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CSTM Wrap-Up 2016

“Don’t make us a Snapchat account, no one will follow it.”

What I enjoy most about working in an office that employs students is the fact that they are very honest when it comes to what’s considered “cool” or not. Before I embarked on the four-hour train ride to New York last week, I started to think about those words that one of our students left me with: “Don’t make us a Snapchat account, no one will follow it.”

One of the largest struggles for a career center in terms of engagement is trying to stay relevant while having the ability to generate a following on multiple platforms. The Career Services Technology Meeting (CSTM) is grounded in that theory and provides those working against those constraints an opportunity to discuss and learn from one another. The two-day forum for communicators in career centers was held at Baruch College in Manhattan, which served as a great setting to talk all things “tech.”

Day one consisted of round table discussions on a variety of social media and technology tools and topics. I was immediately drawn to the sessions on Snapchat, Periscope, YouTube and Marketing Through Social Media as they seemed the most relevant in regards to the work that I do. Though all were very informative, I did discover a constant theme with the “cool” social media platforms- no one was using them in their career centers. Was that disappointment? Yes, but it was a reality check that maybe career centers have no “business” trying to communicate using these applications. As much as we strive to be where the students are, you have to think realistically in terms of whether or not they are going to engage with you. This served as another reminder as to why this meeting was so crucial to my work.

After the conversations from day one, I was eager for day two to arrive. This full day session consisted of a keynote speaker, “cool tool” presentations and product overviews from career-related vendors. Sabrina Kizzle, adjunct lecturer with Baruch College, kicked off the technology discussions with a keynote presentation on Periscope. It was valuable to hear how Sabrina integrated this tool within her classroom and how it has helped increase engagement with students. I think Periscope is a platform to keep an eye on and I’m eager to see what career centers do with it. Although I personally feel that Periscope may not be appropriate for the Hiatt Career Center, I did come to the realization that we do need to start streaming our workshops and information sessions online. I hope to achieve this by utilizing our current streaming software, BlueJeans.

As the afternoon cool tools presentations started, there was an upward shift of energy in the room. Let’s face it, technology makes people excited and when you are one of the few people in your office that use it, you are enthused to learn. These five-minute overviews ranged from the use of typical social media to live streaming to free graphic design programs. I really enjoyed this portion of CSMT because each presentation was quick and direct which served to be helpful in keeping the attention of the room. A few tools that I learned about and recommend as helpful resources are Powtoon, Blab and Slack.

Closing out the day, I felt very appreciative of the experience I had with over 150 career professionals. I’ve always found that a marketing position in a career center is so unique and to have the opportunity to talk and learn from people doing the same work was extremely beneficial personally and professionally. I am already looking forward to the next conference and hope to hear that someone made a successful Snapchat account and it has many followers!

About the author: Kristin Menconi
kristin 3Kristin’s out-of-the-box way of thinking is something she relies on heavily when creating new marketing initiatives and projects. She is very passionate about fusing the Brandeis student voice into everything that she does for Hiatt which includes having our very own Hiatt Advisors star in multiple videos and Facebook posts. One of the main focuses of Kristin’s role is to develop online and print marketing content as well as manage the Hiatt Career Center’s social media presence. Prior to joining the Hiatt team, Kristin worked for Curry College as the manager of marketing, operations and internships for the Center for Career Development. Over those four years, she managed the marketing and social media efforts as well as coordinated the Center’s events. She also advised students in the areas of social media, major exploration, resume development, job searching and internships. Kristin’s marketing experience is also grounded in the areas of small business where she spent several years working in the sports and health industries, helping each organization kick-start their online marketing efforts. Since she also is a self-proclaimed fitness junkie and cannot get enough of being active, even on the job, Kristin spent 7 years working at a health club teaching children’s fitness classes as well as rock climbing for kids and adults.

Kristin holds a B.A. in communication with a concentration in public relations and a minor in applied computing from Curry College. She is one of the founding members of the Curry College Public Relations Student Association (CCPRSA) and was a 2007 inductee into Lambda Pi Eta (National Communication Association).

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