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Minnesota Career Development Association

MCDA 2012 Summer Newsletter

Inside this issue:

  • The President’s Corner
  • Congratulations to Our Award Winners!
  • The Professional Development Institute Presentations
  • Different Generations Within the Workplace
  • Member Spotlights
  • News from NCDA
  • Book Review
  • MCDA Board Highlights
  • Welcome New Members

The President’s Corner by Janet Pribyl

Wow! It seems like summer just landed in our laps with no warning! So, with yet another change of seasons, and the coming end of the MCDA year, I am happy to report that we’ve had another spring filled with wonderful, informative programming and events.

The Winter Event with Nancy Branton, speaking on “A Coach-Approach to Career Assessments” was well attended and fun. I can honestly say, I finally understand the difference between coaching and counseling!

The annual Spring Conference was, again, a huge success with excellent evaluations. The two full-day pre-conference PDIs, covered timely topics, “No One is Unemployable” by our keynoter, Elizabeth Sanders-Park, and “Building Meaningful Visibility Online for Career Development” by Anne Pryor, Kathleen Crandall, and Risë Kasmirski. There was electricity in the air during the sessions and breaks, as all attendees shared new insights and knowledge – proof that MCDA is offering current and vital information to career practitioners.

On Conference day, Elizabeth Sanders-Park got us off to an entertaining start with “The 6 Reasons You’ll Get the Job.” The keynote was followed with a day of incredibly informative breakout sessions from “Show Don’t Tell: Moving Beyond the Resume” to “Career Business Owners Panel Discussion”; from “Labor Market 101” to “Workplace Bullying”; from “Working Green in Minnesota” to “Veterans Career Development”, and many more. The diverse and wide variety of topics speaks to the incredible make-up of MCDA and the community we serve!

I want to especially recognize and thank our Spring Conference Committee Co-chairs Jennifer Rosand and Ben Hansen. They were both new to the Board this year and took on the task of planning the conference with gusto and ease.  I also want to thank the entire conference planning committee, Irene Rossman, Carmen Croonquist, Janet Pelto, Tracy Germ, Kathy Ward, Denise Felder, Marie Carter Brooks, Meghana Shroff, Steve Chirpich, Jim Fridley, Bernice Hillukka, Suzie Karsnia, Shelby Clark, Nicolee Holmgren, Shelley Jensen-Decker, Ramona Redig, Heidi Gaulke, Kim Marrone, Kate Southwick, Cindy Hinderks, and Sue Holm. I hope I haven’t missed anyone. The conference would not have been successful, or even possible, without all their hard work. Thank you, all!

We are already deep into planning next year’s conference. Feel free to volunteer to help out – this year many conference planning committee members were not on the Board and found that it’s a great way to get involved without having to make a big commitment, as well as meeting new people! We are also discussing holding additional social Roundtable get-togethers in the coming year to help members of the career community more easily connect.

This spring also had a very sad note as we mourned the passing of Lois Vogt, MCDA’s former administrator, who died on May 7th. Lois served MCDA for several years and provided excellent support to our members. Though I knew Lois for only a short time, I was impressed with her gentleness and courage. She will be greatly missed by MCDA and the entire community. It gives me pause to think about how important it is to make each moment count and to treasure our relationships. It is, after all, about our meaningful connections.

This is my last President’s Corner, as I turn over the gavel to MCDA’s new President for the year, Shelley Jensen-Decker. Bringing this to a close, I find myself at a loss for words. It has truly been an honor and a privilege to serve as your President. Thank you, everyone, for making this year a success. As I step down, I look forward to many more years with this wonderful and vibrant organization.


Congratulations to Our Award Winners!

The following awards were presented at the recent MCDA Careers Conference.  Please join me in congratulating our outstanding colleagues:

Kate Schaefers – Awarded the Jules Kerlan Outstanding Achievement Award

This award is given for lifetime achievement (15+ years) in the field of career development.  Kate has been a significant contributor in a variety of ways including as an independent consultant, faculty member and HR Director.  Currently, Kate is the owner of Encore Life Planning and an adjunct faculty member at the University of St. Thomas.  She has been a past president of MCDA and is a founding member of SHIFT, an organization that focuses on midlife transitions.

