Best Practices: Using Snapchat in Career Services

As the Digital Media Assistant at Career and Professional Development at St. Edward’s University, I am responsible for creating social media content and developing strategies for long-term growth and increased participation among students and alumni. Before this semester, we focused our social media efforts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, so Snapchat is one platform that our department has not taken full advantage of. Therefore, when my boss Sally informed me about this webinar, I was intrigued to participate and gain insight on how we could effectively use Snapchat to inform and entertain our audience. I was always aware that Snapchat is a popular social platform for our target market, but it was difficult to justify spending time on a platform whose content disappears in 24 hours. This webinar gave me an opportunity to learn why it is important for us to have a presence on this social platform and demonstrated some strategies we could implement.

As a student, I often use Snapchat to share photos and stay updated with friends and family. However, learning about Snapchat for businesses is a completely different ball game and is something that I’m very interested in as a Digital Media Management major.

The University of Southern Florida webinar provided me with valuable information I was not aware of before and inspired me to develop creative ideas for St. Edward’s University Career and Professional Development. For example, after listening to this webinar, I decided to create a Snapchat filter for our Spring Job & Internship Fair using some ideas from the examples shown in the webinar. One of the best tips provided was to include ways for students to interact with the geofilter, so I added an element for students to include their major when using the geofilter. It also turned out to be a fun way to feature employers’ majors so students could see how their majors may or may not be directly related to their future career.

I also learned about how to define the area in which you would like to have your geofilter appear and was surprised by how affordable geofilters are, depending on the duration and location you choose.

This webinar also highlighted the importance of businesses having a Snapchat presence and showed that it is easy to reach our target market because students are the majority of Snapchat’s audience. The whole point of being active on social media is to be where your audience is, and we would be missing out on a critical opportunity if we ignored Snapchat as a social media platform.

Throughout my college career, I have had several experiences in digital and social media in addition to leadership, so my goal is to merge these interests together to help businesses reach their full potential. Immediately after I graduate, I will participate in the Disney College Program and engage in weekly professional seminars focused on Marketing & Sales and Leadership. During this six-month program, I believe I will gain valuable experience and knowledge that will prepare me to work in a leadership position at a marketing agency, likely in their digital strategy or branding departments. I hope to use my creativity, passion, and drive to provide a company with innovative solutions while focusing on enhancing interpersonal relationships.

Lisa Machado, class of 2017, works as Digital Media Assistant in the Career and Professional Development office at St. Edward’s University.


Professional Development Scholarship Recipient – Kathy Creel

Kathy Creel Career Advisor Middle Tennessee State University

As one of the SoACE Professional Development scholarship recipients, I was asked to write about what I learned at the SoACE Annual Conference in Fort Lauderdale this past December. It seems like a lifetime ago that hundreds of us were gathered at the beachfront resort! While I would like to think that my conference experience was completely unique, logic tells me that many others in the crowd had been struggling to keep their heads above water the entire fall semester, too. Many of us returned home to months of absolute chaos. I have been grateful every week since conference that I trusted my instinct, the inner prompt to continue and participate as planned because it was important. I had been deliberate in my decision to pursue investment in my professional development, and I had to trust the time away would be re-energizing, at a minimum.

What I have been preaching to students for a few years now is anchored in the self-mission of “being intentional”. What exactly do I mean? Investing your time and energy in meaningful pursuits. Taking full advantage of the resources available and ownership of your career journey. Unlike high school, nothing is simply handed to you. The expectations are high and the future implications even higher. You must be tenacious in creating your best work life. And although it may not look 100% like you dreamed to start, your deliberate start will pave the way for your dreams.

Teresa Amabile said, “Of all the things that can boost emotions, motivation, and perceptions during a workday, the single most important is making progress in meaningful work.” My single greatest takeaway from conference is that we all do meaningful work. Every single one of us. Every. Single. Day. Our connections and conversations with students matter, and they will have life-long significance. We, as humans, tend to get caught up in our own organizational (and personal) islands. We, as career service professionals, are all understaffed and underfunded, leaving us to do our absolute best with limited resources. However, we are not alone, and the value of our professional investments in others cannot be forgotten or diminished.

