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In The Spotlight: Prepare for Disruption at #MPACE2016
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 MPACE Spotlight - May



  Jeremy Podany, Colorado State University  &  Daniel Pascoe Aguilar, University of Oregon 


The #MPACE16 conference is all about innovation, creativity, and disruption in our field. If you had a chance to attend Daniel Pascoe Aguilar and Jeremy Podany’s “Launching a Culture of Innovation” breakout session in Anaheim, you know that these two are passionate about systemic change and think often about how to help Career Services evolve. In this month’s MPACE spotlight, Daniel and Jeremy share their thoughts on current disruptions in Career Services and give advice to MPACE members about how to foster innovation.


Launching a Culture of Innovation: What’s the Real Problem?

During their presentation last year, Daniel and Jeremy defined innovation as a “genesis that creates lasting and systemic change, leading to massive user adoption and additional innovation.” To help us understand what innovation is, it is just as important to understand what it is not. Innovation is more than creativity. It’s more than brainstorming. It’s more than re-branding, passion, and sharing best practices. While these things are important, the first essential requirement to achieving a truly innovative mindset is to identify a real problem.

Here are some of the real problems Jeremy and Daniel are facing today:


How can Career Services professionals steward their energy well to stimulate career conversations across campus without requiring more staff time?


How can we best utilize technology to expand our educational footprint?


How can we create large-scale programming to serve the majority while providing customized service to individual students?


Real Solutions Require Real Relationships

Jeremy and Daniel do not innovate alone. They stress the importance of relationships and collaboration in the process of innovation. In fact, the catalyst for their presentation in Anaheim stemmed from a dialogue with peers.

“Presenting partners come out of good relationships” – Jeremy Podany

Jeremy and Daniel met in 2001 at their first career services job at Indiana University. They have since gone on to become directors in their respective Career Services offices and both meet regularly with a group of eight innovation-minded Career Services directors—aptly named Innov8—with the purpose of helping the field think innovatively and evolve. This network is always looking for ways to advocate for innovation regionally and nationally, so Jeremy and Daniel submitted their proposal for last year’s MPACE workshop hoping to foster an innovation mindset among our region.

“We are trying to promote the opportunity and the challenge of innovating in our field in a way that goes beyond small changes.” – Daniel Pascoe Aguilar

Additionally, Jeremy and Daniel latch on to disruptors that already exist. By asking “who are the emerging thought leaders in this field,” and “what disruptive courses are already out there,” Jeremy and Daniel are able to identify new opportunities for innovation.


Innovate Create Disrupt: MPACE Denver 2016


Looking forward to this year’s conference, Daniel and Jeremy are eager to reconnect with friends, listen to colleagues’ pain points and bright spots, and find commonalities to apply to their own unique campus environments. They offered to share advice to new MPACE professionals on how to maximize their experience:


Jeremy: Be a sponge and soak up as much as you can. Spend time with people at the conference—really take advantage of the fact that you have a chance to seek advice. Advice is so precious—this is why the Innov8 group is so great for us, because we get to learn from people all the time. MPACE is all about the power of the network—take steps to build a network as a sounding board for advice in a way that makes sense for you. That’s the spirit of innovation: do what makes sense.


Daniel:  Don’t be shy. It’s easy for new professionals to think ‘that’s not for me,’ but I don’t think our field can afford not having all voices at the table. It is important that energetic members of our community contribute in whatever way that taps into their strengths. We cannot afford having the new professionals of our field hesitate and not participate, so it is important that new professionals think about whatever taps into their strengths and whatever makes their voices heard. 


Jeremy Podany is the Director of The Career Center & Ascend at Colorado State University, CEO & Co-founder of The Fairs App, and Inventor of Career Tools. He can be reached at jeremy.podany@colostate.edu or https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeremylpodany


Daniel Pascoe Aguilar is the Director of the Career Center at University of Oregon. He can be reached at dpascoe@uoregon.edu or https://www.linkedin.com/in/danielpascoeaguilarphd


This Spotlight article was compiled by Eric Bloomquist of the MPACE Communications Committee. Eric is a Career Coach at the University of Utah, and can be reached at ebloomquist@sa.utah.edu or https://www.linkedin.com/in/ericbloomquist1 



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.


“We cannot afford not having all voices at the table.” – Daniel Pascoe Aguilar

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