• Building Effective Relationships With the Students You Serve

    Spotlight for Career Services Professionals
    March 19, 2014

    Especially at the start, relationships can be rife with doubt and cynicism as defense mechanisms, explains Tim Sanders, bestselling business author and people and leadership expert.

    “Nothing builds bridges like knowledge-sharing and the most effective business relationships are often built on a foundation of reciprocity,” Sanders advises. “To establish successful relationships, the earliest conversations should center on what your prospective partner wants and how you can help this partner achieve his or her goals.”

    When it comes to the current generation of college students, these goals are more about purpose than pay, Sanders says, citing recent research.

    “Your career services office need to elevate the conversation with students to [focus on] purpose by shifting from making money to making meaning as the key point,” he notes, adding that the office’s messaging, too, needs to reflect student preferences, such as by changing up the look and delivery method and by ensuring the content is fresh and relevant.

    The exploration of purpose and efforts to connect with them will allow students to see that you are meeting their needs so they can achieve their goals. Sanders says the more you put into this relationship with the student, the more the student will get out of the experience. The result is a strong—and possibly, enduring—relationship.

    “When you use your work platform to mentor others, you’re not only building strong relationships in the present, but you’re building relationships that 10 years from now will be a reservoir of strength,” Sanders adds.

    Based on the successful relationships and experiences they had with your office as students, these future alumni could be strong advocates for the value of career services going forward.

    Tim Sanders will be a keynote speaker during the NACE 2014 Conference.