Category Archives: Alumni and Networking

Are You In? As In, LINKEDIN!

Are you LinkedIn?

Many people are familiar with what LinkedIn is, but I am frequently surprised by the number of students who don’t quite know how to use it. While I am in no way affiliated with LinkedIn or getting paid to write about it (I encourage free accounts!), I do believe it can be a powerful tool to create a digital stamp that embodies your personal brand – and can easily be leveraged as a powerful networking tool, too. Curious about how to create or update your profile to make your brand statement clear and noticeable? Check out these five tips to make your profile pop!

PROFILE PICTURES
Make sure your photo is a professional headshot. Not sure if your photo is professional enough? If you’re unsure, it probably isn’t! No need to pay for a photoshoot, but I highly recommend having a friend snap a photo of you with a solid light-colored background behind you, and cropping it to include no more than your mid torso and above. Wear something neat (business casual is fine) and smile! Profiles with headshots definitely get more traffic than those without.

HEADLINE
Instead of writing a boring snippet with your major or last internship title (that’s in your experience section anyway!) try thinking of a brief, but creative description of what you do or what you’re good at. For example, if you started own your company, instead of saying “CEO of Fran’s Cupcake Company” try “Dessert aficionado with a passion for sprinkles” which will definitely make your profile stand out. If you work in a more traditional or conservative space, however, it is also a good idea to highlight the core skill set or motivation that drives your work. For example, if you work for a creative marketing agency, you might try something like “Marketing manager with a keen eye for design.”

SUMMARY
While many people think of LinkedIn as an online resume, it’s definitely more than that. The summary section allows you to craft a (brief) statement that tells your story. What are you passionate about? What drives you? Specifically, what are you good at and how does it assist you in making things happen? Are there topics or experiences that you have that contribute to your overall value that may or may not be tied to your current position? Write about it here. LinkedIn tends to come up in the top 5 results when someone Googles your name, so make it count!

VANITY URL
Like most social networks and blogs, you have the option within your profile to create a “Vanity URL” which is a shortened web address for your page that fits nicely onto a business card or e-mail signature. Vanity URLs also make your profile easier to find in online search engine results.

RECOMMENDATIONS
I like to think of recommendations as “living references,” because your personal brand is not just what you say about yourself – it includes what others have to say about you, too! Asking colleagues, clients, or former supervisors for LinkedIn recommendations can only strengthen your professional digital presence. Pro Tip: it is better to give than receive! If you ask someone to write a recommendation for you, offer a recommendation in return – or at least send them a thank you note. It’s only proper!

For more information about how to build your individual or company profile and leverage LinkedIn as a powerful marketing tool, click here.

 

Original Post Contributed By: Tiffany Waddell, Assistant Director for Career Development

10 Tips for Networking as an Introvert

Original Post Contributed by: Tiffany Waddell, Assistant Director for Career Development

networking

So… being an introvert does NOT mean you don’t have social skills.  We all know this, right?  Right.  However, it does mean that for many of us, being around lots of people at one time can be draining.  I am what you might consider an “expressive” introvert, so I am often mistaken as an extrovert.  While both preferences have strengths and weaknesses, I love the fact that I am introspective – enjoy real conversations [read: no small talk] – and can still make connections in a myriad of contexts.  However, given that my day to day professional life requires me to talk to many different people, I thought it might be helpful to share my top 10 tips that help me manage networking situations.

1. Find the Bar! And no – not for a drink.  It’s always a great idea to position yourself at a healthy distance from the bar.  Many people start here when they get to a networking event in order to take a break from a potentially overwhelming space.  You can easily strike up a conversation as people turn around with a drink in their hand.  Note: If you need an alternative to an alcoholic beverage, try a little seltzer water with a splash of cranberry.  Works for me every time!

2. Set reasonable expectations. When attending an event, prep yourself mentally for what you are there to do.  Is your goal to meet more people? Is it to learn more about the organization’s culture? Is it to meet one or two specific people? Make sure you set reasonable expectations before hand, so that you have a goal in mind.  It is a great way to keep you from getting overwhelmed, too.

