Davidson Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative

“I wish I had more real world experience while at Davidson.”

Over the past few years, I’ve met with dozens of Davidson College alumni to ask them about their Davidson experience, and despite their different academic and career interests, one common theme holds true: Everyone I’ve spoken to wishes they had been better able to complement their liberal arts education with more hands-on experiences focused on the “real world” while in school.

While chatting with a Class of 2007 grad the other day, I asked him about his biggest takeaway from his Davidson education. He gave me the classic liberal arts response: at Davidson, he learned how to communicate, gaining invaluable writing and speaking skills that have helped him every step of the way from graduation through today.

However, as quickly as he pointed out his appreciation for the English department, this grad told me how much he would have appreciated more opportunities to get outside of the classroom while at Davidson. Just ten years ago, he said, if you weren’t an Economics major interested in finance, you were pretty much on your own. Few mentorship and job exploration programs were available to students following other academic paths.

When I told him about Davidson’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative, his face lit up—that’s the type of program, he said, that had been missing from his education.

Davidson I&E, now enjoying its fourth year at Davidson, has quickly grown to become one of the most active and engaging extracurricular programs on campus, and with its many academic partnerships, I&E is becoming a central part of the Davidson experience.

Through summer internship programs with entrepreneurs and startups across the globe, and opportunities like 3 Day Startup and the Venture Lab, I&E offers a wide range of options for students, no matter their academic focus. Throughout the entire calendar year, I&E works hard to provide students with opportunities—to start a business, to intern at a startup, to pitch ideas to investors, and to gain mentorship from entrepreneurs and other professionals.

In my two years as part of the I&E Initiative, I have been able to do work that I had never imagined possible for a liberal arts-focused college student. Through I&E’s summer internship program, I was connected with VersaMe, an educational technology startup created by Jon and Chris Boggiano, Davidson’s own Entrepreneurs in Residence. At VersaMe, I became the tenth member of a quickly growing team, essentially created the young company’s marketing department, and worked directly with a great group of seasoned entrepreneurs, allowing me to get an idea for what it really takes to develop a successful business.

When asked how we value our education, the classic liberal arts response—“I learned how to think/write/communicate”—does mean something; in fact, I’d argue that it means a whole lot. The critical thinking skills we hone at Davidson are what allow us to be articulate, quick on our feet, and adaptable across situations, all traits which will serve us well regardless of where we end up postgrad. Sometimes, though, it can be difficult to see how these somewhat intangible skills measure up to the requirements for the type of work we want to do. And that’s where I&E comes in.

Davidson I&E extends the value of a liberal arts education by encouraging students to experiment with our liberal skillset before we are released into the “real world.” If you’re interested in edtech, grab a coffee with the Boggiano brothers. If you want to work on your idea for the next great app, apply for the Venture Lab. If you’d like to join a startup for the summer, try out I&E’s internship program. The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative will make this happen—all you have to do is come with energy and an open mind. (And Hannah, John-Michael, and the rest of the I&E team will be there to help you jumpstart the process!)

Allison Cowie ’18

 

Up Close with Harman: Finance + Liberal Arts

This past summer I had a 9-week internship at Harman International in their finance department as a “Financial Planning and Analysis Intern.” Despite Harman’s significant size, many people are unaware of the scope of the company’s business. Harman is a large corporation (about $7 billion of revenue) based in Stamford, CT, and is best known for being an audio company that owns JBL, AKG, and Harman Kardon.  However, their main source of revenue and focus is in car audio and infotainment systems. The company is divided into four segments: infotainment systems for cars, consumer audio, professional audio, and something they call connected services, which does outsourced research and development (primarily writing software for telecom and auto companies). What makes Harman so interesting to me is that it joins hardware and software almost seamlessly and covers a wide array of products and services that makes for a constantly evolving company where there are always more to learn. While the company was just acquired by Samsung, they still function autonomously. The internship offered opportunity, flexibility, and value far more than I imagined.

