How to Use Data and Insights from 2014 TODAY!
EACE contribution by Jen Pollard, Assistant Director for Trends, Assessment, and Communication at George Mason University
A few weeks back I traveled to the University of Maryland for Philip Gardner’s annual presentation on national recruiting trends. The room was filled with Career Services professionals feverously taking notes in an attempt to not miss anything. I arrived back at Mason with a 5-page Word document filled with bulleted notes and statistics.
The file was still on my desktop a week later and I remember considering which folder to file it away in. It wasn’t until I dragged and dropped the file within my ‘conference notes’ folder that I realized what I was doing. I was letting wonderful statistics, key takeaways, and meaningful insights go to waste with many of my other conference notes.
It is not my intention to do this. I feel motivated and inspired listening to the ideas and strategies executed by others and take notes with the best intentions. The moment I get back to my office, I’m flooded with emails and to-do lists and suddenly those intentions quickly lose priority. I’m sure many of you can relate.
So in the spirit of the holidays, and doing more with less, here are 4 tips that you can use today to give new life to your 2014 conference notes, statistics, and best practices.
- Send a holiday note to your employer community and share some of your knowledge
Employers are seeking relationships with career centers and want knowledge and insight to help them guide their recruiting strategies. Share highlights from 2014 including recruiting trends, survey results, and other key learning that could be of use to recruiters.
- Include data/insights from the year in upcoming conference presentations
It’s that time of year again. We’ve planned out our Spring 2015 conference schedules, received program acceptance emails, and now must spend time developing the content for our presentations. Make use of your 2014 notes and key learnings to share your knowledge and expertise at a national or regional level. Data helps to validate many claims in presentations and can help move your thoughts from simply ideas to actionable insights.
- Share your knowledge and expertise with campus partners and stakeholders
Like employers, our campus stakeholders and partners also want to learn from our area of expertise. When reading through your 2014 notes that have been filed away for a year, make note of what information would be pertinent to various schools on campus, alumni association partners, admissions colleagues, etc. Use this data to send a “Happy New Year!” note where your main goal is to extend some knowledge and not ask for anything in return.
- Go to your Spring 2015 programming meetings armed with new ideas and data to back them up
After January 1st, it’s spring semester crunch time! As you plan the content for upcoming programs, workshops, and initiatives, review your 2014 notes and use what you’ve learned to guide your actions. Try something new and don’t be afraid of it failing!
Jen Pollard is the Assistant Director for Trends, Assessment, and Communication at George Mason University. Beginning her career at a PR agency, Jen leverages her digital knowledge and design skills to help the career center visually communicate data with stakeholders and maintain strong relationships throughout the university. Jen earned a BS in Marketing from Bentley University and is currently pursuing an MAIS in Higher Education at George Mason. Her interest include assessment, forecasting and trend analysis, instructional design, and branding.