Each and every day, our client managers across the globe help make our clients' day-to-day just a little bit easier so that they can better support their students. With a client support team that comes from across the student success spectrum, clients continuously speak to the dedication of our client support team, and we at Symplicity want to give them the attention they deserve. In our series, Symplicity Spotlight, we’re pulling back the curtain on our client support team.
In our latest installment, we shine a spotlight on our beloved colleague and lead CSM client manager Rebecca Florey. For over 10 years, Rebecca has been a daily steadfast and reliable support for our CSM clients. Not only is Rebecca beloved by our clients, but she is also equally beloved by her colleagues here at Symplicity. In fact, we could easily write a book of praises about Rebecca from our clients, but in the meantime, get to know her below!
Before you joined Symplicity, what was your role in higher ed and what topics are you most passionate about?
I spent 20 years at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. The first half of my career was spent in Alumni Relations, and then I spent the last 7 in Career Services. My day-to-day role was mostly focused on event management and other project management. Always in support of helping connect people to the university and to each other.
What got you interested in higher education?
I was on the administrative side mostly, and the attraction there was continuing to be part of an education community – access to the arts, speakers, and community enrichment events that come with being part of a vibrant university.
What made you join Symplicity and look into EdTech?
I really appreciated how the system streamlined work in our office. I also really enjoyed the opportunities I had over those years to attend Symposium and interact with staff and other career services offices around the country. I was excited that I might be able to interact with hundreds of career services around the country and help them streamline their own work.
How does your previous work in higher ed help you support clients?
It provides me the ability to get right to their specific needs and have meaningful conversations. Whether we’re just talking about how to build a career fair, or we’re talking about the struggles of engaging faculty on a satellite campus, they don’t have to explain too much. Because I spent so much time in higher education, and since then continue to be so closely linked, I can quickly understand the surrounding context when they are talking about students, employers, alumni, events… it’s like we can speak in shorthand and get right to the point more quickly.
In your view, what are some of the biggest changes student success roles in higher ed in the last five years?
The last five years have been so unique, but what I feel like I’ve consistently seen is staff trying to do more with less. Whether budgets or staff, it seems like everyone is experiencing some kind of shortage since before 2020. Watching clients’ passion for their students and desire to not let the services decline despite the cuts in budget and/or staff has been inspirational.
What’s the biggest pain points for clients and professionals focused on career services/career readiness today?
It seems to me like it’s “getting student attention.” I had a daughter working on her bachelors during the pandemic, so I saw firsthand how mentally challenging it was for students. As the collective student body has returned, it seems like it’s taking some time for them to recover from that experience. And the result seems to be that we lost some momentum in getting them to engage with campus services in the same way. So, finding new ways to get them to apply to jobs, attend career fairs and workshops… this has been the focus of many of my conversations with clients.
Tell us a story of a client’s struggle that you helped them solve with CSM?
I recently spoke with a client that was struggling with how to get their students to complete prerequisites for internships. They were trying to track those through emails and spreadsheets and just being overwhelmed, and ultimately losing track. When I showed them that the Pathways tool could solve that problem, they were so excited.
What’s your favorite feature within CSM and why?
Job Agents. Students can create one (or more) completely personalized email that they receive every time new jobs push into the system that meet their desired search criteria. Reminds students to stop back when other priorities take over.
What’s a feature you think people don’t use enough?
Employer and contact notes. If you are a one-person office, it’s a great tool to keep yourself organized and remind yourself of tasks you want to complete related to employers. If you have a big staff, using the system to track your contact with employers helps your leadership see that relationship across the whole organization.
What is one thing you would tell someone considering CSM?
Do it. And then book a monthly call with your client manager. With so many commitments, it’s easy to let management of the system fall to the background. Our support structure is such a bonus and committing that one hour a month to focus on the system will really help you grow your knowledge and use exponentially.
Outside of work, what do you enjoy doing? Tell us a little about yourself!
My youngest child is just finishing high school, so I’m honestly just figuring this out for myself again! I’ve joined a Bible Study, been buying tickets to my local theatre group, and planning lots more family trips. My husband and I like to visit local small breweries and social clubs at least once a week. I still live in the area in which I grew up, so I am lucky that much of my time is spent with family and lifelong friends.
To learn more about Symplicity and how our expert team can support you and your institution, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.