NIRSA Events

Career Development Week Spring 2021

Presented by the NIRSA Foundation

Online: April 6-8, 2021

Registration is now open!

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Now accepting presentations!

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Ramp up your career goals with NIRSA professionals. Join us for webinars, mock interviews, resume reviews, and employer informational sessions.

Registration is now open!

Register for Access

Free for NIRSA Student Members
Just $49 for NIRSA Professional Members

$99 for nonmembers. Not a member? Join NIRSA today »

Now accepting presentations!

Submit a presentation proposal today

This event will focus on two audiences:

  1. Undergraduate students looking for a graduate assistantship or other student employment within recreation, as well as GA’s. They may or may not be planning for a career in recreation but would benefit from practical information about how to navigate the job market and employment that they may not be getting from traditional college classes
  2. Young/new professionals who are pursuing a career in campus rec and want to prepare for success in their first few years.

Career Week will take place April 6-8, 2021. Sessions will run approximately 45 minutes to allow time for a 30-minute presentation plus Q&A.

Submit a presentation proposal

Who should attend?

What to expect

Schedule

Time (Pacific)TitlePresenter(s)Description
7:00am-7:30amFinding a Job During a Worldwide Pandemic: Zoom Your Way to the TopGreg Corack, East Carolina University; Grayson Martin, East Carolina UniversityFinding a job during a recession can be difficult - add in a worldwide pandemic and it is downright impossible. This session provides tips and tricks for virtual interviewing skills, resume creation, and personal outreach to colleagues around the country. Participants will hear from a recently-hired coordinator and an associate director searching for multiple graduate assistants in the face of a hiring freeze. Core Competency Domain: Personal & Professional Qualities
7:30am-8:00amWestern Kentucky University - Employer Informational SessionJoin representatives from Western Kentucky University to learn about their open/upcoming positions and what it's like to work at that institution.
8:00am-9:00amCareer Fair HourVisit the Job Fair booths and connect with hiring managers.
9:00am-10:00am7 Ways to Improve Your Professionalism for the Aspiring (or Young) NIRSA ProfessionalTroy Vaughn, University of ArizonaSome students and professionals today are lacking in the basic skills of thinking and thought processing. We need to challenge our younger professionals more. This presentation will examine 7 ways for a young professional to make improvements to their professionalism. Core Competency Domain: Personal & Professional Qualities
10:00am-10:30amJames Madison University - Employer Informational SessionJoin representatives from James Madison University to learn about their open/upcoming positions and what it's like to work at that institution.
10:30am-11:00amCalifornia State University-Sacramento - Employer Informational SessionJoin representatives from California State University-Sacramento to learn about their open/upcoming positions and what it's like to work at that institution.
11:00am-noonWorkshop Your ResumeJamie Swyers, Liberty UniversityAre you looking to level up your resume? Jamie Swyers, a certified professional resume writer and Executive Director of Campus Recreation at Liberty University will take you through a step by step audit of your resume to prepare for your upcoming job search. Bring your current resume and pen to get the most out of this workshop. Core Competency Domain: Personal & Professional Qualities
Noon-12:30pmUniversity of Florida - Employer Informational SessionJoin representatives from University of Florida to learn about their open/upcoming positions and what it's like to work at that institution.
12:30pm-1:30pmStudent Leadership PanelLearn about how getting involved at the local or national level can help your career. Core Competency Domain: Personal & Professional Qualities
1:30pm-2:30-pmStudent & Young Professional SocialJoin the Student Leadership Team and your fellow attendees for games and connection!
Time (Pacific)TitlePresenter(s)Description
7:00am-8:00amKenobi School of Mentorship: How the Death of Me Leads to UsDavid Gaskins, George Mason University; Dana Moore-Lopez, Wake Forest University; Chelsea Phipps, UNC-Greensboro; Merrissa Vault, University of Miami; Justin Waters, East Carolina UniversityThis panel will explore the topics of relationships, mentoring, and student development and provide insight into the relationships and mentors that shaped their careers and explore how they have given back to the profession by mentoring others. Panelists will share their personal experience with being mentored and what it meant to them, their theories and approaches to mentoring as professionals, the nature of mentoring relationships, having tough conversations, and providing safe space and support in those relationships. This session is designed for both students and professionals and will be a fun and interactive presentation that will highlight one of the true hallmarks of NIRSA - that of caring professionals and student development at its finest. Core Competency Domain: Personal & Professional Qualities
8:00am-8:30amUniversity of Denver - Employer Informational SessionJoin representatives from University of Denver to learn about their open/upcoming positions and what it's like to work at that institution.
8:30am-9:00amBeing Prepared Can Get YOU the Job!Jobey Lichtblau, North Dakota State University; Jill Sackenreuter, North Dakota State UniversityA Wellness Center Director and Human Resources Associate Director team up to provide advice and guidance that will help secure that important campus recreation interview. Learn how to make your cover letter and resume rise above other candidates and discover successful interviewing strategies by sharing examples of what went well for some candidates, but not so well for others. Core Competency Domain: Personal & Professional Qualities
9:00am-10:00amBreak
10:00am-11:00amCareer Fair HourVisit the Job Fair booths and connect with hiring managers.
11:00am-noonTalk to a Pro/GAAsk a graduate assistant or professional staff member your burning questions about how to position yourself for career success in a variety of program areas.
Noon-12:30pmPaying it Forward: Why You Need to Be and Have a MentorLiz Feldman, Iowa State University; Jason Vlastaras, Iowa State UniversityMentorship is a two-way street. In the field of campus recreation, mentorship is often necessary to assist you in networking, gaining new perspectives, or having someone to act as a confidant. Since the relationship benefits both the mentor and mentee, it is important to hold both of these titles throughout your career. In this presentation you can expect to gain tips on how to activate and develop a meaningful mentoring relationship, and hear about the success of two NIRSA colleagues who met in the official mentoring program. Core Competency Domain: Personal & Professional Qualities
