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In the Spotlight: Informational Interviewing: Building Your Professional Path
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MPACE Spotlight - September 2017

By: Nicole Rodriguez, Director, Career Center at CSU, Dominguez Hills

 

 

Opportunity is the intersection of action and preparation on the journey towards the attainment of success.  Professional development, specifically informational interviewing, allows for the opportunity to grow while knowledge takes shape.  

Thus, to give rise to this topic and its importance in our field, this article will touch upon the use of informational interviewing as a strategic tool to shape your professional growth, expand one’s network, and utilize the community resources within the MPACE community.

First, imagine what opportunity looks like to you. What do you want to gain from the opportunity?  How can the opportunity shape your professional growth? According to Nicole Wagner, MPACE President, and the Director of Talent Acquisition for Enterprise Holdings of Southern California, informational interviewing opens doors and provides opportunities in determining the next steps in your career. Exploring potential pathways allows existing skills and experiences to develop, while receiving candid and constructive feedback. It is also important to recognize informational interviewing as a lifelong process that becomes embedded in your professional behavior.  Reyna Sund, Director of Membership Engagement, and Director of Career and Alumni Services at Ashford University additionally states that the notion of making a positive impression in an informational interview is an opportunity for you to guide the conversation and get the most out of the experience. Leaving a positive impression maximizes the impact for professional consideration when job opportunities present themselves.

Second, imagine your professional path, where are you headed? What conversations are you engaging in along the way? Developing and expanding your network of professionals guides your professional path, and aligns you with a core of individuals that have similar interests or expertise.   According to Emily White, Director of Education and Professional Development, and Associate Director in Career Services at the University of California, Santa Barbara, developing a network, asking questions, and collecting resources strengthens the impact of informational interviewing.  Emily described informational interviewing as a pivotal contributor in her professional growth as she reached out to colleagues and performed informational interviews about what it was like to be an Associate Director in a university career center.  Building your network enables you to expand and activate your career.  

Finally, after thinking about your professional path and expanding on your network, how can you utilize the MPACE community to work for you? Informational interviewing gives the interviewer the best chance to get to know you in a low risk, high reward environment.  According to Justin Finnerty, MPACE Past-President, and Director of Alumni Services at Arizona State University, tapping into and utilizing the power of the MPACE community builds upon the funds of knowledge and expertise available at your fingertips.  Building and nurturing a community network creates access and opportunity for our members.

Checkout the MPACE website for more information about the MPACE informational interviewing program, and remember to get involved. Serve as a resource for others, take advantage of the opportunity, and utilize the organization to its fullest potential.

Informational interviewing together with networking can create powerful experiences that contribute to professional growth.  In November, we will discuss how to capitalize on the networking process, especially at the MPACE 2017 Seattle conference.

You hold the ability to shape opportunity and opportunity has the ability to shape you.    

Submit a proposal for the Denver Conference today!

 

Do you have answers to Jeremy and Daniel’s Real Problems? Have you latched on to a disruptive idea that has shaken your campus or organization? The MPACE community would love to hear about it! We are seeking proposals that stand out and differentiate themselves from the traditional presentation style. As you submit your proposal, be sure to let us know how you’re innovating and creating something that’s different from the norm. What’s going to make your proposal stand out? Submit your program proposal HERE.

Submit a proposal for the Denver Conference today!

 

Do you have answers to Jeremy and Daniel’s Real Problems? Have you latched on to a disruptive idea that has shaken your campus or organization? The MPACE community would love to hear about it! We are seeking proposals that stand out and differentiate themselves from the traditional presentation style. As you submit your proposal, be sure to let us know how you’re innovating and creating something that’s different from the norm. What’s going to make your proposal stand out? Submit your program proposal HERE.

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