Training the Street

As College students, we have all probably encountered this classic conundrum in our job search:


What if there were a way to gain on-the-job skills and training before you had a job? On Nov. 12, Training the Street will come to Davidson to offer a training program essential to any student wishing to pursue a career in finance or any business field requiring a deeper understanding of income and cash flow statements, balance sheets, public comparable analysis, and much more.

Training the Street works with many of the country’s top corporations to prepare their entry-level, new hires for success. By participating,you will be able to demonstrate to future employers both your preparation and your sustained interest in the business world. More than just teaching basic job skills, Training the Street is committed to cultivating the next generation of successful finance professionals. Through Training the Street’s program, you will master key concepts to reading financial statements and determining a company’s value, skills that you can apply immediately in interviews, internships and first full-time positions.

Training the Street is highly recognized and respected, and it is definitely worth highlighting directly on your résumé.

“Obviously nothing compares to actually doing the job first hand,” writes past participant J.B. Gough ’17, “but Training the Street definitely made me more comfortable especially in my shortcut excel skills, which are unbelievably valuable on the job. I was able to put Training the Street on my résumé and my employers were definitely pleased when they saw this.”

Jeanne-Marie Ryan, Executive Director at Davidson’s Center for Career Development, also acknowledges the value of this program.

“In my previous career, I was at the heart of financial services as a VP at State Street Corporation, so I’m confident that these skills in applied finance fundamentals are what our Davidson students need to differentiate themselves as candidates for any internship or entry-level role in banking or finance,” Ryan says. “Without this clear indicator of interest and skill development on their resume, it would be much more challenging for students to market themselves to a prospective employer for that first internship. The knowledge and confidence gleaned through this course will help students not only understand the finance fundamentals of corporate valuations, but completion of this course will serve as an asset on your resume, and open doors for your career options.”

Sign up in Handshake to attend this key opportunity! Lunch will be provided to all participants.

Out 4 Undergrad: Queering Business, Technology, Engineering, and Marketing


Tai Tran ’18 is pursuing a Gender & Sexuality Studies major with a minor in Chinese Studies

Growing up, being queer was a hush-hush topic in many spaces I’ve been to. Being your authentic self meant being everything but out and proud. Whether it was middle school or the professional world, people just didn’t talk about it. Imagine my surprise when I heard of a professional conference opportunity specifically for queer undergraduate students. It’s not just one opportunity, but four. Out for Undergrad (O4U) offers four different conferences all in major cities around the United States: The Marketing conference is offered in Chicago, the Business conference is offered in New York, the Technology conference is offered in San Francisco, and the Engineering conference is offered in Palo Alto, CA. Did I mention that they cover your airfare and hotel?

I had first heard about O4U from Kai Jia, a Davidson alumnus who served as an ambassador for O4U. O4U is meant to help queer undergraduate students get their foot in the door of so many of these major career fields. The focus on academic and career development by fellow queer peers who volunteer their time to make this conference a success is the very meaning of community to me. The speakers, the volunteers, the staff at O4U really do want us to succeed and so planned for an entire year to put together all four of these conferences.

This year I chose to attend the O4U Marketing conference in Chicago, IL. The year before I attended the Technology conference in San Francisco. It was my first time in Chicago and I had a wonderful time. The itinerary was of course packed from 8 am in the morning to 7pm in the evening but the connections I made were worth all the while. Coming into the conference we were already given an assignment to provide hands-on experience in the field of marketing. The selected few participants with exceptional presentations had the chance to present their assignments to all of us. The winner got a position for a first round interview with a major company.

Each conference has their own career fair and so I was able to network with so many people from companies like Pepsico, Henkel, Neilson, Pandora, and even the toothpaste company Colgate. There were plenty of networking opportunities throughout the conference and I highly suggest everyone take advantage of it to get their name known. It’s only one weekend around mid-September or mid-October so take your pick and I hope you’ll have a great time connecting with professional queer peers as I did.

