Tag Archives: Orange County

OCI: Short for “On-Campus Interviewing” OR “Ooh, Can I?”

OCI is off-and-running, my friends!  Starting earlier this month, and continuing throughout this quarter, we will have a number of employers visiting our center and using our interview rooms to meet with our students, their potential employees. This is an exciting time at the Career Center (especially for my colleague Michelle F., who oversees all OCI scheduling).

For those who are unfamiliar with, or who are new to on-campus recruitment, I thought I’d offer a quick explanation about OCI.  It stands for On-Campus Interviewing, which is just what it sounds like. Participating employers can use ZotLink to manage their recruitment from start to finish (with help from Career Center staff). They have the ability to post positions, schedule interviews, communicate with candidates, and of course, interview them here on campus.

Here is the interview space

Here is Michelle, the Career Center staff member behind all the magic

 And, here is the tool that you (employers) can use to sign-up:

OCI can work very well for employers who are from out-of-town, who are managing a high volume of student candidates, or for those who want to streamline their UCI student recruitment efforts. And yes, it’s a free service. 

Now, I’m going to put this out there – many spots for Fall are already filled. That said, if anyone wants to join us over the next few weeks, please feel free to reach out and we’ll do our best to get you on the schedule. OR, put it on your calendar to consider for Winter Term – interviews will go from January 27-March 16. Further updates about future scheduling will be posted here, as they become available.

That said, have a great weekend, everyone!

-DBO

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Thank you, Gracias, Merci, Danke…

Confession time: Despite being a member of Generation Y, there are some things about me that, by most definitions, are a bit old school. Examples: I love me some Otis Redding, I have never read a book on an e-reader, and I am a big fan of both Vince Vaughn and Will Ferrell (Just kidding. Sort of. That’s a different kind of Old School).

But, most importantly, I firmly believe in the value of good ol’fashioned thank you notes. Not emails, not re-tweets, not shout-outs in the comments section of a website, but short & sweet, personal, handwritten notes that make the back of my pinky turn black with ink as I write them.

Like this

That said, thanks to our director’s willingness to let me try new (or old!) things, I recently spent some hours compiling a list of employers in a particular field that had utilized our services last year, and then hand-writing them thank you cards. In an era of email-blasts and tweets, I encountered some raised eyebrows at this project. However, guess what happened!

…Okay, you don’t have to guess, I will tell you: among those who have received the cards, feedback has been very positive! Responses have included a LinkedIn request, emails of appreciation, and job postings for which they’d like to recruit more UCI students (in my field, this is one of the best responses possible).

So, the reason I share this experience here is that perhaps this story may strike a chord with some of my fellow old-schoolers and/or note-writers. Take heart…you are not alone! Send that thank you card with pride! Get some ink on your hands! Lick an envelope!  And, then, feel good about your effort because people will notice it.

With that, hope everyone’s week is off to a good start. Until next time…

Job postings: Good vs. Great (1 of 2)

Hello again friends,

Happy Friday! For those who are local, hopefully you are enjoying this fall weather as much as me.  Now that I’ve pulled my boots out of the closet again, I’m a happy camper.

I wanted to use today’s post to share some quick and easy tips for employers looking to maximize their job postings on Zotlink.  For context, I’ve seen as many as 100+ new job postings in a day here at UCI, so volume has not been an issue for us in a while. That said, some jobs get far more interest from anteaters than others. And yes, while industry and the position itself certainly matter, there are some other things that employers can do to help make the most of their posting…

  • Job title: there is a section specifically designed for this, so I recommend using it as directed. Give the exact job title, and nothing else. No exclamation points, nothing vague like “Amazing opportunity” or “Foot-in-the-door Marketing position!!!!!” Just the job title. Please trust me on this.
  • In addition, for those who are consistent users of Zotlink and who are re-posting a previous position, consider deleting the “Copy” text that inserts itself into the “Job Title” section. Yes, it may be a copied position, but leaving the word there makes the opportunity look tired
  • UCI students, as a whole, are pretty savvy. Using lots of vague terminology and sales-speak to sway them will likely not get you too far. On the same token, they will likely want to research your company so ensure that your website (if you have one) is alive and kicking when you post.
  • Don’t be afraid to insert personality and perks into the posting. As I mentioned, some days have as many as 100 new postings, so what makes your position unique among them?  Feel free to tell the students if highlights include a casual work environment, flexible hours, a dynamic team, Free Lunch Fridays, etc…
  • Watch your length while still including key details. A 1,000-word job description might make some eyes glaze over, while 400-500 words will likely be thorough and concise enough for someone to understand the main points and apply in between classes.

Stay tuned for Part 2, which will cover more specifics and examples…

-DBO

PS – and for a little Fall Fashion Preview, check out our new Career Center T-shirts!  Not sure about you guys, I definitely dig the navy blue.

The back is even more snazzy. Pictures soon!

Not your typical Employer Visit

Thanks to MPACE‘s series of Summer Open Houses, earlier this week, I had a chance to visit our friends at Nordstrom, to learn about their college recruitment efforts. As you can tell, they brought out the big guns to greet us!

That's me on the left

Tomorrow, it’s a trek down I-5 to check out a medical device company. It’s a timely visit, as our students showing lots interested in the BioTech field these days. Wish me luck!

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

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

Lessons from the cocktail table (1.0)

Hi friends,

I recently attended a networking event hosted by some of the regional Chambers of Commerce, and I ended up finding some great real estate standing at one of the cocktail tables not far from the dessert spread. It was ideal because I could set my plate (of desserts) and my drink* down, and since there was a steady stream of people looking to do the same thing, there were frequent new faces coming up to the table and joining our conversation

 As I was introducing myself to a friendly lady, she made a point to compliment my “bridge sentence.” Or, what I think many people refer to as the “elevator speech.” Either way, it’s that brief description you give to someone about what you do, beyond just your title. What was so interesting about her kind words is that I don’t even remember what I said. My introduction speech changes a little bit each time I say it since I actually have a number of ways I have been explaining my work and I’ll just pick what feels right in the moment. I try to keep it fresh and spontaneous.  This was the first time a stranger has ever complimented it, but it got me thinking that maybe, just maybe, there’s something to an elevator speech that sounds natural.  Hmmm.

Sure, you definitely want to have some go-to phrases (my main one is some version of “I help the OC business community connect with UCI students), but there is always room to adjust based on the setting and your crowd. I will keep you guys updated as I continue to do some serious research on this.  

-DBO 

*It was a Shirley Temple, thanks for asking. STs are my favorite drink as of late and it’s not because I’m seven. It’s because they are delicious, they look exotic and interesting, and they are alcohol-free which can often be a priority when I’m out working by myself.  They also come with cherries. I strongly recommend them. And for those who like a dose of caffeine with their grenadine, you can’t go wrong with a Roy Rogers.