3. Start a conversation with a loner.  It’s usually easier to start a conversation with someone who is standing alone, because they will most likely be happy to have someone to talk to – and as a result, are often more personable and easier to connect with.

4. Avoid barging into groups.  A cluster of more than 4 people can be awkward – and tough to enter.  Join the group on one side, but don’t try to enter the conversation until you’ve made eye contact with each person at least one time.  Usually, people will make room to add you to the “circle” of conversation, and you can introduce yourself then!

5. “Look mom, no hands!” Keep at least one hand free at all times!  This means no eating and drinking at the same time if you are at a networking mixer or conference reception; this way, you can still shake hands with people without being awkward and fumbling around.

6. Be yourself. Networking events are meant as starting points for professional relationships. If you can’t be yourself – and you aren’t comfortable in your own skin, then the people you meet will be connecting with someone you’re impersonating, and not the real you. Be genuine.  Authenticity tends to attract much of the same.

7. Be present, and engaged. Ever talked to someone that acts like you’re the only person in the room?  Someone who listens, and makes you feel like everything you are saying is important?  I love those people!  They really make you feel heard.  Keep eye contact, and lean in or tilt your body towards people when you talk to them.  Not in a creepy way – but in an, “I’m listening to you, and I’m fully present” kinda way.

8. Treat people like friends. Unless, of course, you are a terrible friend. Would you go to a friend and interrupt their conversation, hand over a business card, and walk away?  No.  Networking events are not transactions.  Treat new people as you’d treat your friends – built rapport, be trustworthy, and then talk shop.

9. 72 hour rule. After a conference or networking event, you have about 72 hours to followup with a person on LinkedIn or via email.  Reference something that you talked about, and ask what the best way to stay connected might be.  After 72 hours – they just might have forgotten you.

10. Practice makes perfect. Well, not really perfect.  Progress is always better than perfection! The point here is that networking is a skill, like any other professional skill.  It is a muscle that you have to develop and grow.  While others may look like born networkers, they are more than likely just more experienced with it.  Mistakes may happen, but the only way to learn is to get out there and do it!

February Alumni Spotlight: Darrell Scott ’10

Original post contributed by Mahlek Pothemont ’16

Darrell Scott Headshot BLOG

Who are you and when did you graduate? (e.g. name, age, davidson major, involved in what clubs and orgs, etc.)

Name: Darrell Scott

Age: 27

Major: Sociology; Ethnic Studies Concentration

Organizations: Black Student Coalition, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Student Government Association, S.T.R.I.D.E., MLK Day Planning Committee,

Where are you from?

Little Rock, AR

What is your current profession(s)?

Right now, I’m working on a text news service called PushBlack with Tareq Alani ’10, and helping run lean experiments with difference social justice groups through Accelerate Change. I also lead a social change incubator for high school students through an organization called LearnServe International.

What originally drew your interest to this particular position/field?  

I’ve always been interested in new models for civic engagement, and stretching myself to learn about new tools. When I was leaving the philanthropy world, I knew I wanted to be in a nontraditional environment, and joining Accelerate Change’s team was the perfect fit. I’ve learned a ton about how to combine business principles and lean methodology to strengthen social movements. And, my interest in media has always been there.

I’ve always been obsessed with black media and its connection to black liberation. My childhood home was full of Ebony and Jet magazines. The TV stayed on BET. Not only did these mediums keep me updated on trends, they also taught me about civic participation.

How did the experience impact your career goals and your next steps?

We’re pushing forward with PushBlack, running multiple experiments to learn more about customer acquisition, growth strategies, and pathways to monetization. PushBlack has the unique opportunity to amplify black people’s voice in news and civic engagement. As a result, African Americans can, once again, have an outlet that informs us about important causes and provides ways to get involved. Be sure to sign up for text news service, PushBlack Now, at www.PushBlack.org/now.

Can you share on brief story about a specific project, moment, etc. that was particularly impactful?

Winning the Davidson Venture Fund with Tareq Alani ‘10: http://www.davidson.edu/news/news-stories/150305-colorworthy-wins-venture-fund-competition

 

Davenport & Company: On-Campus Recruiting

DavenportEstablished in 1863, Davenport & Company LLC is one of the oldest employee-owned, independent financial services firms in America. Headquartered in Richmond, VA, the firm offers a complete range of investment services, including comprehensive stock and bond brokerage, investment management, research, financial planning, insurance, public finance, and corporate finance.

