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Spotlight: Peer Perspective on 2016 Denver Conference

Monday, January 9, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Deb Dobbs
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Happy New Year! 2017 is here and brings with it the opportunity for something new. Is this the year you will get more involved with MPACE? There are a variety of opportunities in your region, at the annual conference, on standing board committees or special interest groups. We promise not to take too much of your time. Intrigued? Email communications@mpace.org.

Read on to see what active engagement can do for you.  



Allison Keller is the Career Counselor and Peer Program Supervisor at the University of California, Irvine.  She attended the MPACE Conference in Denver recently and had a great deal to share from the experience, particularly for members who were unable to attend.


One Attendee's Perspective on MPACE Conference 2016

 MPACE: Our conference theme was “Innovate, Create, Disrupt”.  How was the theme incorporated?

Allison: Many of the sessions incorporated the theme in different ways and the conference program itself was designed in way to “disrupt”, which was creative and fun.  But what stood out to me the most was the way the keynote speakers incorporated the theme into their pieces.  From the entertaining history of the electric bass guitar disrupting the world of music, to finding ways to be agile and creative, each keynote integrated the theme in a meaningful way.


MPACE: What session did you attend that best informed you for your job?

Allison: I attended the session called “Disrupting our ideas of gender norms: Inclusive impacts for career services & recruiting”, which provided a great deal of information about the transgender population.  It also provided thought-provoking exercises that I intend to bring back to campus and use with my peer group, or even other student groups.  I think there’s a lot to learn about career services’ role for this population specifically, and look forward to attending future sessions as well.


MPACE:  Were the networking opportunities meaningful for you?  How?

Allison: MPACE tends to be a smaller conference, which is great for networking because you tend to see the same faces repeatedly at the same conference and it really lends itself to meeting new people.  People are also very welcoming and friendly.  I’m also on an MPACE committee and was able to meet people at the conference face-to-face for the first time.  This helps to build even stronger bonds with virtual teammates.


MPACE:  You attended the “Longs Peak Trek” before the conference began.  Tell us about that experience.

Allison: The pre-conference event was wonderful and so well organized.  It was a great way to see multiple, diverse recruiters in a relatively short period of time.  It was also mutually beneficial because the recruiters were able to present information on their company and recruiting goals to a large audience, and the attendees were able to ask questions that inevitably helped other attendees as well.  Overall, this was a wonderful addition to my conference experience and I would highly recommend that other MPACEers take advantage of these types of programs in the future.


MPACE: What recommendations do you have for someone who has never attended the conference?

Allison:  First of all, I highly recommend attending a conference!  As I said previously, MPACE tends to be a smaller conference so it really lends itself to building a sense of community in the industry and getting to know people.  It also offers a Newcomer’s Reception where you can meet MPACE leaders, in particular the regional Directors so you can engage with leaders from your specific region.


This Spotlight article was compiled by Michelle Mallen of the MPACE Communications Committee. Michelle is a Career Counselor at the University of California Irvine, and can be reached at mallenm@uci.edu or https://www.linkedin.com/in/michellemallen

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