Monthly Archives: June 2011

UCI students are amazing…How do I hire some? (FAQs, Part 2.0)

Why, funny you should ask! I have some information about that right here…

The quickest, smoothest way to get your position out to our students is through Zotlink, our online job board.  Let me offer a few quick tips on quickly and efficiently signing up and using it:

  •  Registration on Zotlink occurs here. You have the option to register in advance of your posting, OR you may sign-up and create your posting at the same time. As a heads-up, we typically need 1-2 business days to approve your account, or get back to you with any questions (one piece of advice is be sure to use a company email address when you sign up so our student assistant can verify that you are affiliated with your organization – that will save you some time). 
  • Once your registration is approved, you’ll receive a login and password to then return to Zotlink to update/edit your posting at your convenience. And just to confirm, posting  is free (however, if you are looking to create and account to post at multiple universities, there may be fees involved with that).
  • When creating your posting, keep in mind that “post a job” mean that you’ll be conducting your recruitment and screening independently. On-Campus Recruiting or On-Campus Interviewing (OCR/OCI) means that you’ll be partnering with the Career Center to schedule and conduct interviews on campus. We have specific times of the year during which we can offer OCI, so please check in if you have questions!
  • Recommended: complete you profile as much as possible. Our students are savvy, and they want to be able to research organizations and companies. Don’t be afraid to show your company’s personality and to highlight what makes it an enjoyable place to work.

 As always, let me know if you have any questions!

Top 5 highlights of the week

Greetings friends!

1) Big news this week!  We unveiled our 2011-2012 Corporate Alliance Group program. It’s been a longtime coming, and it’s such a relief to have the information out and available. I’ll spare all the details since this blog isn’t the best place for specifics, but in a nutshell, it allows us to partner with employers who recruit on campus and who “take an active role in furthering the vision and development of the Career Center.” Oh, snap!

2) In the last six weeks, I’ve gone to two networking lunches during which someone led us in stretches. Is this a new thing?  My shoulders want to know…

3) learned about a new project through the Irvine Chamber of Commerce Emerging Professionals group that I will hopefully be helping with!  Stay tuned! 

4) Had a visit with Mark of OCTA (shout-out!) to learn more about OCTA, their internships, and to see Mark’s presentation skills, which our students will hopefully get to enjoy come fall.  

 5) got to share some ideas and see lay-out for our new Career Center website, launching in early fall 2011.

Bonus highlight: the realization that I may need another photographic technique since the classic outstretched arm makes all my pictures will look the same.  Or, maybe I should just change my jacket…

Have a great weekend!


Marshmallows, rulers and mantras…oh my!

Hello again!  Now that we are back and settled from last week’s retreat, here are some key take-aways that will directly affect my work with employers and community members.  You know what that means…ch-ch-ch-changes!
– Summer committee projects were proposed, SEVERAL of which will involve employer relations (YES!)

– Social media topics were introduced to the rest of staff (relevant because you are currently reading one of our newest endeavors)

– Leadership team shared our mantra for the coming year, with emphasis on intentionality, attitude and transition

– Numbers, numbers, numbers. I now have a good sense of where we’ve been this year (especially before I arrived) and a better idea of our direction.

That said, here are some visuals of what we did for those two days.

Hard at work, Day 1

Scoping out our competition on Day 2 - Office Olympics. It was SERIOUS business.

Me going for the gold during Office Olympics. Sadly, there was no Flonkerton* event, but the Ruler Toss was an excellent substitute.

Towers, towers, obvious use of pipe cleaners, paper cups and marshmallows, right?

Smiles...or, proof that the Fun Committee's labor paid off!

*Flonkerton, as seen on The Office in 2007.  This is officially the first outdated TV reference in a live.from.oc post, it’s likely not going to be the last.

Staff Retreat, by the numbers…and 2 pictures of a tower I didn’t build

Happy Thursday, friends!

