August 2016 Career Services Online Conference Schedule

Tuesday, August 9th

Learning Session #1 – 11:30am ET
(Your Choice of Presentations to Attend)

Positioning Your Career Center at the Forefront of Freshman Orientation

Heidi Sawyer, Stefanie Cisneros & Karen Ivy – The University of Texas at San Antonio

In what ways does your university engage freshmen? What is your career centers role in this? Find out how the UTSA University Career Center plays a vital role by collaborating across campus to reach freshmen. This presentation will focus not only on how to engage in the conversation with administration about freshmen and major exploration, but how to develop a threefold approach to assist your freshmen with their major exploration process. An interactive, common experience with an assessment builds a language for freshmen to discuss who they are and how that connects to the world of work. Secondly, each section of a freshmen course incorporates a presentation by the Career Center including follow-up activities to better understand themselves and their results. And third, the students have the opportunity to attend a major/career exploration event that includes advisors, career counselors, and peer mentors. Details of the activities and events will be shared as well as evaluation data provided by students who were in attendance.

Experiential Education Recruitment Value: A Correlational Study of Large and Small Companies 

Amanda Walker, Ed.D. – Austin Peay State University 

In the early part of this century, career services professionals saw internships and co-ops as a way to “try-on” an occupation or to explore a possible career field (Coco, 2000). Fast forward to 2016, many career professionals across the United States have evolved from an exploratory approach to career advising, to a model that places a heightened emphasis on student participation in experiential education opportunities, such as internships or co-ops. This evolution has come about from the increased use of experiential education by companies and organizations in various industries throughout the country. As experiential education continues to evolve to become the norm in higher education as a viable mechanism to assist students in their transition to life after college, one might ask whether company size plays a role in the value placed on experiential education. At this time, there is little research available regarding the role of the size of the company or organization and how this may impact that overall, or perceived “value” of the internship experience for the student. With this in mind, it is important to focus on the size of the organization to determine if large and small corporations value experiential education opportunities such as internships and co-ops the same way or if there value is different.

Opening Keynote Presentation – 1:00pm ET

Empower Young Women to Shatter Their  Glass Ceilings
Alexia Vernon

Branded a “Moxie Maven” by the White House for her unique and effective approach to developing the next generation of female leaders, Alexia will share her own difficult and remarkable journey to leadership and demystify why, even though more women are graduating from college and earning graduate degrees than ever before, Millennial women are still lagging behind their male counterparts in terms of pay, confidence and leadership aspirations when they transition into the workplace. Alexia will share how career services professionals can (and must!) support female (and male) college students to silence critical self-talk, negotiate their salaries, argue on behalf of their ideas and secure champions and mentors.

Alexia Vernon is one of the nation’s premier women’s leadership development experts. She has shared her expert advice with dozens of colleges, Fortune 500 companies and recently spoke at the United Nations as part of the Commission on the Status of Women. Alexia has been featured on/in media including CNN, NBC, Forbes, Inc., the European Business Review and Women’s Health Magazine. She is the author of the ATD Press book, 90 Days 90 Ways: Onboard Young Professionals to Peak Performance. Learn more about Alexia at

Learning Session #2 – 2:15pm ET
(Your Choice of Presentations to Attend)

Overcoming the Sophomore Slump: Helping sophomore students stay engaged in career development process

Karen Pruett – LaGrange College

 The sophomore year is an important time in the academic and career development of students. Many sophomore students often face a personal crisis as they struggle to develop a sense of purpose in life related to their education, career and life goals. This presentation will explore the unique characteristics of sophomores and what career services professionals can do to assist with a successful transition to the next phase of their academic and professional careers.

Career Crawls: Engaging Students through Career-Focused Immersion Trips

Ali Rodriguez & Hilary Kautter Allsopp – University of Miami

Many students pursue professional opportunities in new cities after graduation, often with little knowledge of what it’s “really like” to live and work as a young professional in that location. How can we best prepare students to not only transition into a new work environment, but also build a professional identity in an unfamiliar city? The Toppel Career Center’s Career Crawls are a series of career-focused immersion trips focused on enhancing University of Miami students’ career readiness by providing the opportunity for UM students to visit employers, connect with UM alumni, and gain industry insight in a variety of cities, both domestic and abroad. Each Career Crawl is focused on an industry theme and includes activities such as site visits to employer offices, receptions with local UM alumni, and visits to historic landmarks and business hubs in the selected city. This presentation will describe the details of how Toppel engages students in career exploration through the Career Crawl program, including assessment data highlighting the impact of the Career Crawls on students’ career development.

