Wednesday, July 25 Break-Out Sessions

10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Break-Out Session Tracks:
Both, College and Employer
Break-Out Session Specialty Tracks:
Talent Acquisition
Break-Out Session Levels:
Level 1: New Professionals (less than 5 years)
Level 2: Mid-Career Professionals (5-10 years)
Level 3: Directors (10+ years)
Level 4: All levels will benefit    

Escaping the Traditional Workshop:
Engaging Students with Interactive Escape Room Programming

             Track: College                                                               Level:  4   

Location: Lakeshore A


  • Elisabeth Williams, Associate Director of Career Development Education
    Michigan Technological University
  • Ryan Thompson, Mechanical Engineering Student
    Michigan Technological University 

What does an escape room have to do with career services? According to NACE, the career readiness skills that employers want recent graduates to have includes problem solving, collaboration, leadership and communication. In the fall of 2017, Michigan Technological University 's Career Services team set out to develop programming that focused on these skills in a fun and interactive way. The solution came in the form of an escape room.  Escape rooms have become popular attractions all across the world in the past few years. They are real-life team-based games that consist of puzzles, riddles and activities in order to meet a goal before the clock runs out. Escape rooms provide the perfect atmosphere for students to use team building, time management and career-readiness skills all while having fun doing it.  This session is designed to be engaging and informational and will include tips, tools and strategies for how to create and implement an escape room on your campus. Presenters will also share how they initiated meaningful conversations that allowed students to recognize and articulate the skills they applied in the escape room.

Lean Principles: Achieving Big Changes, One Experiment at a Time

                 Track: Both              Specialty Track: Talent Acquisition                  Level:  4  

Location: Lakeshore B


  • Hussain Frosh, Co-Founder
    Career Fair Plus
  • Eden Haycraft, Senior Assistant Director, Employer Relations & Career Connections
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

We've all been there.  You attend a conference and see a demo for some cool new app that's going to solve all your students' problems (at least the career-related ones).  The staff is enthusiastic, the budget is allocated, and the contract is signed.  You invest time getting things set up, excited to see how students respond to this new initiative and.... nothing.  Minimal adoption, a failed launch, and wasted resources.  You move on, vowing not to make the same mistake again, but invariably history repeats itself.    That's where Lean Principles, as described in Eric Ries' best selling Lean Startup, can help.  In this session, we walk participants through the process of validating a solution by building a Minimal Viable Product, measuring outcomes with analytics and using data-driven iterations to arrive at a final solution that works.  We will do so by exploring how Career Fair Plus and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign partnered to pilot a technology solution that let students pre-schedule appointments with employers during a career fair.  We report on the results of the pilot and how it impacted the career fair experience for students, employers and career fair organizers.

Spurring Success: Managing Internal and External Partnerships to Create a Culture of Career Readiness

                  Track: Both                                                                       Level:  4  

Location: Madison


  • Geralyn Heystek, Director, Zhang Career Center
    Western Michigan University
  • Danielle Field, SPuRS Program Manager
    Western Michigan University

How can we create a culture of career readiness supported by co-curricular engagement for all of our undergraduate students, not just the high achievers? Join our session to discover how our college is answering this question. Learn about the collaboration between the Student Professional Readiness Series (SPuRS), the Zhang Career Center, and other internal and external partners, including faculty and employers, to help students become career ready. We will share our framework for motivating and recording student engagement driven by career readiness competencies.   Through SPuRS, a requirement for graduation, students have the opportunity to engage in self-directed discovery, make professional connections, learn the value of networking, and further solidify their personal brand in order to best communicate their strengths and describe their career readiness for employers. You will hear from students about their SPuRS journeys.  Here are some of the questions we will answer in the session. How are we assessing student learning in our gateway classes aligned with the SPuRS program? How do we utilize a class for students transferring (internally within the university and externally from other institutions) to successfully integrate new students and ensure they understand college culture and know about the SPuRS program? How are we collaborating, internally at the college and university level and externally with employers? How does SPuRS utilize digital badges to enhance student learning? What is the impact of SPuRS at the end of the first two years of implementation? What do we do next?

