On December 2nd, 2019 Boston was greeted by the first snowstorm of the season. But from near and far, over 100 student success leaders gathered amidst the snowy deluge to talk about the future of career development in higher education.
Career Everywhere Boston, co-hosted with Bentley University, was the second in a four-part series of day-long events across the country. These events are designed to spark the critically important conversation about embedding career development into every step of the student journey.
Check out a highlight reel here 👇 and scroll down to find key-takeaways from each session from the day!
The day was packed with sessions, panels, and activities constructed to facilitate conversation and innovation around helping more students be better prepared to build purposeful and successful careers.
For those of you who weren’t able to join us, or those of you who were but want to relive the magic of the day, below you’ll find a recap of Career Everywhere Boston.
David Kozhuk, Founder and CEO of uConnect, led the first session of the day. He introduced the concept of Career Everywhere, and discussed why it’s vital to the success of students and institutions that colleges and universities adopt a Career Everywhere model of career development. David shared data about the chronic low usage of career planning resources, and illustrated the barriers to engagement for students that are the root cause of this under utilization. Lastly, David highlighted uConnect’s partner institutions who are using career resources, data, and information to enhance enrollment, academic advising, diversity and inclusion, alumni relations, and lifelong learning initiatives within their communities.
Next, Dave Clayton, Senior Vice President of Consumer Insights at Strada Education Network, shared incredible data and insights about what motivates today’s students to enroll in higher education, and what they deem as success. Breaking down his analysis by age, gender, and ethnicity, Davd made a clear case that higher education needs to invest in career advancement in order to effectively recruit and retain the next generation of students.
In the first breakout session of the day, Susan Brennan, Assistant Dean of Career Development at MIT Sloan School of Management discussed inaugurating her role at Sloan and the shift within Sloan’s Career Development Office that led to the creation of her position. Susan talked specifically about her team’s intentional shift from providers of career coaching and resume preparation, to facilitators of students’ connections to experiences, opportunities, and networks. She highlighted the root thinking behind this culture shift as well as management tactics from down in the trenches.
Meanwhile in the Danielson room, Sarah Seavey, Director of Alumni Career Services at the University of Miami highlighted macro shifts in lifelong learning and the future of work. She talked about the strategic shift at the University of Miami from interacting with alumni through requests for donations to engaging alumni in lifelong learning solutions as a means of building lifelong affinity and revenue for the university. Sarah discussed how providing alumni with career services is core to this strategy of increasing awareness and utilization of Miami’s Continuing Education programs, as well as to the University President’s Education for Live initiative.
We paused to grab a wonderful lunch and then Matt Sigelman, CEO of Burning Glass Technologies, took the stage to deliver the afternoon keynote. Matt shared data gathered from the analysis of over a billion jobs and hundreds of millions of people’s careers. He spoke about how education can and should align more closely to the future of work, and how labor market data can be used in higher education to inform career pathways for students.
Next, two more breakout sessions: Alyssa Hammond, Director of Undergraduate Career Education and Outcomes at Bentley University, delivered “The Rise of Career Colleagues”, an ode to both the student workers who tremendously support the Career Services office, and to the upcoming finale of the Star Wars saga. In her fun and engaging presentation, Alyssa highlighted her team’s strategy to recruit, train, and empower student works to reach unprecedented metrics of student engagement with career services. She shared wisdom and insights for asking for budget, keeping students motivated, and streamlining the recruitment process.
In the other room, Monica Clem, Executive Director of Career Development and Experiential Learning at Edinboro University described how embedding career into the culture at Edinboro has been core to the school’s recent transformation. She highlighted Career Services’ partnerships with the Chief Information Officer’s office and Student Affairs. Monica also shared great stories about facilitating some of the Art Department’s work, and a national award to which Career Services propelled Edinboro last year.
Next up was a panel discussion featuring an incredible group of technology partners serving higher education, from Firsthand, Campus Labs, and Vault. uConnect’s David Kozhuk moderated an insightful discussion about the ways that career offices and higher education administrators can get more out of their vendor relationships. The panelists shared ideas, advice, and real customer stories to highlight how institutions and technology vendors can create mutually beneficial partnerships that help both sides meet their strategic goals.
Concurrently, Dr. Shane Pruitt, Education Research Consultant at Gallup, shared data that sheds light on the people and experiences that help students find satisfaction with their higher education experiences, and purpose and success in careers after graduation. Shane helped us understand what it means that ‘purpose’ is what recent graduates value most in work, and the ways institutions and career offices can help them find it.
In the last breakout sessions of the day, Cece Carey-Snow (me!), Strategic Communications Manager at uConnect, introduced the Career Education Technology Stack and research conducted by uConnect and Dr. Sheetal Patel. I then led an interactive activity to guide the group through identifying their unique Career Ed Tech Stacks, and shared insights about trends and patterns in the procurement and utilization of career services technology.
Meanwhile, my wonderful colleague Alli Pierpont Faust, uConnect’s Partnership Experience Manager, led a session for uConnect partner schools. She shared recent features and updates to uConnect’s career services marketing platform, and provided a sneak peek into upcoming development projects in the new year.
Dr. Daniel Pascoe Aguilar, Associate Provost for Experiential Education and Career Development at Drew University suffered two last-minute canceled flights and so couldn’t join us in person. However, he was able to remote in to the conference to deliver his highly compelling keynote, “Leading Campus Transformation: How to Mobilize your Campus Around Career Everywhere,” about why we must innovate and pursue transformation to meet the needs of the next generation. Daniel highlighted transformations he has led at 5 different campuses, ranging from small partnerships to complete transformation of the student experience with career in mind.
To cap off a fantastic day, we played uConnect Four (Connect Four, but more fun) while enjoying h'orderves, drinks, and great conversation.
We can’t wait to do it all again for Career Everywhere Houston on February 10th and Career Everywhere Los Angeles on March 2nd!
Questions about the events or uConnect more generally? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.