All posts by Kayla Schlein

TV Helped Me Find My Career Path

Read about CCD Student Associate Eboni Freeman ’21, and how she gravitated toward the field of psychology by …… watching hours of TV.

From around the age of 14, I have always been intrigued by criminals, specifically serial criminals, and the factors that lead them to commit such heinous acts. My initial interests manifested as a result of watching shows such as Criminal Minds and NCIS. I took my first Psychology course in high school and loved learning and dissecting why humans behave the way that we do; looking at how our biology, cognition and our social environment interact and influence our behavior. I found myself to be so intrigued by the stories of serial killers, their motive behind their actions, and the psychology of it all. I always question the moment in which an individual turns into a killer- what changed to lead them down such a terrible path?

As stated above, my gravitation toward the field of psychology, and desire to attend graduate school for Criminology, was derived from the amply hours I would spend engrossed in episodes of Criminal Minds and NCIS. The way in which the characters profiled suspects based on previous acts, evidence, interviews with family and friends, drew me closer and led me to begin analyzing the behavior of those around me. My combined interest in psychology and criminal justice have caused me to be more empathetic towards individuals who commit minor crimes and has led me to better understand why other individuals murder; specifically, what processes are taking place in the mind of this individual that has led them to believe that this action is the right action for them to take. Our criminal justice system is an oppressive and racist system that Americans, and those who decide to gain citizenship, must abide by. It is a system that I do not believe constantly takes into consideration the situation and circumstances which cause individuals to commit, criminal, actions.

Building Your Brand & Network as a Young Professional

Read about CCD Student Associate Charlee Rae Bender ’21, and how she has built her brand and network as a young professional.

The competition for internships these days can be tough in any field or area of interest, yet there are ways in which to ensure the integrity and appeal of your personal brand while also expanding your network in such a way so as to leave a strong and lasting impression on potential employers.

It can be overwhelming to think about your public brand, but it is important to remember that whatever you put out on the internet is something your employer can and will most likely see. Our social profiles on any platform whether it be Instagram or LinkedIn are under scrutiny and the more professional we can make them the more potential we will have as professionals.

1. Start Small: Your E-mail

Sometimes it is the smallest details that get you the job. If you are insecure about your experience and nervous when it comes to talking with employers, everything helps. The best place to begin is with your e-mail signature. According to Meredith Dean CEO and Founder of The Dean’s List, an email signature can make a big difference for securing an internship, potential jobs, and building your network. You can start by including your name, current title (Student, Intern, etc.), phone number, e-mail (other than .edu e-mail) and any links to your social media or websites. Not only does it convey confidence, but it also let’s an employer know you take pride in how you have curated your social platforms and the message you put out for others to see.

2. Websites & Profiles

Be mindful of what you put out on the internet. Whether it is a new Instagram post or a LinkedIn article you are sharing, be thoughtful and intentional with your words. Besides monitoring your content and whether it’s appropriate, also make sure your words have meaning and a purpose. If you love making people laugh, be funny. If you love helping people, give them tips for improving their life in any capacity. It all comes down to picking a message you want other people to hear and what you believe will do good. If you have the time, build a website or online portfolio to store your work- whether articles, graphic designs or photos! Make sure you have a consistent message on all platforms and share something positive.

3. LinkedIn and DCAN

After you have a solid brand and are confident in your professional image, take the next step and start growing the number of connections you have at your disposal. Remember every time you meet someone at a career fair or event or are introduced to an alum, professor, etc., it is an opportunity to build a professional relationship that may help in the future. You may be able to help them in their career and they may know the right people with whom you can get in contact for future jobs too. When looking at Davidson specifically, make sure to utilize Davidson Career Advisor Network Profile (DCAN). There are plenty of alumni in your area of interest or who know people who work in the same field you hope to one day as well. They are always willing and enthusiastic about cover letter & resume chats, career talks or even mock interviews. Make sure you’re making a new connection every day and sharing things like job updates, interesting articles and endorsing skills for your peers and connections!

Searching for Research? You Have Options!

Read about CCD Student Associate Morgan Bergthold ’20 and her experience finding research opportunities.

If you feel as though you may be blending in to the crowd of applicants for employment or grad school, research experience can differentiate you from all the other qualified candidates both by rounding out your resume and giving you a better understanding of which fields most interest you. Additionally, spending time in a lab, in front of a computer, or wherever your project may take you can help you understand how happy you would be pursuing a career in that environment.

