Ohio Career Development Association Quarterly Newsletter

Autumn 2016
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Inside This Issue:

A Message From Our President

Dear OCDA Members,
We are grateful that you have chosen to be a part of OCDA—home of career professionals across Ohio!
What an exciting time ahead of us.  Whether you have spent years or have begun a new chapter of your life as a career professional, OCDA is here to support you.  As always, we welcome your thoughts and suggestions.  You can connect with us via our email, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook
OCDA has continually looked for ways to show our appreciation to members.  This Fall, we are planning to host a FREE member networking event in Northeast and Central Ohio.  In the upcoming Spring, we are also planning to sponsor members to participate in professional development opportunities (e.g., conferences).  More details will follow.  Please keep an eye on our monthly emails and newsletters for these wonderful opportunities. 
I hope you are as excited as I am to be a part of OCDA and that you stay involved with many professional development opportunities and initiatives.  Together, we can make a difference in our clients, students, and consumers!
Varunee Faii Sangganjanavanich, PhD
President of OCDA

Resource Corner

If you are looking for a free, easy-to-use version of the MBTI, then look no further!  16Personalities has been an awesome resource for me in career services.  It's great to use with individuals, small groups, or even larger classes.  Not only can students or clients take the short assessment and receive results, but this site also describes what these results mean, and it walks them through how their 'type' affects them in different areas of their lives, such as work and relationships.  There is an option to pay and receive even more information, but in my experience, the free version was more than enough!  Check it out at
Do you have a "go-to" resource that has been helpful in your professional development or in your work with students/clients? We would love to hear about it!  If you would like your favorite resource to be featured in the next OCDA Newsletter please contact Andria Stragisher using the button below.
I Have a Resource!
Success Stories
Career Services Success Story Leigh Mascolino

When I was a Graduate Student at Florida State in a Career Counseling program, I volunteered to help at the large career fair event. I saw a student pass me, crying, and I followed her into the hallway. She was overwhelmed and was not sure how to start a conversation with an employer. She was also a graduating senior and had no idea what she wanted to do. I helped calm her down and provided as much encouragement as I could. After a few minutes she felt ready to return to the career fair. A year later, I was in my second year of Graduate School and I was helping at a smaller career fair event. One of the recruiters stopped me and asked if I remembered her, and I admitted that she looked familiar. She told me that I had helped her at the career fair a year earlier, and she had gotten an interview for a recruiting position and then a job offer shortly after. She was now coming to the University to recruit students, and was so glad that I had counseled her and had encouraged her to return to the career fair.
A 'Thank You' 10 Years Later
Student Email to Dr. Ana Barrios Allison
Dr Berrios Allison,

You may not remember me, but you helped me through the decision to switch from an architecture major to a nutrition major with the ultimate goal of medical school in 2006-2007.  Through our conversations, you gave me the confidence that medical school was an achievable goal.  Your career guidance also gave me insight into my own personality traits and has helped me to become a more well-rounded person.

10 years have passed and I thought I'd give you an update.  After graduating from Ohio State with a B.S. in Nutrition, I was accepted to OSU, Wisconsin, and Toledo for medical school and accepted a full tuition scholarship to go to University of Toledo.  I have since graduated medical school and am in the midst of my residency at University of Michigan in the field of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.  I work with people to help get their life back after experiencing life-changing events such as spinal cord injuries, strokes, brain injuries.  I love going to work everyday and I feel completely fulfilled in my choice as a career.  

I really wanted you to know that I appreciate your help in guiding me through my career decision process.  It meant a lot to me that you cared and seemed as invested in my decision as I was.  I keep that with me in my conversations with patients, colleagues, and medical students.  Thanks!

Have you worked, or are you currently working with a challenging client, student or consumer? How were you able to effectively help them?  Let's hear from you to help us all grow as professionals!  If you are interested in sharing a Success Story in the next OCDA Newsletter, please contact Andria Stragisher using the button below.
My Success Story

The 2017 OCDA Conference will be here before we know it!  Be sure to mark your calendars to attend on Friday, May 19, 2017 from 8:30am-4:30pm.  Next year's conference will take place in Columbus, Ohio.  More details will follow!