On Tuesday, November 17, Chazzo Habliston ’13 will join us on-campus to share information about the public finance internship with Davenport.  Andrew Pope ’16, participated in this internship during the summer of 2015 and answered a few questions for us.  If you are interested in applying to this opportunity, visit the full description in Handshake.  Applications are due November 28 at 11:59pm.

Andrew Pope '16 Economics major
Andrew Pope ’16
Economics major

How would you describe Davenport’s work environment to someone who doesn’t know?

The vibe in the Davenport offices really exemplifies some of the pros of working at a smaller firm. Primarily, this was shown through the interdepartmental relationships that Davenport employees have with others at the company.  During my internship specifically, I was working in the Public Finance division, but was urged to spend time in other parts of the firm in order to really understand the way a financial services firm works.

In terms of my work with the Public Finance group, I was given a chance to really fulfill some of the jobs that the full time analysts were expected to complete. I started my internship a few weeks before they on-boarded a new analyst and our learning processes and responsibilities were very similar. The faith that they showed in my abilities was extremely important in learning to take some pride in what I was doing. Senior bankers were always asking how the process was going for me and offered their help with any questions that I may have.

What did an average workday look like?

I usually got to work around 7:45am and spent the morning working on the long-term project that I was given for the summer. Around 10, the Associate or Analyst that I was assigned to for the week would come to my desk and talk to me about the project that they were working on at the moment. Usually these projects were financial analysis for clients about refunding bonds or a quickly approaching issuance of new bonds. The banker I was working for would then explain what they would like me to do over the next couple of days and give me several tasks to have completed by the end of the week. From that point on, I worked closely with the associate assigned to the project until it was completed.

What advice would you give other Davidson students interested in applying to Davenport?

I recommend getting in touch with people at the company. They can give you a realistic expectation of what a full time opportunity with the company looks like. I would also recommend practicing any technical skills you have so that you can complete any work that they give you in a timely manner. Lastly, attention to detail is something that is taken to the next level at a company that stresses quality service like Davenport does.

Get to Know the Center for Career Development

2015 Center for Career Development Staff
2015 Center for Career Development Staff

Welcome back!  While we enjoyed a little break this summer, we are excited that campus is back to normal.  We took advantage of the quiet to do a little restructuring, plan some programming, connect with new employers, and just a few other things.  So, meet our staff and some of the great resources in the Center for Career Development!

Nathan Elton, Director
Nathan Elton, Director

Nathan’s Favorite CCD Resource: Davidson Career Advisor Network (DCAN) Some of the most common career advice you will hear is to talk to professionals in potential or identified career areas of interest.  Through DCAN there are over 800 Davidson alumni and parents who have signed up to share career advice, look over your resume, or prepare you for an upcoming interview.  Jobs and internships can be tough to land, but by using these connections you will know more about career fields that match your interests and abilities, and be better prepared for securing a position.

Jamie Johnson, Associate Director for Career Development
Jamie Johnson, Associate Director for Career Development

Jamie’s Favorite CCD Resource: Myers Briggs Type Indicator All of us have uniquely different personalities. The MBTI assessment will help give you a better understanding of your own personality, such as what energizes you or how you make career decisions. The assessment will also assist you in better understanding the people around you, whether they be at school, work or home. To take the MBTI, please contact our office at 704-894-2132 to set up an appointment to meet with a Career advisor.

 

Jeff Kniple, Associate Director for Employer Relations
Jeff Kniple, Associate Director for Employer Relations

Jeff’s Favorite CCD Resource: Information sessions are the place to make a personal connection with employers in advance of an application or interview.  They are the easiest place to make an impression with key staff members, to learn about how companies market themselves, and to learn other information that can be helpful in a cover letter or interview.  For internship and job seekers they are essential to the process.

