Category Archives: Arts, Media, Communications & Marketing

Out 4 Undergrad: Queering Business, Technology, Engineering, and Marketing

out-4-undergrand

tai-tran
Tai Tran ’18 is pursuing a Gender & Sexuality Studies major with a minor in Chinese Studies

Growing up, being queer was a hush-hush topic in many spaces I’ve been to. Being your authentic self meant being everything but out and proud. Whether it was middle school or the professional world, people just didn’t talk about it. Imagine my surprise when I heard of a professional conference opportunity specifically for queer undergraduate students. It’s not just one opportunity, but four. Out for Undergrad (O4U) offers four different conferences all in major cities around the United States: The Marketing conference is offered in Chicago, the Business conference is offered in New York, the Technology conference is offered in San Francisco, and the Engineering conference is offered in Palo Alto, CA. Did I mention that they cover your airfare and hotel?

I had first heard about O4U from Kai Jia, a Davidson alumnus who served as an ambassador for O4U. O4U is meant to help queer undergraduate students get their foot in the door of so many of these major career fields. The focus on academic and career development by fellow queer peers who volunteer their time to make this conference a success is the very meaning of community to me. The speakers, the volunteers, the staff at O4U really do want us to succeed and so planned for an entire year to put together all four of these conferences.

This year I chose to attend the O4U Marketing conference in Chicago, IL. The year before I attended the Technology conference in San Francisco. It was my first time in Chicago and I had a wonderful time. The itinerary was of course packed from 8 am in the morning to 7pm in the evening but the connections I made were worth all the while. Coming into the conference we were already given an assignment to provide hands-on experience in the field of marketing. The selected few participants with exceptional presentations had the chance to present their assignments to all of us. The winner got a position for a first round interview with a major company.

Each conference has their own career fair and so I was able to network with so many people from companies like Pepsico, Henkel, Neilson, Pandora, and even the toothpaste company Colgate. There were plenty of networking opportunities throughout the conference and I highly suggest everyone take advantage of it to get their name known. It’s only one weekend around mid-September or mid-October so take your pick and I hope you’ll have a great time connecting with professional queer peers as I did.

So, What Will You Do With That Major? Finally, An Answer.

%22What Will You Do WithThe British flag, an empty parking lot, and a long, glass wall: the first three things I saw when arriving to my job shadowing day. As I pulled into the “Visitor” space, I was still trying to determine why Oxford University Press has an office in Cary, North Carolina of all places. And I’ll admit, I was a bit nervous, and in need of a good distraction. I strode through the front door, anxious yet curious.

Prior to the day, I had no thoughts of pursuing a career in publishing. Being an English major at Davidson, I was taught that I could go anywhere, do anything with the skills I’ve accrued. The outside world, however, was not as encouraging. Instead, people asked me, “so what will you do with that major?” How do you answer that question?

In November of my senior year, I still had no satisfactory reply, and I figured taste-testing a few different jobs was a good place to start. So, I strode into the Oxford University Press reception area, half-excited, half-terrified, and completely ready to learn.

I expected there to be moments of down time, when my job shadowing host would have to complete a small task or run an errand, but not so. My job shadowing host planned a full day for me, filled with real meetings, discussions, and introductions to employees in various departments of the company. I even toured the massive warehouse, from which all OUP books and products are distributed in the United States. Fun fact: Amazon buys so many books from OUP that it has its own special section.

Katie Bennett '16 (right) with Molly Hansen, her job shadowing host at Oxford University Press.
Katie Bennett ’16 (right) with Molly Hansen, her job shadowing host at Oxford University Press.

The people I met at OUP proved to be invaluable. I gained access to an extensive network of working professionals willing to help, educate and inspire me in this line of work. I remained in contact with several of them after my visit, and my job shadowing host took a particular interest in my career aspirations, sending me potential job opportunities and lengthy emails containing critical advice. The connections I made at the Press enabled me to follow an entirely different path than I anticipated, and I only wish I could have participated in this program sooner than I did.

So I end with an urgent message to Davidson underclassmen: please, if you do anything during your career search, USE THIS PROGRAM. You will learn so much. You will meet people willing to help you in your journey. And you will finally have a few answers in your pocket when someone asks that dreadful question “so what are you going to do with that major?” Oh, let me tell you.

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.