When you want to find a research project, your first step should be to talk to several professors in the department you are interested in and ask about what they are currently working on. Even if none of them are exploring topics you find interesting, they will know who in their department is conducting research that may interest you. Once you locate a professor whose research aligns with your interests together you can determine the details of the project you will work on.

In addition to conducting research at Davidson you can apply to programs at other schools or in industry. Most people who do research at a school other than their home institutions do so through a Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) program, which you can apply for in the fall. REUs are often geared toward students who are considering grad school, so they are a great way to get a feel for the environment at an institution you may want to apply to later. Furthermore, many of these programs offer housing in addition to your stipend so they are an easy way to experience living in a new city—you probably won’t need to search for housing. The easiest way to look through the available REU programs is examining the list on the National Science Foundation’s website. However, if you aren’t interested in grad school you may want to look for an internship in industry.  Spending a summer working in industry will offer you a taste of a job path you think you may like and you won’t need to make any long-term commitment to that field. There’s a huge variety of these programs available so there will be one that fits your interests perfectly—Handshake is an excellent resource for finding them.

Navigating the Transition from a Free Clinic to a Community Health Clinic

This blog was written by Clay Resweber ’18, 2018-2019 Davidson Impact Fellow for the Charlotte Community Health Clinic (CCHC).

This might seem obvious, but one of the best parts of being a Davidson Impact Fellow is having the opportunity to integrate yourself into an organization and participate in its operation. In my experience at Charlotte Community Health Clinic (CCHC), I feel like my fellow coworkers and leadership team have taken many steps towards teaching me about the mission of the clinic, our operating procedures, and the history of our organization. The clinic’s mission and operations are on the minds of our staff every day as we find ways to better treat and relate to our patients, but one aspect that often gets lost in the daily routine is the story of where are our clinic came from. This history is interesting in itself, and helps to explain the obstacles that our clinic faces today.

In the world of healthcare, there are a few different types of practices that are designed to cover different populations of people. On one end of the spectrum you have private practices, clinics run by physicians which have a lot of freedom in deciding what procedures they treat, who they want to see, and what insurance types they will accept. Hospitals also exist towards this end of the spectrum, but often have restrictions and guidelines on how they can operate that provides them less freedom than a private practice would. On the other end of the spectrum exist free clinics, which, from my understanding, exist due to the virtues of volunteers and are designed to treat uninsured patients. The nature of their target population means that the clinic will not be fully reimbursed for the services they offer their patients, which restricts the types of procedures they can provide, their hours of operation, the number of patients they can see, and a multitude of other factors of which I am unaware. These types of clinics exist because of the stewardship and service of dedicated staff and providers, which often reflects in the quality of care and atmosphere found within them.

Somewhere in between a free clinic and a hospital or private practice is the world of federally qualified health centers (FQHC), often referred to as community health clinics. FQHC’s first appeared in America in the 1960s and were inspired by the health clinics of South Africa, which experienced more effective outreach and treatment by integrating themselves into the communities they served. It took a while for a system inspired by these South African clinics to take off in the US, but eventually, under the governance of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) within the Department of Health and Human Services, the government set up a program to follow the example of our South African counterparts. These FQHC’s receive grants from HRSA to help fund the cost of their operations. Further, HRSA offers many other grants for specific programs that FQHC’s can apply for based on their specific services and patient populations. Since they are designed to integrate themselves within the communities they serve, FQHC’s can and do serve patients of any payer type, including uninsured patients, Medicaid patients, Medicare patients, and 3rd party insurance patients. Uninsured patients are responsible for a copay based off of their federal poverty level (FPL) designation to provide them with some investment in their healthcare. The grants that FQHC’s receive from HRSA are designed to offset the cost of these patients, but it is important to emphasize that community health clinics in America are able to provide primary care and references to specialty care to patients of all payer types.

What makes CCHC’s situation unique is that before becoming an FQHC 2 years ago, they operated as a free clinic for over a decade. This means that the clinic had a large population of uninsured patients using their services, used volunteer providers that completed services as they could, and had no federal reporting requirements. Since community health clinics have to report to the federal government and offer a wider range of services than a free clinic, the transition caused a large turnover in providers and staff which has now stabilized. However, one aspect of the change that we still grapple with today is in the payer mix of our patient population. Although we receive grants, both from federal and private sources, to help offset the cost of serving our uninsured patients, FQHC’s need to have a diverse payer mix including Medicaid, Medicare, and privately insured patients in order to be sustainable. Due to our history as a free clinic, we maintained a large percentage of uninsured patients that persists years after the switch.

