Category Archives: travel

MPACE pictures, part 3 – BTW, or Bears, Trees & Wires.

And, finally, as promised – the final round of MPACE pictures, including the social. We spent the last evening of the conference at the World Forestry Center, which had great exhibits, yummy food, tasty drinks, and Voodoo Doughnuts. No complaints here.

Indoor tree, and an indoor (pretend) owl. The tip of the iceberg of the "northwest-y" decor.

Getting back to my Pacific Northwest roots, posing with an old friend.

Wires from the Canopy Lift Ride - meant to simulate going to the top of a forest.

Did I mention that I'm afraid of heights? That's me and my courageous colleague, Michelle, braving the ride.

It went about twice that high, at a death-defying speed of (I'm guessing) 12 miles an hour. Then, we dangled at the top for eternity.

We're smiling because we survived.*

Birds-eye view of the band rocking out

Very Merry Northwest Christmas decor

Simulated rafting photo. There's me falling off the side, my colleagues saving me, and a constituent from CSULB assessing the situation. Apologies for the blur, but at least it feels like an action shot... right?

ROAR. Last shot of the night.

Bonus photo: I think I was one of the few who took the train out of Portland. I couldn't find Platform 9 3/4, so I took a picture of some windows instead.

*A references to a previous post I did where I got to use the same caption after a real-life rafting expedition, with pictures almost as intense as the one here.

MPACE pictures, part 2 – Everything BUT the social

As promised, here is round 2! As you can see, they kept us busy, but not too busy that I didn’t have time for a few quick photos. I’ll let the pictures (well, and the captions) speak for themselves. Enjoy!

Opening keynote...a few minutes before UCI got a shout-out in front of the whole ballroom!

Who's the girl taking a picture of herself on accident after the session?...Oh, wait. Nevermind.

Action shot of a session #1

Action shot of a session #2

Artsy shot of Shirley Temples in the hotel bar. Mine's on the left.

Beautiful decorations from the mall across the street from our hotel...pretty enough to rival the dangling crystals in my room!

I saw no green pool tables in Portland. Coincidence? Or an Oregon thing?

Bus ride TO the social...the calm before the storm!

MPACE pictures, part 1 – We came, We saw, We checked-in.

Oh man, you guys! I am excited to share this first batch of photos with you! It was a great three days, hopefully the pictures give you an idea of how it felt to be there.

What’s funny is I don’t have a shot of the outside of the hotel, one of the most obvious pictures to take when conference-ing. Though, those who attended can attest, there’s not really a grand entrance to The Nines. The hotel itself is six floors up, so the ground entrance is fairly tame. That said…

This is what you see when you step off the elevator...

Why yes, that IS a beautiful artistically styled wire dress in a frame!

...but then just around the corner, there are mannequins without clothes on. Which leads me to wonder...why aren't the mannequins wearing the wire dresses? They look like they'd fit.

I didn't have too much time to think about it though, because in my room was THIS.

There it is again, in the right corner. Dangly crystals! Who doesn't love dangly crystals??

Not sure who else got to check out the library, but I thought it was pretty cool...

Almost as cool as my view!

And lastly, guess what I was treated to at check-in...SWAG!

Actually, speaking of check-in, I’m going to stop there. The next round of pictures will show what happened AFTER the conference started. Stay tuned!

MPACE pre-post: The Essentials

This is it, you guys! Tomorrow is the day that hundreds of us in the college recruiting/career services fields will descend upon Portland, Oregon for the annual MPACE conference.  I am flying out tonight, which means that I’ve got all my luggage and gear sitting in my office, ready to go. 

To be honest, I'm excited to have a reason to get my warm jacket out.

What’s an employer resource card, you ask? It’s got a bunch of relevant information for employers – important URLs, contact info for multiple staff members, and key dates. Here is what they look like up close…

It’s our first time using them in a while, so I’ll let you know how it goes.

In the meantime, I’ll be blogging & tweeting from Portland, so I’m looking forward to keeping everyone updated. And for my fellow attendees, safe travels and I’ll see you guys up there! 
-DBO

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

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

48 hour trip to the Hoosier state – CHECK!

What time is it again??

So, I haven’t ventured further East than Texas in a surprisingly large number of years…who knew a 3-hour time difference could be so jarring? (Arriving at the hotel at 2:00am didn’t really help, either!)  Exhaustion aside, my trip to Interactive Intelligence earlier this week went well.

I think the majority of what I learned is most applicable to my fellow UCI Career Center colleagues and our students, so I’ll save the company profile for them.  That said, to summarize this trip, I’d say: Good people, cool company, long hours, impressive facility, lots of information, yummy snacks, and access to iced coffee both mornings…I was a happy camper. I took a couple of snapshots to prove that I did in fact travel this week…I wish more of them turned out, but either way, here you go!  

My plane out of California. It was the oldest plane I have been on in recent years...after that flight, I'll always look at individual air vents as a luxury!

My attempt at an action shot: Arriving at Interactive Intelligence HQ1.

Snazzy lobby space that makes me want to paint my office.

You know it’s going to be a good visit when your shirt matches the wall.

Sunset during my layover in Phoenix, a gorgeous way to one of the quickest trips ever!

In other news, I’ll be in the office for three whole days next week, so I’m looking forward to sharing more updates soon!

 -DBO

To buddy, or not to buddy. That is the question.

Hello and Happy Friday!  I am looking at my upcoming schedule, and I’ll be out of the office for part of next week, representing UCI at an employer event in Indianapolis. It’s my first time in the Midwest, and the 12th state I’ve visited in my lifetime (not counting airport layovers…I’m looking at you, New Jersey.)  Side note: It looks like I’ll have just a few hours of downtime on one my days there so if anyone has any suggestions, I’m all ears!

As it turns out, I’ll be the only UCI person there, which is not a  new thing. Most of the events I attend as the sole representative from the UCI Career Center, which means I get to make all new friends and contacts (Shout-out to Emily from TechMD, who I get to see everywhere!)

Though, every so often, a local event comes up at which I know people, or even have someone else from the Career Center with me.  I love when this happens (who doesn’t love seeing people they know?) but it can get sticky…the way I see it, there are two sides.

  • If we are there with someone we already know and like, we may be more inclined to talk to them and not to new potential friends and contacts
  • On the other hand, having a familiar face around is always comforting, and can help anyone (I.E., me) relax more and have better conversations with others.

I believe we can call that a double-edged sword. Does anyone else have thoughts on the matter? Is there a perfect formula, like “Spend 30% of your time with someone you know and 70% with new people?” I might just have to ponder that during my layover next week…more to come!

On an unrelated note, I wanted to share a picture I took this morning from the view of my parked car before my first appointment of the day.  Not a bad way to wake-up!


Have a great weekend. Next stop: Indianapolis!

-DBO

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.

And…

 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)

21…tweets

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!

 -DBO