At its most basic level, the internship offered the opportunity for me to refine my analytical and quantitative skills, as I performed market share and financial analysis, developed financial projections, valuations and risk assessments for the CFO.  Coming from Davidson and having an interest in a career in finance, developing my analytical skill set was important to me. However, the knowledge and skills I acquired during this internship went far beyond just what I gained from preforming the tasks I was assigned. I developed relationships with many of the incredibly smart people that surrounded me, even if they weren’t in my division. My manager was able to introduce me to people in areas where I expressed interest.  After getting acclimated to the environment, I started to do this on my own, and even got involved with projects in areas I wanted exposure. For example, I was curious to explore the concept and methods of valuation, so I reached out to the M&A group where I got involved in a valuation project – something that proved extremely interesting to me.  This internship gave me greater confidence to take this kind of initiative, a life skill that I know will be incredibly valuable to me as I pursue my future career.

Finally, this internship gave me the opportunity to use my knowledge (mostly analytical problem solving strategies gained as a liberal arts student at Davidson!), creativity, and newly acquired financial skills to engage in an entrepreneurial business project and interact with professionals at all levels of the company. The interns were divided into groups to create and execute a business plan to promote and sell Harman headphones to companies and then present this strategy and results to CEO. The “Campus to Corporate” project was an all-encompassing “challenge” in many ways.  It further developed and expanded many aspects of my business skill set, challenging my ability to strategize, collaborate, be creative, and execute, while also honing my presentation skills.  Working with my teammates in a constantly changing and dynamic setting forced us to be nimble with our strategy execution and think outside of the box while staying focused on the end result.  On top of everything else, the opportunity to present to the CEO and other executives was extraordinary!

Apply to Harman’s College to Corporate internship on Handshake

Annie Walker is in her junior year at Davidson College, majoring in political science with a minor in economics. Annie is interning this summer at Wells Fargo’s Investment bank in their NYC Technology Media and Telecom group. 

Up Close with Tresata: Big Data

As a senior, Math major and Computer Science minor from Shanghai, China, my career interest is Big Data and data analytics, and I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to intern at Tresata this past summer.

Because I am interested in using data analytics to unveil the hidden layers of pattern in data, Tresata was a great fit for me as a big data software intelligence company. Tresata believes that “data” is the theme of the next “industrial revolution” and aims to use data analytics to automate complex business problems.

The summer was rewarding because I was in a great position working with passion, but also challenging because this was my first professional experience in the field of data analytics. There was a lot to learn and quickly adjust to, such as the internal technologies and new programming languages. Moreover, after one and a half weeks of training, we (the interns) were then each given a project and related data; it was not easy for us rookies to approach those problems and massive datasets at first – my dataset was over 90G!

Fortunately, we had more than enough resources to help us succeed: everyone else at Tresata. We spent countless hours through discussion, mentoring, giving feedback and helping each other; it was truly a great working environment because everyone was a mentor and a friend at the same time. We enjoyed intellectual conversations on technical insights as well as discussions about one another’s personal life. Every month, the company sponsored a mandatory “Fun Event”: we went to attend a Knights baseball game in June and went bowling in July. Time flew by as we went from the clueless interns to seemingly experienced professionals, standing in front of everyone to present our projects in the last week.

Tresata has helped me get my first hands-on experience in the field of data analytics and also strengthened my pursuit of Big Data. Love your work and love who you work with!

Tresata currently has 3 internships posted. Visit Handshake to learn more and apply!

Tresata will also be on campus February 23 for a full day of events. Visit Handshake to RSVP.

Xudong “Brandon” Liang is a senior, Math major and Computer Science from Shanghai, China. He will join Tresata in the beginning of February in 2017.

The DOs and DON’Ts of Networking

We all hear about networking in today’s professional environment. We are told it is a necessary skill, not an optional one. What though is networking and how does one go about doing it successfully?

According to many experts, networking means: To build relations on the basis of trust that involves a give and take. Although seemingly simple, this definition is easier said than done. Let’s break it down….

To build relations: To build a relationship means that you are developing a pattern of interactions with another person. In order for this to be true, making a good first impression is crucial.

On the basis of trust: Trust suggests confidence in someone or something to be reliable, valid and truthful. Trust in a person also involves seeing strength in him/her.

Involves a give and take: Networking involves helping others and providing something or some service to others while also looking for something or some service from others.

So, how does one go about doing all of this? Below are my top 3 dos and don’ts for professionally networking with others.