New Online Appointment Scheduling – Digital Transformation for the CCD

We heard your feedback and acted on it! One of the pieces of feedback that I heard through my listening tour with students is that you would like it to be easier to access the Center for Career Development (CCD). As you know, we immediately responded by enhancing opening hours for walk-ins to an all-day service, which has already resulted in a huge increase in the volume of students accessing the CCD and leveraging our resources daily. As our next step in the continued enhancement of your experience, we’re transforming the scheduling experience to make it simple, immediate and instantaneous to get your one-to-one career advisory appointments scheduled with Career Advisors.

We appreciate that as digitally-native students, you are seeking an automated and immediate appointment system where you can instantly identify available appointment times that work for your schedule, and immediately book your career advisory session!

Here at the CCD, we are excited to introduce an advanced appointment scheduling software system called Appointlet.


Appointlet offers a variety of user-friendly features, including a mobile-friendly website that will deliver fast and convenient scheduling services, to aid you in scheduling your appointment with a Career Advisor. Whether you’re seeking a career assessment, a career counseling session, or a mock interview, you can readily filter through open appointment times to select and book an appointment with each of our dedicated Career Advisors. Furthermore, the software offers Google Calendar and Outlook integration, so your scheduled CCD appointment will conveniently sync to your personal calendar, should you choose to do so.

Studying abroad and wish to set up a meeting via Skype or phone? Appointlet also enables you to schedule an appointment with a Career Advisor without having to worry about translating time zones.  Browse by your time zone and book an appointment with us, so you can continue your career development planning while abroad. Get help in preparing for internship and research applications and interviews, even while you’re on your semester abroad.  You are a priority to us, and we aim to make the CCD resources readily accessible to you, even when you’re across the pond, we don’t want you to miss out!

By streamlining the system for appointment scheduling, we’re enhancing your access to the CCD team and resources, and empowering you to select the timeslots that work best for your schedule – instantly! Of course, you can still always drop by the Center in person to schedule an appointment, call or email us to do so, but now you have more options, including putting the power of scheduling at your own fingertips, all the time.

The CCD is here to empower all our students with the resources, confidence, competencies and access for successful professional and career development. Thank you for letting us know how we can continuously enhance our engagement with you – we are excited about launching this enhanced booking system and look forward to welcoming you to the Center for your career advisory session with us very soon!

Career Treks: A new tool for your job search

Last week, myself and 11 other students participated in a Career Trek to Charlotte to learn about non-profit work and opportunities in ministry. Career Treks are a new initiative by the Center for Career Development in collaboration with other departments and groups on campus. These treks provide opportunities throughout the year for groups of students to visit a company or companies, learn more about those specific organizations, engage with industry professionals and gain first-hand knowledge of the environment and culture.

Music Director explains church history to students
Music Director, Anne Hunter Eidson, introduces Davidson students to Caldwell’s history of community building and social justice.

Last week’s Career Trek was hosted at Caldwell Presbyterian, a church and community known for its breadth of ministries focused on advocacy and community transformation. During our visit, we heard from members of Caldwell’s staff, as well as representatives from three non-profit organizations and initiatives.

The Third Place is a community coffee shop and common ground space run by QC Family Tree and hosted in Caldwell Presbyterian. The Third Place works not only to create economic opportunities for members of the community, but also to be a place where folks can come together to build the bonds that form deeper communities.

Hagar International is an organization committed to supporting the recovery of women and children who have been victims of trafficking and slavery in Vietnam, Cambodia and Afghanistan. Their motto is “whatever it takes, for as long as it takes, to restore a broken life.”

End Slavery in Charlotte works to raise awareness about modern day slavery, and to support local anti-slavery organizations in Charlotte by filling gaps in the services available.

Over the course of an hour, we learned about the history and work of each organization. The representatives also spoke about the non-profit industry and offered their advice to us as students seeking to go into the non-profit industry. We asked questions about what to look for in job postings, how to choose between graduate schools and entry level job opportunities, and what they did to get to where they are today. Dr. Ray Casey, CEO of Hagar USA, told us that his work is guided by the questions “Who am I?” and “How can I give of that?” He said, of five degrees (one BA, three Masters and one PhD) the one he uses the most day-to-day is his Master of Arts in Non-Profit Management. Lisa, from Ending Slavery in Charlotte, spoke process and challenges of starting a non-profit. Leaving the Career Trek we had more answers, new industry contacts and a group of peers we knew shared our professional interests.

