Monthly Archives: August 2011

Lessons from the cocktail table (3.0) – Or, how I learned to love networking.

Picture this: eleven sorority sisters descend upon the Deschutes River in Maupin,OR for a rafting weekend to celebrate their ten-year anniversary of pledging together. Kind of a big deal, right? Yes, you are correct. It was.  Though, while on this trip, I learned a valuable lesson from a river rafting guide, and it wasn’t just how not to drown  if/when I fall out of our raft on a class 4. 

picture credit: http://www.asrk.com. (Yes, that's really our boat!)

In between rapids, we were able to enjoy some gorgeous scenery, glassy water, and conversation that ranged from life updates to mindless chatter. At one point, our guide inquired about what sort of work we were all in. We took turns explaining, going around the boat and offering up our titles and (if necessary) brief descriptions of what we did. I thought nothing of it, figuring he was just making conversation.

Someone commented to our guide about how cool it must be to meet so many different people in his job.  He responded by whole-heartedly agreeing and acknowledging that when he asked us what we all did, he was networking.

Wait, what? Cue the record scratch.

I didn’t think I’d hear that word this weekend!  What do you mean, you’re networking?  We’re on a boat!  We’re wearing life vests!  I smell like sunscreen!  You’re trying to network with me?

Turns out, he wasn’t just trying, he successfully did it. It wasn’t formulaic, it didn’t feel obvious or forced, it was just people getting to know each other in an enjoyable setting. That can technically count as networking, right? It opened my eyes a bit (okay, a lot).  Lesson learned: networking can come in all shapes and forms and it doesn’t have to include a nametag, business cards, or a handshake.

Side note: I wonder if I can convince our director that I should go “networking” again this weekend on the Deschutes…

We're smiling because we survived.

-DBO

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6 months, by the numbers!

Hi all!

For those who were in the UCI Career Center yesterday, you may have seen Michelle and I in our matching tiaras. This week officially marks our 6-month anniversary on campus, a mini-milestone of which we are slightly proud. It’s also given me a few reasons to reflect and come up with….drumroll, please…a list of numbers!  Here is what the first 6 months as a brand-new Employer & Community Outreach Specialist can look like:

  • 1340 sent emails
  • a bunch more received…many have been re-sorted and/or deleted so a grand total is not available. We’ll just go with “a bunch”
  • 23 networking events
  • 41 employer meetings
  • 9 days of conferences/travel/off-sites
  • 279 Tweets
  • 24 blog posts
  •  Plus, many hours dedicated to training, research (on both the employment community and UC Irvine), meetings, and getting up to speed on best practices

I’m not what numbers in other jobs look like, but I see this list and feel okay – I think they represent a good start, but more room to grow (side note: these numbers should be fairly exact, but I reserve the right to claim a margin for human error). 

Michelle is away from her desk currently, so I wasn’t able to grab her for a pose. But, here is proof of the existence of our “6 mos.” tiaras...

...Not to be confused with “lo mos” tiaras, which is what one colleague thought they said. Though, BabelFish tells me that lo mos is Spanish for “the mos”. I never knew the mos was a word, and dictionary.com tells me that “mo” is short for moments. So, in a way, our Tiaras said “The Moments.” I am okay with that.

-DBO

Not your typical Employer Visit

Thanks to MPACE‘s series of Summer Open Houses, earlier this week, I had a chance to visit our friends at Nordstrom, to learn about their college recruitment efforts. As you can tell, they brought out the big guns to greet us!

That's me on the left

Tomorrow, it’s a trek down I-5 to check out a medical device company. It’s a timely visit, as our students showing lots interested in the BioTech field these days. Wish me luck!

A week well spent

Hi all!

Okay, I’m going to be honest…I am usually not a fan when a blogger begins a post by lamenting about how long it’s been since they last posted. I can however confess that currently, I have the urge to do that. Though, I will refrain since I’m not sure anyone really benefits from that.

Last week was pretty rad for a number of reasons – I got to enjoy two networking events, (one hosted by NAWBO-OC, and the other through the Irvine Chamber of Commerce Emerging Professionals), and then on Friday, some of my colleagues and I took a day trip to UCSD, for a regional Career Services Institute. My favorite part about Friday(aside from seeing how gorgeous UCSD’s Career Services Center is) was meeting colleagues and learning about best practices from all over our region. There were some great takeaways as well….I’ve compiled my top highlights for your reading pleasure:

  • Some campus career centers are darn creative in how they work with employers!  There were about 12 employer relations professionals brainstorming together in one of the afternoon sessions, and I am really jazzed to get the notes from that session.
  • Experts in our field seem to be (calmly) debating a number of ideas about the future direction of career services. Career Fairs, Social Media, and personalization are some of the hot topics garnering attention right now.
  • During a discussion designed to help us explore our career paths, the concept of how “the grass is always greener” came up. One attendee added that she’d heard the quote re-stated to say “The grass is always greener where you water.” Love it. I wish I could credit the person who said it, but sadly I was sitting behind her and never caught a look at her name tag. Side note: a quick Google shows me that this quote is actually all over the web without a clear citation….so, if anyone knows who actually said it first, let me know!

    This is me, pretending to look like I presented.

 

Whew. Like someone famous once said…it was a good day!

-DBO