Dos

  1. Make a good first impression. This includes:
    1. Being on-time to your meeting
    2. Over-dressing as opposed to under-dressing
    3. Being appreciative
    4. Listening attentively
  2. Develop a goal and strategy:
    1. Prepare ahead of time by researching the person and organization you are meeting with.
    2. Contemplate in advance what you hope to gain from this meeting in terms of information and additional potential contacts.
    3. Strategize what you can offer the person you are meeting with so that you ensure you are completing the ‘give and take’ component of networking.
  3. Follow-up:
    1. Always follow-up immediately after the meeting with a handwritten note or personal email.
    2. Reach out to your contacts quarterly, semi-annually or even annually with a card, phone call or email in order to ensure you maintain the relationship.

Don’ts

  1. Ask for a job:
    1. Asking for advice and asking someone to employ you are two very different things. It is always safe to ask others about their professional experiences and how they made the choices they did. It is rarely safe to ask others if they can hire you!
    2. Asking for a job threatens your image of strength and confidence, both of which are key components of trust.
  2. Stop networking because you have a job:
    1. Networking is most effective for growing on the job or changing jobs. When you are in crisis and trying to find a job, you are going to want a network to reach out to, so make sure to continue networking even when things are going well.
    2. Growing your network and maintaining your network via intermittent follow-ups to others takes time and purposeful energy. Make networking part of your professional duties so that you have relationships to call upon when you are in need of help.
  3. Underestimate the power of networking:
    1. Finding a job takes more than filling out an application on line, attending a job fair or even having an amazing resume.
    2. In an August 2009 survey competed by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., a global outplacement firm, human resources executives were asked to rate the effectiveness of various job-search methods on a scale of 1 (least effective) to 5 (most effective). Networking averaged a 3.98. And, about half of the executives gave networking the highest effectiveness rating of 5.

In the end, networking has now become an essential part of everyone’s professional lives. Focusing on the importance of a network; networking with awareness and purpose; and following the do’s and don’ts listed above can all have a positive impact on your professional path and help you find success, satisfaction and opportunities in your career. To learn more about networking, see Rebecca’s segment on the Charlotte Today Show.

 

Rebecca Glavin, Assistant Director for Career Development

Rebecca Glavin joins the Center for Career Development after having spent a number of years running her own practice, Glavin Counseling, as a clinician in Charlotte. She has an organizational psychology background and previously worked in leadership development consulting. Rebecca holds a BA in Psychology from Middlebury College, a Masters in Business Administration from UNC Charlotte, and a Masters in Social Work from Boston University. 

5 Questions to Help You Find a Job You Love

Sometimes I wish I could call someone and ask ‘what should I do with my life’? Wouldn’t it be great to have someone else tell you, if you do A, B, and C, you will feel happy, fulfilled and everything will work out? Wouldn’t it be great to have certainty related to your future, professionally and personally? Let’s be honest, I would be rich if I could be that person for others! What a gift that would be. Unfortunately, I have not figured how to precisely answer those questions for myself, much less for other people. I have, though, identified a few key questions that I think are worth asking yourself if you are interested in finding a career that feels less like a job and more like a passion.

  1. What does your ideal day look like? Your ideal week? In answering this question, think about whether or not you like to have your time structured or be more autonomous. Do you like to work alone or with people? Do you perform better if you leave your house? While you might not always get to choose your ideal day as part of your job, you can certainly seek out pieces of your ideal day in different roles that you consider.
  1. Before you retire, what do you want to be known for professionally and personally? What is your professional reputation right now? Do you want to change, expand or vary it? Sometimes thinking ahead and visualizing yourself at the end of your career can help to put your values, goals and objectives into perspective. Looking back on the bigger picture of your professional life can often refocus you on what is important to you and help you pass over things that aren’t.
  1. What do you most enjoy learning about? Thinking about? Talking about? Do you prefer to learn in a classroom environment or from a textbook? What topics do you love talking about? While not every person who loves race cars can, or should, work in the racing industry, reflecting on what it is about race cars that you love and trying to surround yourself with others who have similar passions can help to make you feel more engaged and excited about your own professional life.
  1. What emotion or sensation do you associate with success: Happiness? Excitement? Pride? Stress-free? Your answer to this question may determine what type of work you seek out and how often you hope to change your work. If you are someone who likes to be excited and constantly stimulated, you will likely benefit from a fast-paced, diverse job. If you consider your ideal job to be stress-free, then you will likely want a constant, low-intensity work environment. Departments and companies change, so while a job might have started as a good match for you, over time, it might become something else. It is important to continually check-in with yourself about how your work environment is affecting your emotions.
  1. What are you willing to give up? Continuing with the question above, if you are someone who seeks out fast-paced work environments, then you will likely give up a degree of control in your schedule and place of work. If you are someone who prefers to be in charge of your schedule and be an autonomous worker, then you will likely give up opportunities that exist in larger corporations because they are typically more bureaucratic. A person once told me: it is not comparing the pros that lead to a decision for someone, but rather comparing the cons. I thought that this was great advice, because in the end, whether you are an optimist or a pessimist, it is the cost of a decision to which a person pays the most attention to and remembers the longest.

