The Best Thing I Learned After Attending TPE Onsite

  • Author
    Alyscia Raines, Assistant Resident Director, Loyola University Chicago
  • Categories
    TPE Events

Going to the TPE Onsite event can be rather intimidating for a first-time candidate seeking employment. With the proper preparation and self-confidence, one will be armed with the necessary tools to get the job. Read pieces of advice from members of the Loyola University Chicago Department of Residence Life as they share the things they learned while attending TPE Onsite and want to pass forth for those attending TPE Onsite 2015 Onsite in New Orleans.

Name: Jamie Ellis
Position: Resident Director
Year/location of TPE you attended: Seattle, 2009 (employer); Chicago, 2010 (volunteer); Philadelphia (2011) candidate; Orlando, 2013 (employer)

At TPE know what you are looking for in a position and be open to new possibilities that may arise while you are there. It is important to both know what you want and be upfront with employers throughout the process. If you aren't interested in a school, don't accept the second interview. Being honest with yourself will allow you to spend time and energy working with schools that align with your values as well as provide time for other schools to find candidates that will fit their needs! 

Name: Sarah Kaminski
Position: Resident Director
Year/location of TPE you attended: TPE 2014- Baltimore, Maryland (candidate)

Know your limits, literally! I had just had surgery a few weeks before TPE and was over-doing the amount of walking back and forth from the hotel and did a few more interviews than I should have.  If you have any physical limitations don't let that stop you from doing the job search process you want to, but listen to your body. Schedule breaks in your schedule and ask for help if you need it! 

Name: Sophie Zumout
Position: Resident Director
Year/location of TPE you attended: TPE 2013-Orlando, Florida (employer)

As an attendee of TPE as an employer, the best piece of advice that I would give a candidate is to arrive early and familiarize themselves with the special layout. Although it may seem minor to check out where the holding rooms spaces, mailrooms, etc. are, I really believe that the more comfortable that you can be in the space, the easier it will be to feel at ease amidst the hustle of the conference and the nerves that may be setting in. 

Name: Beth Marcotte
Position: Resident Director
Year/location of TPE you attended: TPE 2013-Orlando, Florida (candidate)

The best piece of advice I learned by attending TPE is that every job is not meant for every person and fit really does matter.  If your peer is offered an interview and you are not, look at the personality and skill set of your peer - chances are they are different than your own. Therefore, the job they are interviewing for might fit them better than it could fit you because you are two different people and that is okay.  You will probably get an offer from another job with a better fit.

Name: Amanda Martinez
Position: Resident Director 
Year/location of TPE you attended: TPE 2013- Orlando, Florida (candidate)

I learned so much from my TPE experience that it is hard to pick just one thing.  However, something that encompasses a lot of what I experienced is being confident.  Be confident in your abilities and experiences.  You should remember that potential employers are interviewing you for a reason.  Take a breath and know that when you are interviewing you can do it.  It also means being confident in understanding yourself.  Self-care is so important to the process so do what you need to do in order to stay healthy (mind, body, and soul).  Lastly, be confident in your process.  Each person's search process WILL look different and that is OK.  Some will get a job in April while others may get one in July. Some may interview with 30 schools while others may only interview with 2.  There is no "right" way to job search besides being true to who you are and what you are looking for in your future job. 

Name: Johnny Quintanilla
Position: Resident Director
Year/location of TPE you attended:  TPE 2013- Orlando, Florida (Candidate)

Personally, I learned that TPE was a great opportunity to network and build relationships with new professionals in the field. Before going to TPE, I heard that it was a very competitive and cut-throat environment.  I decided that I would make my TPE experience a positive one; therefore I went into every interview with the goal of making one new connection/ friend. This outlook kept me motivated and excited for each interview I had. My advice would be to find ways to make the job search process exciting. Maybe you’ll find a job, make some connections/ friends, or just gain experience.  Your mindset is really what gets you through TPE.

Name: Marci Walton
Position: Assistant Director for Academic Support and Learning Communities
TPE Attended: 2007 Joint Conference-Orlando, Florida (candidate)

After attending TPE during the 2007 Joint Conference in Orlando, I realized the importance of setting up expectations between myself and my friends who were also searching. Some of us wanted to share every detail of every interview, others didn't even want to share how many interviews they had. Each person's process is their own and by respecting that, everyone is able to give and get the support they need. Similarly, the search is not a competition and no one leaves TPE with a job offer, so take a deep breath and do what works for you. 

Name: Katie Rutkowski
Position: Interim Director of Residence Life
Year/location of TPE you attended: TPE 2008-Boston, MA (candidate); TPE 2014-Baltimore, MD (employer)

Best Advice: Keep an open mind - always!  You may go into TPE with one dream position/institution at the top of the list, but you may be surprised about how much you feel drawn to something else once the process starts.  Be willing to deviate from the "plan" to follow what feels right - you'll know what it is.  It's also easy to get wrapped up on liking an institution/position simply because they like you or are pursuing you.  Don't try to force a fit.

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