Destination Unknown: We know it was a success!

destination-unknown300On Monday, September 29th, at 7:30 P.M., the Center for Career Development and the Residence Life Office hosted Destination Unknown: Realizing the Potential for Your Future.  The event was targeted at delivering information particularly important for Davidson seniors.

Center staff and student ambassadors provided information about the job and graduate school searches, resume improvement, cover letter writing, and social media polishing.  Jamie Johnson, Associate Director for the Center for Career Development, answered questions and provided information about the graduate school search.  She “felt it went very well and provided a foundation for other similar events to come in the future.”

Students could also take professional headshots for their LinkedIn accounts.  If all of these useful resources weren’t enough, yummy hors d’oeuvres and mocktails were served.  Ory Streeter, one of the Area Coordinators at RLO, worked as a bartender, requiring students to give a fact about responsible drinking in a professional setting before receiving a mocktail.

Seniors loved the event!  Alexandra Clark ’15 said, “The experienced career counselors, both students and faculty, gave me really helpful advice and tips to prepare me for my career search and for life after Davidson.  The Center for Career Development is an awesome resource for seniors and I look forward to going to more of their events.”

Seniors, don’t worry if you missed this event!  Make an appointment with a staff member from the Center or stop by walk-in hours for Center staff or student ambassadors to see what you missed.  You are always welcome!

Career Development Ambassadors 2014-2015

The Center for Career Development is pleased to announce the 2014-2015 class of Career Development Ambassadors.  Trained to assist with peer advising regarding topics such as resume review, cover letter review, and mock interview prep – stop by and visit them during walk-in hours this semester in the Center for Career Development (Alvarez 201):  Sundays 3-5pm, Tuesdays 7:30-9:30pm, and Thursdays 7:30-9:30pm.

Emily Burke
Emily Burke ’15

I am majoring in economics and will be working in investment banking after graduation.  During summers off from Davidson I have pursued internships in a variety of fields including investment banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in the leveraged finance group and a boutique investment bank in Boston, management consulting at a firm in Washington DC, and foreign policy at the Brookings Institution, a think tank in Washington DC.  On campus I play the oboe in the Davidson College Symphony Orchestra, volunteer with the Office of Admission as a tour guide, and have served as the social chair of my eating house, Warner Hall.  In my free time I enjoy playing golf, reading, and traveling.

Colin MacKay '15
Colin MacKay ’16

I am majoring in economics and plan to pursue a career in banking, consulting, or financial accounting. I have served as the corporate social responsibility intern at Bank of America where I researched competitive trends in the CSR space. I am a member of the Davidson College varsity swim team and serve as a representative in the Student Athlete Advisory Council and the Davidson Athletic Fund Student Athlete Engagement Program. I am a member of the Symphony Orchestra string bass section, a fraternity brother in Sigma Phi Epsilon, and a member of Campus Outreach. My hobbies include camping, spending time with family and friends, traveling, and playing cards.

Braden Beaudreau '15
Braden Beaudreau ’15

I am majoring in political science and I plan to pursue a career in law, government, or public policy.  Last summer, I interned at Akerman LLP, a law firm located in Washington, DC, for a public policy adviser working on issues concerning higher education policy.  Previously, I worked in the Davidson College Center for Career Development as a work study student, where I managed internship databases.  I spent a semester abroad my junior year traveling across the breathtaking landscape of Australia and studying business and economics at the University of Melbourne.  I also write for the Davidsonian and perform spoken word poetry with FreeWord.  My hobbies and interests include intramural basketball, supporting the Red Sox, and going on adventures with my friends.

Catherine Lowenthal
Catherine Lowenthal ’15

I am majoring in psychology with a concentration in medical humanities.  I plan to eventually work with individuals with mental illness and/or  HIV/AIDS or other physical disease.  In my summers, I have served as a research assistant at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and interned at Broughton Hospital, a North Carolina state psychiatric hospital.  I have also worked in an orphanage for children with HIV/AIDS in South Africa, and volunteered at several programs for children with HIV/AIDS in New York City.  On campus, I work as a research assistant for a psychology professor and am the Vice President of Queers and Allies, Secretary of the College Democrats and a member of the Common Ground Council.  My hobbies include traveling and trying new foods.  My favorite quote is from Booker T. Washington:  “Associate yourself with people of good quality, for it is better to be alone than in bad company.”