Answers to these questions are not simple and often take time to work through. In truth, over the course of my career, my answers to these questions have changed. I do not think that they are stagnant or simple. Answers to these questions will not tell you what title or position you should seek out. However, they will help you to identify what role might be most likely to lead to a feeling of professional fulfillment. I recommend reviewing these questions on a yearly basis or when you feel a transition is coming. Reflecting on where you have been, where you are and where you hope to go in your professional path always behooves you and helps you to make informed decisions.

 

Rebecca Glavin, Assistant Director for Career Development

Rebecca Glavin joins the Center for Career Development after having spent a number of years running her own practice, Glavin Counseling, as a clinician in Charlotte. She has an organizational psychology background and previously worked in leadership development consulting. Rebecca holds a BA in Psychology from Middlebury College, a Masters in Business Administration from UNC Charlotte, and a Masters in Social Work from Boston University. 

New Year, New Look: Transforming the Center for Career Development

Following a semester filled with unprecedented success, we now focus our eyes on a new year—one promised to be abundant in enrichment and growth, and offer an outstanding array of career development opportunities for our students. As we shift our attention to a fresh semester, we aim to continuously drive strategic transformation via the strengthening of employer partnerships and career programming, office remodeling, and personnel hires that will amplify achievement.

Prior to the break, we reimagined our Center to intentionally optimize our space to include more rooms for consultation and interviews, so we have transformed individual offices to collaborative spaces to achieve this. When students return to campus, we will now have four rooms in the Center specifically designed for one-on-one advising and assessments, engaging with employers, and interview opportunities. As a key piece of our transformation, we are confident this new look will provide students with a warmer, more engaging atmosphere and allow for deeper connectivity and increased production. Students, be sure to stop by the Center upon your return—not just to see its facelift, but for career advising, of course!

Additionally, we are eager to welcome a fresh face to our staff: Rebecca Glavin, Assistant Director for Career Development. Rebecca is a key hire to heighten the Center’s success, and she will focus on the Davidson Impact Fellows Program, the Center’s Annual report as well as student advising and assessment. She joins us with distinguished experience in career coaching. She is well-versed in building strong client relationships, having owned her own counseling firm, Glavin Counseling, as a North Carolina Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Her passion for people and counseling will undoubtedly add to our dynamic staff.

I am also thrilled to have joined the Center for Career Development in the Fall as an Assistant Director to deliver high-quality relationship management and support to our clients – both students and employers, alumni, graduate schools and other external and internal stakeholders. With marketing and communications skills honed in both the private sector at Unlimited Success Sports Management, and prior to this, within higher ed environments at Mississippi State University, I am excited to bring my enthusiasm to the Center. Since arriving in the Fall, I’ve hit the ground running, enjoying the opportunity to serve Davidson students through various signature career development events and one-on-one advising. I look forward to getting to know each one of you as a new semester begins!

As you can see, we have been quite busy ensuring intentional steps are taken to fully leverage the Center to deliver career opportunities to all Davidson students. Through the support and partnership of key employers, parents, faculty, staff and alumni, we have been able to capitalize on strategic change to generate successful engagement outcomes with our students and enhance professional development initiatives. We look forward to welcoming each of you back in the new year and cannot wait to help you achieve your post-Davidson goals.

Stay tuned for more… we are just getting started!

 

Sarah Layne,
Assistant Director for Career Development

Maximizing Your Career Potential During Winter Break

So you’ve made it through fall semester successfully! As you look ahead to a month of rest, reconnection, and reflection time, you may be wondering what to do with all of this free time?   This is a perfect opportunity to focus in on your career exploration and development to ensure ongoing success! Here are three tips to help you make the most of your career potential during winter break:

 Polish Your Resume

Whether this is your first semester at Davidson – or you’ve been here awhile – it’s important to create a collegiate resume and keep it updated! Not only does it mitigate stress later when you are applying to on campus positions, internships, or research initiatives, but it’s also a best practice for post-Davidson to keep that resume up to date and polished.  Not sure where to begin? Check out the Center for Career Development resume guide page for tips and advice on keeping your documents fresh. We even have editable templates to make it easy to get started today!

