I can't wait to start promoting the profession! This year some of the things that I have planned are:
ASK AN AT Jar: Students and athletes can write down questions about athletic training and I will be answering them throughout the month of March on the Mills Athletic Training FB page!
NATM Scavenger Hunt: Students and athletes will receive clues each week to help them find athletic training facts that I will be scattering around campus. The person that finds the most facts will win a prize!
Hands-On Campus Event: Students will be able to practice skills and teach the general student body about athletic training. Skills that will be showcased are blood pressure screening, a mock concussion assessment, rehab exercises, and wrist taping!
STICKERS: I have made stickers that students and athletes can wear during the month to bring awareness to the profession.
I will also be participating in the social media contest hosted by the NATA, the Monday Meme contest hosted by FWATA, and the poster contest hosted by the NATA.
I hope everyone joins in on the fun of promoting our profession!!!!
For the last three years, I have increased my efforts to promote the profession. Here are some things that I have learned from this process.
START SLOW: The first year I did anything was pretty small. I made some stickers to put in the athletic training room, created a weekly eblast that I emailed to all student athletes and coaches, and hung up some posters around the athletic training room It brought some awareness and really got the bug in me to do even more. Which leads me to my next advice. . .
DON’T OVERWHELM YOURSELF: The next year I went all out. I redesigned the stickers making them bigger and more attractive. I also redesigned the eblasts to be packed with information and also look aesthetically pleasing. I tweeted a tweet each day about athletic training (which seems easy but took me a lot of time and added stress since I am not a fluent tweeter). I completely decorated the athletic training room with a huge spinal column which I drew by hand. And then I had a campus wide treasure hunt that incorporated the spine and interesting facts about athletic training. I placed new clues each week and searched the campus for new hiding places. All while facebooking people to actually do the scavenger hunt. And to top it off, I tried getting my Sports Medicine Interns involved by shooting my first ever music video. To say the least, I was completely exhausted, disappointed, and stressed by the end of the month. The video never made it to completion. And the time spent was way more than I had anticipated.
USE YOUR RESOURCES: Instead of hand drawing decorations this year. I decided to scale back my efforts and just use the NATA poster that is provided for the month for decoration. I updated my stickers with the current logo but kept the look the same. I decided also to use my athletes as a resource and get them more involved. So instead of me coming up with things about athletic trainers, I made a wall covered in paper that the athletes could right things about athletic trainers. And instead of the eblasts each week which I am unsure how many athletes/coaches actually read them I decided to create an ask an athletic training jar that athletes could ask question and then I am going to post the answers on facebook. I am not doing a tweet a day rather I am tweeting and retweeting others and using the supplied tweets form the NATA. This has made the month much less stressful!
BE CREATIVE!: I always try to find a way to get people involved that is fun and creative. The scavenger hunt went very well so I am continuing it this year with a few changes. Instead of doing weekly clues, I am giving people a map of all the location with the answers. They then have to go to each location and match up the questions provided on the other side of the map to the answer. This decreases setup time for me, gives people a longer time to complete the task, and gives all passerby’s the information without having them so the entire scavenger hunt. I will let you know how it goes and post pictures later. Meanwhile her are some photos from last year! I will also post the new stickers in my portfolio on Friday! Also visit the Mills Athletic Training FB page for additional photos!!!!
Creating and calculating statistics is the bane of undergraduate, graduate, and professionals alike. The calculations can be time consuming and downright confusing. Luckily, many online tools have become available to make this tedious task a little less tedious.
Amstat.org is a great website that provides easy access to a variety of sports statistics. It includes stats on sports from volleyball, to football, to baseball. It even provides a link to fencing stats. Taking a look at the basketball links for example. A total of eleven links are provided covering college hoops, professional hoops, and even links to personal blog sites with even more statistics. This is a great tool for any sports fan or professional alike.
Analysis Lab is a great site that will help users compute his or her own data. It offers easy to use instructions and even explains when to use different statistical methods. This is a great tool for beginners because it is easy to use and shows the user exactly what information is needed, how to input these values, and the creates a chart showing the statistical analysis. Below is an example of a chart created by Analysis Lab.
There are many ways people can get and receive information. Having a professional portfolio that is accessible to a wide market can mean the difference between landing a dream job or standing in the unemployment line. Luckily there are many online tools that can make creating a professional portfolio easy and accessible. The only hard decision is choosing which platform to use. Below are some pros and cons of three platforms to consider when creating a professional portfolio.
The best way to get the pros of all three platforms while limiting the cons is to incorporate all three into one’s professional portfolio. A personal Facebook page can be used to stay connected with family and friends. A fan page can then be created for the professional goals of the individual. A LinkedIn account can be used to stay current on job offers, stay connected with colleagues, and make applying to jobs easier. A personal web presence can then be created to help increase audience from the general public. Using a combination of these three platforms will ensure that an individual’s professional portfolio is complete, accessible, and effective.
Facebook and LinkedIn are two social networking sites that can help people stay connected. The benefits of using these tools is that it ensures that information can be easily accessed by future employers, friends, and family. Each site has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Facebook, for example is very user friendly, visually appealing, and is very popular. This allows individuals to connect with a wide variety of individuals and stay connected as time passes. Facebook Fan pages can be created to get business or program information to a wide number of people. Since many students already are on Facebook, it is a very helpful tool to keep students engaged and updated. Some disadvantages to Facebook, is that it is more personal than professional. Since it allows people to stay connected to family and friends, it is geared more for sharing information about personal experiences. Keeping a professional profile can be hard in this environment.
