Graduate students are an integral component of the National Career Development Association (NCDA) and encompass approximately 33% of NCDA membership. Recently, as part of my Leadership Academy Learning project, I created and disseminated a needs assessment to NCDA graduate student members. The survey’s purpose was to gain an understanding of ways in which NCDA can better engage graduate students within the organization. A total of 131 individuals completed the survey, and 32 individuals provided their email addresses and expressed an interest in receiving additional information regarding opportunities for graduate students to become more involved within NCDA. As a result, the following suggestions are being provided as a way for graduate students to further engage in the organization.
1) “Like” the new Facebook page for NCDA Graduate Students and New Professionals.
The “NCDA Graduate Students and New Professionals” Facebook page was created as a forum for individuals to post and share relevant graduate student updates, job postings, and opportunities to become more involved within the organization. The page currently has 292 “likes.” To “like” this page, please visit https://www.facebook.com/NCDAGraduateStudent
2) Publish an article in NCDA’s Career Convergence web-magazine.
This e-magazine is distributed to all NCDA members on a monthly basis, and includes valuable information for career development practitioners working in all different settings including K-12 schools, higher ed, private practice and a variety of workplaces. This e-magazine consists of six career development departments. Individuals have the option to publish in any of these departments, and can contact the respective editor of these departments to inquire about interest in publishing in a future issue. Articles are typically 950 words. For more information on the article submission process, and to view a list of the departments and editors, please visit http://ncda.org/aws/NCDA/pt/sp/CC_submissions There have been a number of instances in which graduate students and new professionals have published articles in NCDA’s Career Convergence magazine. Book reviews are an easy way to first get published, as well as an article which provides practical strategies about working with a specific population (e.g., athletes, veterans, homeless).
3) Publish an article in the Graduate Student’s section of NCDA’s quarterly Career Developments magazine.
NCDA’s Career Developments magazine is a themed publication which is distributed to members on a quarterly basis (fall, winter, spring, and summer). Articles in this print-only magazine are written from an informative, practical standpoint. In addition, this magazine consists of a variety of different departments including higher education, career development facilitator (CDF), school counselors, professional counselors and specialists, and graduate students. Each issue is assigned a particular theme. However, articles typically range in topic, just as long as they are consistent with the theme for that particular issue. Articles are approximately 1200 words in length. If you are interested in writing for the Graduate Student’s section of NCDA’s Career Developments magazine, please visit http://ncda.org/aws/NCDA/pt/sp/magazine and contact the editor for the Graduate Student’s section.
4) Submit a proposal to present at the annual conference.
Each year, NCDA members are encouraged to submit proposals to present at the NCDA Global Career Development Conference which takes place over three days during the summer. Information regarding conference proposals is typically posted to the NCDA website in August, with a submission deadline in October. Graduate students are encouraged to submit proposals related to their areas of interest, research they are conducting, and/or assignments/projects they have completed for their graduate student coursework and/or practicum experiences. Students can also collaborate with a professor, fellow classmate, and/or mentor to submit a proposal as well. For more information on conference proposals, please visit http://ncda.org/aws/NCDA/pt/sp/conference_home
This year, NCDA has created an opportunity for graduate students to submit proposals for “Graduate Student Poster Sessions.” For more information, please review the “2016 submission instructions” on the conference website.
5) Attend a networking event at the annual conference.
Each year, NCDA offers a variety of networking events at the annual conference and these can be a great way for graduate students to meet individuals in the field and extend their networking outside of the graduate program. Examples of networking events include constituency group meetings, first timer’s session, strolling lunch in the exhibit hall, welcome reception, and the conference party. The first timer’s session is an excellent way for graduate students who have not previously attended the annual conference to meet other professionals and students, as well as learn ways to maximize their conference experience. For additional information on networking events at the conference, please visit http://ncda.org/aws/NCDA/pt/sp/conference_agenda, check out the conference program book, or the conference app on your Android or iPhone/iPad mobile device.
6) Apply for the Graduate Student Research Award.
Each year, NCDA recognizes the work of colleagues and professionals in the field of career development. The Graduate Student Research Award was established to recognize graduate students who engage in research related to career development and career planning. These awards are for work on a doctoral dissertation or master’s thesis project approved by the student’s institution. For more information on how to apply for the Graduate Student Research Award, please visit http://ncda.org/aws/NCDA/pt/sp/membership_awards
7) Publish an article in NCDA’s Career Development Quarterly (CDQ) journal.
The Career Development Quarterly (CDQ) is NCDA’s premier journal and is published on a quarterly basis. This journal publishes articles related to a variety of topics including theory, research, case studies, career interventions, assessments, and diverse populations. Collaborating with a faculty member or professor to help mentor a graduate student (or students) on the submission and editorial process would likely be most beneficial. Graduate students are also encouraged to review articles that have already been published in the CDQ as a way to familiarize oneself with the content and professional writing style of the journal. For more information on the CDQ, please visit http://ncda.org/aws/NCDA/pt/sp/cdquarterly
8) Serve as a volunteer at the annual NCDA Global conference.
Serving as a volunteer at the annual conference can be a great way for graduate students to meet professional staff, become oriented to the conference, and network with other individuals. In addition, volunteers typically receive either a reduced or full conference registration fee waiver. Volunteers may assist with a variety of conference events including monitoring the exhibit hall, general sessions, opening reception, and registration area. For more information on volunteering, please contact the NCDA Conference Director in January.
9) Join an NCDA committee.
NCDA has a number of different committees in which graduate students might be interested in getting involved including ethics, diversity initiatives and cultural inclusion, global connections, veterans, national career development month, research, and technology. Graduate Students who are interested in joining a committee are encouraged to attend the committee meeting at the annual conference and/or contact the chairperson of the committee to express interest. Additional information can be gathered by visiting http://ncda.org/aws/NCDA/pt/sp/about_committees
10) Engage in NCDA professional development opportunities such as the NCDA webinar series, as well as applying for the NCDA Leadership Academy opportunity.
NCDA offers a host of professional development opportunities throughout the year including the NCDA webinar series, as well as the NCDA Leadership Academy opportunity. Previous webinar topics have ranged from veterans career and employment concerns to technology tools which can help practitioners work better, smarter, and faster. For more information on the NCDA webinar series, please visit http://ncda.org/aws/NCDA/pt/sp/webinars
In addition, NCDA offers a Leadership Academy experience for members who are interested in refining and strengthening their leadership skills, as well as becoming more involved at the national and/or state level. Graduate students are encouraged to apply for this professional development opportunity. For more information, please visit http://ncda.org/aws/NCDA/pt/sp/leadership_academy
Mary Buzzetta, M.S., LPC is a Career Advisor in the Career Center at Florida State University (FSU) and a current doctoral candidate in the combined Counseling Psychology and School Psychology program. Mary is a member of the NCDA Veteran’s Committee, and also serves as the editor for the Graduate Student’s Department of Career Developments Magazine. In addition, she is a recent member of the 2014-2015 NCDA Leadership Academy class. She can be contacted at email@example.com