Tag Archives: 2011

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 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

Is timing really everything?

For those who are working closely with us here on campus, you might already know that today is the last day official day of class for the Fall 2011 quarter. Which means…next week is Finals Week!  And shortly after that, campus will start to get very, very quiet, as students head home for the holidays. The reason I’m bringing all of this up is to address just how the academic calendar can affect recruitment and hiring.

Granted, not every employer can hire around a school schedule, we certainly get that. ZotLink never closes, so you are absolutely welcome to post your positions as they become available. But, for those who do have the luxury of choosing when to recruit, we suggest keeping the following in mind…

  • UCI is on a quarter system, meaning we have three 10-week academic terms per year – Fall, Winter, and Spring, plus Summer quarter, which is its own entity.  A link to our academic calendars can be found here.
  • The first week of each quarter can be hectic for students – changing schedules, fighting for space in classes, settling back into a routine, etc. It’s not an ideal time to put up a new posting, if you can avoid it.
  • The last week of classes, along with finals week, are also not the best times to recruit. For most, the priorities will be finishing up with academics and going home. 
  • And of course, ZotLink activity is quieter during actual breaks.  UCI Student Housing is closed for breaks/holidays, so going further with hiring steps (interviewing, etc.) can also be tough during these times. 

Is it still possible for you to successfully recruit during parts of the year when ZotLink is quieter? Yes, of course. I wouldn’t say that timing is everything, but when it comes to recruiting, it’s certainly  something.  It nevers hurts to keep the ebbs and flows of the academic calendar in mind as you plan out your  recruiting schedule.

Speaking of schedules, a heads-up that next week, four staff members from UCI (including me) will be representing the Career Center at the annual MPACE Conference in Portland. Get ready for some live blogging coming your way from Oregon!

In the meantime, have a great weekend!
-DBO

6-month blog-aversary!

In honor of our 6-month blog-aversary next week, I’d like to re-share the top 6 posts to date (as indicated by reader hits over at the previous address).

  1. Watch out! Texas, here I come!

    Please allow me to show you some posts

  2. Behind the scenes at a Career Fair (one of my personal favorites)

In other news, our first few days at this new URL have gone swimmingly, which is such a relief, and something for which I’m very grateful. As you may have guessed, there was a lot of work involved with getting the update off the ground.  The timing of this change was intentional, as these next few weeks are shaping up to be quite busy (MPACE conference in Portland, multiple employer meetings and community events, Career Center Fall retreat, etc). I’ll have some good stories and updates coming your way, and I look forward to using this new platform to share them.

In the meantime, please enjoy the highlights and have a wonderful weekend!

-DBO

Wise words on Employer branding…

My, my, my…that word ‘branding’ gets thrown around a lot these days, doesn’t it?  In a few minutes I’m going to an Events Council meeting to learn more about it, so it’s been on my mind today.

Here at the Career Center, we are certainly not immune to the power of branding. We’re conscious of not only our own brands (on-campus and off-campus), but also the brands of our employers. On that note, I wanted to share some words of wisdom from my colleague Michelle Foley (who single-handedly ran Employer Relations AND OCI before I came on board), who recently said that “Campus recruiting has a lot to do with building a brand.  At UCI it takes employers engaging in at least one activity per quarter a full academic year to achieve student recognition.  Once recognition is achieved the activity level should be maintained for another academic year to solidify the reputation.”

Something to think about, right?  The main idea here is that steady, long-term involvement can lead to recruitment success. Keep in mind that this is a suggestion for employers who expect to do consistent hiring over an extended period of time, and who want to build a solid pipeline of candidates from UCI. I realize that can sound like a lot of work, but the good news is we have staff members dedicated to helping employers develop and maintain a level of involvement that is appropriate to them and their business needs (ahem…I am one of those staff members).

Either way – let me know how we can help. That’s what we’re here for.

See? We really are helpful.

Until next time,
DBO

PS  – There is absolutely still hope for employers who do not hire as frequently. Many can often still find success while maintaining a smaller presence on campus. Some quick, inexpensive ideas can be found here

Why aren’t more students applying to my posting? (FAQ’s 4.0)

This question helps me revisit that childhood dream of becoming a detective, since there is never a clear, one-size-fits-all answer to give.  It usually takes a little bit of digging to determine how to answer this question. Here are some of the many things we have to consider when someone brings this topic up:

  • What time of year/academic quarter is it?
    Indeed, there are times of the year when ZotLink is quieter. Midterms, finals, spring break, summer term, the list goes on. All of these shifts in the calendar mean that students are either busy or away, and that they are checking ZotLink less often.  There are also times when recruitment season is in full swing and it’s busier on ZotLink, meaning that you will have more competition with your posting.
  • How much (and what kind of) information is in the posting?
    Our students are very savvy. Clear, concise, error-free descriptions that demonstrate your company’s professionalism are going to be appreciated. Blank sections, vague information, or unclear messages will deter applicants.
  • How is the position described, and named?
    I can certainly understand the desire to stand out and showcase your company’s personality, though if you have a creatively-named position, be aware that not everyone will understand it.  Calling a Sales Representative a “Life Changing Relationship Builder” may match your company’s values, but it won’t make sense to those who aren’t as familiar with your lingo or personality.
  • What type of position is it?
    There are some types of opportunities that are simply more popular among our student body than others. Personally, I believe that nearly every internship, entry-level or junior position has a spot on ZotLink (we have over 40,000 students and alumni registered), but that doesn’t mean students are equally interested in all of them, unfortunately.
  • Is the compensation fair?
    There are a number of things many people (students or non-students) expect to get paid to do. Calling the experience an “unpaid internship” does not change that, and might lead to a less-enthusiastic applicant pool. On a related note, if your position is unpaid, but it shows up next to four identical opportunities that ARE paid, that will affect someone’s decision whether or not to apply.
  • What else do students know your company (from online sources, the news, word of mouth, etc.)?
    You could have the most perfectly-worded, perfectly-timed, well-compensated position in the world, though if a student knows someone who had a miserable internship experience, or who doesn’t like working with your organization, that may inhibit their application. In addition, if your organization has received bad press or has negative reviews online, that will also be a factor. 

Please keep in mind that you don’t have to figure everything out by yourself – my colleagues and I are here to work with employers and ensure that your recruiting efforts are going as smoothly as possible. I’ll gladly talk to anyone wondering how to maximize a posting.  Deep down, I like that detective feeling!

Until next time,
DBO