MBA CSEA Conference

Krasi Shapkarova

Krasi is Carey the Torch's Editor-in-Chief and also represents the Career Development Office in Washington, D.C., working with students on career exploration and development. Krasi holds a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology from the University of Houston-Clear Lake and a Master of Arts in International Human Rights from the University of Denver.

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Last week, 10 members of the Carey CDO team attended the 2015 MBA CSEA Global Conference and spent four days connecting  with career professionals and employers from across the country and the world. The conference took place in Dallas, TX–one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the United States.

One of the four main cities in Texas, Dallas offers a diverse business environment with financial services, information technology, and real estate as three of the major industries. Among the 25 largest employers in Dallas are Bank of America Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., JP Morgan Chase & Co., and Baylor Health Care System. In addition, a walk through downtown Dallas reveals the presence of well-established names such as Deloitte, KPMG, and Bain&Company.

The amount of information presented and learned at the conference was astounding, and here are a few highlights.

  • Stacy Donovan Zapar, a 16-year recruiting veteran for Fortune 500 tech companies, shared data and insights on Zappos’ quite successful Insider program, a proactive sourcing/talent pipeline model that eliminated job postings for most positions. During her talk, she emphasized that the insider program helps the company hire both for aptitude and attitude; in fact, culture fit is 50% of the equation.
  • Ashley Goodall, Director of Leadership Development at Deloitte Services LP, spoke about evaluating talent. After much research, Deloitte found that top performing teams share three characteristics: (1) team members have a chance to use their strengths every day; (2) team members are enthusiastic about the organization’s mission; and (3) each team member knows what is expected of him/her. Top leaders meet with their team members for regular check-ins that are strengths-based and are changing the conversation from “what you are doing wrong” to “what you are great at doing.”
  • Speaker, author, and executive coach Sara Canaday reflected on the difference between who you think you are and how others see and experience you. She identified strategies to help people enhance their professional reputation and those include boosting self-awareness, getting feedback, and closing the gap between what you want to be as a professional and where you are now.
  • Craig Fisher, CEO of TalentNet, shared tips on how best to present your professional self online. What he highlighted is that people often remember you as a person so it is important to add a bit about yourself on your professional online profile. Love photography? Perhaps a display of your work on LinkedIn can give viewers a glimpse of who you are outside the office.
  • Best-selling author and technology entrepreneur Ben Casnocha pointed out the currently broken employee-employer relationship and discussed solutions as outlined in his recent book, The Alliance. He suggests that employees should be viewed as allies on a “Tour of Duty” who trust that employers will respect their independence. He also indicated that one of the most transformational ways in which an employer can help employees is not by giving them new titles but by introducing them to a valuable network of influencers in the field.

The above represents a small sample of the remarkable content featured at the packed and engaging conference. The platter, both the metaphorical and literal one (Did I mention the delicious food of Texas?), was quite full and I am pretty certain we all came out of the event with a few added pounds and a lot of valuable knowledge.

Yee-Haw!

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