#SoACE15 Team Spirit Challenge!

Are you excited for #SoACE15?

Do you feel like your office has the most team spirit?

Does your office have enough spirit to win $100 gift card towards a restaurant of your choice!


The SoACE Marketing Committee is proud to introduce the #SoACE15 Team Spirit Challenge!

Through November 26th, we are asking members to submit a photo of themselves and/or their officemates holding the #SoACE15 Team Spirit sign (image at bottom of post). Submit your photo and WHY you or your office is excited for #SoACE15 directly to the SoACE Marketing Chair, Stephanie Saunders at ssaund20@uncc.edu and the Marketing Committee will post on SoACE social media outlets.

To enter into the contest:

  • Step 1: Review the challenge guidelines below for the contest to ensure eligibility and details.
  • Step 2: Like our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter, join our LinkedIn group, and follow us on Instagram.
  • Step 3: Take a photo of yourself/and or colleagues with the #SoACE15 Team Spirit Challenge sign. See below example.
  • Step 4: Save the photo in .jpeg format and email to ssaund20@uncc.edu. Be sure to include your name, organization name, and why you are looking forward to #SoACE15. Also share your social media handles so we can tag you!

SoACE team spirit

Photos will be accepted starting November 1st and will be posted as they come in. Remember – the earlier you submit yours, the more time you’ll have to gain votes! The post with the most social media engagement on November 26th wins the inaugural SoACE Team Spirit award for their office! This award will be presented alongside the other SoACE honors at the annual conference in December. Plus, you’ll have bragging right until SoACE 2016. Be sure to tell your colleagues and friends to help you out when your photo is posted!

We hope you will participate in this fun and friendly competition. Let’s spread the #SoACE15 excitement! Let me know if you have any questions. Thank you for your support!



#SoACE15 Team Spirit is a friendly competition leading up to #SoACE15. Current members of SoACE are invited to share why they are looking forward to #SoACE15 with a photo of them and/or their office colleagues holding the #SoACE15 Team Spirit sign. The photo with the most social media engagement will win the inaugural SoACE Team Spirit award at the 2015 SoACE Conference! Please read official contest guidelines below to participate.

Eligibility and How to Enter:

  • Main contestant (person sending the photo) must be a current SoACE member.
  • Main contestant (person sending the photo) must like our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter, join our LinkedIn group, and follow us on Instagram before posting the photo/entering the contest.
  • Once an official follower of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, the main contestant should print this image and then take a photo of themselves and/or their colleagues holding the paper.
  • Email your photo entry as a .jpeg file to Stephanie Saunders, ssaund20@uncc.eduChair of the SoACE Marketing Committee. In your email, please tell us why you’re looking forward to the SoACE conference. Be sure to send your social media handles as well so we can tag you!
  • The Marketing Committee will post each contestant’s photo on a first come, first served basis on the Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. Remember – the earlier you enter the more time you will have to gain likes, shares and comments!

How to Win:

  • The photo with the most social media engagement on Facebookat the end of the contest will be the winner. In the event of a tie, the Marketing Committee will look at Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn engagement.
  • Tell your friends and colleagues to like, share, and comment to gain more social media engagement for your photo.
  • Tip: get creative with your photo to gain more engagement!
  • The winning office will be recognized at the #SoACE15 conference during the annual awards ceremony and have bragging rights until #SoACE16. They will also receive a $100 gift card towards a restaurant of their choice.

Fine Print:

  • The winner (main contestant who entered the photo) CANNOTbe a SoACE Board Member or hold a Chair position on a committee.
  • This contest will run from November 1-November 26. Final engagement tally will take place at 5pm on Friday, November 26. Winner will be announced at the annual awards ceremony on Wednesday, December 9.


#SoACE15 Team Spirit Challenge Image for Contest:

SoAce Team Spritit Logo

What’s in Your Active Learning Toolbox

Contributed by: Claire Childress, Senior Assistant Director at Virginia Tech Career Services

Edward Weisband, Psci; classroom with students; diversity

“Everyone stand up. I’m going to read 5 items, and then follow the instructions.

  1. If you don’t know what you want to major in or the career you want to pursue, SIT DOWN.
  2. If you want to find a job while you’re in college and get some experience in your career field, SIT DOWN.
  3. If you don’t have a resume, SIT DOWN.
  4. If you haven’t done a lot of interviewing for jobs, SIT DOWN.
  5. If you think you want to go to vet school or some other graduate or professional school, SIT DOWN.

If anyone is still standing, you can leave, because you don’t need to hear what I have to say.”

That last bit usually gets some laughs if some students in the audience are still standing—they don’t really leave.

The above activity is one active learning tool I use to begin a presentation providing an overview of Virginia Tech Career Services to a group. I’ve used this exercise for a number of different kinds of topics and audiences. This method is especially good to use if you’re addressing a group who has been sitting for a while. For example, I used this at a Career Services staff meeting when I was one of the later speakers on the agenda and we were talking about LinkedIn. Getting an audience to stand up for an activity like this gets them recharged and ready to listen to the rest of what you want to share.