Although all of us here at CCHC are happy to serve all types of patients, the fact remains that in order to remain sustainable and grow as an organization, we must find ways to attract other types of payers. Doing so has proved to be challenging, but we have undertaken many initiatives that will hopefully help us accomplish our objective of diversification. Learning about these projects has provided an interesting opportunity to learn which populations usually have different types of insurance, which paints a telling image of the American healthcare map. We have partnered with the local Men’s Shelter and Urban Ministries to place one of our nurses in Charlotte’s homeless shelters and provide us intimate access with the city’s homeless population, who often have Medicaid coverage. CCHC has also pursued partnerships with different elderly organizations in an attempt to reach a population of people that are provided with Medicare coverage. Initiatives to establish our clinic in schools allow us to attract more school-aged children, who enjoy Medicaid coverage under CHIP. Meanwhile, our uninsured patients are largely Hispanic adults, but represent a diverse population of Charlotte citizens.

Having worked in the clinic for 6 months, learning about these initiatives and operations has made a huge impact on informing me about America’s healthcare situation. The government programs we have in place show some of our most vulnerable populations, many of which all of us have some connection to, and the lengths that our representatives have taken to provide for them. Our uninsured patients show another part of the picture, of those who are vulnerable and do not receive assistance. Figuring out how to reach each of these very different groups of people is a unique challenge, but one that lies close to the heart of a clinic such as CCHC, which is dedicated to serving people in a city such as Charlotte. I quickly realized that understanding the vision and initiatives at CCHC requires an understanding of our history and free clinic roots, which has been fun and interesting to learn about in itself. Using these lessons to connect CCHC to the larger picture of American healthcare has been a real privilege, one that I hope to take with me in a career as a healthcare provider.

You Majored in What!?

Read about CCD Student Associate Stephen Shank, and how he decided what to major in.

It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to major in.  The one thing I was always certain about was that my career would be in the business field.  Well, after taking Econ 101 in my freshman fall, it was clear I didn’t want to major in economics.  I had never been that great math and 4 years of it seemed like too great a feat.  So then I found myself feeling lost at a school with no general business program.  During my sophomore year, I began to find other areas of study that I was interested in.  I took a number of political science courses and found that I enjoyed learning about political strategies and government operations.  I decided political science was my best option for a major and now, as a junior, I still think I made the right decision.  It took three years at Davidson, but I now know I want to pursue a career that doesn’t align with my major.  I still want to go into business, and more specifically, the marketing and communications field. 

When people hear what my major is, they always ask if I’m going to pursue politics or go to law school.  I’ve found that your major doesn’t determine or prevent you from a certain career.  What’s important are the connections you make and the experiences you gain.  This past summer, I was able to land a communications internship where I gained valuable skills in the industry.  I also got involved with the communications aspects of projects and fundraising events on Davidson’s campus.  These experiences started to help me build my resume to appeal to future employers.  On top of these experiences, I am continuing to reach out and build relationships with Davidson alumni and other professionals in the area to learn what other skills I need to develop.  At a liberal arts school like Davidson, don’t freak out if your major doesn’t closely relate to the career path you’re pursuing.  Find ways to gain experience around campus or the community and don’t be afraid to reach out to people who can share their knowledge.

God Save The Queen…and My Summer

Read about CCD Student Associate George Hatalowich , and his summer experience abroad. 

During my sophomore’s spring semester, I had absolutely no clue what I wanted to do for the upcoming summer.  The pervious summer, I interned at Verigent, a telecommunication staffing firm in Huntersville and it was a great experience; however, I knew I wanted to try something new and exciting.   Prior to the 2018 summer, all I knew was that I was an economics major and history minor and that I wanted to explore different opportunities in these field.  As I began talking to former teammates, two of them suggested taking a three-week summer class at the London School of Economics.  Immediately, I considered this opportunity.  As a student-athlete at Davidson, I’m basically obligated to spend both semesters on campus and would never get a chance to study aboard.  Well, the summer session at LSE was my opportunity and I took it.  Myself and two other Davidson students took an economic class called Financial Markets and the Global Economy: the History of Bubbles, Crashes and Inflations. The smaller group classes, discussions, and lectures were on par with a Davidson class, just in London! The work and exams were manageable and a great way to test the information covered over the class’ three-week span.  Now, to the real fun stuff. Outside of the class, I had the opportunity to travel a great deal in Europe. Prior to the trip, we knew we wanted to travel so we gave ourselves roughly a week and half before our three-week class in London and a week after to explore Europe.  In total, I traveled to six different cities in five countries (Barcelona, Rome, Florence, Munich, London, Dublin).  The traveling was absolutely incredible, and I made memories that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.  The opportunity to study and travel at the London School of Economics my sophomore year summer was easily one of the best decisions I have ever made.   

