Student Spotlight: Jennifer Ray

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“The conference prepared me to be able to identify skills from my past jobs & experiences and use them to market myself on my resume and during job interviews.”

I was elated to attend the NASPA Drive-In Conference in Fullerton, CA on February 12, 2016. I met some quite interesting people from various institutions and I was able to learn more in-depth about different areas of education. For instance, a representative from Moreno Valley College explained in detail the lengthy process of applying to community colleges. The process includes all of the following: the screening process, multiple interviews, the writing assignment, and a presentation. The take-home message from this session warned me to be patient on the job hunt after the completion of my M.Ed in Educational Counseling degree when applying to community colleges and to maintain my skills, abilities, and knowledge of the community college system.

The second experience I encountered was in the “Negotiating for Your First Job Contract and Beyond.” From this session, I learned about the protocol for discussing a job contract in student affairs. The presenters went into detail on what you can and what you should not ask for when negotiating your contract. A few key points to consider were to: Identify a career path and work backwards, know what expenses I have, learn the limits to the salary range, and to view the organization chart so I know where I stand.

The next professional conference I attend I look forward to learning about assessment. Assessment is important because it shows the data of who is being serviced and at what capacity. I look forward to hearing about techniques and strategies on assessment writing and what to do before and after the assessment period. I am also curious of training and programs involved to make assessment more effective.  

The drive-in conference prepared me to initiate the job process by first, allowing me to critically think and reflect on a range of areas I would like to fulfill in education. These areas include retention, access, at-risk students, academic advising, counseling, first generation and underrepresented students. The drive-in also helped me map out which institutions I would like to work for and to seek out what the interview process looks like for each position. Finally, the conference prepared me to be able to identify skills from my past jobs & experiences and use them to market myself on my resume and during job interviews.

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