–Original blog contribution by: Beza Baheru (’16)
Davidson Career Advisor Network (DCAN) is one of the key resources for students to utilize in their journey to find a career they are interested in. It connects students with either alumni or parents who are willing to share their knowledge and previous experiences concerning their career and industry through a conference call or online. It is a great opportunity to network and receive career advice. The categories for consultations are career conversations, resume critique and mock interviews.
How do you navigate and access DCAN?
The first step is to register for an account through the register link. Post registration, you can login using your Davison e-mail user name and you don’t need to enter a password. On your DCAN page, you can filter through advisors by function, industry, employers, services, location, and languages.
What is the next step after you have identified advisors?
Every advisee has 10 credits which can be used to set up a consultation in the three categories above. Each consultation is one credit. For career conversations and resume critiques, the duration of the meeting is 30 minutes whereas it is an hour for mock interviews. In order to schedule a specific time that works for both the advisee and the advisor, the advisee will propose three separate times – make sure the time is correctly added! For instance, I scheduled a career consultation with an advisor for 5:00 AM thinking that I set it up for 5:00 PM. On the day of the consultation, I received an e-mail notifying me that I have missed my appointment in the morning. My initial confusion while I opened the e-mail gradually turned into anger when I realized my mistake since I was looking forward to this the whole week. Fortunately, I apologized and was able to set-up another meeting but this goes to show you the importance of identifying the right time as to not waste a perfect career development opportunity.
What to do during the consultation?
It is vital that you are prepared for each consultation. For the career conversation, you will probably want to bring a couple of questions and perhaps research ahead of time the advisor’s job or industry to have a grasp of what their work entails. Similarly, wearing business formal attire and bringing your resume for the mock interview is a critical part of the interview experience. For the resume critique, you definitely want to bring your resume since that is what you will be modifying.
How to approach post-consultation?
Towards the end of the conversation or interview, you should ask the advisor for contact information, preferably their e-mail. Why you ask? A thank you note is always essential to demonstrate the advisor that it was an enriching practice in your career exploration. This also taps into establishing your networking skills so that if you have more questions in the future, you can reach out to the advisors.