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Asia Pacific Career Dev Assoc
June 2018
Natalie Kauffman, Editor
APCDA President's Report
by Brian Hutchison, prepared on April 15, 2018

The President's Report from the Annual Membership Meeting is provided in this newsletter for the bemefit of our members who were unable to attend our recent China conference

The first half of the 2017-18 fiscal year has been a banner year for the Asia Pacific Career Development Association. Our total membership (n=135), organizational membership (n=21), and the number of member countries (n=21) are all higher than they have ever been. And . . . our annual conference in Beijing is the first to be sold out before commencing and is on target to be our largest conference ever (n=240 attendees & 83 presentations)! Additionally, our webinar attendance is 66% higher than in any previous year. Financially, we are on target to grow our annual expenditures and revenues proportionally to membership and service increases compared to past years while also increasing our assets over last year. All of these metrics demonstrate the health and growth of an organization that is nicely developing past its infancy stage.

Member engagement is the theme of this fiscal year as exemplified by APCDA's first ever Presidential Task Force on Increasing Member Engagement through Technology. This report has been submitted and will be used to direct conversations at the annual meeting and upcoming Board meetings. Furthermore, APCDA will hold the first Presidential Forum with the host country attendees at the conference in Beijing as an attempt to retain enthusiasm for APCDA after the conference. Finally, the Membership Committee has implemented a synchronist new member orientation program on-line to engage members as they join APCDA.

The Asia Pacific Career Development Journal is a primary initiative enacted by President Narender Chadha last fiscal year. The journal is currently preparing for its inaugural issue due to be published in September 2018. The editorial team consists of one Editor, 3 Associate Editors, and 14 Editorial Board members. The team has identified and implemented an on-line journal management software system, solicited and received 6 manuscripts for review, and contracted with two copy-editors to facilitate this initiative. We expect success with the inaugural issue and many beyond 2018.

In addition to the novel successes described above, APCDA has continued to provide excellent service to membership including the following:

  1. Enhanced online member profiles; making it possible to search for people in new ways
  2. Added a closed group on Facebook
  3. Sent a team to the ICCDPP Symposium in Seoul
  4. Held a Member Meeting at the 2017 NCDA Conference
  5. Hired an Administrative Assistant (first paid staff)
  6. Discussed and provided feedback to NCDA about their International Affiliate program
  7. Discussed the IAEVG Ethics and approved them
  8. Conducted a Member/Friend Survey in September
  9. Produced 6 newsletters
  10. Developed a Glossary of Terms to assure mutual understanding
  11. Developed guidelines for selecting Webinar Presenters
  12. Worked with Vietnam to plan the 2019 conference and develop a promotional flyer
  13. Increased APCDA membership from 105 to 135
  14. Added 4 new member countries (Malaysia, Cambodia, Kazakhstan, and Azerbaijan)
  15. Created a marketing process for announcing webinars and sharing information relevant to our APCDA membership on Facebook and LinkedIn
  16. Initiated telecoms with new members, to help them feel engaged
  17. Chose Singapore for 2021 Conference
  18. Worked on policy and bylaws issues and proposed changes for ratification by our members
  19. Explored APCDA's role in helping member countries with needs for career professional continuing education

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Call for Nominations for APCDA President-Elect

Nominations for President-Elect opened at the conference in Beijing with the nomination of Dr. Wongtae Kim, who is the currently the director of the Bylaws and Policies Committee. Dr. Kim is CEO & President of Career Building System & Consulting Co. Ltd. He also worked as a professor at Shinheung College, Induk University, and Graduate School of Kwangwoon University in South Korea.

Nominations will remain open through June. Please consider nominating yourself or someone who you believe has good ideas and enthusiasm for guiding APCDA. Elections will be held in July and the person elected will take office on October 1. At that time, the other Officers will be:

  • President: Ms. Carla Siojo, Philippines
  • Past-President: Dr. Brian Hutchison, USA
  • Treasurer: Dr. Jose Domeme, Canada
  • Secretary: Ms. Momoko Asaka, Japan

Before the end of June, please send your nominations to APCDA Past-President, Dr. N.K. Chadha at Nominations should include:

  • a statement (within the body of the email or as an attached letter) from the nominee indicating willingness to serve
  • a resume/CV

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Connecting Career, Family, and Society at the Annual APCDA Conference 2018
by Miguel Relente & Connie Pritchard

In its continuing mission to enrich career development practices and the growing workforces in Asia, APCDA held its Annual Conference this year at Tsinghua University, Beijing, China from May 15 - 19, 2018. With the theme, "Connecting Career, Family and Society," this year's conference aimed to intertwine different cultures, philosophies and minds to exchange new ideas and practices for expanding the horizons of career development. With more than 200 participants from 22 countries, the conference also became a venue for professional networking as well as for building new friendships.