Attention Rising Sophomores Who Need Research Experience But Can’t Get Any because They Have None

Read about CCD Student Associate Haleena Phillips, and her experience with RISE
(Research in Science Experience) Program

Are you a rising sophomore who is interested in the sciences? Do you struggle finding research opportunities because they want you to have prior experience but nobody gives you a chance because you have none? Are you tired of my questions? If you answered yes to any of these options, continue reading this post!

            As ironic as it sounds, I’ve been through that exact moment when I applied for a research position at a different college but got rejected because I didn’t have any previous exposure to a lab. As upset as I was, I had to laugh as I realized  that I cannot obtain an experience when internships require prior involvement with a lab. Somebody had to give me a chance and that is exactly when I found out about Davidson’s RISE (Research in Science Experience) Program. A 4- week immersive program that explores biological research methods, from “literature searching and review, to hypothesis formulation and testing, to data analysis and presentation.” The program is mostly intended for underrepresented students but anyone can apply. In addition to the application, a letter of recommendation and a resume was required. The Center for Career Development  assisted me in crafting the perfect resume in order to be accepted into the program. I received a $2,500 stipend and additional grant money to stay on campus. I had such an amazing time over the 4 weeks executing a project in the lab. Also, staying at Davidson without the workload of a semester with your friends is the BEST. I was able to make my own schedule as I became established in the lab and was able to have that research experience under my belt as a freshman. When I returned back to campus in the fall as a sophomore, I presented at my first research symposium and I felt like I finally had  my life together in this hectic Davidson climate.

 My First Research Symposium!

For more information on RISE, please contact Mark Barsoum (mabarsoum@davidson.edu)

The Center for Career Development Would Like to Welcome…….

The Center for Career Development is excited to welcome two new members to the team. We are kicking off 2019 with Raquel Dailey, Assistant Director of International Career Development and Dalton Langdon, Career Adviser. Dalton, a native from North Carolina joins us upon completing his Master’s in Higher Education from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Raquel, while also a North Carolina native, has traveled from afar to join the team, after her time spent in Belgium with James Madison University’s College of Business study abroad program.

Connecticut native Raquel Dailey earned her Masters in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Virginia Tech, a Masters in Teaching English to non-native Speakers from Shenandoah University, and a BA in Psychology and Spanish from Hampton University. Raquel has over a decade of experience working in higher education and is returning to Charlotte after seven years of living abroad. She most recently served as Program Coordinator for James Madison University’s College of Business, coordinating their Belgian study abroad program. Raquel also served previously as a Residence Education Coordinator at UNC Charlotte. In Raquel’s role here at Davidson she will be serving as the Assistant Director of International Career Development, focusing on serving our international student population. “Helping students discover and apply their passion to a profession where they can positively impact society is vital to the student experience”, says Raquel. “I am excited to be able to enhance career opportunities for international students and align them with a greater network of employers”. 

A North Carolina native from the Raleigh area, Dalton Langdon earned his Master of Higher Education from the University of North Carolina Wilmington and his BA in Economics and International Studies from North Carolina State University. Dalton recently graduated with his master’s degree, during his graduate program he worked in the Career Center at UNCW as their Certified Internship Program Coordinator. Through his graduate assistantship, Dalton was able to work one-on-one with undergraduate students to help them develop professionally throughout their internship process. He is excited to join the Career Development team at Davidson College and continue the process of advising students and help them achieve their full professional potential. In his free time Dalton enjoys hiking with his dog and is ready to checkout some of the nature trails in the area!

We are excited to welcome Raquel and Dalton, as they are huge assets to the team and to the students of Davidson College. They are greatly looking forward to working with Davidson College students through advising, employer programming and professional development. 

