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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  This is officially the first outdated TV reference in a live.from.oc post, it’s likely not going to be the last.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!



NACE Day 1, by the numbers

Note: some quantities are estimated


1…15-minute shuttle ride

30…country songs enjoyed at my hotel already

3…people encountered from other countries

25…people from different states

0…pairs of boots purchased (so far)

1…times I went the wrong direction on my way to the Newcomer Session

14…bouts of laughter during keynote address from Guy Kawasaki


1…mariachi band

3… throat lozenges

2… more hours of sleep, please

3…cups of coffee instead

On to day 2!


Let the conferencing begin…

Live from OC Grapevine, Texas!

Howdy friends! I apologize that for this week, Live from OC will not be an accurate blog name. I will in fact be live from Texas until Friday. Can I get away with saying Yee-haw? I hope so. Yee-haw!

The NACE conference has officially started, and I’ll be heading to the First-timers’ reception in just a few minutes.  By the looks of the conference brochure, come Friday I’ll have attended multiple sessions, a couple of socials, eaten a lot of food and hopefully learned a ton.

Below* is a picture of the view from my balcony. The Gaylord Texan is not shy in its décor. I briefly considered taking a picture of myself on the balcony with the camera timer, but I decided against it since there’s really no where to set the camera that doesn’t seem sketchy, seeing as I am not even close to the bottom floor.  If this hotel is any indication, things are indeed bigger here.

Gotta go…need to see if I have time to pick up a pair of boots before my first session!


*Sadly, my browser is not cooperating with my picture upload. THIS is the closest thing I could find to my view – you’ll definitely still get the idea.

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!


*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)