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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.

Ela Hefler

About Ela Hefler

Ela is a senior History major from Toronto, Canada. She works as an Employer Relations Ambassador (ERA) in the Center for Career Development and serves as the SIAD Liaison for the Department of Multicultural Affairs.

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