Tag Archives: OC

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

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Lessons from the cocktail table (2.0) – Dena’s First Five Networking Notes

Oh man, you guys. I need some help. Take a look at the number of business cards I have to sort…

I almost put one of mine in the picture “Where’s Waldo” style, but then I figured live.from.oc readers probably have better things to do than squint and look for the UCI logo!

I’ve learned in almost-6-months on the job that it’s one thing to go out and talk to people and tell them I work at UCI (while subtly mentioning that our students make awesome interns and employees)…It is another thing to stay on top of all my new connections! Since I’m charged with meeting and keeping in touch with lots of people, I’ve had to change some of my habits (and make some new ones), and I thought I’d share some lessons I’ve learned over the last few months.

  • Nametags are there for a reason. I don’t hesitate to talk about them and tell someone “Oh, I’m just looking at your nametag so I can get your name down.”  There is no shame in that…at least, not where I’m from!  In fact, I would argue that it’s better to acknowledge the fact that you are looking at their nametag instead of letting them think you are just staring blankly at their torso. Though, that’s just me.
  • Business cards usually have room for notes (thank goodness), so we don’t have to remember every detail ourselves. I usually scratch something about where we met, what we talked about, and whether or not I said I would follow-up with them.
  • If I don’t recall someone who says they’ve met me before, I usually (politely) ask “can you remind me where we met?” So far, this has never resulted in me getting slapped, and it’s a lot less uncomfortable than pretending like I do remember. Usually, people answer the question and I say “Oh, thank you for reminding me. Now I remember.” And then we move on, happily ever after.
  • Putting the cards that need immediate follow-up on my keyboard means I HAVE to look at them.
  • Emails are the best method for follow-up because A) I have a record of it, B) I can be clear and careful with my wording and C) my email signature has a link to live.from.oc D) the recipient can (hopefully) keep my note on file and reply when it works best for them

I’ll be sure to add more suggestions as they come to me. It feels like getting good in this area up may be an ongoing process for me, I’ll keep you updated. And, as always, see you out there!

-DBO

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