Paul Timmins – Awarded the Jules Kerlan Outstanding Achievement Award

Paul also received this lifetime achievement award.  Paul has been very active in MCDA as a previous President, Treasurer and board member and currently serves on the National Career Development Association as the Midwest Region Trustee.  He has been the Career Services Director for the college of Liberal Arts at the U of M and has received numerous awards and recognition for excellence in the career development field.

Paul Sears – Awarded the Marty Dockman Merit Award

This award recognizes individuals who have made a difference in the lives of clients or MCDA.  Paul’s greatest contribution has been his tireless work on producing a sought-after publication entitled “CareerConnection” as well as many other workshops, facilitator guides and handouts.

Christine Jensen – Awarded the Sunny Hansen Graduate Student Award

Christine was presented with this award which honors outstanding graduate students for dedication to the career development field.  She counsels clients and has taught multiple career classes and workshops where she quickly builds rapport with her students and helps them feel comfortable in the classroom.

Daoyu Liu – Awarded the Sunny Hansen Graduate Student Award

Daoyu also received this award for his outstanding work at the Minneapolis Community and Technical College.  A significant accomplishment for Daoyu in the last year was the successful MCTC Volunteer Fair, the first ever held.   He is very dedicated in teaching others about resume development and interviewing and plans to take his experience back to China to bring change to their higher educational culture.


The Professional Development Institute Presentations

Maybe you’re curious about what you missed at the PDI Day in the last conference. Or, perhaps you had to choose between the two great choices and would like to know what you missed!  Here’s a quick synopsis of each of the PDI presentations.

Improving Your Online Visibility to Create Meaningful Connections for Career Development

Meaningful Connections (Anne Pryor, Kathleen Crandall, and Risë Kasmirski) presented their approach to career development and career transition, which is based on current and future requirements in the employment market as a result of major changes within the past three to five years.

The workshop covered three separate, yet interrelated, parts of the process. The first area addressed clarity and focus as preparation for the new world of work in which frequent job changes and employment trends demand that individuals be clear and focused on the types of opportunities they are pursuing, as well as the strengths and talents they bring to those positions.

The second part of the process, Personal Branding, allowed individuals an opportunity to consider their uniqueness and differentiators needed to answer the question “What happens because of you?”  Personal Branding helps ensure consistent messaging for written and verbal communications and is an essential piece of creating a compelling social media presence.

The final step in the process, Online Visibility, addressed how individuals can create an impactful online presence to attract opportunity for the development of their career. An overview of LinkedIn strategy and other social media approaches was presented and discussed.

No One Is Unemployable

Within the first few minutes, Elisabeth engaged the audience in the topic and held our attention throughout the day, delivering the information with energy and humor.  She explained the WorkNet Model of career development and job placement for people with barriers which begins with life/work planning and follows through to mentoring after the candidate is working.  We talked about steps to overcoming any barrier and learned to apply the PADMAN model from the employer’s perspective.

One of the key challenges in working with clients with barriers can be having difficult discussions with them. Elisabeth gave great examples of how to approach these topics in a non-threatening and professional manner.   Next we discussed ways to reduce barriers, including creating solutions and helping the candidate develop their job search strategy to minimize their barriers.  At the end of the day as we tossed around the squishy ball, it was amazing to see how much we had learned!


Different Generations Within the Workplace by Andrew Plovanich

 During the current economic downturn, working alongside various generations within the workplace is much different than it has been in recent years. Currently, there are five generations within the workplace. The main three are the Baby Boomers (1946-1964), Generation X (1965-1980), and Generation Y (1981-2002). The two generations with smaller numbers currently working are the Silent Generation (1925-1945), and the GI Generation (1901-1924).

Growing up following World War II, Baby Boomers were instilled with a hard work ethic and the will to become successful. During this time, unemployment rates were down and the opportunities for higher education were greater than ever before. Being that the Baby Boomers are one of the largest generations, they are very competitive and feel they can achieve anything.  For those working alongside those Baby Boomers, you must remember that they are a competitive generation that strives for success, and are used to working long workweeks.

