been chock-full of workshops, presentations, conferences, programs and events, and student appointments. I’ll run through a few here:

Kernodle Center for Service Learning Partnerships and Presentations:

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to present a StrengthsQuest workshop to students who will be facilitating First Year Experience programs for incoming first-year students. The workshop was a lot of fun and allowed me the opportunity to help these future facilitators to recognize their own strengths and the ways in which such strengths can be used for effective teamwork and collaboration.

The following day, Mikki and I both presented at the Kernodle Center’s  semesterly Elon Volunteers! Training. I led two workshops, “Marketing your Service Experience,” teaching current students how to articulate and leverage their community service and associated leadership positions and skills to be viable candidates for jobs and internships in a variety of fields. Mikki presented “How to Conduct an Interview,” helping guide current student leaders through being effective interviewers and identifying the best candidates for leadership positions.

Professional Discovery Week:

A series of 13 informational and educational programs on career and professional development topics, our annual Professional Discovery Week programs took place last week. Programs ranged from tips on networking, to case interviewing, to careers in the legal realm. Approximately 500 Elon students participated in programs throughout the week.

As part of PDW, Mikki and I coordinated our own program on Careers in Higher Education by organizing a panel of three speakers, Vice President and Dean of Students Dr. Smith Jackson, Associate Mathematics Professor Dr. Alan Russell, and Director of Greek Life Shana Plasters. Sixteen students attended, including several involved with Elon’s Executive Intern Program. Each of the three panelists shared his or her education and career histories, as well as advice for students seeking to enter the field.

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NCCA Conference:

As well as participating in and supporting Professional Discovery Week, Mikki and I attended the NCCA (North Carolina Counseling Association) Conference in Greensboro last week. At the two-day conference, we attended sessions on a range of topics including resiliency and self-care, working with first generation students, and working with millennials on preparing for careers after college. The conference was an excellent opportunity for us to learn and connect with local counseling and career professionals.

LSB Connect Conference:

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Students share their strengths during the StrengthsQuest presentation

To cap off the week, on Saturday, approximately 50 sophomore students got up early to board a bus to the Downtown Greensboro Marriott to the site of the Love School of Business Connect Conference. I have been working collaboratively with Jane Mehringer, Sarah Thomas, and other LSB staff to plan this conference and was excited to finally see it in action.

The Conference started with keynote speaker Scott Wittig who encouraged students to reflect on their interests and follow their passions. Mikki and I presented next, leading the students through a StrengthsQuest workshop and helping them see the connection between their strengths and articulating themselves effectively in an interview situation and through writing resumes and cover letters. UNC Chapel Hill Senior Assistant Dean, Academic Advising Program, College of Arts & Sciences and General Gary Miller presented next, sharing tips on using social media as a self-marketing tool.

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Students participate in roundtable discussions with alumni and employers

Susan Richardson, a visiting speaker from Wisconsin then led an etiquette luncheon, advising students on gracefully handling interview and professional meals. The final speaker, Gary Tomlinson, a self-described “strexecutionist” spoke to students about effective communication and networking skills. Lastly, the students had an opportunity to participate in roundtable discussions, followed by a networking event, with visiting alumni and employers representing a range of functional areas within the business realm.

The Connect Conference was a fantastic opportunity for sophomore students to gain tips and ideas for professional development early in their college years. Armed with great information, students can be better prepared for their time after graduation.

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As you can see, there are a lot of excellent events and opportunities taking place both within our office and beyond! It’s a busy time for the Student Professional Development Center, for Student Life offices across campus, and for students as well.

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