 Have a Career Conversation

Winter break is a great time to explore the world of work and what the myriad of possibilities are! Curious about a certain industry or job? The Davidson Career Advisor Network (DCAN) is a great way to connect with alumni and key stakeholders who are interested in supporting your career exploration and development through one-on-one coaching. You can search through advisors, send a request, and connect via conference call – all through the platform! These session topics can include resume reviews, mock interviews, or career conversations, which are designed to demystify specific professional paths of interest. Be sure to curate a short list of questions you want to ask before the conversation, to showcase your preparedness and interest in learning more. We’ve compiled a sample set of questions you might consider as you get started here.

Launch Your Internship Search

For many students, winter break is an ideal time to jumpstart (or continue) a strategic internship search. This doesn’t mean you will start and complete that search before classes start again in January, but it is a great time to peruse Handshake for opportunities and upcoming networking & on campus recruiting sessions.   The system gets updated regularly, so why not take stock now and start applying to opportunities of interest? Once you do this, you can continue the habit when you return to campus – designating time for yourself each week to work on your search. Have questions? Pop over to Appointlet to schedule a career advising session with a career coach in the Center in January!

 

About Tiffany Waddell
Tiffany Waddell, Assistant Director for Career Development

Passionate about helping others develop themselves professionally and identify how their unique skills and interests can not only be cultivated, but add value to professional relationships, organizations, and the world, Tiffany has effectively coached hundreds of budding young professionals on how to create and launch strategic action plans to accomplish long and short-term goals.  She received her BA & MA from Wake Forest University.

Career Conversations: My DCAN Experience

DCAN is like a path of privilege, offered only to us Wildcats to lead all of you to a world of cool people and endless business connections.

– Julianne Xiao

Remember the millions of steps that we had to go through to learn how to use DCAN and find a career advisor? That is no longer something that can stop you from accessing this amazing website that has become so much more user-friendly after modification.

You have a dream. Awesome! But how are you going to achieve that dream? There are many options, such as meeting with a Career Development Counselor or applying for internships. If you have not heard of DCAN, now is the time to access the website. With a massive hub of alumni and parents who could be your potential professional connection, DCAN cannot be neglected when you are attempting to build a successful career path during your years at Davidson.

I personally just connected with an alumnus on DCAN for a career conversation in the finance field, and I had an unforgettable experience. On top of the wide range of services provided on the website, here are some quick tips coming from your fellow student who had a first encounter with the website not long ago:

  1. Choose the correct time zone

When you schedule a meeting, there are numerous time zones that you can choose. Remember to always choose the time zone where YOU are located. For example, if you are at Davidson College, choose the Eastern Standard Time Zone! This is really important because some advisors may locate at CA and live by the Pacific Standard Time, or they may even be abroad.

  1. Check out the sample messages on the Career Center Development website

When you are scheduling a conference call, you want the message to be precise (name, background, major, what you want advice on, etc.). On the Career Center website, there are sample messages that you can use to articulate your message so that you can leave a professional and polite first impression on your advisor.

  1. Explore and don’t limit your targets

The DCAN website has countless advisors in different fields. The goal of scheduling a career conversation does not mean that you are set on pursuing that career. The conversation simply gives you more information on what the field looks like and what you need to do if you ever wanted to become, say, a financial analyst. Be open-minded and reach out to people from different fields. This will not only help you have a better idea about planning your path, but will also help you explore and find the ideal field for you.

  1. Have someone from the REAL world fill you in on what is going on out there

Ask wise questions. The Career Center website offers sample questions that you could ask, or you could even search on Google or buy a book on how to ask career-related questions. This is your opportunity to get a sense of how the real world looks like – so no need to limit the conversation to “what degree should I pursue” or “what classes should I take.” For instance, ask about what kind of employees the field is looking for, or what a company might be looking for during an interview (*DON’T ask them for a potential job!)

The website is not at all as complex and terrifying as it may sound. Talking with someone who is successful and has a lot of experience with the professional field may seem intimidating. Don’t feel that way. I was nervous when I made that conference call, but my advisor turned out to be extremely friendly and easy to approach. This is an amazing opportunity to build network with alumni and hone your future career path, and I would recommend it to all my fellow Davidson wildcats.