The conference was jam-packed with seminars and discussions from some of the greatest Career Development minds in the international community including Dr. Hong Li with her integration of Taoist Philosophy and Decision Making, Dr. Richard A. Young's Action-based approach tpn career counseling, and Dr. Norman Amundson's Hope-centered career approach. With the breakout sessions, more speakers from different countries took the spotlight to share their innovations and address topics like mental health, technology, youth, other culture-centered practices, and research studies in the field.

Between these learning exchanges, conference attendees also got to build new relationships with their fellow attendees through meals, coffee breaks, tours, and interactive activities that allowed them to immerse themselves in the Chinese culture, as well as collaborate with people of different nationalities.

Conference participants got to see Tsinghua University, one of the World's Most Beautiful Campuses (Forbes Magazine) and the #2 university in Asia according to Times Higher Education's ranking data, where the conference was held. At the reception, Tsinghua students performed traditional Chinese music on traditional instruments. Participants were also given the chance to explore some of China's most well-known attractions such as the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, and the Great Wall. They were exposed to the cuisine, arts, and music of China through the tour of 798 Art District. Traditional Chinese sculptures, paintings, calligraphy, and embroidery tantalized and informed. You may enjoy reading the story one of the participants, Dr. Julie Rosengren, posted on LinkedIn about her experiences in Beijing.

With APCDA's unofficial theme for this year being "Growing Our Wow!" the Conference was aimed at being an exhilarating experience. As participants enhanced their career development knowledge and expertise, they also enriched their knowledge of different cultures. This year's APCDA Conference was certainly a big "Wow!"

Next year's conference is set to be held in Vietnam. Click here for a printable flyer for the 2019 conference.

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Experience Ho Chi Minh City for Yourself
by Matthew Cowan

Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam's biggest city and the nation's economic powerhouse. It gets hot, wet and dirty, not to mention loud, very loud. All of which you are likely to experience when you visit here for the 2019 Asia Pacific Career Development Conference.

The excitement of it all is contagious.

So what's there to do here?

Consider picking up a guidebook or going online and researching Ho Chi Minh City's history and its multitude of must-see sights!

When you do, you'll find you'll not only want to visit, but will research the best time to visit Reunification Palace, arguably Ho Chi Minh City's most intriguing building with a special history. The palace has become an iconic symbol of victory because of its link to the end of the war in 1975. Who can forget that photo of the North Vietnamese Army tank crashing through its front gates?

Any guidebook or travel blog will suggest you slip in to your itinerary the nearby War Remnants Museum as well. It's undeniable that a visit here helps you understand why Vietnam became known as a war above a nation of stoic but friendly people with a distinct culture from the rest of its Southeast Asian neighbors.

Then you could go old school and send a postcard from the Central Post Office, constructed in the 19th century when Vietnam was part of what was known as French Indochina. Right across the street is the Notre Dame Basilica, perhaps Ho Chi Minh City's most recognizable landmark until the city's tallest building, the 262.5m Bitexco Tower, shaped like a lotus (Vietnam's national flower), was completed in 2010.

Now it's the Bitexco Tower's turn to be eclipsed by the 461.5m Landmark 81 as the highest point in town, which should be housing tenants by the time of your visit here. Ho Chi Minh City is on the move.

But as we know, often it's the road less-traveled that provides the most enriching travel experiences. A path along which you can make your own decisions, eat what you like, talk to whoever you want, and rest when you need to.

Hungry? Stop for a banh mi. Thirsty? Stop for a craft beer. Weary? Pull in to a cool cafe.

There are myriad walks that visitors to Ho Chi Minh City can undertake, and you can start one anywhere. The walk I've put together especially for you has taken into account that you probably won't have much time to spare. After all, you've really got to fit that trip in to Hoi An, right?

Any walk in Ho Chi Minh City is best done in the morning when it's cooler and there's a vibrancy about town like no other part of the day. Also, much of the city closes down between the hottest hours of the day (typically between 1pm and 3pm) when the locals take a siesta and aren't overly keen on doing business.

And trust me, you don't want to be traipsing the streets lost in the middle of the day.

With this in mind, a morning walk will allow you to taste authentic pho noodle soup typical of the southern regions of Vietnam and you'll get to wash it down with that ubiquitous of Vietnamese drinks, the ca phe sua da - iced-coffee with condensed milk.

You'll take in a bit of history and architecture, but also come to terms with how rapidly things are changing here. Fortunately, however, there are still some vestiges of the past around for you to see, particularly along Dong Khoi Street.

It's impossible to visit Vietnam and not experience its cafe culture, so in route, I recommend a few places for you to try, but keep your eyes peeled, because you might just find something else that suits you better.

Like all the great cities of the world, a river runs through them. Ho Chi Minh City is no different, so my suggested itinerary takes you on a leisurely water bus ride along the Siagon River, which will give you an insight into how life is led along the banks of Vietnam's rivers - something you can't witness ashore.