12:30pm-1:30pmWho's up Next? Preparing Yourself to Receive the (Professional) BatonDexter Shorter, Pennsylvania State University; Calvin Diggs, Saint Cloud State UniversityWhen opportunity knocks on your door, it is important for you to be ready. As students and professionals, we must commit to being active participants in preparing ourselves for advancement and progression within our own career. Bring your best energy and insight to this conversation about action steps to consider before the (professional) baton is passed to you. Core Competency Domain: Personal & Professional Qualities
1:00pm-1:30pmUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst - Employer Informational SessionJoin representatives from University of Massachusetts Amherst to learn about their open/upcoming positions and what it's like to work at that institution.
1:30pm-2:00-pmThe Tickler Calendar: How to Prepare Your Department for Your DepartureKrista Chauvin, Penn State UniversityHave you ever gotten to a new job and wished you knew what your predecessor's tasks were each day? Or maybe you’re about to leave your position and wish you could instill your knowledge to your replacement? Join me to learn what a Tickler Calendar is, how to make one, and how it can help you and your department remain organized with and without you. Don’t worry, there is no tickling involved.
A Tickler Calendar is a document that includes daily, weekly, and monthly responsibilities and tasks for a position. Not only can it keep the employee on track, but the department can use it to easily divide responsibilities to the rest of the team if the employee is out of the office for an extended period of time. The calendar can also be handed down to the employee's replacement when they leave, as an easy way for them to see details about their new role. Core Competency Domain: Personal & Professional Qualities
2:00-2:30pmMount St. Mary's University - Employer Informational SessionJoin representatives from Mount St. Mary's University to learn about their open/upcoming positions and what it's like to work at that institution.
Time (Pacific)TitlePresenter(s)Description
7:00am-8:00amDesigning Your Professional PathwayJenny Larson, Elon University; Natalie Hawkes, Elon UniversityThere are many directions you can go, and many ways to get there. Have you ever wondered where to begin? Designing Your Professional Pathway is a participatory, interactive session that will encourage you to reflect on your individual skillset, and how you can grow and challenge yourself as an up-and-coming professional. By utilizing the Design Thinking model and engaging in activities/exercises, you will have the opportunity to articulate personal and professional goals to inform your career path. This presentation will be a group experience, allowing all to learn and develop from one another’s feedback and insights. Core Competency Domain: Personal & Professional Qualities
8:00am-8:30amClemson University - Employer Informational SessionJoin representatives from Clemson University to learn about their open/upcoming positions and what it's like to work at that institution.
8:30am-9:30amMetamorphosis: Grad Life to Real LifeMatt Collum, Boston College; Nick Lampert, University of Colorado BoulderTwo young professionals will take you through some of the trials, tribulations, and most importantly, successes of their first 1-3 years in Collegiate Recreation. Even though Matt and Nick have had completely different professional paths, they both started as little larva (graduate assistants) and have blossomed into wonderful butterflies (professionals). They will provide some background info on themselves, then take you through the pros/cons and things to look for during their first few years as full-time professionals. The presentation will rely on audience participation and will include a 15-minute question and answer portion. Core Competency Domain: Personal & Professional Qualities
9:30am-10:00amUniversity of Missouri-Columbia - Employer Informational SessionJoin representatives from University of Missouri-Columbia to learn about their open/upcoming positions and what it's like to work at that institution.
10:00am-10:30amUniversity of Colorado Boulder - Employer Informational SessionJoin representatives from University of Colorado Boulder to learn about their open/upcoming positions and what it's like to work at that institution.
10:30am-11:00amPurdue University - Employer Informational SessionJoin representatives from Purdue University to learn about their open/upcoming positions and what it's like to work at that institution.
11:00am-noonConsidering Graduate School? Get Your Questions Answered by the InsidersJulia Wallace Carr & Dr. Benjamin Carr, James Madison UniversityLearn from the decision-makers for both academic program admittance and graduate assistantship placements - the Insiders. Our experience with the graduate assistant recruitment process and the academic program application process has been that prospective students are not always getting the best mentoring to make them a quality candidate. Most mentors, while well-intentioned, are giving students information based on the way they went through the process themselves. This information often takes the student out of the competitive mix. This program is designed not to give participants a one-size-fits-all process, but to give them things to consider so that they can make informed choices about their graduate assistant search. It also gives meaning to the terminology that will be thrown out to them along the way and various resources to refer to when questions arise. Core Competency Domain: Personal & Professional Qualities
Noon-12:30pmUniversity of Rhode Island - Employer Informational SessionJoin representatives from University of Rhode Island to learn about their open/upcoming positions and what it's like to work at that institution.
12:30pm-1:00pmWhy Association Membership is ImportantCody Mikl, University of Minnesota-Twin CitiesThank you for attending Career Week! If you are contemplating making a career out of campus recreation, association involvement - and NIRSA involvement in particular - is a must. NIRSA provides the platform and network where campus recreation practitioners become great professionals and so much more. Come to this session to learn what NIRSA has to offer and how it can help you build your career. Core Competency Domain: Personal & Professional Qualities
1:00pm-2:00pmCareer Fair HourVisit the Job Fair booths and connect with hiring managers.