Interested in speaking at the conference? We would love to hear from you!  Please reach out to Leigh Mascolino for more information!
Member Networking Event

This November, OCDA is planning a free networking event for all members! One will be held in Central Ohio and one in Northeast Ohio. 

If you are in Northeast Ohio and have a great space at your organization, we would love to host the event there!  Please contact Meagan Kittrick and Andria Stragisher for more information no later than September 30th!
2016-2017 NCDA Leadership Academy: Member Spotlight

Jessica Wood, OCDA Archives Chair and Employment Services Coordinator at Lakeland Community College has begun her participation in the NCDA 2016-2017 Leadership Academy. She attended a series of meetings in June at the NCDA Conference in Chicago where she was able to interact with and learn leadership skills from a variety of individuals holding positions within the NCDA organization.

An important part of her leadership experience is completing an action learning project that will help NCDA and further the career development field.   For this, Jessica will be partnering with another class member to develop a survey to assess both veteran student career needs and the needs of career centers to work effectively with this important population. The goal of the project will be to develop a “toolkit” and an article to share with career services centers that can help improve the services they provide to veterans.

Jessica will continue to participate in a series of conference calls with her project partner as well as the others from her class. She will then present her findings with her partner at the NCDA 2017 conference in Orlando.  

A survey will be sent to all OCDA members when it is approved, so please consider completing it should you meet the requirements, which will be specified at that time.

Should you have any questions related to the NCDA Leadership Academy or her action learning project, feel free to reach out to Jessica at

In an instantaneous world that uses #hashtags #for #everythingwedo, career services professionals have to capture students’ attention quickly while giving them the tools to be successful with a variety of career-related concerns. In recent years, the Career Development office at Mount Aloysius College has put into practice some creative and collaborative initiatives in order to achieve maximum student engagement. Having limited staff and sustaining budgetary cuts, collaboration and teamwork are key. Below are a few suggestions of successful initiatives that may spark new ideas for your own career center.

Get in the Classrooms and Host Department-Specific Events

We can’t expect every student to independently utilize the career center. Every semester, Mount Aloysius professors allow Career Development team members to step into their classrooms. In these presentations, we discuss résumés and interview questions specific to the majors in that classroom. Professors may require follow-up assignments for classes such as a mock interview, a résumé critique, salary negotiation scenarios, assessments, or career counseling. When we started the initiative in 2014, an astounding 34% of our one-on-one appointments were due to classroom assignments, and last year our classroom attendance increased by 40%. Out of this collaboration came field-specific events based on the needs of the departments. We host a “Nursing Mock Interview Fair” where area hospitals teach interview skills to Nursing majors. We also host the “ASL Etiquette Breakfast” where American Sign Language/Interpreting majors can learn how to interpret while dining. Additionally, we organize a “Careers in Accounting Breakfast” and a “Careers in Criminology” panel that allow employers and students to discuss job and internship opportunities within these industries.

Partner with Student Success and Advising to Reach More Students Early-On

The Career Development office is centrally located with the Office of Student Success and Advising, a partnership that has proven to be successful. It allows us immediate contact with students who are experiencing academic distress and need alternative career and academic options. Our offices also partner to host themed weeks together, most recently offering a “Hot Mess to Success Week.” This week focuses on

  • how to keep up your energy when studying;

  • finding an alternative career path when priorities change;

  • common résumé, cover letter and interview mistakes;

  • how to set goals to be on the Dean’s list; 

  • tips for salary negotiation.

The Career Development office partners with the Mount Aloysius Academic Preparation Program (MAAPP), a summer pre-entry program for freshman coordinated by an academic advisor, to offer an etiquette dinner. This allows the students in this program to understand professional etiquette that they will be able to utilize throughout college.

Create Interest Through Friendly Competition

Mounties@Work is our online job, internship and volunteer opportunity database. Students are encouraged to sign up in their freshman year. We found that offering a competition for the Resident Assistants (RAs) is a very beneficial way of promoting it. The RA who gets the most new student accounts or résumés uploaded wins a gift basket full of college apparel. This adds 100-200 new accounts each year and allows for further résumé critiques. It also educates RAs on our services and has allowed opportunities for individual residential floor programs.