There will be opportunities to try food and then some from a legendary local bakery and the city's innermost wet market. Whether you hit the Skydeck 49 floors above the city before or after your mi hoanh thanh is up to you. About the only recommendation I can make is that you leave room for some tea and cake afterwards.

Towards the end of your walk, you'll see more of the old and the new of Ho Chi Minh City. You'll see a Cold War-era collection of vintage motorbikes in a cafe run by a local who exemplifies the vibrancy and enthusiasm of young people in Vietnam today. There's no wonder Ho Chi Minh City has become a hotspot for startup companies and digital nomads.

Finally, my itinerary will take you by one of Vietnam's most famous landmarks, Ben Thanh Market, before finishing whence you started.

Whether you follow my entire itinerary or just choose snippets from it, I'm certain you'll learn something new, taste something unusual, and come to understand why I call this city home.

Matthew Cowan has been living in Ho Chi Minh City since 2010. Previously the managing editor of a major English language travel and lifestyle magazine in Vietnam, he now curates his own website called The Bureau: A Gentleman's Guide to Southeast Asia. Matthew's website provides a wealth of information about Ho Chi Minh City and Vietnam, and is a great place to start planning your trip. For Matthew's suggested itinerary, click on this link:

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The Global Career Services Summit 2018
by Yevgeniya Kim

The Global Career Services Summit 2018 took place in Newcastle, UK from March 12-15 2018. Nearly one hundred career professionals traveled to the North East of England from around the world to share their expertise and best practices. This underlines the absolute importance of universities becoming the place for and playing important role in student employability.

The environment in which we operate is changing at a rapid pace. We frequently hear that in the next ten years there will be a new generation of jobs that do not even exist today. Some Employer tips to University Graduates follow to help grads stay ahead of the curve and become global citizens:

Employers tend to:

  • provide the same overall staffing opportunities but differentiate by their corporate culture. Choose the employer that is a "Culture Fit" for you
  • have an "open door policy" that gives access to everybody on every "ladder[/lattice]" level
  • look for "Go and Do people" not for candidates who are waiting for guidance and instructions on what and how things should be done
  • look for self-leadership, ability for self-drive, and motivation and self-awareness (candidates who demonstrate awareness of self and others)
  • hire "I see you" people; candidates who demonstrate high EQ levels
  • need people who don't ask for permission but rather for forgiveness
  • encourage experiments
  • appreciate confidence rather than arrogance. They love people who are "at ease with themselves"
  • search for candidates who demonstrate the "We" not "I" attitude
  • appreciate candidates who learn new things and relearn better ways to do things
  • emphasize the importance of LinkedIn utilization to develop networking skill
  • look for a right "fit" rather than a "good" candidate

It's important for today's graduates to be PROACTIVE and PROCESS READY when it comes to ongoing Knowledge, Skill and Ability maintenance and development post-graduation. As hard as it is to secure a job right after graduation, it will be excruciatingly difficult to prepare for a future job that NO ONE has done before. Ongoing global citizenry development is a MUST!

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Australia Country Report
by Agnes Banyasz

Government Level

In the State of Victoria there is a currently an ongoing 'Inquiry into Career Advice Activities in Schools.' The question being asked of students, recent school leavers, teachers, career advisors and parents is, 'Is career advice in Victorian schools hitting the mark?' Their shared views and experiences are being captured via a survey. The reporting date for this inquiry is 30 September 2018. Once the report is tabled in Parliament, an electronic copy will be available for download. Career Development Association of Australia (CDAA), Career Education Association of Victoria (CEAV), together with many schools, vocational education providers and businesses have already submitted their contributions.


Career Industry Council of Australia (CICA) News

CICA again lists significant local and international reports and studies on its News page:

  • VET qualifications: who is more likely to complete and why?
  • Future job openings for new entrants by industry and occupation
  • Crunching the numbers: Exploring the use and usefulness of the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR)
  • What the future of work will mean for jobs, skills, and wages
  • The evidence base for careers websites. What works?

APCDA Conference - Beijing

Last week I attended and presented at my first APCDA conference which was a very positive experience both professionally and personally. The pre-conference events allowed us to get to know each other in a relaxed setting while learning about how our colleagues at Tsinghua University Career Center work or visit the New Elite Development Program, which is a major provider of career planning services in China. The conference opened with Professor Hong Li's eloquent and evocative presentation on Taoist Philosophy and Decision-Making, highlighting some direct application to career decision-making and counseling. The following 2.5 days offered more keynotes and a feast of concurrent sessions with a huge diversity of topics and presenters, representing many countries and industry sectors of at least four continents. In the spirit of open dialogue, we learned about each other's practice, exchanged ideas and discussed opportunities for cooperation in research and best practice development. We had all the secret ingredients of a good conference: great location, precise organization, enthusiastic participants and warm collegiality!

