Spotlight for Career Services Professionals
October 10, 2012
Advisory boards can be valuable instruments for your career center, helping you to shape programming, conduct special projects and events, evaluate services, and more.
There are several critical considerations when developing advisory boards of any kind—employer, faculty, student, parent, or other—according to Jane Linnenburger, executive director of Bradley University’s Smith Career Center.
Here, Linnenburger shares some best practices for creating and working with advisory boards:
- Choose board members wisely—Select and invite board members who have experience working with your career center and who offer a range of positions and perspectives. For example, Linnenburger and her staff identify organizations—and individuals at these organizations—that are involved with the career center. From there, the career center looks to include individuals who lead recruiting for their organizations and can talk about talent management in broad terms. They also seek others assigned to recruit on campus whose primary job isn’t recruiting, but who have been to Bradley’s career fairs, have done campus interviewing there, and can respond to how Bradley’s students have performed during the college recruiting process and on the job. Not only is this range of perspective invaluable to the career center, it’s invaluable to the other board members as well.
- Create value for the board member—Board members appreciate thoughtful and relevant agendas for on-campus meetings that equip them with information to take back to their own organizations. Don’t just ask them to provide you with feedback, but provide them with information—perhaps about new academic programs or insight into student preferences—to help them do their jobs better. At Bradley, the Smith Career Center adds two or three discussion topics for the afternoon portion of their meetings. Topics include use of social media in recruiting, employer reaction to students reneging on job offers, and criteria used for target school selection.
- Connect the board members to students—When the board members come to campus, hold events with them and students. This could include mock interviews and resume critiques. Bradley’s board members have lunch with the career center’s peer advisers and internship award winners. And at the upcoming November employer advisory board meeting, students who interned with NBC during the recent summer Olympics will make presentations for the board members. The Smith Career Center also holds its biannual etiquette dinner the night after the meeting, so board members can participate.
Jane Linnenburger will present a webinar titled “Create and Lead Effective Advisory Boards” on December 12, 2012. For more information and to register, see www.naceweb.org/Events/webinars/2012/Advisory_Boards.aspx.