I don’t like going this long without posting, but I hope you agree that I have a good reason this time! For the past two days, our staff has been in full-blown retreat mode. We’ve been reviewing Career Center efforts and accomplishments for the past academic year, and looking at plans for the upcoming one. We also inserted a few fun activities, for good measure. So, to summarize the past two days, here is a snapshot of what went down…(some numbers are educated guess-timates)

  • 14…people
  • 6…presentations
  • 45+… slides shared
  • 6…towers built
  • 1…hula hoop spun
  • 25+…new ideas shared (more on that later – some of them will directly affect my work with employers!)
  • 1…exciting announcement about our future leadership
  • 14…bottles of bubbles distributed
  • 1,000…bubbles blown

I’ll post some photos once our fabulous marketing guru Joanne uploads the shots she took on her good camera.  Though for the time being, I had to share an accomplishment of some of my colleagues. The structure below was about 5 feet tall (!!!!) and was literally constructed by thin, 1-page brochures.  It seemed to defy gravity, and it’s still standing in our training room a day later.


If you think that pictures of the tower are interesting, just you wait. Let’s just say that this retreat included dance routines, blindfolds, and marshmallows.  And if you think that pictures of the tower are not at all interesting, well…sorry about that.  The next ones will be better.

 Until next time!


You want an intern? What a great idea! (FAQs, Part 1.0)

You have a question? I'm listening...

A common question I get from employers and individuals is some version of “I think I want an intern, what should I do?”

My initial response is…great question! This question is so good that it’s earned a spot as the first Favorite Asked Question (FAQ), of which you’ll see many more over the coming months!

And, then, my second response is something like this…Internships can be a fabulous experience for both student and employer. As a former intern, I owe a big thank-you-in-advance to all future intern supervisors, since the work you will do for these promising professionals will likely be paramount for their careers.

That said, there are a couple of steps necessary to go from point A (“I want an intern! I mean…Yes, I am ready to shape and mentor a young professional”) to point B (“Here is your desk, respected and honored intern”). Don’t hesitate to let me know if you’d like more details about any of them….

  1. Please peruse the Career Center’s Internship Central. We’ve included information about Department of Labor policies, points of contact on campus, and best practices.  It will feel like a lot of information (especially the DOL part) but please trust me that it’s crucial for organizations to understand what’s required.
  2. Prepare! Please consider your goals for the position, and for the experience the student will gain.  It is also recommended to identify the employee who will supervise and guide the student through their internship. Create both a clear job description that outlines the intern’s duties, and an internal plan for how you’ll ensure that both intern and supervisor goals are met. Also, don’t forget to plan to share opportunities for growth throughout his/her stay, and to evaluate them at the end of their internship.
  3. Once you are ready to post the opportunity, you can visit Zotlink* to share it with a wide audience of UCI students and alumni.

So, to summarize, the steps we’ve covered are: Peruse (Internship Central), Prepare, and post.  Sounds easy, right? It certainly can be, but if any steps need further explanation or detail, let me know!


*Zotlink is UCI’s online job posting board, which comes in the form of a snazzy website that is free for employers to use (and free for students to use to apply)

Lessons from the cocktail table (1.0)

Hi friends,

I recently attended a networking event hosted by some of the regional Chambers of Commerce, and I ended up finding some great real estate standing at one of the cocktail tables not far from the dessert spread. It was ideal because I could set my plate (of desserts) and my drink* down, and since there was a steady stream of people looking to do the same thing, there were frequent new faces coming up to the table and joining our conversation

 As I was introducing myself to a friendly lady, she made a point to compliment my “bridge sentence.” Or, what I think many people refer to as the “elevator speech.” Either way, it’s that brief description you give to someone about what you do, beyond just your title. What was so interesting about her kind words is that I don’t even remember what I said. My introduction speech changes a little bit each time I say it since I actually have a number of ways I have been explaining my work and I’ll just pick what feels right in the moment. I try to keep it fresh and spontaneous.  This was the first time a stranger has ever complimented it, but it got me thinking that maybe, just maybe, there’s something to an elevator speech that sounds natural.  Hmmm.

Sure, you definitely want to have some go-to phrases (my main one is some version of “I help the OC business community connect with UCI students), but there is always room to adjust based on the setting and your crowd. I will keep you guys updated as I continue to do some serious research on this.  