 

 

Tiffany Waddell, Assistant Director for Career Development

Tiffany’s Favorite CCD Resource: Workshops and Programs The CCD offers workshops and events on a variety of topics for students throughout the academic year.  From getting started with LinkedIn and learning how network with Davidson alumni and other professionals, to penning the perfect resume – check out WildcatLink to learn more about what workshops are available to you this year and RSVP today!

 

 

Sarah Williams '11, Assistant Director for Alumni & Parent Engagement
Sarah Williams ’11, Assistant Director for Alumni & Parent Engagement

Sarah’s Favorite CCD Resource: WildcatLink is the best resource for accessing Davidson-specific career opportunities and resources. It is an online portal where you can apply to jobs and internships, sign up for job shadowing opportunities, and register for career-related events and programs. If you haven’t already, you will soon become very familiar with WildcatLink!

 

 

 

Jamie Stamey, Assistant Director for Internships
Jamie Stamey, Assistant Director for Internships

Jamie’s Favorite CCD Resource: InterviewStream is a great tool to help you prepare for upcoming interviews.  Record a video of yourself answering industry specific questions.  Then, critique yourself or share with a mentor to get their feedback.  You know what they say about practice!  You might also see this pop up in some of you Davidson-sponsored program applications, like Job Shadowing and the #DavidsonIE Internship Program.

 

Kate Falconi '08, Assistant Director for Employer Relations
Kate Falconi ’08, Assistant Director for Employer Relations

Kate’s Favorite CCD Resource: Vault Think of this as a huge online library of career and industry guides to help you learn about jobs and career fields, and make sure you are ready for interviews.  It also includes rankings of employers in 20 different industries, such as advertising, PR, media, banking and consulting.

 

 

 

Julie Lucas, Office Manager
Julie Lucas, Office Manager

Julie’s Favorite CCD Resource: It’s easy to schedule an appointment to meet with one of our advisors.  Stop by the office or call 704-894-2132. Appointments are available from 9-12:00 and 1:30-5:00.  For quick questions, we also offer daily walk-in times M-TH 10:00-12:00 and M-F 1:30-3:30.

 

 

 

Logan Myers, Career Adviser
Logan Myers, Career Advisor

Logan’s Favorite CCD Resource: Davidson’s LinkedIn Landing Page and LinkedIn Networking Group Want to learn what 11,000 alumni are doing based on their major, where they live, what they do and where they work?  Davidson’s LinkedIn Landing page is an easily searchable system to learn about alumni based on these and other criteria.  Want to interact with alumni in LinkedIn?  Check out the Davidson College Network Group, where you can send messages to over 6,000 alumni.

 

Internship & Job Challenge: Meet Megan Falvey ’14

Megan Falvey '14, Grey Group
Megan Falvey ’14, Grey Group

Megan Falvey ’14 graduated from Davidson with a Bachelor of Arts in English and French. Upon graduation, she completed a four month internship with Grey Group, a worldwide Marketing and Advertising agency.  At the completion of the internship, Megan was hired full-time as an Assistant Account Executive.

While at Davidson, Megan set her sights on gaining experience that would benefit her career in the advertising world.  She served as a PR Assistant in the President’s Office and also as the Director of Public Relations for SGA.  She studied in Paris for one semester and completed an internship with Capstrat.  Keep reading to learn more about Megan’s experience with Grey and how Davidson helped her prepare.

Q: What attracted you to Grey?

A: Unlike most large agencies, Grey places a huge emphasis on creativity. In speaking with people working across departments, I realized how important the work was to the company’s success. About 10 years ago, Grey was struggling because the agency wasn’t encouraging clients to push boundaries. With a renewed focus on creativity and digital, Grey won agency of the year in 2013 and Network of the Year in 2014, and can still boast of clients like Pantene, Covergirl, Gillette, and DirectTV. It’s pretty rare to find a creativity agency with such big brands.

Q: In what ways did your time at Davidson uniquely prepare you to be successful at Grey?

A: Being able to craft a concrete argument is a huge skill in advertising. I was an English major at Davidson, so I had a lot of experience with gathering evidence to make a literary argument. In Account Management, you have to be strategic about how you present work to clients—from formal presentations, to weekly check-ins. Davidson prepared me for that type of work.

Q: What do you love most about your job?