The Center for Career Development will be running Career Treks throughout the year, across a variety of industries. The next Trek will be to Red Ventures on October 21.  Students should register in Handshake by October 18.

Pro-tip for Trek participants: be ready to leverage the opportunity to be in-person with industry professionals. Ask focused questions and make sure to hold onto their contact information to follow up after the event.


Student Perspectives on DCAN

Everyone knows that the alumni and parent connections are one of the strongest assets of a Davidson degree. DCAN – the Davidson Career Advisor Network – leverages that strength to help you pursue every aspect of your career search. With more than 1000 advisors, including alumni, parents and other champions across every industry, DCAN is one of the most powerful and personal tools you have.

When  I asked Jocelyn Kennedy ’17 what she would say to students who have not used DCAN, she replied quickly: “Just do it. The alumni are so willing to help and you’re honestly doing a disservice to yourself by not talking to one of them.” I heard this over and over when I talked to students about their experiences using DCAN. Though some were apprehensive at first about how DCAN advisors could help, or what to say to them, every student I talked to said they would recommend DCAN. Speaking about one of her DCAN advisors, Sabrina Cheema ’17 told me,  “He set me on a new path, where I thought, okay I can do this. He was just super encouraging, which was what I needed more than anything at that point.”

Here are four things that your peers want you to know about DCAN:

1.     If you are not already on DCAN, as Jocelyn said, “Just do it.” Like any networking experience, it can be intimidating the first time, but as David Nnadi ’17 put it, “you have to make that first step. To get to where they are at they had to start at the unknown too. So start at the unknown, keep taking one step after the next and you’ll get more comfortable with networking because it’s not that scary once you immerse yourself in it.”

2.     DCAN is fast and easy to use. Arsalaan Hashmi ’17  told me it took him less than five minutes to register and enter his availability for consultations. Once registered, he said, “I got connected within a day and we talked a week later on the phone. It was pretty seamless.”

3.     DCAN can help you at every stage of your career search. Perhaps you’re just starting out and you have a dream job, but no idea how to get there? Or, a major you are passionate about, but no idea what jobs you should be pursuing? Book a career consultation, and talk to a Davidson alumnus/a who has sat exactly where you are. Then, when you are a little further along, connect with another advisor for specific advice and connections.

4.     DCAN advisors can offer you knowledge and advice that can only come from someone in the industry. Applying for law internships? Schedule a consultation with an attorney to review your resume. Have an interview coming up? Prepare for it by scheduling a mock interview with someone in your field. Not only can they offer you advice on your answers, they can likely provide insights into the types of questions you should expect.

5.     Finally, the alumni want to talk to you and they want to help.  They willing signed up because they are interested in investing in your career.

If you’re not sure where to start, the CCD has created some resources for you.  Check out this article in Handshake for advice on how to best utilize DCAN and even some sample introduction messages and questions you can use for your first interaction.  Don’t forget to also just come by for a walk-in session with an advisor if you’d like some specific advice on utilizing the platform.

Sea Turtle Rescue at the South Carolina Aquarium

Original posted contributed by Aren Carpenter ’18, recipient of the Jolley Foundation Internship Grant for summer 2017.

This summer I had the amazing opportunity to volunteer at the South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston thanks to a Jolley Foundation grant. I spent about half of my time working in the Sea Turtle Rescue Hospital that treats stranded, injured, and ill sea turtles from the entire east coast. It was an incredibly productive summer for the hospital this year; we treated more than 30 sea turtles and were able to release several just in the time that I was there. There are few experiences more rewarding. The staff and volunteers have such passion for these animals and it was a real pleasure being able to work with them to make a real difference for these turtles. I was involved with the daily care (feeding, cleaning, medical procedures, etc.) of the sea turtles and I was the primary caregiver for 12 terrapins, an estuarine turtle that I was using for research.