This is where LinkedIn has its advantages. LinkedIn is like Facebook but for professionals. It allows people to connect with other professionals, gives individuals a place to highlight one’s skills and best work, and even allows people to validate each other’s skills. This makes it easy for future employers to see exactly what skills someone has. It also opens up many job opportunities because it allows one to connect to professionals all across the world. Many online applications can also easily be filled out by simply connecting a LinkedIn profile to the application. The disadvantage that I have found with LinkedIn is that it not as user friendly as Facebook or a PWP has been. I also find that it is not as visually appealing either.
Even with the pros and cons of both Facebook and LinkedIn, both of these tools can be used to promote oneself in a professional way. The great thing about social networking is that it has the ability to open more opportunities than traditional networking alone. Deciding on which social network platform largely depends on the individual’s goals, audience, and message. And with so many options to choose from, this is an easy task to accomplish.
Networking is a very vital skill in today’s job market. Every professional should be networking at all available opportunities. A key networking opportunity is to attend professional conferences. These conferences not only keep an individual abreast of what is currently going on in the field but also allows for face-to-face networking to take place. It brings together many professionals all across the nation (and sometimes the world) in one convenient location. I always make sure to have a bundle of business cards ready to hand out just in case the opportunity arises.
I also think that networking should happen during one’s day-to-day activities. For example, say an individual is at the super market picking up groceries and notices the individual in front of them has a very professional screen printed t-shirt. This individual should take this opportunity to ask where the individual got the shirt. It might even turn out that the individual wearing the shirt is the person who makes it. The person in the shirt gives out their business card and bam. A network is made. Now when the individual needs to get shirts for their club team they have a contact to make it happen.
The web is also a very great place to build networks. Sites such as Facebook, linked-in, and personal web presence sites are a great opportunity to build and stay connected. These sites allow one to network at the convenience of their own home. This is essential in today’s market where getting a job is more about who an individual knows and not what the individual knows.
Wiki’s have become more acceptable with the advancement of technology. When I am trying to find general background information on a topic, my first stop is looking at Wikipedia. I think this is a useful tool to get quick information. I have not edited a Wiki myself, but I think the idea that the information can be changed or edited by anyone is exciting. It allows people, all people, to lend their knowledge on a subject. The topics that are on Wikipedia are endless because anyone with an interest on a topic can create a page. This makes a vast amount of information available.
I have never found false information on Wikipedia, but that doesn’t mean I don’t fact check. This is one of the main reasons why I never use Wikipedia as a reference on a scholarly article, but I think it is a great tool to help start the research process. Reading about a topic on Wikipedia allows students to get a general understanding, formulate questions about the topic, and brainstorm ideas for where further research is needed. As long as students are aware that anyone can edit Wikipedia, so all facts stated should be referenced by outside sources, then I think Wikipedia is a great asset to the classroom.
I also like the idea of using Wiki’s to collaborate between people. Many times I have had to spend time searching for an email with edits for a document. This is a waste of time. If an individual creates a Wiki, changes are automatic. This increases productivity as well as keeping inboxes less cluttered. At my current position we are creating an athletic training policy manual and I think that the use of a Wiki will be very beneficial to the collaborating process. I feel that this would also be beneficial when students work in groups to write an essay. A Wiki would allow each student to add his or her input without all group members being present or endless emails being sent.
I think that having a PWP is an essential part of a professional’s portfolio. It helps prospective or current employers see what a person can bring to a program. They are easy to create and maintain, accessible all across the world, and highlight’s an individual’s best work.
A PWP can enhance a professional portfolio in a number of ways. First it alerts employers that an individual is technologically savvy. Just by the creation of the page shows that one is skilled enough to navigate the technological world. Also a PWP is a place that an individual can highlight key skills or certifications that set them apart from other candidates. This is essential in today’s job market. The PWP can also help employers feel more connected to a candidate because there is a personal element that should be involved in a PWP. This would be impossible to do with a resume alone.
To make sure a PWP is enhancing the professional portfolio some key elements should be included. First one should have an about page that briefly describes who the individual is and some interest that they have. This is the personal element that can help make employers see if a candidate will fit into the atmosphere of the potential job. A PWP should also include pertinent facts to prove that a candidate is qualified. This includes a portion on education, previous work experience, any certifications the individual has, and either a resume or a link to a resume. I also think it is vital to have a blog portion. The blog portion should include the individual’s ideas and feelings on current events or topics in his or her field. This portion shows employers that the candidate is up-to-date on current affairs in the profession. This section also shows the employer that the individual can portray ideas in a professional manner. The last section that is needed is a portion that highlights an individual’s best work.
Some other things that I think help enhance a PWP but are not necessarily a requirement are a section for an individual’s philosophy. This is another personal element that will help employers decide whether an individual’s philosophy is consistent with the program’s vision and goals.
A PWP enhances an individual’s portfolio because it gives employers a place to get as much information about the candidate as possible. The PWP also gives the candidate control over what information the employer is also getting. Having a PWP is a win-win for both the employer and the individual.