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ADA University: A Model of Higher Education Institution-Business Cooperation
by Gulnur Ismayil

Abstract: ADA University in Baku, Azerbaijan, focuses on preparing students for a rewarding and accomplished future. This preparation includes exposing its students to ADA's ample resources for career and leadership development throughout their program of study. Both coursework and professional career development are tailored to best leverage their strengths and interests in school and beyond, where business enterprises are welcome to take an active part.

How Career Development Has Changed in this Part of the World

Azerbaijan is a transcontinental country situated where Eastern Europe and Western Asia meet. Its borders touch upon the Caspian Sea, Russia, Georgia, Iran, and Armenia. Just a decade ago, this part of the world would not think of a need for career counseling and guidance. Azerbaijan, like many countries of the former Soviet Union, have known placement processes widely practiced across major higher education institutions and, in particular, employment offered to its Science, Technological, Engineering, and Math students. Each student had a chance to get hired by an employer in a related industry based on hard core knowledge and some technical abilities. Rarely students had the opportunity to get the professional support in analyzing their skills, interests and aptitudes to ensure a real match and right fit.

In the early 1990s that practice started to dissolve as the Soviet Union collapsed. When each country earned its independence, transformation of their education system started. No longer were students able to think they had secure jobs waiting for them upon graduation. Slowly, employability skills came to be an important issue for educational institutions in many countries, and Azerbaijan is leading the region that brought up the concern of graduate career success.

Establishing the University-Industry Collaboration

ADA University brought a new approach to the University-Industry collaboration and started effective career preparation and development for its students while at school. Established in 2006 as a training vehicle for young diplomats, Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy opened its doors in 2009 for the first graduate class of a Diplomacy and International Affairs major. Since that time, ADA University has grown extensively. In 2011, the first Bachelor's degree cohort was admitted to the school. Later, this cohort became part of the University, including its International and Public Affairs, Business, Education, Information Technology and Engineering Schools.

Today, ADA University is not just about introducing new educational approaches and bringing international opportunities to its students. It also is about new trends that are shaping generations of open-minded, skilled, well-rounded young citizens with strong cultural roots and heritage.

ADA focuses on a holistic approach to student development that includes active, in-class engagement, group work, team assignments, and career ownership. An ADA graduate is a highly intellectual solution provider and close collaborator with a high sense of ethical citizenship and effective communication abilities. [Editor's Note: Wow, very impressive!]

ADA's Career Management Center plays a major role in the experience of our students. It offers individual career counseling and helps in charting a course for students' careers, from job searching through ADA's extensive professional network, to assisting students with job leads and internships tailored to meet their specific career interests.

Aligning the University with Market Trends and Demands

ADA University sets its curriculum and programs in line with market trends and demands. Curriculum mapping is one of the key features of the close cooperation between its schools and the Career Management Center. Recently, there has been a highly competitive job market where "being employed" is not a secure state of well-being. Being employable is the most important component of an ADA graduate's job search. So, what can be done to help fresh graduates cope with the challenging realities of high competition, increasing unemployment, economic turnovers, and inconsistency of education programs with job market demands? One answer is to bridge graduates' talents with industries and careers, including:

  1. Let the Job Market Speak: Survey major employers and assess their hiring needs, preferences, requirements, and expectations of candidates for hire
  2. Bring Employers On Campus: Create an engaging environment for employers on campus via presentations, a speaker series, career fairs, networking events and industry panels
  3. Give a Say: Allow industry leaders to take ownership for curriculum through setting up advisory boards and engaging them in program development, mentorship programs and promotion
  4. Encourage Experiential Learning environment: Establish partnership agreements with employers to offer regular volunteering, internship, projects, capstone and employment opportunities for students/li>
  5. Mentoring Opportunities: Bring prominent executives and ambassadors for a professional mentorship program where students may be coached by an experienced practitioner
  6. Teaching and In-Class Engagement: Invite qualified business and public sector representatives to offer courses or co-instruct with professors
  7. Engage in Professional Development Programs: Recruit industry experts to participate in career seminars and workshops as well as individual career planning sessions

In summary, employer on-campus participation sets a unique study and work environment where students get hands-on experience and information about major career trends while acquiring fundamental degree knowledge. Engagement of employers in student development helps not only new graduates learn and succeed in their job search, it also helps employers to prepare and develop potential talent for their businesses, have a greater access to the best qualified graduates, and ensure earlier engagement and preparation.

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Report on Career Development in the Philippines
by Lucila O. Bance

In response to the high incidence of youth unemployment in the country, the government approved a convergent program that aims to address the pressing issue of jobs-skills mismatch. A robust working group (WG) was established to develop an inter-agency Career Advocacy Plan intended to immerse parents and students in the realities of the labor market supplemented by the use of Phil Job Net and Labor Market Information (LMI). The WG consisted of the following: Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE); Department of Education (DepEd); Department of Science and Technology (DOST); Commission on Higher Education (CHED); Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA); and Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).

