College Member Spotlight: Jay Killough


Jay Killough
Jay Killough

Jay is the Managing Director at the Texas Tech University and the 2014-2015 President of SoACE. He has worked in career services for 13 years. Connect with Jay on Twitter @JayTTU.





Describe your career path up to this point.

My career path up to this point has been a wonderful journey. When I graduated from college, all I wanted to do was work in the music industry. After interning on Music Row in Nashville, I quickly realized the music business was not for me. After some soul searching, I landed back at Texas Tech University as an Admissions Counselor, where I could use my strengths daily and make a difference. Having good mentors has also been key in my career up to this point. Without them, I would not have taken the chances and made the good choices I have made to stay in Higher Ed specifically the Career Services.

Why did you choose this career?

To be honest, working in the University Career Center was a leap of faith. I loved my Admissions job, but an opening came about in the Career Center and I saw it as an opportunity to grow, so I applied and got the position as a Lead Counselor.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

I would imagine like most people in this profession, I consider helping students and seeing them develop professionally is the most rewarding part of the job. Being allowed to serve students and employers on a daily basis, teach class, and present to large groups makes me wake up every morning and get to go to work, instead of “have” to go to work.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

The most challenging part of the job are those couple of weeks a year when the students are gone between semesters. Campus isn’t buzzing during this time and I miss it. I feed off the energy of the students, faculty and staff being on campus and being busy.

What would you like colleagues to know about your institution/organization?

After living in Lubbock for nearly 20 years, people’s first reaction is usually a quip or a joke about living here. What I’d like colleagues to know is that Lubbock and Texas Tech is a wonderful place to live and work because of the kind-hearted, West Texas people that live here. Plus, we have “rush minutes,” versus “rush hours.”

What is the best career advice you have ever received?

My father once told me, “Share your successes.” I’ll never forget that. It’s nice to be recognized for things, but it’s even better to give someone else credit for their hard work. Very little gets accomplished solo; but a great team can accomplish much. It takes a great team of people to accomplish great things. I also try and surround myself with others who are not like me to be a stronger team. One of my favorite quotes for my accountability when days get tough is “If everyone in this place was just like me; what kind of place would this be? I am my answer.” This helps me stay focused and positive.

When you were younger (let’s say ages 5-12), what did you want to be when you grew up? What about that career appealed to your younger self?

Between the ages and five and 12, I had no clue what I wanted to be. I loved playing outside, playing golf and basketball, and hanging out with friends. If you would have mentioned Career Counselor as a profession, I would have looked at you with a confused look, and asked, “What’s that?” All I knew between five and 12 is that I was very active and wore my parents out with the question, “What can I/we do next!?, let’s go, go, go!

Keeping Information Secure: Easy Steps for Non-Experts

Post by Addye Buckley-Burnell, Assistant Director of Career Development, Auburn University Career Center

may15_b.5Protecting our identity and private information is nothing new and we tell our students to be careful every day. With the influx of reports of system wide hacking/breaches in every industry costing in the millions to correct, universities and employers alike need to do more to keep our information secure. As a counselor, I follow ACA guidelines to protect client files, but these standards are often more complicated when it comes to working in a university career center. Also, the guidelines do not adapt as quickly as technology advances. Let’s face it; we all can do more to prevent private information from getting into the wrong hands while protecting our own behinds as well. Here are a few easy things that have been suggested by the Auburn University Office of Information Technology and additional security training. Now I am no tech guru, but even I can follow these simple steps.


Edward Snowden advised in a recent interview with John Oliver to be very careful with passwords. We all know how difficult it is to come up with passwords that meet the requirements of many of the systems…ahem, Symplicity, ahem…but some general rules will make it more difficult for someone/a program, to determine your password.

  • Use a pass phrase instead of a single word to make it easier to remember but difficult to guess – example: Auburnstudentsare100%awesome
  • Essential to be over 8 characters in length
  • Should contain at least one uppercase letter, one number and one symbol if possible and not just at the end


I am sure we all know not to send private information via email, but sometimes there is some grey area here. Anything pertaining to personal identifiable information that could be used in any malicious way should be sent in an encrypted document and attached to the email. You will want to send the password used for the encryption in a separate email to be extra careful.