From the keynote address of Clint! Runge and Daron Roberts to the countless breakout sessions, networking opportunities, and social events, there was one singular reminder that resonated with me… serving students is extremely meaningful work. From the first SoACE conference I attended in 2015 to this past December’s event, I knew there was one thing very different about the members of our professional association. I have finally pinpointed what makes this group of colleagues exceptional; it is the motivation to serve others in a mighty way.

Whether you are diligently involved in creating connections with employers who will recruit your students or assisting students in career decision-making, our endeavors are worthwhile and tremendously impactful. We must champion our own professional development to ensure that we are refreshed and renewed professionally on a consistent basis. This is meaningful work, and I am incredibly thankful to be on this journey with you all!

Kathy Creel works as a Career Advisor at Middle Tennessee State University.

Reflections from our 2nd President, Donnie Brown

SoACE Reflections

As I thought about our soon to be 10th Anniversary of the Southern Association of Colleges and Employers, the first thing that came to mind was our amazing group of members and the dedicated and passionate leaders who have contributed to our organization.

As our SoACE history recounts, “The 2007 merger of SACE and SWACE to form SoACE was the final step in the consolidation of seven regional associations down to four: SoACE, the Midwest Association of Colleges and Employers (Midwest ACE); the Eastern Association of Colleges and Employers (EACE); and the Mountain Pacific Association of Colleges and Employers (MPACE). Leaders of these four regional ACEs then met twice a year to discuss and plan collaborative efforts and exchange best practices and network professionally across regions.  They now meet once each year at the NACE conference and hold 3 additional conference calls throughout the year.”

My second thoughts turned to our State organizations and Consortiums that support SoACE on such a high level.  SoACE is quite fortunate to have the excellent support of these organizations.  In addition to their support throughout the year, these organizations provide valuable assistance to our annual conferences.

As a Board member of SACE, I saw the contributions first hand of the Task Forces from both SWACE and SACE.  The members of the Task Forces who developed the strategy to merge both organizations were seasoned, thoughtful, and dedicated professionals who considered a myriad of issues in order to bring the two organizations together successfully.  Although there were far more similarities than differences, the differences were very important to the membership and our transition team discussed them in detail and developed plans that were beneficial to both organizations.

Our first SoACE Annual Conference was held San Antonio in November 2007.  The theme was “Synergy in San Antonio”.  70% of SACE and SWACE members attended the conference.  Not only was the conference a success in numbers, it was a success in bringing together the members of both organizations for the first time.  The Conference also continued the strong professional development activities that both SWACE and SACE had been known for providing their members.

Karen Thompson was our first SoACE President.  She and the first SoACE Board of Directors, comprised of leaders from both the SWACE and SACE organizations, did a wonderful job laying the foundation for our Organization.  I followed Karen as the second President of SoACE and the first Employer President, and I consider this opportunity the most fortunate benefit in my professional career.  I was blessed with strong and experienced leadership on our Board.  If you want a wonderful opportunity in your professional life, I recommend highly volunteering for leadership positions in SoACE.  I promise that you will value the experience the rest of your life

One of the major responsibilities of the President and the Board of Directors is the oversight of the annual conference.  As with both prior organizations, the conference was usually moved around the region for a lot of reasons.  The Board discussed and recommended that the second conference be held in Florida.  Since the conference was held in December, the Florida weather would provide a respite for most to escape the onset of winter.  A task force was formed to evaluate locations; although, I distinctly remember Matt Berndt indicating a strong preference when he stated, “Let’s go to Disney World”.  As it turned out Matt’s suggestion was prophetic and after vetting several locations, our second conference was held at the magnificent Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Again, I was blessed as President to have a talented group of Conference Committee members.  It was certainly an advantage to have Disney employer members in our organization.  With Kent Phillips and Wayne Hampton there to support us; how could we not have a great Disney experience?

And so, began the strong legacy of SoACE.  After ten years as an organization with continued strong leadership, I envision a bright future for SoACE in meeting the goals of the organization and continuing to provide leadership in our profession.  Congratulations SoACE and best wishes to our SoACE members.

Donnie Brown