Last week I attended the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) annual conference in San Antonio Texas. Here are some highlights from my trip.

By way of introduction, this is the organization that supports college career centers and the employers that recruit from them. So there are two main interests. First are career professionals looking for advice to help coach their students and build better programs. Second are the college career staff who want to attract employers, and employers who want deeper connections with schools.

So there’s a lot going on!

I was there with my new business partner Terry, who runs College Transition Publishing. Terry distributes my workbook to colleges who want to buy larger quantities at a discount. He was kind enough to give me 1/2 of his table so I could chat with my readers and clients.

Joshua at NACE 2014

Joshua at NACE 2014

I had a chance to connect with some past clients as well. In particular, I enjoyed reconnecting with Madeleine Slutsky President of Career Services at DeVry University. A few years ago, she had me conduct a train-the-trainer with 80 of her career center staff from around the country as part of her vision for bringing social media into their coaching practice. I also got a chance to connect with Jimmy Lawrence, Director of Career Services at Auburn University where I visited to train his staff and present a fun keynote for his students.

During the conference, I asked subscribers of my mailing list to come find me. And if they used a secret password, I’d give them a book. I have to admit I had a good time watching people trying to pronounce the password…which came directly from Game of Thrones. Sorry guys. It was a made up language (muahaha).

San Antonio had some really great Mexican food. But the most memorable eating experiences were the vegetarian restaurant we found called Green Vegetarian. It was packed and the food was amazing:

Eggplant cuts

Then Terry found the Man Vs. Food episode where they feature a 3 lbs cinnamon roll from Lulu’s Diner.  So of course we had to get that:

IMG_1024

I only ate a little bit, then gave the rest away.

Finally, as usual, there were some really amazing vendors at the conference. My friend Val Matta was there with her company CareerShift, where they offer a complete job search management solution for students.

And I got to meet Interview Stream (Thanks for the Socks by the way! Great Swagg). They offer a video interviewing platform so employers can meet candidates before coming on campus.

Interview Stream

Finally, I did some video recordings for Kathy Egan, owner of CareerSpots, which career centers can subscribe to to get any number of great video trainings to give to students.

Overall, another great NACE this year. I was my 3rd year attending and it’s one conference I try not to miss. I hope I’ll get a chance to personally connect with everyone I met last week at some point this summer.

My goal is to help more schools set up a social media job search training program using my curriculum and workbook, and train their staff on how to teach it.