Terrapins are near threatened in several South Carolina populations and my research allowed me to study their interactions with crab traps, a leading cause of their aren-carpenterdeclines in the area. I conducted a series of tests on these terrapins and I am planning to submit my findings for publication later this year! Hopefully, my research can help mitigate terrapin deaths in the future. My previous exposure with terrapins also allowed me to start a biweekly terrapin educational program at the aquarium geared for younger children and teenagers. I was told by several of my supervisors that many guests commented that they loved the chance to have hands-on experiences with terrapins, so I believe it was a successful endeavor! As one of my professors used to comment, ‘you never know when one experience, however brief, could inspire a kid to be the next biologist or vet or scientist’. I’d like to think that I was allowing the thousands of kids I talked with to have such an experience.

In all, my summer was everything I hoped it would be. I can’t say enough how thankful I am to the Jolley Foundation for allowing me to expand my horizons, if you will, by exploring new career paths and making a difference in the lives of turtles and aquarium goers alike this summer.

Up Close with Cigna’s Managed Care Rotational Program


Cigna’s Managed Care Rotational Program (MCRP) allows high-potential individuals to rotate throughout Cigna’s Medicare Advantage (MA) business in three rotations over the course of twelve months, getting exposure to the business model and senior leadership before placement in a permanent role.

When looking for a position post-Davidson, Cigna and the MCRP stood out to me for a few reasons. I was interested in the Healthcare industry, but was worried about getting lost in the shuffle of a large company. Cigna, though a large international presence, has a strong emphasis on personal and professional development. Further, the MCRP provides the opportunity and resources to focus on this development throughout the year-long program. For example, the Chicago-based MCRPs had regular lunches with the Chief Operating Officer of Illinois Medicare Advantage to discuss professional growth and learning opportunities.

Additionally, I did not want to immediately pin myself down to one area of the business; the MCRP is tailored to providing exposure to several critical departments in the company and finding what best suits your interests, skills, and areas for growth.

My experience in the program has been influential on my career path. I found my current role through projects I worked on in my last rotation and the managers and mentors I worked with have continued to be resources for advice and support post-program. I look forward to continuing to learn and develop professionally in my new position and am grateful for the opportunities and support the program has provided for me at Cigna.

Seniors interested in learning more about the Cigna MCRP should attend the Information & Networking Session and/or participate in the Coffee Chats on September 13.  Applications are due September 15.

Meera Goswitz ’15 graduated from the MCRP in June of 2016 alongside fellow 2015 Davidson Classmate, Benjamin Arkin. 2016 Davidson graduates Catherine Wu and Meron Fessehaye entered the program in July of 2016.

Up Close with Synchrony Financial’s BLP

up close_Synchrony Financial's BLPDavidson grad Dan Hagemann ’15 recently completed his first year in Synchrony Financial’s Business Leadership Program. Synchrony Financial (SYF), completing the separation from GE Capital, created its Business Leadership Program (BLP) to begin developing future leaders of the company. Dan, now a full-time BLP, shares his experiences from the Program and answers some typical questions about SYF with you below:

“What is the Business Leadership Program, and why did you apply to it?” 

The Program is a 2-year program at Synchrony Financial consisting of three 8-month rotations. Each entry class of BLPs contains roughly 50 BLPs. When you enter the Program, you enter under one “track,” and each of your three rotations provides a different experience within that track. Nine different tracks are offered, ranging from HR to IT to Data Analytics. Mine is Credit, in which I’ve done rotations in Deal Underwriting and Credit Risk.

The rotational nature of the Program still to this day remains my biggest personal draw towards the Program. When preparing to graduate Davidson, I was interested in doing consulting, but I realized that the Business Leadership Program provided that same short-term assignment structure that I admired in a lot of consulting firms. Also, it was clear to me that Synchrony was very serious about investing in its Program participants and valued its employees, both large priorities for me.

“How did you get the job, or at least, what made you a good fit for Synchrony’s BLP?” 

As an Economics major at Davidson, I felt very confident about my quantitative and reasoning skills – I’d later realize that they weren’t all that special – which I figured would be important for a position in Credit. However, it became really clear to me throughout the interview process that Synchrony placed quite a bit of weight on leadership abilities and what SYF now calls “Critical Experiences,” and I was able to point out some examples of those abilities and experiences from my time at Davidson, whether related to Wrestling or studying in India and Spain.

“What have been the highlights of the Business Leadership Program so far?” 

