Diversity & Inclusion Scholarship Winner-2015 Conference Takeaways
My First EACE 2015 Conference Takeaways
I’ve always enjoyed attending professional conferences, even before my work as a career counselor. Being surrounded by students and professionals, with varying backgrounds and levels of knowledge and skills, provides not only invaluable learning opportunities, but the chance to reenergize and renew a love for the kind of work we do, and the people we serve on a daily basis. Held in Pittsburgh, PA, this past year’s EACE 2015 conference was all of that–one that I won’t soon forget!
Being selected for the Diversity Advancement Scholarship– a student membership award in memory of Rick McLellan, was a privilege I am eternally grateful for. The financial opportunity it provided me to be present at the conference, as well as being recognized on stage at a special Awards Luncheon, was unbelievable. I encourage anyone reading this: if you’re eligible for this one-year scholarship–APPLY!
If you haven’t attended an EACE conference before and still have the means to attend, then this is certainly the event to save your time and money for. I’ve enjoyed the fortune of attending conferences and events in other higher ed functional areas (ex. residence life, student activities), yet with this being my first true career development-related conference, I was amazed at just how expansive this field is, and how welcoming EACE professionals are to both current members and newcomers. It’s difficult to pinpoint a single most rewarding highlight of this event, however the versatility of the learning sessions stand out. Usually what I consider the most substantial piece of a conference, these sessions did not disappoint. I witnessed diverse individuals deliver presentations and interactive discussions on student engagement, identifying networking styles, leveraging introversion in an extroverted workplace, experiential learning, and diversity recruiting. I took away valuable insights from each presenter, and am thankful that each one provides practical application to my current work as a career counselor at Bottom Line, an organization that transforms urban communities by helping first generation and low income students to get into and graduate college, and go far in life with meaningful careers.
Having been fortunate enough to attend EACE’s conference as a Diversity Advancement Scholar has furthered my appreciation and understanding in several areas, one being the importance of giving back. My hope is for those of you reading this, especially potential future EACE members, discover a way to get involved and find meaning in your experiences, whether it be at your work or in your community. Committing to a professional association is no easy task, particularly with the world of work and life habitually knocking on our doors. However, I can honestly attest that being involved with EACE over the past year has been anything but a burden. On the contrary, it has inspired me to push my limits, network with others, strive for a better future, and to live in the moment, all at the same time. I have no doubts it can do the same for you, if it hasn’t already. Welcome to EACE!
Things I have to consider in my work as a career counselor—I gained additional knowledge of these elements through the educational sessions and presentations by EACE professionals.
Being honored at the Awards Luncheon, as one of the Diversity & Inclusion Scholarship recipients.
About the Author: Jabril Robinson graduated from Bridgewater State University with a Bachelor of Psychology, and recently completed his Masters in College Student Development & Counseling from Northeastern University. Today, he is currently a career counselor at Bottom Line, a nonprofit organization that works to transform urban communities by helping underrepresented students get into college, graduate, and go far in life with meaningful careers. Before Bottom Line, Jabril has worked with students in the areas of student involvement, residence life, and career development, developing a passion for holistic student growth. He recently attended his first EACE conference in the spring of 2015, held in Pittsburgh PA. His passions, among several others, include exploring new career development and diversity-related areas of discussion and application.