Additionally, the enhancement of academic-industry linkages has ensured that standards, policies and guidelines set by the government are regularly monitored through accreditation of academic programs for sustained implementation of career programs and services. Aside from the government's WG for Career Advocacy Plan, professional organizations do their significant part in the career development in the country, such as Philippine Guidance and Counseling Association of the Philippines (PGCA), Psychological Association of the Philippines (PAP), Career Development Association of the Philippines (CDAP), Association of Placement Practitioners of Colleges and Universities (APPCU) and Integrated Professional Counseling Association of the Philippines (IPCAP).


Ms. Sonia Mendoza, MA, CDAP President

CDAP celebrated its Ruby Anniversary in its 40th Annual Conference last November 16-17, 2017 with the theme "Honoring the Past, Treasuring the Present and Transforming for the Future." International figures in Career Development from different countries shared their practices. Dr. Concepcion Umali, Dean International Academy of New Zealand, Dr. Richard Knowdell, President of Career Research and Testing, Inc., Dr. Brian Schwartz, Founder and Chairman, Suzhou Success Partners Management, Consulting Co., Mr. Allan Gatenby, Chair Institute of Career Certification International.

Filipino speakers also enticed the audience in listening and participating in the program with the following resource persons: Dr. Josefina Santamaria, CDAP Founding President, Dr. Luzviminda Guzman, Philippine Regulation Board of Guidance & Counseling Board Chairman, Atty. Pilar Almira, President, Cardinal Santos Medical Center, Mr. Ramon Segismundo, President, People Management Association of the Philippines, Dr. Imelda Villar, CPD Chair, Board of Psychology and last but not the least, Dr. Lucila Bance, Director, Counseling & Career Center, University of Santo Tomas.

The organization established partnership with and contributed much on its nation-wide event, the Career Awareness and Readiness (CARES) Program with several runs in Mindanao, Visayas and Luzon. The program was nominated in the 14th TAYO (Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations) Awards.

CDAP also joined the Technical Working Group of SEAMEO INNOTECH and Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) for their career pathing and career mapping projects. CDAP also participated in PESO/DOLE Consultation and Orientation Seminars on youth employment. It prepared Motivational Training Program for students of Vittana, an NGO that provides educational assistance for youth. Through a partnership with Servicio Filipino, Inc. (SFI) Group of Companies, CDAP was additionally involved in various projects such as the Training of Career Advocates, PESO Managers, Learning Series for the Feeder Schools of Asia Pacific College.

SFI also prepared a KeyTrain program in developing foundational skills of 259 selected third year high school students in Bataan. Research showed significant improvement of participants' foundational workplace skills in Applied Mathematics, Locating Information, and Reading for Information, which have implications for education, career development as well as curriculum development. The assessment tool used is a comprehensive talent profile that identifies the key strengths and weaknesses of students, trainees and workforce in the context of their career preferences and workplace competencies. The results of this tool may be utilized for curriculum enhancement purposes and the creation/enhancement of career guidance programs and services that address the career-readiness skills of students.

CDAP's Mid-year Conference was held on May 24-25, 2018 at Hotel Benilde with the Theme: "Spectrum for Success: A Career Paradigm Shift for Philennials".


Carla Siojo, MA, APPCU Vice-President

The 10th Anniversary and 8th Annual Convention of APPCU took place at St. Scholastica's College, Manila on 8-9 March 2018. The event convened placement practitioners, career guidance practitioners, guidance counselors, career guidance advocates from colleges and universities and HR practitioners from industry to increase their knowledge of workforce trends in this era of the 4th Industrial Revolution. Participants were exposed to learning sessions that aimed to hone and develop skills in personal branding, meta-coaching, networking and use of big data in order to efficiently and effectively perform their duties and responsibilities and improve existing career services.

The theme of the Convention, "10 to the Next 10: APPCU Surges Ahead!" affirmed the 10-year old existence of APPCU, and the challenge for the organization to surge forward to the next 10 years! The Convention also affirmed APPCU's commitment in developing 21st century skills of placement practitioners in order to remain relevant and effective in helping students transition from school to a competitive global workplace and in bridging the gap between the existing jobs and skills mismatch. The event was sponsored by ServeHappy Jobs and Globe Telecom, Inc.

The invited resource speakers from industry and academe for the 2-day event received excellent ratings from the participants. The speakers and topics included: Grace Abella-Zata, President, Corporate Executive Search, Inc., who talked about "Hiring Potential Talents for the Workforce"; Maria Luz C. Vilches, Ph.D., Vice President for the Loyola Schools, Atene de Manila University, who gave "A Response from the Academe on Preparing Potential Talents for the Workforce"; Tisha Rosales, Meta-Coach from BreakFree Workshop gave a plenary workshop on "Harnessing the Power of Corporate Personal Branding"; Julius Paras, Senior Vice President, Customer Engagement and Country Manager of Kalibrr, talked about "Making Big Data Work for You and gave Alumni Engagement Insights from the Ivy League"; Florence T. Ladion, RGC, Financial Consultant and Assistant Unit Manager at Prulife, UK, shared the importance of "Networking as an Art of Establishing Partnerships"; and Marie Geraldine R. Samson, Meta-Coach at BreakFree Workshop shared "The Basics of Meta-Coaching."

