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Changing Places at Placement Exchange -Jason M. Lu (TPE Guest Blogger)

March 8, 2010

Day 4 of NASPA’s The Placement Exchange 2010 and it seems that everyone has reached their stride.

Shuttle to McCormick Place

Freshly dressed we get onto buses that we are thankfully provided by The Placement Exchange.  Looking out the bus windows we take a short moment to appreciate the sights of Chicago along the route to The Placement Exchange. We get to McCormick place and take a deep breath as we stand on the ascending elevator.  We move from the candidate workroom or the resource room to check our mailboxes, walking lively and with enthusiasm to our mailboxes or down to the interview floor, and we are researching, talking, and connecting.

The best part of The Placement Exchange for us candidates is that we have a giant support network our peers who are looking and searching for that perfect fit.  Peers who are all at their best spurring each other on to reach that elusive interviewing excellence.  We exchange advice, ask each other how to phrase messages to employers, share meals, candid conversations, and cannot deny the feeling that we are all in this together.

Candidate Workroom

I cannot help but think about how we are all changing places constantly.  The field of student affairs is a small interconnected highway spanning the nation. We interview with employers who have worked with our current supervisors, who were interns with each other before. It gives us a feeling that though some of us are emerging full-time practitioners we are in a field of strong traditions and excellent leadership.

As The Placement Exchange reaches its final days and both candidates and employers begin to compile their top institutions, I reflect upon that the majority of us in the field have changed places, changed institutions, changed paradigms, all in the pursuit to change our students lives.

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