Global Career Development Conference Promises to Build on the Dream

By Bobbi Carter

Atlanta, Georgia will be the site of NCDA's annual Global Career Development Conference, June 21-23, 2012. The Conference web page includes many details about the event, including an agenda, travel information, exhibitors, and special activities. Whether you are definitely attending, possibly attending, attending for the first time, or probably not attending, there are questions you may have now. This list of FAQ's is the guide you need to get the most out of this incredible experience and build on your own dreams!


Who might be attending this annual conference?

Over 900 career development practitioners, facilitators, counselor educators, counselors, specialists, and more will be in Atlanta for NCDA. Graduate students are very much welcomed and encouraged to attend. NCDA Board members, committee chairpersons, state career development association leaders, and honored award winners are all accessible throughout the activities, sessions, and casual gatherings. It has been described as truly like a “family reunion”! See photos of last year's conference here!


How can I feel a part of the conference if I am not attending?

Follow us on Twitter! New this year is our Twitter contest using our conference hashtag, #NCDA2012. You can follow discussions regarding conference presentations, ask questions of presenters, tweet ideas for participants, or read about the good things coming. Complete #NCDA2012 Twitter Contest Rules are posted on the Conference home page.

Don't forget to continue reading Career Convergence for articles covering conference topics written by conference presenters.


My career counseling skills are up-to-date, but my technical skills are lacking. Will the conference have anything for me?

Yes! Once again, the Tech Lab offers hands-on learning sessions for participants to be introduced to a specific type of technology. Instructors with experience in using the technology in the field of career development will walk participants through the steps to get started and perhaps move into advance applications. Bring your own laptop - Internet provided from job-hunt.org, Eight sessions are offered, but space is limited to 30 attendees per Lab to ensure hands-on experiences and registration is required.


It has been several years since I last attended a NCDA conference and it is my colleague's first time. How will we know what to do?

Take time to review the online agenda now and read the entire Program Book before arriving in Atlanta. Once in Atlanta, go straight to the Registration area to receive your materials. There you will find friendly NCDA faces that will be happy to answer your questions. Since the two of you are attending, it is helpful to decide who will catch which sessions, then exchange notes at the end of the day. Be sure to have fun at the Welcome Reception, play Bingo in the Exhibit Hall, and there are certainly 50 Fun Things to Do in Atlanta!


I love conferences, but hate sitting all day! What are my options for the most movement?

First,  join your colleagues for Pilates each morning! Bring a towel and mat so as to increase the strength, flexibility and control of your own body.

Second, attend Roundtable sessions, which involve moving to a new table after 30 minutes.

Third, visit the Exhibit Hall.  With over 40 booths to explore, you could rack up a lot of walking miles -- and enjoy learning about career-related products and services at the same time!


I am thinking about joining NCDA and attending the conference. How can I learn more about NCDA?

You are welcome to browse our website at any time or contact NCDA headquarters toll-free at 866-367-6232 to ask questions. While at the conference, be sure to attend the annual Membership Meeting. The booklet you receive will include the Presidential overview of the year, a report on NCDA membership (including membership by region, work setting, occupation, and more), the Treasurer's report, and the slate of candidates for the upcoming election. This year's meeting will also include a discussion of the proposed Bylaws revisions.

The conference also offers a session exploring the NCDA website to identify treasured resources for use in your work (#209 Practical Resources for Career Development Practitioners, June 21 at 4:30pm). Additional questions about NCDA can be answered by visiting the Cyber Cafe, open in the Exhibit Hall. Volunteers will be available to demonstrate NCDA online services and answer questions. Conference Evaluations may be completed online during the Friday and Saturday sessions. Internet access is available on a first come, first served basis.


I saw the announcement on Twitter @NCDAwebeditor about Social Networking Technology Focus Groups at the conference. How can I participate? 

The NCDA Ethics Committee is developing a set of guidelines for the use of social networking technologies in career services. To inform our work, we need to hear from NCDA members and career professionals. Make your voice heard by participating in a focus group during the conference. One-hour focus groups sessions will be held throughout the conference (click here for the schedule). Space is limited, so we encourage you to sign up today. Contact Julia Panke Makela to reserve your place at the table. She can be reached via email at jpmakela@illinois.edu . We really appreciate your contribution!


I am definitely going to attend the conference. I know I need to complete my online registration by June 4 or register on-site when I arrive. What are the sessions that I absolutely should not miss?

The conference Opening Session, Thursday, June 21 ~ 1:15 - 2:45 pm, features Daniel Seddiqui who set out on a journey across the US to work a different job in every state. The Second General session on Friday, June 22nd, 8:30 - 10:00 am, features Dr. Angela Londoño-McConnell , who is co-founder of AK Counseling & Consulting, Inc. She currently is a spokesperson for the American Psychological Association public education campaigns and serves as the Public Education Coordinator for the Georgia Psychological Association. Stay for the Closing Plenary Saturday, June 23rd, 11:00 am - 12:00 noon, where a star-studded panel, representatives for five current career development theories, will provide up-to-date information about their theories, and discuss how their theoretical approaches offer solutions to current career problems and issues. Panelists include:
• Dr. Janet Lenz - Cognitive Information Processing Theory
• Dr. Joe Johnston - Holland’s RIASEC Theory
• Dr. John Krumboltz - Happenstance Theory
• Dr. Gail Hackett - Social Cognitive Career Theory
• Dr. Spencer Niles, Moderator

Unfortunately, I have a scheduling conflict and I cannot be in Atlanta for the conference this year.  What can you tell me about next year's conference?

The 2013 NCDA Global Career Development Conference will NOT be one to miss!! In celebration of 100 years of NCDA, we are returning to our roots and meeting in Boston, Massachusetts July 8-10. We invite you to celebrate “Career Development – Creating Hope, Social Justice and Legacy”!

Additional conference questions can be directed to the Conference Director, Bobbi Carter, at bcarter@ncda.org.


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