Along with their parents the Baby Boomers, Generation X is known as hard working and independent as well.  One difference however, is that Generation X is known to start their professional and personal lives later in life than their parents. They will enter the job market, marry, and have children later in life than the Baby Boomers. These characteristics must be kept in mind while working with Generation X. Like the Baby Boomers they are very hard working and also very active because of the way that they were raised.

Generation Y is a very diverse generation with many having grown up with working mothers, as well as being raised by a single parent. Work-life balance is very important to Generation Y because of their childhood experience of working mothers and single parenting.  Generation Y is also known as being high achievers and always wanting to strive for the best. This can be potentially harmful because they are known for staying at a company for a short period of time and then leaving to take a “better” position.

All of these generations have differences, but they also have attributes that companies can benefit from. Anywhere from the Baby Boomer’s hard work ethic to Generation X’s independent and hard working style, to Generation Y’s drive to always move up and succeed.  One of the most important factors to keep in mind is how each generation was raised and in what time period. Each has different motivators as to why they want to become successful as well as how they are going to get there. If a common goal is in place and all generations contribute their strengths, success will be achieved.

(References: Fleschner, Sue. “Counseling Across Generations: Bridging the Baby Boomer, Generation X, and Generations Y;  Fox, Zoe. “Featured in Social Media.”; and “Tips for Managers Generation & Gender in the Workforce.”

Member Spotlights – Ben Hansen and Jennifer Rosand

In appreciation for the great effort that goes into planning the MCDA annual conference, we are featuring two members in this issue – our two Co-Chairs from the conference, Ben Hansen and Jennifer Rosand.

Ben Hansen

Editor:  Ben, tell us a little about your professional background.

Ben:  I am fairly new to the career development field.  I became interested in Student Affairs while working in Residential Life for three years at St. Cloud State University (SCSU).  I had always benefited from career services as an undergraduate, but it was my career services graduate assistantship at SCSU that made me realize the direction I wanted to take my career.  Shortly after completing my master’s degree in College Counseling and Student Development, I started working as a Career Services Coordinator at the Minnesota School of Business, which is where I currently work.

Editor:  What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment and why?

Ben:  I am very proud of the 600-hour advising internship I completed at St. Cloud Technical and Community College.  I conducted personal, career and academic advising with at-risk students taking developmental education courses.  I assessed the progress of the program using our learning objectives and compared our results to a control group.  I found that individual advising dramatically increased retention rates compared to group advising.  These findings led to the creation of a full-time advising position for developmental education students.

Editor:  Wow!  Your results really made a difference.  You mentioned that you personally benefited from career services.  Now that you’re in career services, what do you like the most?

Ben:  I find this field to be incredibly rewarding and valuable.  I have worked primarily with students, yet there is a great variety of areas in which to assist them throughout their career development.  I have gotten to do two things I love; coach and counsel students one-on-one, while teaching career courses at multiple institutions!

Editor:  You’ve been really involved in MCDA recently with co-chairing the conference.  What do you see as the benefits of MCDA?

Ben:  I have benefited greatly through my participation in MCDA.  In 2011, I was a breakout session coordinator for the conference and became a member of the board later that summer.  In 2012, I was the co-chair of the conference.  My experience with MCDA has opened my eyes to the numerous opportunities in career development and provided a great network!

Editor:  Ben, do you have a favorite strategy you like to share with your clients?

Ben:  I enjoy asking students where they see their careers 1, 3, 5 or more years down the road and I have them look at job descriptions for these higher level positions.  We then talk about gaps they may have in skills, education or experience and how they can be filled.  It is a pretty basic concept, but I’m always amazed how well this strategy is received by my clients.

Jennifer Rosand

Editor:  Jennifer, tell us about your favorite part of your job in career development.

Jennifer:  My interest in career development came from a mix of my professional experience and graduate school. I recently completed my graduate degree in human resource development, with a certificate in adult education. I have a passion for learning, human development, and training/teaching.

I currently work with pre-health students, who are preparing to apply to health professional programs. My favorite parts are those ‘a-ha’ moments when working with an individual, but also when anyone I work with returns to tell me their story. I love learning about how successful they have become and where they have landed. I like knowing that I was part of the process and have positively contributed to another’s success.