 

 

Written by: Julianne Xiao
Julianne is a sophomore at Davidson and works as a Career Development Ambassador in the Center.

Up Close with Epic: Leveraging your Liberal Arts Degree

up-close-with-epic

I started working at Epic, an EMR software company, back in March of 2016. For context, Epic is a company where no one comes with prior experience. There is no “electronic medical record” major that state-school students take to get ahead of liberal arts students. From day one, I was on the same level with all of my peers. We all underwent training classes and took the same tests to prepare us for working in the world of medical software. In fact, Epic promotes a culture where your background is less important, and instead the work you put in decides your success. That is where Davidson so clearly prepares its students the best. 

My degree from Davidson has intrinsic value. My late nights in my library carrel writing papers did little to solve Macroeconomic issues, but they did prepare me for thinking critically about a subject so I could come prepared for lecture the next morning. That extra hour I went to office hours to ask for clarification about my Latin American education paper did little to improve my overall grade, but it instilled confidence to reach out for help and allowed me understand the value of creating professional relationships. Additionally, speaking up in my Political Theory class to voice my opinion on the 2016 election did little to change anyone’s vote, but it provided practice for transforming a cloud of disorganized thoughts into clear, concise points.

In sum, my degree is important. In truth, my degree has pushed me toward success.

My work at Epic has little overlap with specific classroom experiences. No singular class prepared me for interacting with hospital executives or leading presentations on EMR software. However, if I piece together my experiences with class presentations or research projects, I can clearly see a picture of the building blocks of my success. Even though I began my job at Epic with a limited understanding of what the job entailed, it did not matter, as I had my degree. I was prepared, equipped, and ready for any challenge. I was ready to work.

There are multiple full-time positions at Epic posted in Handshake. Learn more here

daniel-bianchini

Daniel was a Economics major at Davidson and graduated in 2016.  He is now living in Madison, WI while working as a Project Manager with Epic

Five Tips for Spring Success

Winter has descended, Thanksgiving break has passed and we are coming into the final leg of the semester. As we go into break, here are five tips that will help prepare you to hit the ground running in the spring semester:

1.     Get back on Handshake
Right now, you are probably focused on finals. But winter break is a great opportunity to research job and internship opportunities on Handshake. There are already more than 1200 postings, and more are being added every day. If you find an opportunity that peaks your interest, do not forget to “favorite” it, so it is easy to find and apply to later. Break is also a great chance to ensure your Handshake profile is up-to-date. If your LinkedIn profile is current, it is easy to copy the information over to Handshake. You can always drop into the Center for Career Development for a walk-in appointment if you want to review your LinkedIn profile with a career counselor or have a new headshot taken.

2.     Polish your resume
When was the last time you looked at your resume? If you have been putting off polishing or updating it, winter break can be a great time to check that off your list. If you are planning to apply for positions over break, or if you would like feedback on what you can polish to be prepared for next semester, you can come into the Center for a resume review. The CCD is open for walk-ins from 8:30am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday, including through exam week.

3.     Network on DCAN
There may not be on-campus events to network at over break, but you should not let that stop you from making connections and extending your network. DCAN makes that easy. With more than 1300 advisors, DCAN is one of the strongest networking tools you have. From career conversations to industry-specific resume reviews to mock interviews, DCAN advisors can help you at any stage in your job or internship search. It is fast and easy to use, but be sure to begin connecting with advisors early in break so you can schedule time to talk in early January before classes start.

4.     Pursue job shadowing opportunities
Break is particularly long this year – almost five weeks from the end of exams to the first day of classes. While the Career Center’s Job Shadowing Program has shifted to spring and summer [link to Sarah’s blog post], you can still take advantage of the break to gain experience in your field. Start by checking in with your network or connections at home to see if there would be opportunities to spend some time over break shadowing. If you have you developed relationships with any alumni on DCAN, you could also reach out to them about shadowing opportunities.

5.     Take time to reflect
The semester is busy, and we do not always take the time to reflect on what we have achieved and the progress we have made during the school year. Taking some time to reflect now, while the semester is still fresh in your mind, can help as you prepare to write cover letters and personal statements. It can also be an opportunity to notice whether your personal and professional goals have changed, or to celebrate the steps you have taken toward meeting those goals.