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My Favorite Problem: Too Many Good Ideas

My Favorite Problem: Too Many Good Ideas

EACE Blog contribution by Shannon Kelly, Associate Director, University of Pennsylvania Career Services

In the 9 days since my Annapolis conference experience, I find myself with my favorite problem – I have too many good ideas. I’m not trying to toot my own horn, I’m tooting others horns. Every conference, I learn about all the incredible things my peers are doing at their career centers, especially in the technology and social media space. Here are some of my tech highlights from the conference which have caused my “too-many-good-ideas” dilemma.

  1. Dynamic Presentations.  In Let’s Talk About Internships, by University of Maryland (UMD) Career Center staff, they served up a workshop that was not a technology focused session, BUT technology was a big part in the presentation thanks to videos of students. They delivered what I felt was a virtual panel of students discussing their unpaid internships thanks to these videos. The videos for me were reminders to: 1) Interview students more! They are on campus and have so many great stories to share that we can capture through technology. And, 2) incorporate media into presentations.  A good session/workshop doesn’t have to be just talking heads.  Videos, as an example, is one way for a more dynamic presentation.
  2. IFTTT. Have you heard of If This Then That (IFTTT)?  If you haven’t and you manage social media for your department, then that is something you need to add to your to do list. It’s a tool to automate actions across platforms, or “put the internet to work for you”, according to the IFTTT site. I was reminded of this tool in another UMD Career Center presentation, Turning Followers and Likes into Contagious Content. And, let me tell you, IFTTT is the prime culprit for my too-many-good-ideas problem.  Do you want to have your Instagram photos always posted to Twitter as native Twitter pictures? How about receive a text message if it rains or you leave work late? Or, automatically add an article to your Facebook page on careers in STEM? IFTTT can do that and more.
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Photo credit:

I always leave a conference with a long to-do list and feel like my head may explode with awesome ideas, and Annapolis was no exception. I love that. It’s an excellent problem when you get down to it, because it means you have opportunities to improve your resources and services, and help students more. That is my favorite situation to be in, and I hope that sharing a few of my highlights reminded you of that, and perhaps gave your a bigger problem too (in a good way).

kelly_shannonShannon Kelly has worked at University of Pennsylvania Career Services since 2007, where she is currently an Associate Director. She counsels College of Arts and Sciences students, as well as manages the departments social media presence. She is the co-chair for EACE’s Technology Committee, a contributing writer to the National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE) “Tech Talk” column, and received the 2012 NACE award for Innovation Excellence in Technology for Penn’s Day in the Life program on Twitter, @PennCareerDay.  She has also been named a top “Gen Y Careerist to Follow on Twitter” on Brazen Careerist. Shannon received her B.A. in Sociology from University of Massachusetts-Amherst and her Master’s in Higher Education from Penn’s Graduate School of Education.

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