A: I love how advertising balances business with creativity. Every day my team is faced with a new marketing challenge, and we get to solve it through creative thinking. Since I work on a global account, I also get to work with regions around the world and see how campaigns change based on local insights. No two days are the same. At times it can be overwhelming, but I enjoy what I’m doing and being busy.

Q: Are there any myths about your job that you would like to debunk?

A: For all those who have watched Mad Men, Account Management gets a bad reputation. I have never taken a client out to talk business over martinis. People also tend to assume that because we’re not in the creative department, we only occupy ourselves with the business side of things. In Account Management, I contribute to all stages of creative development, which means that my job actually requires me to be creative.

Q: What advice do you would you give to students applying for this internship?

A: Use your connections. Unfortunately, advertising is a very competitive industry, and if you blindly submit your application online, chances are it will never make it to HR. For Grey specifically, the work is really important. Look through Grey’s portfolio or scan AdWeek and Ad Age to find work that speaks to you, and be prepared to explain why you think it’s effective.

Megan and Grey Worldwide are participants in the 2014-2015 Internship & Job Challenge.  To view the Summer 2015 internship description, visit WildcatLink.  The application deadline is February 20, 2015 at 11:59pm.

Internship & Job Challenge: Meet Hadley White ’98

Hadley White '98, The Aspen Institute
Hadley White ’98, The Aspen Institute

Hadley became the Seminars Manager at the Aspen Institute in June 2013. Prior to her current position, she spent nine years as a consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton. Her favorite assignment was working in Stuttgart, Germany for U.S. Africa Command for nearly three years, where she worked in the Strategic Communication Division and served as the Interagency Coordinator. In Washington, DC, she supported numerous institutes within the NIH in a project management role, and assisted with international health initiatives, such as the Supply Chain Management System (SCMS), a component of PEPFAR.

Originally from Atlanta, she attended Davidson College where she majored in history and spent a semester abroad in Kenya, where her interest in Africa began. After college, she worked as a producer and writer at CNN in her hometown for three years. Her graduate work at the Fletcher School at Tufts University focused on international development and health security, culminating in her master’s thesis on AIDS in Africa as a security threat. She’s excited to be living in Colorado and is looking forward to her second ski season in Aspen.

Q: What attracted you to the Aspen Institute?

A: I had spent 9 years in the federal consulting business and was ready for a change in career. The Aspen Institute appealed to me because of its focus on leadership, intellectual rigor, policy programs, and big thinkers in various fields. The fact that my job would be in Aspen, Colorado was just a bonus!

Q: In what ways did your time at Davidson uniquely prepare you to be successful at the Aspen Institute?

A: One of the things that my interviewer (now boss) focused on was that I went to a liberal arts college. At Davidson I learned to ask probing questions, the importance of community, and had a broad based background which I could apply to the Institute’s many different programs.

Q: What do you love most about your job?

A: I love that I get to know leaders from around the world and from different backgrounds who are dedicated to improving their communities. It’s incredibly inspiring and makes me feel good about humanity.

Q: What advice would you give to students thinking of applying for the summer internship with the Aspen Institute?

A: Emphasize flexibility, motivation, strength in details/administration, and desire to have a meaningful learning experience. It’s an unforgettable internship, and I’d love to get at least one Davidson student in Aspen here every summer.

Hadley and the Aspen Institute are participants in the 2014-2015 Internship & Job Challenge.  To view the Summer 2015 internship description, visit WildcatLink.  The application deadline is February 1, 2015 at 11:59pm.

Internship & Job Challenge: Meet Zara Riaz ’15

Zama Coursen-Neff '93 hosted Colin Vaida '16 and Zara Riaz '15 for a summer with the Human Rights Watch
Zama Coursen-Neff ’93 hosted Colin Vaida ’16 and Zara Riaz ’15 for a summer with the Human Rights Watch

The summer of 2014 was a career-defining experience for Zara Riaz ’15.  Zara had the opportunity to participate in an internship with the Human Rights Watch in New York City.  The position was offered by alumna Zama Coursen-Neff ’93 in connection with the Vann Center for Ethics.

Continue reading for a glimpse into Zara’s experience.

Q: What originally drew your interest to this particular position?

