• Tech Talk: Sprint Sessions Help Students Work During the Busiest Times

    Spotlight for Career Services Professionals
    December 5, 2012

    by Cameo Hartz

    Cameo Hartz

    We’re in the heat of the hectic academic period between Thanksgiving and winter break. It’s a time when I see missed appointments skyrocket. The students who I do see often come in harried, sleep-deprived, and concerned about how they can possibly fit everything into the end-of-semester rush.

    Let’s make good use of the task-switching capacity and screen-focused mentality of today’s students and prompt them to add exploratory and reflective tasks that can be done in "sprint sessions." Ten minutes a day can keep the anxiety away!

    I’ll break these tech-driven tasks into three different categories—strengths, motivation, and fit:

    Strengths 

    • Students could create an online portfolio and link it to their existing interest-driven social media activity. Sites like www.flavors.me and www.about.me aggregate different web accounts into a dashboard. Take a look at mine as an example: www.cameohartz.com.
    • Career centers could publish or feature a collection of websites or communities to practice and showcase their skills in bite-sized ways. A few ideas include www.entasso.com for job-skills tests, www.github.com for reviewing and writing code, or www.amazon.com for writing media or product reviews.

    Motivation 

    • Students could snap a photo at high/low moments throughout a week, perhaps one every day. Look together and discuss what that says about them at their best.
    • Career centers could curate field-specific Twitter lists for students as a “starter kit.” Prompt students to read the tweets for 10 minutes each day for a week. Ask what they clicked, read, and recalled. Was it interesting or just another task? (A future step could be creating a public Twitter account to tweet, favorite, and retweet as an active member in a community and credibility-builder.)

    Fit 

    • Students could take the quiz at www.findyourspot.com or another website to encourage deeper consideration criteria that matter in places to live.
    • Career centers could share a list of websites where people share insights into company culture. Encourage students to review the discussion (or ask a question!) about a company’s culture at a website, and think of three fit and three “misfit” aspects of the organization.

    You’ve seen that I included a prompt for our career centers that could help foster this mentality in student practice and a prompt that could be explicitly recommended to a student immediately. This is just a start. Join me over at the NACE LinkedIn group where I’ll start a discussion on the topic and you can share your ideas and best practices, too!

    A strong proponent for career professionals using the online space for education as effectively as counseling and events, Cameo Hartz leads digital strategy and communication for Duke University's career center. See www.cameohartz.com. 


Tech Talk: Sprint Sessions Help Students Work During the Busiest Times