*It was a Shirley Temple, thanks for asking. STs are my favorite drink as of late and it’s not because I’m seven. It’s because they are delicious, they look exotic and interesting, and they are alcohol-free which can often be a priority when I’m out working by myself.  They also come with cherries. I strongly recommend them. And for those who like a dose of caffeine with their grenadine, you can’t go wrong with a Roy Rogers.

Top 10 takeaways from NACE 2011

10 – Current hot topics in college recruiting include social media, early identification, student expectations of the hiring process, the rise of virtual recruitment & interview options, and tightening budgets (for both career centers and employers)

9 –  Dance floors, food lines, and airport shuttles are all great equalizers   

 8 – When it comes to work/life balance desires, new NACE research shows that GenY has more in common with GenX than others have previously seen reported. Thank you, we finally have new message about GenY!

 7 – Many schools are moving toward hosting niche events, rather than large “free for all” job fairs. The highest number I heard was from one of the Big Ten schools, at 35 events in one school year. Whoa. 

 6 – Don’t let the door swing and hit you from the back when you’re on an 8th floor balcony. Trust me, you don’t want to feel a surprise bump that high up!

 5 – Comfortable shoes. Period.

 4 – Words I heard to describe various employer/career center relationships: trust, transparency, customized, and “concierge-level service.”

3 – Among others, Guy Kawasaki’s tips for enchanting people include having a genuine smile, dressing to match your audience, customizing your presentations, and instead of saying “you’re welcome,” tell someone “I know you would do the same for me,” since it gives them credit as well.

 2 –  Get to sessions EARLY. Not on time, EARLY. There are some who are serious about their start times.


 1 – conferences of any kind often feel like Crash Course + Boot Camp + Happy Hour – Outdoors. The best thing I learned is about preparation keep an open mind and open ears, carry lots of business cards, and pay attention! 

Thank you, Texas! See you next time!

NACE 2011, by the numbers

Well, it’s official! NACE 2011 is over and friends, I am exhausted! I lost count of the number of people I met, but I was able to tally a few final numbers (including Day 3). My apologies for the lack of posts near the end of the week. As you can imagine, there was PLENTY going on. Though, I will try to make up for it, beginning with:

Here is the real, daylight picture of my view, which I have been trying to post for about 6 days now.

Moving on, here is NACE 2011, by the numbers!

Disclaimer: some numbers are approximate

6…breakout sessions attended

6…networking events/socials attended (not including lunches)

4…trips to the coffee shop

24… songs danced to at the Glass Cactus.

18…elevator rides to and from my room on the 8th floor

0…pairs of boots purchased

1…swimsuit purchased (it’s a long story)


9…times that I wished I had a Southern accent (it’s my favorite )

3.5…actual days away

100+…new things learned

 Stay tuned for more NACE summary!


NACE Day 2, by the numbers

Disclaimer: some of these stats are indeed approximate. I’ll let you speculate as to which.

1…coffee needed after all

4…breakout sessions


2…times I felt spoiled by employers (thank you, Enterprise & Northrup Grumman!)

1…pairs of boots resisted (still).

1…much smaller souvenir purchased instead

85…degrees outside during the drive to dinner (this is a good thing. It felt perfect after an afternoon of AC)

100…percent of people I’ve met who’ve been in their job longer than me

100…percent of people who were supportive when they learned how new I am

0…lozenges needed today. Phew

100…percent of effort I will give to improve my photography skills.

NACE Tweet-up, 6/1. My first ever tweet-up!

My evening view!


My wannabe view. Really, this is a close-up of the miniature train train track in the lobby. Awesome.


Chandelier at tonight's restaurant. Digging the beads.


Photo credit: New friend Dylan of Enterprise (also digging the mysterious and artistic blur effect he created :o). Also, extra thanks to Nicole & Tracy, our hostesses with the mostesses. L-R: California table at last night's Enterprise dinner

Where can I get my own?

Disclaimer: I understand that not all of Texas is as themed as our hotel, but that said…I love the Western decor with all of my heart.  The proof is in the carpet!