Tech Corner: Symplicity’s CSM & Student Tracking for Career Fairs
EACE Blog contribution by Adrian Sanchez, Systems Coordinator at American University
This article will focus on how the American University Career Center uses the Symplicity Career Fair & Kiosk Modules for student attendee tracking purposes during their semesterly Job & Internship Fairs.
Many EACE members already use Symplicity’s Career Services Manager (CSM) for a myriad of things on a daily basis, while other EACE members may use similar career services solutions such as CSO. The Career Fair Manager and Kiosk are two additional modules for Symplicity’s CSM and add to what is already a powerful arsenal of career services solutions. Symplicity sells both modules separately from their main and modular CSM packages so some CSM users may not have access to the module.
The Career Fair Module:
The AU Career Center’s Job & Internship fairs are created on the Career Fair Manager months before the event and each fair stores employer registration, marketing materials, and student rsvp information. There is no limit on how many fairs you can have in the system and each fair also serves as a historical record of our student and employer attendees.
The Kiosk Module:
For each of our career fairs we use a kiosk. Each career fair on our system is linked to its own corresponding kiosk. To those unfamiliar with this term, a kiosk is simply a sign-in webpage that we can access on any device (e.g. laptops, tablets, and iPads) with an internet connection. Students sign in by simply typing in their school ID number or swiping their ID card through an external card reader (the card reader will retrieve the ID number from the ID Card). In the background, the kiosk will match up the student’s ID number to our Symplicity CSM to list the student as an attendee for the event. To lessen wait times for students, we use multiple laptops or iPads at the same event, all using the same kiosk. At our Job & Internship Fair’s student check-in station, we use 4 iPads & external card readers.
Throughout the fair, the total number of attendees is updated in real time. We can even gather additional information on the attendees by generating reports on the CSM and opening them in Excel. Minutes after each fair is over, I email the rest of our staff the total number of attendees and in the weeks following the fairs, I create detailed reports on our student attendees.
Success at our career fairs can only be measured in so many ways. And I am at the helm of some of those measurements. Fair after fair, I am responsible for managing our student check-in station. Our student attendance each year is in the thousands and I am “lucky” enough to be the one to report on multiple categories and breakdowns of our student attendees. Twenty years ago, this would have been a nightmare filled with mountains of paper and gallons of coffee. Luckily, by using the Career Fair Manager and Kiosks modules from Symplicity coupled with a little bit of Excel knowledge, this task is reduced to minutes.
I have never been big on homework, but to our readers, I encourage you all to ask yourselves the following four questions:
- How long does it take to find out the number of students that attended your fairs?
- Are my career fair reports accurate? 99% accurate?
- How detailed are my career fair reports?
- Will I have a great time during winter break? (This one is the most important)
Adrian Sanchez is the Systems Coordinator at American University. Adrian has been contributing his talents to the many systems of the AU Career Center for the past three years. Starting as an IT Assistant, Adrian has worked his way up to join the Administration team, addressing the technology needs and providing solutions for the entire office. Last year he presented at the annual Symplicity Symposium in Washington, D.C. on: METRICS (Measuring Engagement Through Reports in Career Services)