by Katie Yeaton

For those entering into the Student Affairs profession, The Placement Exchange (TPE) and similar conferences are usually recommended for folxs to break out into the field.  This past weekend I was able to partake in the New England Student Affairs Placement Conference (NESAPC) and interview with schools I would have otherwise never met.  I had heard different opinions about a TPE-style event and coming into this conference I was energized, ready to meet with employers and say, “I’m a great asset to your team!”  Although the conference was organized TPE-style this year with two large rooms, rows of school/employer tables, and 30-minute interview blocks, I was informed this approach was not always the case.  After talking with other candidates about their past experiences coming to this conference, it became apparent to me that the conference had access to residence halls and employers were able to have their own interviewing room.  This year, given there are more distractions with multiple employers and interviews occurring in one room, some candidates acknowledged the different formats and admitted that regardless of the structure they still appreciated the face-to-face first-interview interaction.

Reflecting on this experience, I appreciated the in-person interviews and ability to network with folxs.  I reconnected with some familiar people who reminded me just how small and family-like Student Affairs can be, even for someone moving over 3,000+ miles.  Although I am still not sure where my next job will be, I left this conference feeling more comfortable in my circumstance and more confident in myself as a candidate.  If anyone is considering to attend NESAPC or a similar TPE-style conference, without hesitation I encourage you to do so if money allows.  Get out there, meet people, and exercise your interviewing skills!

Good luck, fellow job seekers!

Student Affairs - the First Years

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