Make Everything Accessible Online

We created a “Career Development Resources” course within Blackboard in which every student is automatically enrolled. Within this course there are original résumé examples and interview questions for every major on campus, as well as short instructional videos. We conserve a lot of paper and printing costs, as students can download exactly what they need, when they need it.

Use Assessments in Unique Ways

We recently spoke to a class entitled “Shakespeare in Society.” This course took place inside a federal correctional institution and consisted of ten students and ten inmates. It was a collaborative course taught by professors in Criminology and Theatre as part of the re-entry department. Career Development was asked to administer the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment and discuss it in class by distributing group scenarios. Since the class was in the process of reading Shakespeare’s Hamlet, we also organized an activity where the students discussed personality types of each of the characters within the play. Not only was it a discussion that exercised critical thinking, but it also allowed students to break barriers and learn about their strengths and weaknesses by relating to others.

Engage with Campus and Community Volunteers

We are fortunate to be surrounded by hospitable campus and community members who volunteer. We host an event entitled “Mountie Makeover Mania” that gives students free haircuts, manicures, makeup lessons, professional attire tips, tie-tying demonstrations, dining etiquette lessons, elevator pitch examples, mock interviews, and more. It is staffed entirely by campus and community volunteers. We have also included a “What Not to Wear” fashion show put on by faculty. The campus store, Threads, gives out coupons to students for free professional attire. Threads is managed by Student Affairs and takes in donations to help students on a tight budget find clothing they may need. This initiative creates a strong bond with the surrounding community and gets outside volunteers excited about helping students to find their professional voice.

As budgets are cut and career center staff is limited, the common goal of helping students to find success remains unchanged. While the challenge of engaging students continues, we can begin to tackle these challenges by working together and thinking outside the box. After all, if we are going to tweet that #collaboration, #communication and #creativity are some of the top skills employers are seeking in 2016, then we have a responsibility to demonstrate the many ways to utilize those skills.

Kristy Magee is the Career Development Director & Coordinator at Mount Aloysius College in Cresson, PA. She also teaches courses in Communication Media for the Business Department. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre from Emporia State University in Emporia, Kansas, and a Master of Arts degree in Communication from Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas. She volunteers at a federal correctional institution teaching workshops related to employable skills upon re-entry for incarcerated individuals. In her spare time, she performs, directs and designs for theaters within the community. She may be contacted at

This article originally appeared in NCDA's web magazine, Career Convergence, at Copyright National Career Development Association. Reprinted with permission.
Membership Moment

OCDA welcomes new and renewing members:
Judith Aungst, Shari Ayers, Heather Balas, Matthew Bartuccio, Dalila Bennett, Ana Berrios Allison, Edward Brewer, William Brown, Laurel Durrett, Jean Ann Franke, Kimberly Gilliam, Kayla Haver, Michael Jacobs, Julie Kelly, Meagan Kittrick, Kay Lenvandowski, Taylor Lincicome, Oscar McKnight, Nancy Ronevich, Varunee Faii Sangganjanavanich, Martha Smith, Jan Taylor, Nancy Taylor, Chris Wenz, Ryan Wilhelm, and Monica Womach

If you have joined or renewed during this time frame, but are not listed above, please email Meagan Kittrick at

Want to join OCDA? It’s easy and online! WHY JOIN OCDA? Each OCDA member receives:
  • Networking opportunities with career development professionals from all over Ohio through regional events and the OCDA Annual Conference
  • Access to the OCDA Linked In group for additional networking and professional development
  • Opportunities to build leadership skills by participating on the OCDA executive board
  • Access to the OCDA quarterly newsletter and the ability to publish articles
  • A free subscription to NCDA’s monthly web magazine Career Convergence
  • Access to multiple career-related webinars through NCDA
  • Several opportunities each year to earn CEU’s
  • Notifications about volunteer opportunities with community organizations seeking career professional expertise
  • Opportunities to apply for and be nominated for professional development and career-related grants/awards
  • A chance to increase professional recognition for career development and counseling by being part of a state organization

To join visit and fill out the appropriate forms. Payment can be made either online or by check. For any questions please call 614-738-4423 or email
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Copyright © 2016 Ohio Career Development Association. A chartered state division of the National Career Development Association and division of the Ohio Counseling Association.
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