Overall, the Convention was informative, interesting and enriching. The knowledge and best practices shared by the resource speakers inspired the participants to improve their placement and career practice. The Convention also provided an avenue to connect and reconnect with those who work at colleges and universities and facilitate the nation's young people realizing meaningful employment.

Builing a Model Counseling and Career Center in the Philippines by USAID STRIDE

Lucila O. Bance, PhD, Director, Counseling and Career Center, University of Santo Tomas

Three years ago, a Model Counseling and Career Center (CCC) in the Philippines was built to address the challenges and meet the needs of the 21st century and the directional goals of the University of Santo Tomas. The development was supported by a grant from the United States Agency for International Development, Science Technology Research for Innovation Development (USAID STRIDE). The strategic landscape, expectations and outlook for Counseling and Career Services evolved at a rapid rate and included the retooling of 43 guidance counselors and 4 staff (1 Office Secretary, 2 Psychometricians and 1 Associate for Career Placement ). The resultant structure is comprised of 2 major sub-units under the CCC: the Counseling Services Unit and the Career Services Unit.

The Counseling Services Unit takes care of ThomRISE (Thomasian Resources for Intensifying Student Empowerment) with programs on: Orientation and Information; Peer Assisted Study Success (PASS); Peer Facilitator Training; Academic Counseling; Personal, Emotional and Social Counseling; and Intervention Programs for Special Groups.

The Career Services Unit takes care of ThomGUTS (Thomasian Gear Up Tools for Success) and ThomCARE (Thomasian Career Readiness and Employment) with programs on: Career Exploration; Career Ambassadors; Career Counseling; Resume Clinic; Career E-Portfolio; CarSem (Career Seminars with Alumni and Industry Component); Life and Career Skills Development; Student Career Placement & Industry Partnerships; Mock Interviews; Career Fairs (On-Site Recruitment & Employers' Information Sessions); and Networking Sessions. Supported by a Psychological Testing and Assessment Committee, ThomACE (Thomasian Assessment towards Competence and Empowerment) takes care of the following activities: Personality & Skills Assessment and Psychological Testing, Interpretation and Counseling. The center is dedicated to deliver comprehensive and evidence-based counseling and career programs and services in collaboration with educators and administrators as well as engagement and strategic partnerships with business and community stakeholders to ensure students' academic, personal-social and career success.

The Counseling and Career Center, University of Santo Tomas, is recognized not only in the Philippines but in other countries around the globe. In April 2017, the Center's services were recognized during APCDA's annual conference which included representation from 23 countries. In June 2017, the platform was presented at the International Centre for Career Development and Public Policy (ICCDPP) held in Korea; with 29 participating countries.

In 2017-2018, USAID STRIDE consultants from William Davidson Institute (WDI) at the University of Michigan spearheaded a career caravan in the strategic areas in the Philippines (Cebu, Legaspi, Davao and Metro Manila) to showcase the roadmap to develop Model Counseling and Career Centers in the Philippines. Along with the all out support of the CCC team and the top administrators of the University of Santo Tomas, led by its Rector, Rev. Fr. Herminio V. Dagohoy, O.P., the platform aimed to educate future-ready, Filipino graduates by creating and transforming counseling and career centers for youth, the nation and the global community at large.

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Singapore's People and Career Development Association
by Sing Chee Wong

Following its official launch on Jan 11, 2018, the People and Career Development Association (PCDA) has successfully initiated several events for the career development community in Singapore.

The Code of Ethics for Career Practitioners was developed for PCDA members and the career development community in Singapore. PCDA initiated this project because it was mindful Singapore has cultural values, beliefs and practices that may differ from those in other countries, hence a Singaporean Code of Ethics would be useful and helpful for local career practitioners, their clients, and the career development community. Clients are likely to be more cooperative to work with the Career Practitioner if they felt that they are understood, and their vocational behavior explained to them in cultural context familiar to them. Setting goals and an action plan to resolve their career issues discussed within this same cultural context would also be better received. The Workforce Singapore, a statutory board under Singapore's Ministry of Manpower, also has adopted this Code of Ethics for the training of Career Advocates and Career Facilitators in Singapore.

Another activity organized jointly by PCDA and Workforce Singapore is a Community of Practice event entitled "Getting Ready for Future of Work - Nature of Work and Careers in the 21st Century", was held on March 21, 2018. The objective of this event was to promote and advance career development practices in Singapore, a mission of PCDA.