Synergistic Connections Through Kelley Compass: Bridging student self-awareness with employer readiness through employer, academic, coaching and alumni partnerships


                   Track: College                                                                 Level:  4  

Location: Michigan A


  • Jessica Sremanak, Lecturer
    Indiana University

  • Nichole Alspaugh Williams, Lecturer
    Indiana University

Named as one of the main reasons for the Kelley School of Business' Undergraduate Program rising to #4 in the Businessweek rankings, Kelley Compass is a required intensive "student talent management" class that spans three semesters over three years. The Compass courses are unique in that they focus on employer readiness through self-awareness, personal branding, teamwork, and leadership (using the Keirsey Temperament Sorter as the thread that weaves through all three classes).   During this session, we will share the story of Compass including its creation in 2012 and its subsequent reinvention (including an overhaul of the original curriculum). Learn how the Kelley Compass program bolsters student self-awareness through collaborations between our for-credit, graded classes; employer partners; coaching through the Undergraduate Career Services Office (UCSO); and student/alumni connections through the Kelley School of Business Alumni Association. This session will conclude with time for small-group discussion so attendees can brainstorm and leave with concrete ideas of how to incorporate new ideas into their career classes and career services programming.

Success Through Synergy: Career Centers and Employers work to connect students with disabilities to opportunities

                   Track: Both                   Specialty Track: Diversity                  Level: 4 

Location: Michigan B


  • Jeff Jenkins, Senior Assistant Director
    Northwestern University
  • Geni Harclerode, Director of Employer Recruitment & Engagement
    Northwestern University

The past several years have seen an increase in the number of students reporting anxiety, learning disabilities and ADHD as part of their collegiate experience. Colleges and Universities have also seen an increase in the number of students admitted who identify as being on the Spectrum. Career Centers have worked to gain knowledge to help students navigate their career path. Yet, students with disabilities report feeling overwhelmed. Often they encounter a variety of challenges as they try to secure internships and jobs. These challenges may be due to a lack of awareness in how they can market their strengths and skills to employers while minimizing focus on their disability. However, issues involving timing of disclosure of disability during the interns/job search and asking for accommodations seem to be more common and stall student's forward progress.  Career Centers and Employers can collaborate to connect students with disabilities to opportunities. These partners can work together to identify and provide accommodations during the interview process which benefits the student and employer.  With case examples and discussion, this presentation will allow participants to work together to identify best practices.  Participants will leave with ideas and tools they can use in their career offices and employers in their organizations.

MacGyver's Guide to Employer Relations               Track: Both                                                                   Level:  4  


Location: Director's A


  • Corey Watt, Assistant Director for Employer Relations
    Miami University
  • Monika Royal-Fischer, Program Director, Experiential Learning & Career Services
    University of Cincinnati - Clermont
  • Patrick Devanney, Associate Director, Engineering Career Center
    University of Illinois at Chicago

This session is designed to learn about emerging and best practices, but more importantly from each other.  We will lay the foundation on employer relations and discuss overarching concepts and things that impact everyone.  The goal of this discussion is to engage attendees in an open dialogue around the different strategies for effective employer engagement, providing specific reference points for small schools/regional campuses, college-anchored career offices, large institutions, and leveraging resources/stakeholders.

How to Recruit Top Students through Authenticity & Personal


           Track: Employer            Specialty Track: Talent  Acquisition               Levels: 2&3


Location: Director's B


  • Liz Wessel, Co-Founder & CEO
    WayUp, Inc.

In this talk, Liz from WayUp will cover 5 points companies often miss when thinking about recruiting top student talent, including personal touch points and authentic marketing. Liz will include real examples from a dozen companies across all industries, with the goal of helping audience members get inspired to bring their recruiting to the next level. Liz will also cover a few highlights from her presentation at NACE regarding creating a top 100 Internship Program if you missed it.