James Cobb
James Cobb ’15

I am a Political Science major from Middlebury, Vermont. Next year, I will be working as an investment banking analyst with Morgan Stanley in New York City. Prior to an internship with Morgan Stanley this past summer, I worked with Gridley & Co, a boutique, M&A technology bank in New York City; as an equity research analyst with WEDGE Capital Management in Charlotte; as a summer analyst with the Davidson College Endowment; and as a consultant with the Atlantic Leadership Group in New York City. Through Davidson, I have been able to study abroad for two semesters in Ireland and India and the Middle East. On campus, I am the Vice President of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, a Chidsey Fellow, Terry scholar, and play saxophone with the jazz ensemble. My hobbies include reading, weight lifting, and challenging travel.

Daniel Reitten
Daniel Reitten ’15

I am originally from Tel Aviv, Israel.

I am majoring in economics and planning to be in finance after graduation. I spent my previous summer at the summer internship program at UBS in Sales & Trading where I worked on the FX spot trading desk in the New York office. Prior to attending Davidson College, I served 3 years in the Israeli Air Force. I played Tennis for Davidson during my first two years, and I got the chance to attend 3 different abroad programs. I am also a member of Hillel, and this is my seventh semester that I teach Hebrew here at Davidson. I enjoy music, traveling, crossfit and philosophy.

Leigh Miller
Leigh Miller ’15

I am majoring in psychology with a minor in French. I plan to work in Human Resources (hopefully doing recruiting), eventually pursuing a career in coaching for businesses. I have served as a Human Resources intern at the corporate headquarters for Chico’s and for Vans, working with the Recruiting, Learning & Development, and Payroll departments. I am a co-president of the Pep Band, and president of the Knitting Society. My hobbies include swimming, cycling, reading, and knitting.

To Grad School or Not to Grad School? Ask Yourself the Question.

If you are thinking about graduate school, you are not alone.  Are you asking yourself if you need a break post-Davidson before you pursue your next course of study?  Deciding on a program and when to enter is a big decision.  Before you send off those applications and secure your enrollment spot, it’s a good idea to ask yourself a few questions and take time to reflect on whether or not graduate school is the appropriate next step for you.

Harvard_University_Academic_Hoods

The first question I ask most students who meet with me to chat about researching graduate programs and application prep is simple: why?  For each person, the answer is different.  Immediate entry into graduate school may give you a leg up in your professional field of interest.  Many times graduate or professional school will afford you a number of specialized skills or certifications and help propel you into the next step of that particular industry.  For example – if you want to be an attorney, then at some point, attending law school, succeeding in your studies, and passing the Bar exam is a pre-requisite before you can attempt to practice law.  In other fields, a graduate degree may be required simply for candidacy of application to apply.  However, this is not always the case.  Some graduate programs are more likely to admit an applicant who has work experience. It is important to identify the norm or standard of education in a given field – and do a bit of research to find out whether or not graduate school immediately after college is a necessary or realistic goal.

Another big question to ask yourself: are you ready?  By ready, I simply mean are you ready to continue attending school for several months or years?  As you approach graduation, you may find that you would like a break from school to recharge before you pursue another academic program.  Perhaps you would like to gain some “real world” experience and explore the world of work a bit before deciding which field of study is the best one for you. Maybe you would like to travel the world or give back in the form of volunteering or service work.  Gap years are increasingly common for students and a great year to gain more experience, sharpen your professional skills and supplement your academic pursuits before pursuing a graduate or professional degree.

Whatever you decide, remember that the choice is yours.  Family, friends, and other influencers will not be attending classes (or work) for you.  Adjusting to a new academic or work environment and geographic location is a major life transition and certainly worth consideration and intention.

As you explore your options, you have many questions. Visit with faculty advisors to discuss your areas of interest and strategies to identify the programs that would best suit your interests.  Learn more about the ins and outs of graduate school application prep, and how to make the most of your post-graduate studies, by visiting the Center for Career Development.  Take some time to reflect as to whether or not graduate school right after college is the right choice for you now – or in the future.

Red Ventures – Disrupting the Process

Ricky Stephens '12; History Major; Business Operations Analyst @ Red Ventures
Ricky Stephens ’12; History Major; Business Operations Analyst @ Red Ventures

It comes as no shock that Red Ventures has decided to go against the norm and to hold their Information and Networking Session at the on-campus location of Summit Coffee on Monday, September 22nd, from 6:30pm-7:45pm. A week ago, the College announced a 10-year partnership with Red Ventures, aimed at placing more Davidson graduates at career paths at the company. Anticipating their return to campus, we interviewed Ricky Stephens’12, an analyst at the firm, about his experiences so far.