Editor:  Well, it sounds like you are making a difference!  Do you have any tips you’d like to share with the rest of us?

Jennifer:  I have more than one tip that comes to mind:

Keep an open mind: When you are developing your career (or helping someone else), be open to new possibilities and new ideas. You may find that what you thought you wanted isn’t a good fit for you (or your client) and that something you did not know about is a good fit.

Do the research! Use professionals as a source of information, look online and elsewhere, and ask many questions. You might find something new that you had not thought about before.

Challenge yourself and embrace change. Change is inevitable for most of us, so why not approach it with a positive lens? Rather than focusing on the negatives that might result from some pending change, consider the positive outcomes with a refreshed perspective. While not all experiences will be positive ones, new experiences and challenges will help you (and your clients) to grow both personally and professionally and can be beneficial in the long run.

While I have applied these tips to career development here, I think they could extend well beyond career development!

Editor:  Jennifer, please share with us how your involvement in MCDA has benefitted you professionally and personally.

Jennifer:  MCDA is a unique organization filled with supportive, educated, engaged, and willing individuals. I consider it a privilege to be a part of MCDA and serve on the board! For me as a professional, I have met people who are valued contacts and colleagues. In just my first year on the board, I have been given the opportunity to expand my own professional skills that I would not have otherwise had, so I thank MCDA for those opportunities. Personally, I have met many individuals who I feel privileged to consider as friends and look forward to meeting new people in the years to come.


News from NCDA by Paul Timmins

Since joining the National Career Development Association (NCDA) Board last summer, I’ve discovered a ton of things that I wished I had known several years earlier in my career. NCDA offers lots of resources that career counselors and specialists can use to develop their own expertise.

First of all, I’ve learned that the NCDA website is a great resource for professionals in our field. Most of the website is free for anyone to use (in other words, you don’t need to be an NCDA member). Looking for a Code of Ethics for professionals in our area? How about lists of competencies that all career specialists should have? Lists of Internet resources broken down by interest area? It’s all on the NCDA website. Melanie Reinersman, the NCDA web editor, has recorded a really informative “tour” of the website, which can be found at

The other resources listed below are geared towards NCDA members, but I should note that if you’re not a member, there is a discounted membership rate for you when you’re joining for the first time. Details are at

For those of you who are members:

Write! Have an interest in a particular topic? NCDA has three different vehicles to help members get published: The Career Development Quarterly journal, Career Developments magazine, or the Career Convergence web magazine. While each of these publications has its own audience and submission guidelines, if you are willing to write, the bottom line is that the editors sincerely want to work with you to help you get your work published. Information on each of the publications is on the NCDA website at

Join a Committee. As I’ve learned more about NCDA, I’ve discovered that the vast majority of the work is done by volunteers on the committees. Interested in social media? Check out the Technology committee. Fascinated by how the politicians’ work in Washington D.C. impacts career development? The Government Relations committee is doing some amazing work. Interested in ethical issues in our field? Talk with the Ethics committee. There are 20 different committees at work, and any of them would welcome your contributions. For more information, see

Apply to Join the Leadership Academy. The NCDA Leadership Academy is a two-year, hands-on, experiential leadership development opportunity that’s designed to develop future NCDA or State CDA leaders. Participants in the program receive funding to subsidize the cost of attending the NCDA national conference for two years; during that time, the participants work with NCDA leaders on a project that allows them to learn more about the association or the field of career development. Applications are generally due in the fall. Details are at


Book Review:   A Comparison of 3 Books on Work/Life Balance by Maggie Tomas

As career counselors we continually try to help our clients find meaningful careers that match their interests, skill set, and lifestyle.  I have found that more and more clients come to me with frustration because they are finding it increasingly difficult to balance work and life.  Ahh, the ever elusive, relentlessly strived for work/life balance theory.  As a working mom of two toddler girls, I find the subject fascinating not only for my clients but also for my own personal development.  How does one maintain all these roles without dropping balls and feeling some sort of guilt or failure?  To explore this topic I recently read three books, each of which offers a unique and fresh perspective on a nearly 30 year old corporate concept.