Embrace the Task, No Matter the Scale

This blog was written by Meredith Hess ’18, 2018-2019 Davidson Impact Fellow for the Habitat for Humanity International.

If I have learned one thing about Habitat for Humanity since starting my fellowship here in July, it is that there is always more to learn. Sometimes, that can feel daunting. Habitat for Humanity operates in over sixty countries, all fifty United States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Our programmatic approach varies based on country and community context (as all development should), and we recognize that there is no one-size fits all solution to providing safe affordable housing. It is impossible for one person, let alone someone like myself who has only been with the organization for five months, to know and understand all that happens within the organization. Our network extends farther than I am sure I will ever fully know.

Because our network is far-reaching, and my team works across various domains, there are days where my work feels spasmodic, and my tasks vary a great deal. For example, a few weeks ago my work load for the day included working on documentation for a grant application for an allotment of over $12 million USD, and working on formatting a PowerPoint presentation graphic for our updated WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) strategy. Both tasks needed to get done, and both were within my domain by virtue of my position on the Global Programs Design and Implementation team. I couldn’t help but laugh thinking about how different these tasks were. It can be easy to lose sight of your purpose in an organization or your role on a team when your tasks feel disjointed and disconnected from other components of the organization. What I have learned, from watching my colleagues and talking with my mentors, is that it is powerful and necessary to take ownership of a task, no matter the scale.

Being entrusted with any task, whether it seems big or small in the grand scheme of things, provides an opportunity to demonstrate your flexibility, competency, and management capabilities. I have felt incredibly privileged here at Habitat for Humanity International, being given the chance to represent the organization at various conferences and meetings, both local and out-of-state. I am sure that in part I have been given the opportunities I have because I have embraced and executed smaller tasks with the same sense of responsibility as I have larger tasks. This is an incredibly important lesson to for anyone to learn in their first-year post-grad: embrace the task, no matter the scale. No work is beneath you when you are working towards a common goal with others, for others.

Reflections on the Professional Sphere

This blog was written by Helen Mun ’18, 2018-2019 Davidson Impact Fellow for the Georgia Justice Project.

As of November 2018, I am five months into my fellowship and seven months post-graduation, and I am still growing into the new world of professionalism. After riding many highs and lows in my role at Georgia Justice Project, I now find myself reflecting on how far I have come in my first professional job after graduating from Davidson.

Georgia Justice Project is a legal non-profit organization, and our building is divided into what we call “the legal side” and “the social services side.” My workspace is on the legal side, among the offices of all of our attorneys. Everyone is busy and stressed, which is characteristic of the legal profession and of the non-profit environment, as we try to serve as many indigent clients as we can with our limited time and resources. The office environment is also relatively fast-paced and can sometimes be chaotic as new issues arise or clients drop in unannounced.

My first few weeks were dedicated to learning about Georgia’s criminal justice system and laws, the client base that Georgia Justice Project serves, and the various positions and roles of our twenty or so staff members, which include lawyers and paralegals, social workers, development staff, and others. I spent my first few weeks reading reports, listening attentively in meetings, asking plenty of questions, managing multiple projects, making mistakes and learning from them. I often felt overwhelmed by the steep learning curve, but I made steady progress and received support from the people around me. In October, I asked my direct supervisor and Legal Director of the organization for a three-month evaluation and was pleasantly surprised to hear her glowing positive feedback.

The recognition of my efforts to learn quickly and the initiative I took in certain projects buoyed me, and that newfound confidence helped me to become more proactive and independent in my roles on the policy team and on the legal team. My supervisor began to entrust me with additional responsibilities, and although I was excited at the prospect of contributing more, self-doubt and feelings of imposter syndrome began to settle in. I questioned whether I was qualified, whether I belonged in this space, and began to overthink even the small, relatively inconsequential decisions that I made on a daily basis.

I recently spoke with a trusted mentor and friend of mine about my struggles to adjust into this professional sphere. She shared with me that, although she has been in the workforce for many years, she sometimes feels similarly and constantly reminds herself that she earned her seat at the table. At her encouragement, I reflected on all the personal and professional milestones I have accomplished and all the changes and challenges I have faced in 2018. It is a long list, but after remembering all of these things, I realized just how well I have been doing at a new job in an intensive and fast-paced environment. I am proud of how much I have learned and adapted in my new role, and I encourage all who are enduring similar challenges to celebrate your accomplishments, take your mistakes in stride as learning opportunities, and to sit at the table like you belong there.