We’ve had quite a year packed with several awesome experiences, but I’ll try to boil it down to three main points:

  •  Meeting our CEO Margaret Keane as the very first experience I had at Synchrony (9:00am, Monday morning – not kidding!). I’ve been lucky enough to speak with her a couple of times since then, but meeting our fearless leader will remain one of my favorite events that my class experienced.
  •  Traveling to different SYF sites across the country for three weeks as one of our signature Cross-Functional Experiences. We dedicated the three weeks to learning about Sales & Relationship Management, a function none of us work in currently. It brought my class a lot closer together, and we were able to present our findings directly to the CEO and her direct reports at their Management Committee meeting.
  •  Every year in July, the BLP Symposium provides a week-long opportunity for BLPs to reconnect at our headquarters in Stamford with various functions as an orientation for the new class. The improvements that we saw both in our fellow BLPs and Program growth overall in one year were astounding.
SYF employees participating in the 2016 BLP Symposium.
SYF employees participating in the 2016 BLP Symposium.


“What advice would you give to someone interested in applying to the Business Leadership Program?” 

So, my primary advice here applies to any job, not just the Program. Aside from the given of getting to know fellow alumni at the companies you’d like to work at, I think it’s essential that you ask smart questions and show a good knowledge of a company’s business model or nuances to demonstrate both ability and interest. A few really simple, informal test questions like, “How do we (SYF) make money?” can tell a lot about how interested a candidate is in the business, because the content is fundamental to every action we take as a company. Specific to the Program, carefully consider which track you want to be a part of and know how to demonstrate your leadership experience.

Dan will be on-campus for an information and networking session on September 13th. Students are welcome to reach out to him directly at or connect with him on LinkedIn.

If you’re interested in applying for the SYF Business Leadership Program, visit the Credit posting and Marketing posting in Handshake.  SYF is also recruiting for internship positions.    The application deadline for all positions is October 5 @ 11:59pm.

Five Steps To Organize Your Post-Grad Search


Are you planning to apply for fellowships? Perhaps you’re considering grad school or want to find a job? And if not a job, then perhaps maybe a post-grad program like Teach for America, the Peace Corps or a faith-based service year? Or maybe you’re like me and you’re trying to do everything because you don’t know what will work out.

Whatever path you’re taking, you need a plan. And not just any plan, one that lets you write lots of applications while still meeting all your regular commitments.  Because this process, if you’re being intentional, could take up to 10+ hours a week of your time. The most important thing is getting those applications in, and here’s one way you can make that happen:

  1. Make an “interest list”. Write down all the fellowships, programs and graduate schools you might be interested in applying for. Hold off on adding in job applications – that will come in later. The Fellowships Office has resources to help you find out about opportunities, as well as narrow down your list. If you are researching graduate schools, the Peterson’s website is excellent.
  1. Make a year-long calendar and divide it into four sections – July to September, October to December, January to March, and April to June.
  1. Find out the deadlines and add these to your calendar. Help yourself by adding in reminders several days before a specific deadline.
  1. Now, turn to your job search. If you don’t have specific positions you are planning to apply for yet, don’t worry. For now, find out when the highest volume of job postings are for your desired field. For many people, this will be January to March, but don’t make any assumptions! Start with the broad overview below, then come   to the CCD for drop-in hours, every day from 8:30-5:00pm to get more details. Don’t forget to also utilize Handshake for current job postings, and visit the careers pages of the companies you are most interested in.

    Arts, Media, Communication & Marketing ……………………………February to May
    Banking, Finance, Real Estate & Insurance ……………………………..August to May
    Consulting, Management, Sales & Human Resources ………………….August to May
    Education, Community Organizations & Nonprofits ………………September to May
    Healthcare, Medicine & Medical Research …………………………….October to May
    Public Policy, Politics, Government & Law …………………………September to May
    Sustainability, Renewable Energy, & Food Systems ………………….January to May
    Technology & Software …………………………………………….September to May

  1. Make some decisions. At this point, you may be looking at your calendar thinking, there is no way I have the time to apply for everything here. Good! This calendar is not just about helping you plan, but also helping you prioritize. Look where in your calendar is particularly full. Consider, too, the parts of the year you know you are more busy, ie. exam season. Then make a second list – you can call it “maybe if I’m feeling super human” or something like that – and begin to move some of the items from your calendar onto this list. You can always put them back on your calendar, but no sense getting overwhelmed now.