The following sessions will be available on demand during Career Development Week.

Time (Pacific)TitlePresenter(s)Description
Available On DemandThe Job Search: Be Ready, Stay Ready, SucceedLaurie Braden, Louisiana State University; Demetria Young, Louisiana State UniversityA multigenerational perspective to help you succeed in your job search.
Available On DemandMoving Up: Is it Time to Switch Roles?Dave Stewart, Towson UniversityWhen should I switch roles? Should I stay in the same program area my whole career? Do I need to leave my current institution to move up? These are all valid questions that professionals will face at some point in their career. This presentation will focus on knowing if/when it is time to switch roles or program areas within Campus Rec. The presentation will cover the pros/cons of switching roles, as well as some tips on how to make the decision that is best for you.
Available On DemandTurning Fitness into a Career in Campus RecreationJohanna Valencia, Texas Tech University; Hannah Starnes, Texas Tech UniversityCome learn about interviewing strategies, careers in the fitness industry and steps you can take now to start your path.This presentation is geared towards undergraduates who want a career in fitness and don't know where to start.
Available On Demand10 Common Mistakes We Make When Job SearchingTroy Vaughn, University of ArizonaWhen it is time to start looking for a job, there are many mistakes that can be made by aspiring professionals. This presentation will look at 10 common mistakes that are made and you can try to avoid!
Available On DemandFrom Application to Offer: Navigating All the Steps of the Search ProcessNicholas D'Amato, UMassThis presentation will highlight the difference in search processes between Internships, Graduate Assistantships and entry-level professional positions. The presentation will show what employers are looking for in various stages of the search process including resume and cover letter review, phone/zoom interviews, on-campus interviews, references check, offering a position and what happens when a position is accepted. By presenting to attendees what employers are looking for, participants should come away with actionable tips for each stage in the search process.
Available On DemandOutside The Lines: Considering More Than Just The SalaryLauren Olson, Associate Director of Campus Recreation at University of South Carolina-ColumbiaJob searching is a stressful process. On top of the job itself, there is so much to consider that sometimes get forgotten about. This presentation will ensure attendees are researching and asking questions about all the additional benefits beyond salary.
Available On DemandUnderstanding Your Employee BenefitsTroy Vaughn, University of ArizonaAs you prepare your resume and interviewing skills for that next position, the one thing that you forget about are the benefits that you receive from an employer. With employer benefits, knowledge is power and this presentation will describe and explain many of the types of benefits that you can receive. Health insurance, life insurance, retirement, and many other benefits will be described to make young professionals aware of what they will need to know as they decide on a new position.
Register Today

$29 for NIRSA Student Members  |  $49 for NIRSA Professional Members

$99 for nonmembers. Not a member? Join NIRSA today »

“NIRSA’s Virtual Career Development Week was a valuable experience that gave me confidence as I enter my GA search this fall. It was also a great opportunity to meet new individuals and expand my network.”

Michael Migliaro, Competitive Sports Program Assistant, The University of Alabama

“NIRSA’s Virtual Career Development Week was a valuable experience that gave me confidence as I enter my GA search this fall. It was also a great opportunity to meet new individuals and expand my network.” – Michael Migliaro, Competitive Sports Program Assistant, The University of Alabama

“Career Development Week was a great opportunity to meet new emerging professionals and grow my own career development.” Alli H. Manager of Outdoors at the University of Utah

Bluefishjobs Career Development Week is a NIRSA CEU Approved Provider Program. The program(s) identified with a CEU value meet the requirements for fulfilling the professional development requirements to earn or maintain the Registered Collegiate Recreational Sports Professionals (RCRSP) designation. RCRSPs are responsible for tracking CEUs earned. Email registry@nirsa.org with questions.

For more information, please contact Megan Granholm, NIRSA Member Services Manager.