Kathryn Kirkpatrick, Program Manager, Career Services, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
As I prepared for my first FloridaACE Conference, I really wasn’t sure what to expect. I assumed there would be the constant chance to network. I knew there would be great opportunities for professional development. However, I couldn’t have possibly imagined the overwhelming air of enthusiasm and energy that radiated throughout the duration of the conference.
Several of my coworkers (and my boss—Alicia) were heavily involved in planning the conference and I was encouraged to get involved, which absolutely influenced my first conference experience. The opportunity to serve on the registration committee and host a roundtable made me feel instantly connected to the event. This allowed me to meet colleagues from across the state and share my knowledge and experiences as a career advisor.
What was so amazing about my experience at FloridaACE was how inspired I felt when I left. Who knew that spending a few days in Miami could motivate a person even more to want to get up and go to work every day?! We all do what we do for a reason—we are passionate in some way, shape, or form about helping, supporting, challenging, and encouraging our students in reaching their professional goals. As we learned during the FloridaACE conference, especially from our tour of the University of Miami Toppel Career Center, our mission as career advisors is to provide ‘rocket fuel’ to our students’ dreams.
On a personal note, during the conference I realized I
needed a little rocket fuel myself! Attending the FloridaACE Conference was my rocket fuel. It served as a friendly reminder of why I love my profession and it connected me to like minded individuals whose experiences and contagious passions reminded me of my purpose as a career advisor. I left the FloridaACE conference feeling so professionally rejuvenated—and maybe a little tired due to excessive dancing at the after party! I cannot wait to return to the FloridaACE conference for round two next year!