It’s never too early or late to make a calendar-plan, but the sooner you start thinking about it the more you can spread out your applications. And don’t discount the benefits of applying for early Fellowship deadlines. It may be hard to meet the deadlines, but if you do, not only will you have a couple applications under your belt, you’ll also be ahead of the game on asking for references.

How Ministry Became a Career Option


Ela Hefler is a senior History Major from Toronto, Canada. This summer she had the opportunity to explore the possibility of a career in Ministry through Davidson’s Ministry Fellowship Program

Before coming to Davidson I had only met one ordained person: the Catholic priest at the church where my family worshiped sporadically. With the exception of the one time I took confession before my first communion we never talked. I couldn’t tell you his name, and by the time I finished primary school my family had almost completely stopped attending mass. I never considered myself Catholic and didn’t give much consideration to whether God existed or not.

church at night At Davidson, that changed, slowly, then seemingly all at once. I got involved in Davidson’s interfaith group, Better Together, as a secular person. Through meals, conversations and celebrations I began to understand the fundamental role faith can play in a person’s identity. I realized that if I really wanted to know my friends and peers, I could no longer dismiss the importance of religion and religious understanding. Interfaith work also prompted me to dig deeper into my own beliefs. When I began to let go of a binary understanding of faith I started to find that a lot of the language and values of Christianity helped me find depth and grounding in my own identity, as well as my responsibilities to other people and relationships.

It’s still hard for me to wrap my head around how, in three years, I went from never having met an ordained woman to considering ministry as a vocation and accepting a nine-week summer “fellowship in religious vocation and leadership.” When I tell people I spent my summer interning at a church, most people ask – very tentatively – whether I want to be a minister. The answer is, I don’t know.

For years, I had planned to go into International Relations or Development. Davidson was the only college I applied to without an IR major, which may be how I ended up falling in love with history and domestic policy. Though my academic interests had changed, my plans for after college had not. That is until I paused to look back on my time at Davidson and realized the two areas I had invested the most time and energy were academic diversity and religious life. I realized my career goals hadn’t kept pace with my growing and changing passions, and that I wanted a career grounded in relationships rather than politics, and focused on domestic issues and communities.

Every summer Davidson College offers five rising seniors the opportunity to explore congregational ministry through the Ministry Fellowship in Religious Vocation and Leadership. The fellowship begins with an eight to ten week summer internship with an experience clergy member, and the fellows continue to meet regularly to discuss vocational discernment throughout their senior years. Students of all religious backgrounds are invited to apply.

However challenging I found the idea of ordination I knew a summer exploring ministry would give me the chance to explore in the ways I wanted to. And it did. I spent nine weeks at First Congregational Church of Minnesota, a United Church of Christ congregation in Minneapolis. It was a phenomenal experience, and I still don’t know if I want to go into ministry.

a sign in front of a church that reads "to our Muslim neighbours a blessed ramadan"But, here’s what I do know – ministry is hard, and hard to define. Over the course of nine weeks I led prayers, gave communion, wrote and delivered a sermon, planned a vespers service, helped with home visits and attended a weekly bible study with local ministers of a different denomination. I also volunteered at a food pantry and an interfaith garden, created and ran a church Instagram account, protested the police killings of Philando Castile and Anton Sterling, helped organize a vigil for the victims of the Orlando massacre and ordered lawn signs for the church and our members, which read “To our Muslim neighbors a blessed Ramadan”.

I know that I am a better listener after this summer. I have learned to recognize the value of simply being a “non-anxious presence” when there are no answers and you’ve said all you can. I have begun to let go of the fear that I am not “Christian enough” to go into ministry or contribute to a conversation about bible texts. I’ve started to think about how church can be verb, or a conceptual noun, and not just a fixed location with a steeple.

I’m grateful to Davidson College, and the Chaplain’s Office in particular, for walking with me as I stepped beyond my comfort zone to explore a career and a field I had never thought to imagine myself in.