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“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

EACE Blog contribution by Val Matta, VP Business Development at CareerShift, LLC and 2014-2015 EACE Nominating Committee

“Leadership and learning are indispensible to each other. “

John Fitzgerald Kennedy

As you consider whether it is time to learn more – we ask that you consider nominating yourself or someone else for a leadership/learning role on your EACE board. You are more ready than you think!

Jennifer Broyles, of Rutgers University Career Services, has been kind enough to share some thoughts on ‘being ready’:

Jennifer Broyles and EACE colleagues at 2011 EACE Social in NYC Credit: Helen Brown

Jennifer Broyles and EACE colleagues
2011 EACE Social in NYC
Credit: Helen Brown

“When I was asked to write a piece about my experiences with this wonderful organization, I was very flattered. This is an association that has contributed immensely to the network of colleagues and friends that I now have, all of whom have impacted my own career trajectory. While I am typically content to read and learn about the experiences of others, rather than draw attention to my own experiences, I decided that sharing some of my insights is the least I can do!

Now is the time of year that we begin the process of nominating members to positions of leadership within EACE. If you haven’t considered becoming involved in a leadership role, I urge you to sit down and reflect upon what a difference it can make in your life, and in the lives of others. That is why many of us entered this career field, whether in Human Resources, a University/College Career Center, or other similar profession.   The concept of having an impact is paramount to many of us. If you are anything like me, and I know there are a few of you out there, the idea of being a leader can sometimes be a little intimidating. You may ask yourself questions like : Am I qualified? Am I ready? Do I have enough experience/skills? The answer is YES. Another question I used to struggle with was: what if I don’t have all the answers? Well, that’s okay! You aren’t supposed to know everything there is to know — this is why EACE has committees of faithful, hard-working members that help us to achieve our goals, to collaborate on and develop great ideas, and to implement them. The truth is, you are already demonstrating leadership skills in your own professional lives. Have you ever coordinated a career panel, created a student advisory board, or invited employers back to campus to run workshops? All of these are examples of providing great leadership within your organizations.   I would imagine that you’re exercising this leadership muscle within your personal lives as well. Are there any Moms out there running play groups, scheduling activities, and managing a household? You know how to lead, you just might not realize that you are doing it. In my opinion, being a leader does not mean that you are good at telling people what to do and having all the answers. Rather, it means that you are willing to listen to people, have an open mind to embrace new ideas, build consensus, make decisions, and collaborate on initiatives in a strategic way. I imagine that most of you are doing this already.

So, let’s take it to the next level. Consider nominating yourself or someone else to serve on the Executive Board of EACE. When I was nominated to serve as the Director of College Member Services, I was extremely excited, and a little bit anxious, as I wasn’t sure I was “ready.” I had co-chaired Road Trips to the Real World for 2 years and served on numerous Annual Conference Committees, but I still wasn’t sure I was “ready.” I’ve never been the type of person who had the loudest voice in a meeting. However, after many years of observing and listening to all types of leaders, I came to the realization that it’s okay to be the type of leader that I was meant to be. Quiet leadership is the way that I describe my approach to getting things done and, more importantly, moving things forward in a positive, productive way. Surrounding myself with bright, energetic, and committed people is, in my opinion, the cornerstone of good leadership. Fortunately, EACE has all of that. Over the years I have developed a professional identity that is true to who I am, and thanks to EACE, I have been given the opportunity to work with very talented people who accept all kinds of leadership styles and personalities.

There is room for all kinds of leaders in EACE. So I hope you’ll reflect upon and appreciate the type of leader you are now, and how your talents can help EACE continue to provide great vision and direction in our field. You have what it takes! “

broyles-jenniferJennifer E. Broyles

Director of Career Development & Experiential Education

University Career Services

In my role as Director of Career Development and Experiential Education, I provide leadership and direction for career counseling service delivery including all career- related programming for Rutgers – New Brunswick undergraduate and graduate students. Additionally, I am responsible for providing direction with regard to the management and expansion of experiential education initiatives, including internship development and the Rutgers Internship and Co-op Program (RICP).

I joined University Career Services as a Career Development Specialist in 2006. Prior to Rutgers, I was employed at the University of Maryland, University Career Center as a program director providing career counseling and programming. I also worked as an academic advisor and graduate assistant at Rowan University’s Career and Academic Planning Center. My other professional experience includes development and event planning at a private girls school, as well as financial market reporting for Bloomberg.

I earned my bachelor’s degree in communication and psychology from Rutgers University, Douglass College and a master’s degree in student personnel services from Rowan University. As an active member of the Eastern Association of Colleges and Employers, I currently serve on the board as the Director of College Member Services.

My own career progression supports the idea that the career development process is a journey with many twists and turns. I encourage students to embrace this process, and be flexible. The 21st century world of work requires adaptability, where constant change is the new normal. It’s critical to take advantage of the resources University Career Services offers including internship opportunities, career counseling, and programs. Realize that your path may not be linear, but if you engage in the process, and seek assistance, it will surely be worthwhile.


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