9 Things to Do Instead of #EMchat Tonight

If you missed the memo, we're canceling #EMchat tonight. Sorry for the last minute change. Lots of wheels cranking, candles burning, and life events happening in our realms. Forgive us? Still want an hour of the best professional development this side of the internet? Okay. Here you go. How many links can you fit in a blog post? A lot. In no particular order:

1.   Improve your Email via Meghan Dalesandro.

2.  Watch some of these via The Team at Rapid Insight.

3.  Learn some #EMsci from Brock Tibert. And try not to get lost. THAT is the real challenge! He's too smart.

4.  Download this. Then start reading it. I lied, it's not all free. But totally worth it.

5.  Request to join this group. I'm sure there's a good conversation going on. Or at least Jon Boeckenstedt is there leaving good comments.

6.  Speaking of, play with some of these visualizations. They never end.

7.  Catch up on this and last week's #EMchat from Chegg. (Two things or one?)

8.  Start some research to figure out how to get THIS FILM on your campus.

9.  Start a conversation. Ask a question. Link up with an #FAchat, #SAchat, #CareerServChat, #SCcrowd, #SCchat, #CollegeCash hashtags and build your network.

FOR BONUS #EMCHAT POINTS: Find THIS and mail to Crofton, Maryland.

And, if you've got some great prodev of your own to share with the community, I didn't leave it out on purpose. I promise. Share it in the comments or with #EMchat at any time! See you all next week for a chat on Prior, Prior Year Financial Data for the FAFSA. Speaking of, read this by Scannell & Kurz's Aaron Mahl.

Resolution: Get a Mentor. Be a Mentor.

In keeping with the resolution theme, today’s post is focused on the value of mentors. I’ve made it a point to identify people (formally and informally) in all areas of my life who can help guide me to become the person I aspire to be. I regularly ping them for advice, grab a coffee or lunch, and gauge their collective responses to opportunities and challenges that pop up in my life, melding suggestions into options that work best for me. Through #EMchat, I’ve met a number of colleagues who have provided serious advice and have been instrumental in the decisions that I have made in my career.

mentorTo me, networking and collaborating with colleagues is the best part of the #EMchat community. And that’s why we’re looking to connect individuals on a greater level as we move into 2015. Over the next few months, we’ll be working on formally defining the online mentorship role that we know EMchat is already providing behind the scenes for so many. We’ve got some great ideas spinning and as always, we're open to your ideas as well!

Maybe you don’t need a mentor you can talk to every day. Maybe you’re just looking for advice on one particular topic or experience. Maybe you’ve had a fantastic career or just went through a super successful implementation of a CRM and have some tips to share. Maybe you just want to give back. Our goal is simply to create the pool and let the community take it from there.

Whatever the case, be on the lookout for updates and let us know your thoughts on the value you’d find in this!

My 1 Motivator -- The End Goal

After my recent post on pushing through failure, I received some really positive feedback from the higher ed community to continue pushing through—and thanks a ton for that!

I also received a few messages and emails asking what it is that makes me want to push through. Where did the motivation come from? How do you pull yourself out of a failed attempt? To clarify, my startup itself didn’t fail. Has it taken off fully? Nope. But the failure I discussed was a huge setback in my race to launch.

Layout 1So to answer your question regarding what pulled me through my failure directly, Anthony, Jen, Christina, Jordan, and the random email I got that I tried responding directly to but couldn’t for some reason (whoever you are)—my startup is simply a step toward a larger end goal. Looking at it as a step in my career path rather than a career in itself allowed--allows--me to focus on the big picture. Of course, it took me a few months to actually realize this.

What’s my big picture? First impressions. That’s pretty vague, but that’s it.

In a not-so-humble-brag-kind-of-way (mostly because humble brags are actually more of a brag than a regular brag), relationships are my thing. Some people are good at accounting. Some are good at sports. Some can build the hell out of a house. I understand people. Really well. I’m also like a human CRM. I can have one conversation with a person and tell you a year later exactly what we talked about and connect them to a totally unrelated person based on a random commonality. In the end, all relationships start (obviously) with the first impression and the ability to manage that.

For many students, the college fair is that initial person-to-person impression that a prospective student has with an institution. leadpath works to improve a small piece of the puzzle. It’s a step. Other first impressions are ads, campus visits, or a simple phone call with a current student doing an admissions phone-a-thon. My big picture is to consult with institutions to improve first impressions—to make this process easier with technology and training. Each strategy is unique and each institution requires a different approach.  The challenges are incredible and something that I look forward to.

The business competition was a failure, for sure. But it was only a failure in the sense that we didn’t walk away with $50K. We did walk away with really refined pitches. We walked away with over 70 conversations with institutions spanning the education spectrum. We walked away with input from a couple hundred individuals who took the time to help guide the build out. We walked away with a ton of knowledge. And for my big picture, those things are worth significantly more than the initial $50K.

If you get discouraged with a paper, a project, a business venture, or some other personal challenge, it’s easier channel your disappointment into motivation when looking at the bigger picture, the end goal.

Also, I'm a big Stephen Covey fan. His book on The 7 Effective Habits of Highly Effective People was written two years after I was born and I have read it a number of times. It's every bit as true as the day it was published.

#EMchat & #SCcrowd Take on #ReachHigher!

We’re excited to continue to bridge the divide during this week’s #EMchat—and what better week to do it than during #NACAC14! We’re teaming up with the #SCcrowd (School Counselor Crowdsourcing) group for a dual Q&A chat. School counselors from all over have been prepping questions to ask EM pros about the admissions process, financial aid, and higher ed in general. AND, this is the perfect opportunity for EM’ers to do the same (just in the opposite direction).

We’ll be prepping a few questions for the chat, but from the looks of things it doesn’t look like there will be much work needed on the MOD end this week (thanks, school counselors!).

This chat  is also timely as First Lady Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher (check out #ReachHigher) initiative continues to gain momentum, inspiring students (and families) across America to take charge of their future by pursuing post-secondary education. The initiative promotes the President’s North Star goal that challenges America to have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNhDLQMzduM[/embed]

As education professionals, we know that this goal can’t be accomplished without strong collaboration across the eduspectrum. Join school counselors from all of #K12 and other higher ed professionals as we help one another in creating better processes, promoting ideas, and improving our education system.

We’ll be using the #EMchat hashtag during our chat on Thursday at 9PM ET, but make sure you use both #EMchat and #SCcrowd during the week as we continue to source questions for the chat!

My co-mod for the night will be Ross Wolfson (who you should be following!), founder of #SCcrowd. Read all about him here!