Plenary Session – 3:15pm ET

Going Global – Preparing the Digital Generation for the Globalized Economy
Bob Athwal – Director of Student Experience, The University of Leicester, UK

Bob has a first degree in Mathematical Modelling as well as an Executive MBA. He began his career as Students Union President before working for companies such as Tesco, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and RWE power, where he became the HR Business Partner to the CEO and CFO direct reports.

Bob is recognized as an industry expert, a regular International conference speaker and a former Board member of the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR). In 2011 ‘Getting it Right’, of which he is a co-author, was published, this is the first book in the UK aimed at graduate recruiters and developers.

In 2012 Bob joined the University of Leicester to become the Director of the Career Development Service to lead a step change in University and employer collaboration. In 2014 Bob became Director of Student Experience.

Join us for this engaging conversation and learn how an award winning employer went on to become an award winning Career Service Director. The session will describe the curriculum transformation required to underpin career readiness for the competitive global economy. Learn how employers were intertwined into the process of design and delivery. Read/see the case studies about the outcomes from a student perspective now working for global employers.


Wednesday, August 10th

General Session – 11:15am ET

mannyTrudy Steinfeld & Dr. Manny Contomanolis

The Past, Present & Future of Career Services 


General Session – 12:15pm ET

christianChristian Garcia

Associate Dean and Executive Director, Toppel Career Center, University of Miami 

How does an office that seemingly only has fun not only get work done, but get it done with such a high level of quality and innovation as well?

Join Christian Garcia from the University of Miami’s Toppel Career Center for a candid discussion about what it takes to develop a culture that takes advantage of people’s strengths, leverages the latest technology and has a whole lot of fun doing it!

Learning Session #3 – 2:00pm ET
(Your Choice of Presentations to Attend)

An Interdisciplinary Exploration of Collegiate Internships: Requirements for Undergraduate and Graduate Programs

Jeffery Hoyle & Mark Deschaine – Central Michigan University

Collegiate internships play an important role in the development of professionals.  They provide students the opportunity to experience real world expectations embedded within actual vocational environments under the support of their collegiate faculty.  Although there are a number of common reasons why internships are utilized in each academic area, the requirements for the experiences are substantially different across disciplines and level of coursework.  This paper explores some of the commonalities and differences that exist for internships across collegiate academic disciplines at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and identify their salience for programs from an interdisciplinary perspective.

5 Years of Less:  Being a New Professional

Catherine Neiner – Georgia Gwinnett College & Megan Bowen – Georgia College and State University

Every career center and every recruiting function is unique to its own organization.  But there are skills, knowledge and competencies that span our professional practice.  In this session, practitioners with less than 5 years in the career services and recruiting will get an overview the competencies required for effective engagement.  These include coaching, information management, outreach, programming, administration, assessment, and ethics.  In addition, new practitioners will have the opportunity to reflect on their own personal career and goals and determine how to develop, leverage, or enhance their competencies to achieve those goals and add value to their organizations.

Learning Session #4 – 3pm ET
(Your Choice of Presentations to Attend)

Tech Talk: Exploring Innovative Tech Savvy Approaches that Increase Student Engagement

Damion Donaldson – California State University, San Bernardino

Explore new approaches to increase student engagement using today’s most accessible web platforms and mobile technology. Career Center staff members from Cal State Fullerton and Cal State San Bernardino share their hurdles, triumphs and lessons learned using today’s technology that have engaged hundreds of students over the last few months.

  • Webinars Engagement Strategies
  • Learning Lab Workshops
  • Virtual Career Center Services
  • Innovation Team creation
Creating an Internship Culture for Science Students

Kristy Lamb – St John’s University, University Career Services

 The most widely available internship opportunities for basic science students are positions in faculty labs and summer research programs. Many students miss summer program deadlines, so we launched workshops with science student organizations to educate students about opportunities available to them and provide group coaching to students who may not see themselves as the regular clientele of University Career Services.   In this session, we will discuss strategies for working with student leaders and pre-professional organizations to create a culture where internships join the GRE and MCAT in the conversation for graduate-school bound science students. We will also discuss strategies for working with faculty to encourage students to pursue and talk about on campus research experience.