OFF Balance:  Getting Beyond the Work Life Balance Myth to Personal and Professional Satisfaction by Matthew Kelly

The author takes issue with the word ‘balance’ and the pressure it places on individuals to put equal emphasis on time, energy, and passion in all areas of life.  This impossible task really won’t lead to happiness or satisfaction, claims Kelly.  His solution to living a more satisfied life includes creating a value system and making choices based on your ranked values/priorities, increasing your energy so you can fulfill your priorities, and finding work that is meaningful and creates contentment.  This quick, easy read offers practical exercises to help you lead a more satisfied life.  Kelly is easy to relate to and he interjects personal stories of his own and of others to drive home his principles.   Recommendation:  Impactful book if you are looking to create concrete goals to help you make balanced choices.

 Women, Work & the Art of Savoir Faire by Mireille Guiliano

Former CEO of a champagne empire and author of the #1 Bestseller French Women Don’t Get Fat, this business savvy lady aims at offering practical advice to women and men on how to get ahead in the business world while still enjoying life.  This book is heavy on business etiquette tips and light on how to incorporate your personal obligations (such as parenthood, hobbies, care giving etc.) into your ever increasing work obligations as you climb the corporate ladder.  As a French woman who succeeded in running an international business in an industry dominated by men, her words are inspiring but a little lacking in applicable solutions to manage it all. Recommendation:  Inspirational for women aiming to further their business/professional careers.  Skip it if you are looking for tips on how to manage your professional and personal lives.

Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety by Judith Warner

This author offers another European perspective on the subject of balance.  As a woman who became a mother while living in France and didn’t return to the U.S. until her oldest was six, Warner has a unique perspective on American culture and how women/mothers in particular are stressing out to reach a level of Martha Stewart homemaker perfection while maintaining pre-motherhood executive level positions.  Somehow Europeans are able to enjoy work, motherhood, marriage, and (get this!) a social life.  When Warner returned to America after her years in France she was shocked to find her friends, and soon herself, unhappy in their roles as mothers because they couldn’t seem to find time to do anything for themselves.  Her book goes through the history of women joining the workforce and lets you as the reader know you are not alone in feeling overwhelmed by mounting obligations.  Recommendation:  Insightful glimpse at the history of modern motherhood in America.  A good read that is akin to venting with friends about the multiple roles parents juggle.

The subject of balance can be deeply personal and preferences for addressing it will vary.  As a career counselor working with clients hoping to better balance work and life, my recommendation among these books would vary with the client’s goals.  I have found in working with clients who are seeking guidance on this topic that there isn’t a specific “go to” book that will solve the issue.  There are, however, many voices that provide unique perspectives on how to tackle the demands of increasing priorities. Sometimes just reading about how someone else reacts to and handles this phase of life can give readers freedom to give themselves a break.  That in itself can stop the guilt cycle of feeling that you can’t balance it all.


MCDA Board Highlights


  • Recap of Careers Conference:  144 people attended and feedback was very positive.
  • Information on the MCDA Board elections and nominations will be out soon.
  • The 2012 – 2013 budget will be discussed at the next meeting.


Welcome to New Members

Trina Arntsen

Mary Berg
Northwestern Health Sciences University

Richard Davy
MN Dept of Labor and Industry

Annika Dommer
Goodwill Easter Seals

Claire Edmondson
Right Management

Linda Ehli

Stephanie Eiden
St. Cloud State University/U of M

Deb Fletcher
Minneapolis Career & Technical College

Sara Georgeson
University of Minnesota

Ellen Hatfield
University of Minnesota Duluth

Erika Herrmann
St Mary’s University

Christine Jensen
University of Minnesota

Christina Lira

Daoyu Liu
University of Minnesota

Mykala Micek
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

Corrie Odland
Gustavus Adolphus College

Richard Repp
State of Minnesota DEED-VRS

Talitha Sanderson
Bethel University

Shannon Schenck
Adler Graduate School

Geri Scherer
Private Practice

April Schnell

Faye Swenson
London Business Advisors, LLC

Rachel Vilsack
MN Department of Employment & Economic Development

Xi Yu
University of Minnesota


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