Category Archives: Community Relations

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!

-DBO

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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.  

-DBO 

*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.

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

2.5…socials

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

Important things: employer visits and a picture of a field

Depending on the day, we can see close 60 new job postings coming down the Zotlink* pipeline. I thought I’d share a bit about how we decide which companies to which I’ll request a visit. Here is a sampling of what I’m asking myself…

  •  Are lots of students applying to this job?
  • Is this a unique opportunity for our student?
  • Or, on the flip side, is it in one of our top recruited areas, but offering a new angle or “niche” opportunity?
  • Is the position itself unique? True story – I visited an organization looking for Robotics Teaching Interns. There are definitely fewer Robotics Teaching Intern positions than there are, say, Marketing Intern opportunities. 
  • Was the job or company description especially engaging or attention-grabbing?
  • Is there potential for a long-term recruitment relationship with this organization?
  • Did this company invite me to visit?

Hopefully that gives a general sense – there are certainly more reasons outside of this list, but these are some of the basics.

Since we’re up to the third post now, I can probably let you all know that I am a fan of anything that looks like the country (which is one of the many reasons I’m excited to go to Texas next week for the National Association of Colleges and Employers [NACE] conference). Apparently, you can take the girl out of Eastern Washington, but you can’t take the Eastern Washington out of the girl. On that note, here is a picture I took after one of my employer visits. It’s not what I think of when someone says “Orange County” but lo and behold, it’s indeed the OC. Please excuse me while I go park in the field and turn on some country music.  

Happy Thursday!

-DBO

*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)

Meets & Greets

Greetings from the UCI Campus!

It’s a rather gray morning (for Orange County…meaning that it’ll probably be gorgeous in about an hour) and I’m putting in some hours in the office before I head out to two employer visits and a networking event this afternoon. “Meeting employers” is pretty high priority on my weekly to-do list here at UCI, so I thought I’d share some insight what exactly I’m trying to do. As it turns out, the employers I meet while out and about generally fall into two groups…

Group 1 – Employers that are already recruiting UCI students
To do list:
• Introduce myself and my position, and let them know about the rest of the Employer Relations team here at UCI. Not many realize that there are professional staff members on campus here to help support their recruiting efforts
• Meet the people and personalities behind their online job positing
• Get a sense of their organization, culture, values, and of the responsibilities associated with their current job openings.
• Learn about their industry so I can accurately describe their opportunities to the rest of my team
• Give them an idea of what kind of options they have when recruiting UCI students (the traditional online job posting is just the tip of the iceberg)

Group 2 – Employers that are not currently recruiting UCI students
To do list:
• Covertly mention the high caliber of our students, and their readiness for employment/internships
• Cross my fingers that they become part of Group #1

Okay, there’s maybe a little more to working with Group 2, but that will have to wait for another post.

As always, see you out there!
-DBO

Now that I’ve got my nametag on…

Greetings from UCI!  Let me personally welcome you to the newest blog to come out of the Career Center.  You’re probably busy, so I will waste no time in telling you what you will find here.

Who: I’m Dena B. Ogden! In my professional life, I do Employer & Community Outreach for the Career Center at the University of California, Irvine. I have a background in higher education and recruiting, and I joined the Career Center in February of 2011. I am also currently pursing my MA in Organizational Leadership. In my personal life, I’m a Gen Y wife with a pet rabbit and passion for pop culture and current events.  And in both lives, you’ll find me referencing that I’m a native Washingtonian with a coffee habit who is still occasionally surprised by OC culture. 

What: Live from Orange County promises regular entries about diving into the local business scene, tales of networking and navigating through corporate culture, and posts about what employers should know about students and recent graduates.  I will be interspersing updates about college recruitment and employment trends on a local and national level, as well as updates about Gen Y and professionalism since those are areas of particular interest.  I may or may not include personal anecdotes from time to time (or often. We’ll see how it goes!)

When: Only when I have something interesting to say, I promise

Where: all over Southern California, but mostly Orange County (Irvine, to be specific). Occasionally I will be traveling to conferences and visiting out-of-town employers, so I also reserve the right to write on location. Though  for the record, my office is based here, on the UCI campus:

Why: It quickly became apparent after only a few months in my new role that I’ll be gathering valuable information about the Orange County business scene, how to network, and also learning more about what the greater OC community thinks about the fabulous students of UCI. My goal with this blog is to blend all of these areas into one, insightful, informative and (fingers-crossed) entertaining place that our employers, community members, and students can enjoy. It’s a venti order, but I’m confident that I can deliver – I will be asking you guys, my readers, to help keep me accountable.

Thanks for stopping by, and looking forward to meeting many of you in the field!

 -DBO