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  • Taking the Formality Out of Workshops Helps Attract Students

    January 23, 2020 | By NACE Staff

    Best Practices
    A group of college students attend a casual meetup at a local coffee shop to discuss their career development.

    TAGS: best practices, branding and marketing, spotlight, career development

    Spotlight for Career Services Professionals

    Is your career center offering “meetup” style events? These less traditional and less formal events help students learn about career development and the job search. They have been a recent topic of conversation in the NACE Community.

    Here’s what those who have tried meetups said:

    • Career center staff at one university are testing a coffee-and-taco talk in a common area. It offers a comfortable way for students to ask questions about career development and their career exploration and job search.
    • Feedback from students attending “Coffee and Career Chats,” where professionals and students share food and conversations about careers, has been positive, according to a career services manager. The informal structure encourages students to engage in conversation with employers. As a result of these interactions, several students have obtained internships through the meetups.
    • Pop-up events—30 minutes, no slides, with four to five hours of notice before the event—works well with students at a university in the East. Students walk away with a one-page summary of the discussion. This institution is also thinking of changing language to meet student needs, going from using “networking” to “meetup” to appeal to students in a new way.
    • A general topic, coffee and cookies (or some other snack) works for students at a community college. Students feel comfortable talking with career services staff and faculty who stop to chat, and staff have found it is a great way to market the career center.
    • “Career Conversations”—small-group career-planning sessions—begin with a broad topic, e.g., “Finding Experience That Matters,” “Choosing/Changing Your Major,” “Career Self Care”—and are tailored on the spot to meet the needs of students in the group.

    Are you still holding workshops and presentations, or have you found another event that works better with students? Share your best practices in “Meetups Versus Workshops/Presentations,” a thread in the NACE Community.

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