Thursday, August 11th

Learning Session #5 – 10:30am ET
(Your Choice of Presentations to Attend)

Convert your students into CAREER SMART VISIONARIES and sought-after employees

James C. Gonyea, President, Gonyea & Associates, LLC. & Larry Goldsmith, President,

Don’t let your students fail!  Discover the next generation of career guidance programming designed to meet the needs of today’s employers … Provide all Freshmen to Senior students with an A-Z program of career guidance that will enable them to convert their education into a successful career.  Walk away with a turn-key program ready to go … All materials available online as downloadable PDF files … Empower students with career-ready knowledge and skills so they can contribute to employers on day 1 … Use as self-directed workbooks or counselor-lead modules.

Suited for Success: A College to Career Lab for Women

Tiffany Waddell Tate, Davidson College

Suited for Success is a 4-day experience, facilitated by Davidson College Center for Career Development & Multicultural Affairs staff to support underrepresented first & second-year undergraduate women. The program integrates career coaching, major exploration, and career exploration via workshops, “career labs,” and networking with alumnae and local professionals. This session will examine the benefits and challenges of launching a pilot program, and end in a discussion of best practices and opportunities for future programming.

Learning Session #6 – 11:30am ET
(Your Choice of Presentations to Attend)

The Freshmen Exchange Trip: A New Take on Externships

Amy Thompson – Texas A&M University

Through efforts to expose students to companies, encourage networking and develop relationships with employers, students must also recognize they will be entering the world of work with students from many other institutions. This presentation will focus on the collaborative efforts that led to the first Freshmen Exchange Program between Mays Business School, the Cox School of Business at SMU and AT&T. Additionally, details of the second Freshmen Exchange Trip to Houston, Texas that took place in January 2016 will be shared. The presentation will cover trip logistics and funding, student selection and program outcomes. Variations of the Freshmen Exchange Trip will be discussed including how the program can be adapted to be executed in institutions of different sizes, internally or externally, or even nationally or internationally.

Changing Your Outlook on Utilizing Social Media in Career Services

Araceli Perez-Ramos – St. Edward’s University Career and Professional Development

Social media has emerged as a primary strategy for engaging students about career preparation. This presentation will provide suggestions on recruiting students to your services and programming events. The presentation will include information on teaching students how to effectively market their experiences and skills, how to brand you, your department and opportunities on social media, and how to utilize various forums to seek out jobs and internships.

Learn how Career Services can utilize social media to increase your department’s outreach to the campus community!

Learning Session #7 – 1:00pm ET
(Your Choice of Presentations to Attend)

The Power of Partnership and Data Driving Student Placement

Lauren Russo & Katie Conner – University of Colorado Boulder – Leeds School of Business

This session provides specific strategies for the creation of strong partnerships and the strategic collection and use of data to support students’ career success. Attendees will learn about the processes that were put in place by the University of Colorado Boulder’s Leeds School of Business to reach an ambitious goal of 90% placement with a 100% response rate. Presenters will cover how to leverage existing and build new partnerships with employers, faculty, staff and other stakeholders as well as how to build a culture that values data collection and uses a CRM tool ( to help measure and improve student outcomes.

Learning Good Employee Skills: Maximizing Internship Program Effectiveness

Abby Trout & Carol Trosset Carleton College

Through programmatic assessment, we examined what student interns learn about being an employee (skills applicable to any job). We present our findings, and what kinds of experiences resulted in that learning. These skills valued by employers also appear regularly in faculty evaluations of students, showing similarities between career preparation and the classroom. We discuss how to maximize intern learning, and how we’ll use assessment results to improve internship program effectiveness and student post-grad preparation.

Closing Keynote Presentation – 2:30pm ET

John Spence – One of the Top 100 Leadership Thought Leaders in the United States!


This presentation is specifically designed to help the leaders understand clearly what they must focus on in order to build and sustain a highly successful company. Based on John’s book Awesomely Simple and his work with more than three hundred companies worldwide, this session will give you a deep understanding of the fundamental foundations of business success and show them how to implement these ideas in your career center. Some of the key elements in this  presentation include:

  • The importance of setting a clear, vivid and compelling vision
  • The discovery of how to be an effective strategic thinker and leader
  • The key tips for creating a competitive strategy
  • An understanding of how to communicate the vision, core strategies, and strategic objectives effectively
  • An examination of why it is critical to turn your company into a talent machine
  • The discovery of how to turn your people into a high performance team
  • An understanding of the importance of delivering consistently superior customer service
  • An understanding of the importance of communication and collaboration in business success
  • An understanding of the importance of focus to business success