September 4, 2018
My name is Jessica Conklin, and I am a second-year graduate student at Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas. I am the graduate assistant for career services, and I am earning my Master of Science in Education with an emphasis in Higher Education Student Affairs. I completed my Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in May 2017. I was born in 1995, and that has a tremendous impact on how technology influences my life. In 2017-2018, I served as an ambassador and intern for The Placement Exchange (TPE) and the role that technology's influence on almost every aspect I did in as an ambassador and intern without realizing it.
I found out via email to apply for the ambassador. The application to apply was a Google Form. Already there are two different pieces of technology. Once I was accepted as an ambassador, we had a conference call using Zoom Video Chat software. This meeting was with all the ambassadors to introduce us to each other. We also learned what was expected of us as ambassadors of TPE. Shortly after the first meeting, a Facebook group was created to be a space that as ambassadors we share ideas. A while later, a GroupMe chat was for more informal conversations among the ambassadors. In December, there was another Zoom call to explain the process of applying to become an on-site intern. After this meeting, I decided I was going to apply for the internship. I decided to make an Instagram account as my application. This account told my story with images and an introduction video. I was selected as an intern. I used the account to continue to document my story while at TPE. If you would like to check it out, the handle is jessi_tpeintern2018.
Leading up to arriving in Philadelphia the committee had weekly meetings via Zoom. I shared TPE updates with the Student Affairs Graduate Association at my institution. I found a NASPA blog titled: The Placement Exchange: Experience It. In the blog, it gives great tips for someone if they are attending TPE. Randazzo (2014) said including “utilize the website, … attend an orientation, … be prepared, …network, and … be yourself” (para. 3-8). In addition to this article, there are also various other ways that candidates could have connected with TPE. These include webinars, social media, etc. On top of that, a GroupMe created for the intern committee. There was a different GroupMe for just the interns too and a full committee GroupMe as well. If you lost track that is four different GroupMe chats. One of my responsibilities as an intern on-site was helping candidates schedule their interviews. This demanded a need for WiFi and laptops because of how interviews are scheduled operating an online system. Speaking of WiFi, this was the first time staying at a hotel that did not include complimentary WiFi. While on-site I used my Fitbit Blaze to make sure that I could keep with everything TPE related and my personal life as well.
Reflecting on my experience with TPE, technology influenced almost everything that I did. I did not realize how much technology influenced my experience with TPE; without it, I think I would have had such a difference practical knowledge of TPE. I considered the whole experience and what technology was being used because it is so ingrained in my life it felt normal. I believe technology positively influenced me this previous year as an ambassador and intern with lasting memories.
Randazzo, S. (2014, April 16). The Placement Exchange: Experience It [Web log post]. Retrieved April 16, 2018, from https://www.naspa.org/constituent-groups/posts/the-placement-exchange-experience-it
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