The speakers, Prof Trevor Yu of Nanyang Business School and Mr Lau Yin Cheng, Head HR, Group Digital Life, Singtel, emphasised that the Singaporean workforce should recognize the new reality of the 21st century and VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) environment. They suggested that to progress in this fast-changing world it is important to cultivate mindfulness and resilience, assume an edge (over the competition) and develop possibility thinking. They drew attention to the fact that work would not change, but how work is done, will. This is because human beings have the knowledge, and they can train machines (including robots and artificial intelligence) to do the work. Hence workers are urged to sense technological changes early, and respond decisively to innovations brought about by digital revolution, technological changes, demographic and societal changes and global competition.

Singapore's changing employment patterns also were addressed during the March event. There is now a discernible trend in the country towards a gig economy practice, where work is short-term and temporary, self-sourced, contract-based, and specialized. Company/organization loyalty is not part of the package.

The speakers were of the view that the 21st century workers must make adaptation the key lever, whether in job search strategies; being proactive at work; reframing job roles where relevant; and possessing an entrepreneurial mindset of knowing why, how, and whom. Most importantly, it is essential for all workers to engage in lifelong learning, embrace uncertainty and do work that is worth doing.

As an association for the Singapore career development community, PCDA is mindful that it plays a pivotal role in drawing attention to changing employment patterns and the nature of work in Singapore. PCDA and its members will continue to advocate for suitable career development practices for its community through its various activities and events. IT WILL CONTINUE TO NOT ONLY MEET CHALLENGES BUT ALSO BE PROACTIVE!!

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National Program on Career Awareness in India
by Arun Mittal

Background: In 2022, India turns 75 and becomes the largest, youngest nation in the world. Sounds paradoxical! Yet, at 75 years young, India would be the largest country by population with the youngest potential workforce by age — a predicted national average just around 25 years. This has been a talking point for a long time, an opportunity to be the 'stream' engine of the future. Truly, a case of interdependence.

India is in the process of developing an appropriate ecosystem for Career Planning and Guidance. Given its size and diversity, this ecosystem development is daunting; addressing the huge chasm between global career and economic information, some of which is yet unknown, and helping youth make an informed career choice.

The National Program on Career Awareness (NPOCA) is an attempt to bridge this chasm and provide an opportunity to the youth to understand the World of Work 'up close' and hear it 'directly from the horse's mouth'.


NPOCA all started as an experiment to check the receptivity of schools for such a cause. Conceived as a week-long program, the push and encouragement helped this idea hatch. The whole world seemed to have conspired to make it happen. The main co-conspirators were Mrs. Manjula Raman, Sandeep Ghosh, Major General Jai Shanker Menon, Dr. Itishree Misra, Dr. Dharana, Nick Newman, Karen Taylor Brown, Dr. Brian Hutchison, Dr. Marilyn Maze, Kapil Nautiyal, Manish Gupta, Juhi Dwivedi, Shadab Faiz, and my friend Piyush. I would write seeking guidance, help and support, and they would all wave a big welcome and willingly share their expertise. I think the world loves to give gyan (read Preach, pun intended).

The initial schedule for the week was put in place and a sample list of schools were invited. Some accepted, some suspected and many others called to check our hidden agenda. While disbelief and suspicion was understandable, given the way most of the organizations, abuse such platforms, the warmth of reception from principals, HoD's and educators was overwhelming. Delivering a session remotely (online) wasn't an easy concept, I remember calls from well-wishers strongly suggesting sessions be delivered directly, on-site at the schools.


Fifty days of persistent effort, saw 200+ schools coming on board as members. That's roughly works out to 4 a day! (Author's Note: Well done Akshat, Juhi and Shadab. It would not have been possible without you guys!) The encouragement, deep sense of gratitude and responsibility aided the decision to convert NPOCA to an ongoing program. The decision seemed almost spontaneous.

The NPOCA program currently offers expert advice from mentors across the world. The idea is to provide access to professionals who have been achievers in their own domain. By the time this article is published, educational posters, puzzles and career articles also will be available. The eventual goal is to have an online repository of all careers, education pathways and education financing; basically everything that a student needs!

Seeking Guidance

"Seeking Guidance" is still my favorite subject line for most of the emails I send regarding NPOCA. I'm almost tempted to replace it with the current tagline of NPOCA, "An attempt to make youth aware of tomorrow's careers."

Being able to create an ecosystem, where each participant is aware of the multitude of career options and chooses career "appropriately" . . . WOW! Currently our NPOCA team is chasing a goal of 1000 schools and a million students by end of this year. Then we hope to catch the attention of the policy makers and other change agents.

Collaboration is at the core of NPOCA, and the team will continue "Seeking Guidance" from the global fraternity. Student profiling, counselor training and assessments as well as further development of our career repository, digital library and platforms are some of the areas where we will be looking for partnerships. The program is an excellent opportunity for academic institutions and career guidance organizations from across the world to collaborate, with a long-term view on an opportunity called "India."