This is easy to do using Microsoft Office products by using the File tab > Info> Protect Document > Encrypt with Password. CAUTION: you will be asked to enter a password twice which is not retrievable if forgotten so write it down!


Your university/company is likely backing up all email to the server on a routine basis, so it is best to erase any emails containing private or personal information after reading them.


Lock your computers when you leave your desk to avoid any malicious attempts at accessing your files and student data. The shortcut to do this on a PC is Windows Key + L and on Mac is Control + Shift + Power.

Avoid saving private information to your computers and empty your recycling bin on your computer regularly as well since these items are also able to be accessed if hacked.

Love it or hate it, we all have constant access to information at the palm of our hand. This is a prime place for security breaches so be sure to use a password/finger print to protect all devices that have access to your work emails. When you stop using the device or if it is stolen, wipe the device to avoid this information getting in the wrong hands. This can be done without the phone for Outlook using the web-based site by:


Also, avoid using public access WIFI when inputting any passwords or accessing sensitive information. All devices should also have an active antivirus software in place.

Sessions via distance:

We all know how popular it has become to offer services via distance and how tempting it is to use Skype for these services. Unfortunately, Skype saves records of all recordings and these records are readily handed over when requested by officials. To maintain confidentiality it has been recommended to use either FaceTime for Mac users or VSee to host these sessions as they do not save records of the sessions.

These are just a few of the many ways to protect student privacy and our own personal information. If you have any others tips, please share them in the comments section.

contributor_abuckleyburnell Addye Buckley-Burnell serves as the Assistant Director of Career Development for the Auburn University Career Center, leading a team of highly skilled and motivated career counselors and is charged with the formal assessment of the office. Addye is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Nationally Certified Counselor, and Distance Credentialed Counselor with experience in a variety of counseling areas including mental health, academic and career. In addition to her work with individual students, Addye teaches a variety of courses including a job search/career-life planning class both on-campus and via distance education.


KG Update: Employer Relations Knowledge Group

soacekglogoOur Employer Relations Knowledge Group is on the move…

This year, the SoACE Employer Relations Knowledge Group (ERKG) jumpstarted a year of professional development with a planning session during the annual SoACE conference in New Orleans last December.  We leveraged the ideas from the group as a whole to set goals for the year.  Professional development activities that are planned include in-person activities; social media interaction and virtual webinars.

In February, the SoACE ERKG 2015 hosted its first Tweet Chat on the topic of Employer Relations in Public vs. Private Universities and Colleges.  In April, Courtney Edwards from Louisiana State University & Erica Lake from the University of South Carolina hosted a webinar on Creating an Employer Drive-In Conference.  Over 50 SoACE members registered and 30 logged in to learn best practices about hosting these events for employers.

The next opportunity to connect with other professionals in the Employer Relations Knowledge Group will be on Wed., May 27th, 2015 at 12 pm EST/11 am CST during a Tweet Chat led by Denise Rudolph from James Madison University on the topic Challenges We Face in Employer Relations.  To participate sign on at using your Twitter account information, then join the conversation with #soaceerkg.

We are very excited to see the longtime idea of hosting an event to help employer relations professionals learn and grow come to fruition at the Inaugural Employer Relations Summit that will be held in conjunction with the SoACE Board this June.  The event is an institute-style conference with longer sessions to allow participants to “dive deep” into topics.  Keynote speaker, Myrna Hoover, Director of the Florida State University Career Center will share information from her book Employer Relations and Recruitment: An Essential Part of Postsecondary Career Services.  Additionally, there will be round table topics that allow participants to discuss hot issues in Employer Relations.

We are so excited that the event has been welcomed with so much interest that registration has reached capacity.  We look forward to the learning that will occur at this new event!  Special thanks to the Conference Chair, V’Rhaniku Haynes from Florida State University and former SoACE board Director of Professional Development, Amy Diepenbrock from St. Mary’s University for all of their leadership in making this event a reality for our membership.  Additionally, we also thank Emory University for hosting us on June 24 – 26 in Atlanta, GA!

We are excited about the remainder of the year and are thankful to our Employer Relations Knowledge Group leadership for all of their hard work this year!

Update submitted by Employer Relations Knowledge Group Chair, Erica Lake. Erica is the Associate Director for Employer Relations at the University of South Carolina Career Center.