A: I was drawn to this internship because of my experiences learning about human rights violations in Colombia and the Horn of Africa. I attended the Colombia Staff Ride with Dr. Crandall in January 2014, and this trip highlighted the effects of human rights violations committed by both the Colombian government as well as guerilla members. I was interested in the indirect effects of these violations, such as the shift of expenditures from health and education to larger military expenditures. I also attended the Rift Valley Institute field course on the Horn of Africa with Dr. Menkhaus in 2013. Many of the readings for this trip included reports by Human Rights Watch on violations occurring in the Horn. I wanted to use this internship as a means of not only gaining a better understanding of learning more about the particular areas I had previously studied but also about the mechanisms for defending international law and the challenges that human rights advocacy faces.

Q: How did the experience impact your career goals and your next steps?

A: This internship played an invaluable role in shaping both my short-term and long-term goals. I learned that I want to pursue human rights as a field of study, and that I want to approach this field from a legal perspective. After interacting with many lawyers at Human Rights Watch, I was inspired by how law can be a powerful tool for defending the rights of vulnerable populations and individuals. Furthermore, this internship highlighted the importance of gaining contextual knowledge of the environment you are studying or operating in. For this reason, I would like to spend time working in East Africa before pursuing law school.

Q: Can you share one brief story about a specific project, moment, etc. that was particularly impactful?

A: One of my projects was to prepare a report for the Committee on the Rights of the Child for the periodic review of Ethiopia, essentially a “progress report” on behalf of Human Rights Watch that details the organization’s findings on children’s rights in Ethiopia. After learning about the “villagization” program that resettled pastoral populations into villages and the human rights violations associated with the program, I began to think about the intersection of human rights and development. While I had studied political and economic development in previous courses, this report highlighted the need for human rights to be central to the development agenda, focusing on protecting the rights of the most vulnerable or marginalized populations and not simply increased growth.

Current students can view postings for summer internships and entry-level positions presented by Davidson alumni and families for the 2014-2015 Internship & Job Challenge on WildcatLink.

Internship & Job Challenge: Meet Amanda Silver ’15

Amanda Silver '15 and colleague Alex Bearman working at the 2014 Street Soccer USA New York Cup.
Amanda Silver ’15 and colleague Alex Bearman working at the 2014 Street Soccer USA New York Cup.

Amanda Silver ’15 participated in the 2014 Davidson Entrepreneurship Internship Program as an intern with Street Soccer U.S.A.  The internship was shared with Davidson by alumnus Lawrence Cann ’00.  Street Soccer U.S.A, is a hybrid nonprofit / for-profit with a mission to strengthen low income communities and to fight homelessness and poverty through sport. During the summer, the organization hosted a soccer tournament in New York City’s Time Square.

Here are some thoughts from Amanda about her experience.

Q: What originally drew your interest to this particular position?

A: I was originally drawn to Street Soccer USA because it combined my interest in social entrepreneurship with my experience with fundraising and events. After reading the description, I immediately resonated with their mission to use sports to empower homeless and at-risk youth and adults. Street Soccer is an organization dedicated to growing its community and create impact, so I got to see first-hand what it takes to found and run a nonprofit organization.

Q: How did the experience impact your career goals and your next steps?

A: I had an incredible experience, and learned that I want to pursue a career in the nonprofit sector. To me, working for a cause that I am passionate about doesn’t feel like work at all. I came back to campus confident that I can wear many hats, and look forward to learning even more by working with different startups and social ventures in the future.

Q: Can you share one brief story about a specific project, moment, etc. that was particularly impactful?

A: My internship experience culminated in a 4v4 soccer tournament in New York’s Times Square. Our day started at 3:30am to set up the fields, and ended close to 11pm that night, but spirits were high the entire time. All our hard work came to fruition when we put on a successful event. Street Soccer’s founder and president Lawrence Cann ’00 became an incredible role model and mentor throughout my internship experience. His organization embodies teamwork in every way, and I am grateful to have been part of a group of such hardworking individuals.

Current students can view postings for summer internships and entry-level positions presented by Davidson alumni and families for the 2014-2015 Internship & Job Challenge on WildcatLink.