Let's Engage!

Arun Mittal is the Program Director of the National Program on Career Awareness and the CEO of MapMyCareer, a new online career planning program and an Organizational Member of APCDA. Previously, he built the distribution infrastructure for IndiaSkills, HR skill assessment and certification. Mr Mittal worked for IIHT, a pioneer in job-based IT training in India, to increase their market share and marketed training offered by Manipal Global, a professional and skills education business.

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UN Recognizes Peace-ful and Inclusive Career Reform in Asia
by Raza Abbas

The annual United Nations (UN) high-level meeting on peacebuilding and sustaining peace was held in their New York City headquarters in April 2018. The gathering recognizes that inclusive Career Education assists with improving global economic cooperation, helps with combating global poverty and contributes to sustained peace. Career Education enables humanity to blossom and leads to social justice, sustained peace and continuous livelihood.

APCDA is honored to share that Mr. Raza Abbas, our very own Pakistan Country Director, was recently selected to participate at the UN's April meeting for his work with his social venture, Pathway Global Career Institute, which is based in Pakistan. During the New York gathering, Mr. Abbas not only learned about the best global practices for peace-building from distinguished dignitaries throughout the globe, but he also suggested the following additional ideas to strengthen peace reform:

  1. Promote peace education especially in women and youth
  2. Conduct peace building workshops and peace camps for high-school students
  3. Involve young people as partners in the sustaining peace agenda

APCDA proudly congratulates Mr. Abbas for his selection by the UN as well as his ongoing commitment to the career education profession. Mr. Abbas is the Chief Executive Officer of Pathway Global Career Institute. He serves on the Board of APCDA, ARACD and IAEVG. He also is the proud recipient of our 2017 APCDA Outstanding Career Practitioner Award. He can be reached at We warmly wish him ongoing success!

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An Interview with Nika Ohashi

Nika Ohashi, a Certified Career Consultant (Japanese national license), was recently interviewed by Kanako Hori for the JCDA (Japan Career Development Association) Journal and her interview will be published in volume 65 of the JCDA Journal:

As a young girl, Ms Ohashi's father died suddenly and she was grateful for the support of others. She decided to pursue a degree in psychology and completed a bachelor's degree in Psychology in the US. When she returned to Japan, she worked a variety of jobs in the public sector and private national and foreign sectors. After taking time out to have a family, she has increasingly focused on working with immigrants who are trying to adjust to her country and is now a member of a steering committee for a group that helps immigrants learn Japanese. Ms Ohashi said, "As a member of the steering committee of a volunteer organization, I investigated the life and work of workers from overseas with the perspective of a career consultant."

She attended the APCDA Conferences in Taiwan in 2016 and Manila in 2017 and was excited by making international contacts. Ms Ohashi said, "I should mention that APCDA is like a treasure box. It is very attractive and offers so many possibilities for both professional and personal development.... The ADB tour was like an awakening. When I told a friend of mine that 'I might want to be a social entrepreneur,' she replied, 'I knew you were going to say that!'"

Ms Ohashi sees her life related to Dr. Krumboltz's Happenstance Learning Theory. "I think like Dr. Krumboltz's Happenstance Learning Theory, it is important to convert natural events to your energy. Even though there are struggles and surprises every day, I believe that I am on the right track." She would like to set up a special interest group in JCDA for people interested in supporting foreign workers and international students.

She is grateful for her husband's advice, "It is O.K to be different. Being different is something to be proud of." Her favorite quote is, "Others will start to shine when you live your life with altruism."

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Find Us at NCDA and SVP
by Marilyn Maze

This year the Society for Vocational Psychology (SVP) and the National Career Development Association (NCDA) will be held back-to-back in Phoenix, Arizona. Yes, SVP is meeting in Scottsdale, but that is a suburb of Phoenix. SVP begins at 5 PM on Monday, June 18 and ends at 3PM on Wednesday, June 20. NCDA holds Professional Development Institutes on Wednesday and its Opening Session is on Thursday, June 21. However, APCDA members are encouraged to attend the International Reception on Wednesday evening from 7 to 9 PM in the Cassidy Room.

On Thursday morning the First Timer Orientation will be helf at 9 AM, a valuable session for anyone attending NCDA for the first time. APCDA will hold a meeting during the Constituency Meetings from 10:15 - 11:15 AM. Following this meeting is a Grab-and-Go lunch (a bag lunch) and Committee Meetings. The Opening Session follows.

Many APCDA members and friends are presenting at the conference. Click here for a schedule of sessions by APCDA members and friends. The NCDA Program contains all of the details. But most important: Don't forget to attend the APCDA meeting in Suite 322 on Thursday at 10:15 - 11:15 AM.

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