There are all kinds of active learning tools to employ in classroom presentations or lectures or in meetings to engage participants and get them talking. With the short attention spans we encounter in university audiences, having a tool box of active learning methods is a must. Below are tools I learned a few years ago in a  university training program for faculty about active learning.


Active Learning Tool Box:

Think-Pair-Share: Begin with a response card (an index card) where you have each participant take a few minutes to write a response to a question. Then, have students pair up and discuss their responses. Finally, open up the discussion for the group to share ideas together. This activity is great for large lecture classes as well as smaller ones. I’ve used this in our career class to talk about the difference between a job vs. a career and work vs. Life’s work.

K-W-L: Create a sheet like the one below. In the K column, have the group write what they already KNOW about the topic, such as resume writing. Then in the W column have each student write what they WANT to know or questions they have about resume writing. Then at the end of the class students can write what they LEARNED. As an instructor or presenter if you collect the sheets, you get immediate feedback after your talk. However, I often let students keep their sheets because they end up taking notes on them. If the group has less than 30 members, I have class members introduce themselves and share something they wrote down that they KNOW or WANT to know. I love this tool because it:

  1. Makes the student do a knowledge dump in the KNOW column before you start talking.
  2. Allows the instructor to find out if something a student KNOWS is actually incorrect.
  3. Tailors discussion around questions students have with their WANT to know issues.
  4. Helps students who need time to reflect before they speak have a chance to gather their thoughts.


Entry/Exit Slips: The Entry Slip can pave the way for class discussion on a particular topic where the student turns in a written reply at the start of class. I’ve used this when we’ve had a visiting speaker where the Entry Slip was a requirement for them to write down 2 questions they had for the guest. The Exit Slip is a great way to obtain feedback from a class or group to check for understanding about a particular topic.


The Muddiest Point: A tool to check for understanding, the Muddiest Point gives an instructor immediate feedback about issues that are still unclear for students.


These are just a few of the tools I like to use as I speak to groups or run meetings. What tools do you use to engage your audiences? Let’s share!

Claire Childress, Senior Assistant Director, Career Services AuxiliaryClaire Childress, Virginia Tech Career Services Senior Assistant Director for Job Search and Graduate School Preparation, advises students and leads a team of advisors and a portfolio of services and programs. Prior to over 19 years at Virginia Tech, she worked in distance education and as an adjunct faculty member at New River Community College, as a healthcare marketer and as a banker. A former President of the Virginia Association of Colleges and Employers, Claire currently serves as SoACE Director of Professional Development. She writes regularly for her career advising blog,CareerChassé. Connect with Claire: childrec@vt.edu LinkedIn.


Let’s Chat: Opening Communication with Students from Day One



Post submitted by Hanna DeBruhl, Career Coach at Columbia College
october 15.a1

The school year has officially began and I couldn’t be more excited! I love meeting with new students and reconnecting with returning ones. It’s always a fun time to hear about students’ experiences and summer opportunities. It’s important to begin right away to develop a rapport with new students and continue a positive one with others. Career coaches, need students to know from day one that career development is important.  There are many activities coaches can participate in to meet students.

  1. Send a welcome letter before students arrive on campus to let them know career coaches are on campus ready to serve. Discuss the student’s major and the career exploration process to help students achieve goals.
  2. Host a career lunch event as an informal “meet and greet” for students to stop by and see you and find out what the career center does. Follow up with a thank you letter to all of “your” students who attended.  This follow up can open the door for students to set up a first meeting.  In this thank you letter, also ask students to send back a mini bio about themselves: major, subjects they enjoy, hobbies, other interests in music, movies, and anything else they want to share. Tell them about yourself so they can get to know you as well.
  3.  At a first meeting with new or returning students, make it informal. Talk about the summer, what’s new, how they chose the college or university, etc.   Meet students where they are- some may be ready to discuss career goals and plans; others are just trying to adjust to college Set up for students to take any career assessments your career center has,  this provides an opportunity to meet again and discuss the results.
  4. Participate in any extracurricular activities that you can to let students see you outside of the office as a “regular” person beyond your job title.
  5. Lastly, take opportunities to go into classes and speak with students on various career topics such as resume writing, interview tips, and how to market yourself.  This is a great way for students to ask questions and your credibility as a career coach and a resource for them.

All of these opportunities involve talking to students and opening up the communication lines.  Students want to know that career coaches care and when they understand that, they will be willing to start a conversation. Students will want to meet with you and share their goals and dreams. They will seek out your advice and help.  Students will begin to be an advocate for you by   telling their friends about how their career coach has helped them and this will be a way for even more students to visit the career center.

What have you done as a career coach or educator to start the conversation?

Hanna DeBruhlHanna DeBruhl has been in the career development field for almost 10 years. She is a certified Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF) and currently serves as a career coach at Columbia College in Columbia, South Carolina. Hanna prepares students for the workforce through on-one-on coaching, classroom presentations, and on-campus workshops on various special topics. Previously, Hanna worked as a career specialist on the secondary level, teaching career exploration courses and connecting community speakers to educate students on various career fields and job oppotunities. Connect with Hanna on Twitter @HannaDeBruhl | LinkedIn | Personal Blog