Career Services Stocking Stuffers: Let’s Make 2015 the Year of Innovation
EACE Blog contribution by Angelique Torres Kim, Associate Director of Employer Relations, Salem State University
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Gifts nestled under the tree. The laughter of loved ones settled around a dinner table, feasting on honey-glazed ham, cookies, and egg nog. The harmonious sounds of Josh Groban on Spotify.
As we all get ready for the holiday season ahead, let us stuff our stockings with a new type of New Year’s resolution for our offices. Let’s make 2015 a year of innovation.
As on-campus recruiting efforts begin to wind down, the holiday season is a good time to read up on new trends and get your creative juices flowing in between holiday parties and gift giving.
How can you innovate? By helping to foster an entrepreneurial spirit in thought and action.
Entrepreneurship is more than just starting a business. Entrepreneurship is a state of mind and a new way to take a look at our profession. It’s being able to take risks to make things better and solve problems. Anyone can be an entrepreneur if you look at things in a way that serves the greater good.
I would like to encourage all of you to start looking at your office as an entrepreneurial venture. We are in the business of making connections between students and employers and providing preparation for student success in life beyond the university. What challenges currently exist that get in the way of making these connections and preparing students? What new ideas can we use to take action? How can we measure the ROI as a result?
So how can entrepreneurship look like as it relates to your offices?
Here are some ideas:
Get started quickly with means at hand
Take a chance to review your existing programs from the fall or the previous year and what changes can be made to make them better. Read up on blogs in the field and join roundtable discussions with professionals to learn best practices. For example, EACE is hosting a series of Winter Splash sessions this upcoming year so stay tuned.
Invest only what you can afford and are willing to lose
Conduct a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis to identify the current needs of your institution and learn about the demographics of your stakeholders. This will guide your decision making on whichever initiatives you pursue.
Don’t go it alone
Based on your needs analysis, identify partners that can assist you in getting your initiatives off the ground. There are a variety of potential collaborators on and off your campus including but not limited to employers, faculty, student organizations, and alumni relations.
Build off what you find and the results created by your actions
With new initiatives, put measures of success in place that will help generate data to assess. Using this information, you can make assessment-driven decisions on future actions you plan to take as a result.
We do great work in career services. Let us find new ways to show appreciation for not only our teams but partners as well. This may include breakfasts or luncheons, branding opportunities for employers, and letters of appreciation for faculty on tenure-track. Be the catalyst in your office, and continue to find ways to motivate others by example.
Look into technological advances that could assist in streamlining process and helping you perform your job more efficiently and effectively. You can partner with your current online database vendor to automate reports and streamline recruitment and marketing efforts, especially with Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. You can use new online tools such as Asana to manage projects and Doodle Poll to schedule meetings.
I am an entrepreneur. It is my hope this New Year to continue to take risks and come up with solutions to solve challenges. I look forward to continue to see the exciting work across the industry. So take the plunge and stuff your stockings! Change the world and become an entrepreneur today!
Angelique Torres Kim was a Recruiter in the University Relations space in the private sector. She is now the Associate Director of Employer Relations with Salem State University. Prior to joining the Salem State Team, Angelique was the Employer Outreach Specialist at Endicott College within the Career Center where she built the foundation for the Employer Outreach Initiative. She has served on the Board of the Career Counselors Consortium, Northeast and currently serves on the Road Trips to the Real World and Professional Exchange Visits Committees through the Eastern Association of Colleges and Employers (EACE). She presented during the EACE Annual Conference in May 2013. Angelique holds her MA in Organizational and Corporate Communication from Emerson College.
Angelique is a connector and has a passion for helping others by making connections that fulfills the needs of both students and employers.