Category Archives: Uncategorized

Springing into Summer…

Hi everyone!

A few updates for this week…

1)      Thank you for a full year of readership and support! We’ve reached our first anniversary, and we thank you for that.

2)      As many of you may know, summer is a time that much planning and prep work happens in higher ed. With only a few short weeks left in the academic year, you’ll see that Employer Relating will be much quieter during these months as we wind down from the 2011-2012 academic year and prepare for 2012-2013. In the meantime, you can still find us on Twitter (@EmployrRelating), you can find many answers here in the archives, or you can reach us in the traditional ways, like phone and email. Staff contact info is here.

3)      Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

All the best,

Dena & the UCI Career Center team

How about letting the schools visit you?

Last week, a media and entertainment company invited me and a number of other representatives from local schools up to their campus for an afternoon of introductions and discussions about their internship programs. They certainly weren’t the first organization to do something like this (I’ve attended half a dozen or so other similar events in my year here at UCI), but they were the most recent, so I wanted to bring it up to all of you. The reason? I’ve found that these events can be a great use of time.

The agenda looked something like this:

  • Started with a few minutes of chatting & networking. A few trays of snacks were set out.
  • HR team introduced themselves and played a short video about their organization
  • Other Intern Supervisors in the room introduced themselves
  • School representatives introduced ourselves
  • HR team gave a short informational presentation about their internship opportunities
  • The HR team then facilitated a short discussion about how we can work together and help interns succeed.

Bam! 90 minutes, done. In that short window of time, their organization successfully informed multiple universities about their internship opportunities, and made us aware of their policies, procedures, and recommendations for students who apply. We also saw their space, met a number of employees, and got a sense of their culture. I am sure that all of us went back to our campuses discussing what we learned (I know I did), which I think would make it a successful event in their eyes.

Admittedly, I don’t know about all the planning that went into it. The particular company I visited last week was organized (right down to pre-printed nametags) so I’m assuming that they put some time into. That said, my guess is that is was still more efficient than visiting all of our schools individually.  For those organizations that are recruiting a heavy (or steady) volume of interns/recent grads from a number of schools in their region, I think this type of event could work well.

As always, I‘m open to brainstorming or hearing more ideas – just let me know! You can find me at dena.o [at]


MPACE Conference – Day 1, by the numbers

Okay friends, Day 1 of MPACE is coming to a close! I’m happy to report that I have some good pictures to share once I can find a smooth way to get them from my non-smart phone to the Ipad. (There’s a way to do that, right? Give me a few hours to play with it….)

That said, let me summarize the first day with some interesting (and possibly partially exaggerated) statistics:

2…cups of coffee
1…fire alarm
1…near evacuation
1…shout-out UCI got during the keynote (!!!!)
20ish…familiar faces
300…new ones
6…delicious appetizers sampled during the President’s Reception
4,000…steps taken
5…times I was glad to have my warm jacket with me

Looking forward to sharing more updates tomorrow!

Career Placement vs. Career Services

Every so often, someone will hear me say that I work at the UCI Career Center and respond with “Oh, so you do placement?”

Well no, not really. The UCI Career Center offers a variety of services and resources, including career counseling, for students, but we don’t call anything we do ‘placement’. To help provide some context, and explanations about the perspective behind that, I’ve enlisted the help of some of my super-smart colleagues.

Allison: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Career services aims to teach students (from a developmental perspective) the stages of self-assessment, career exploration, career decision-making, and taking action. Career placement jumps to the end of the process and focuses on employer and candidate matching.

Michelle M.: This reminds me of the difference between giving a man a fish and teaching him to fish. Career counseling is more akin to teaching or empowering someone along the career development process, including job search. Career placement entails just giving students jobs, rather than teaching them how to do it for themselves.

Michelle F.: Career Services offers the tools and connections to conduct an effective job search and supports students in their search efforts. ‘Teach a man to fish…’

(Dena: I’m sensing a theme here.)

Araceli: While the primary focus of placement centers is to secure jobs for their clients, career centers help prepare and empower clients/students in their career development and job search. In career centers, individuals are given tools they can use for a lifetime. Through campus career centers, students are able to readily access, in one place, resources/events and services as it relates to career planning, graduate school, and job search.

See what I meant about resources?

With that, I’m going to go fishing. Just kidding! Though, I think the fishing metaphor is a good thing for employers to remember, as we’re not in a position to simply connect students and employers for hiring purposes. We can, however, empower both sides and provide resources and services that allow for smart, well-informed decisions with long-term goals in mind.


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: (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.


-tap-tap- is this thing on?

Man, oh, man! Have the last few weeks been full of adventures, excitement and pirates! Okay, maybe not pirates, but there has been a LOT going on. For starters, it occurred to me that I probably could have let you guys know that I was going to be on vacation for most of last week. Oops. Hindsight is 20/20, next time I’ll give a heads-up that live.from.oc will actually be But, the good news is: I am currently in the office!

Here is the last few week and a half, by the number

    • 1…holiday
    • 2…vacation days
    • 1…trip to San Diego for employer visits
    • 2…visits with Heather, my counterpart from UC Riverside
    • 2…networking events
    • 20…minutes I spent playing with our IPad video recorder yesterday
    • 1…video journal created
    Until next time!


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!

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.

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!