 

Q: What attracted you to the company and role?

A: Before my senior year, I had my first internship in anything related to business, working for a search fund in Charlotte (essentially a one-man private equity fund).  I enjoyed the experience but still felt overwhelmed with the looming job search.  What company or industry did I want to launch my career with?  What type of role was I looking for?  I received these questions often, but I didn’t even know if a business job was necessarily what I wanted straight out of school.  So my boss at the time had me go through an exercise to brainstorm ideal characteristics and responsibilities that I would want in a job, rather than try to nail down a specific company or industry right off the bat.  I wrote down things like “working with a team to solve problems”; “ability to speak openly about and enact my own ideas”; “fun and cordial work atmosphere.”  It’s funny because I don’t think it even hit me fully during my interview process, but a few months after I started I thought back to that exercise and realized that so many of those core characteristics I had highlighted were very present in my job at RV.  That’s when I knew I was at the right place.

 

Q: What is the culture at Red Ventures like, and how is it conducive of a liberal arts background?

A: If I had to sum up the culture in 3 words, I would say: curiosity, ownership, and GO!  Curiosity in that questioning the way things currently operate here is a requirement.  This is probably the aspect of RV’s culture that parallels the liberal arts education most closely, and I think it was the easiest one for me to pick up and run with.  Ownership in that when you have a new idea that you want to test, it is up to you to implement it.  There are plenty of people around to help guide you, and many will go out of their way to do so, but it’s completely on you to see your own tasks or ideas through to fruition.  And GO in that when you do take on a new project, you’re expected to start learning from day one and make impactful changes quickly.  I see a ton of ways for Davidson students to take on ownership across a variety of projects, organizations, activities, etc., and it’s been very cool to see more opportunities arise just in the couple years since I graduated – the Entrepreneurship Initiative definitely comes to mind.  But some of that intensity and knack for driving ideas forward at a rapid pace is tough to learn when you are balancing 4 classes with other responsibilities; I know at Davidson it is easy to get involved in more activities than people truly have time for.  One of the things I’ve taken away from this job is that narrowing your scope to allow for a greater focus on fewer things can be positive (so can asking for help).

 

Q: What resources at Davidson helped you prepare for your current role?

A: The ascent of Career Services during my time at Davidson is a major reason I was able to find Red Ventures and prepare myself well for the case interviews.  They have so many more resources than I think a lot of students necessarily realize, and the biggest one might be Alenda Links.  Davidson alums never fail to impress me in their loyalty and their willingness to go the extra mile to help out a fellow Wildcat.  Use us to be curious and establish worthwhile connections.

 

Q: What do you love the most about your job?

A:  The ability to implement my own ideas practically on the spot, and the people I work with – they are extremely smart and driven, but at some point in time, you will laugh at every single one of them.

 

Q:  What is the most differentiating quality of Red Ventures?

A: I’d have to point to the accessibility.  That doesn’t just mean access to senior leaders, who are usually sitting at another cube around the corner from yours, but also access to all the different people who can help you bring an idea to completion – that means designers, writers, coders, most specifically.  The more I’ve been able to see how other companies our size work, the more I’ve realized just how unique it is not to have to pass your work off to 10 other people and never see the end result.

 

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

A:  If there is one myth I’d like to debunk it’s that a liberal arts education – or for that matter, a non-quantitative degree – can’t compete in this role with an undergraduate business or another more technical/quantitative degree.  Curiosity and a desire to learn will go further here than any combination of degrees.

 

Q: What advice would you give to people interested in working for Red Ventures, and how should they prepare for the interview?

A: We are as close to an open book as you can get.  If you think RV is a place you could see yourself working at, ask questions and find out as much as you can about the specifics of the analyst role and what it takes to succeed in it.  For interview prep, Case in Point – although it is geared more toward traditional consulting-style cases – helped me at least gain a general understanding for some of the concepts and approaches to solving business problems that come up in our cases.

If you are interested in learning more about Red Ventures, you are encouraged to attend the Information and Networking Session on Monday, September 22nd at 6:30pm, hear from a panel of speakers, ask as many questions as possible, as find out how Red Ventures disrupts the way business is done.

Please submit any questions that you would like Davidson Alumni to address during the panel to sshanklin@redventures.com

Both internship and entry-level positions are available, check  WildcatLink  for more information!

Find Ricky and other alumni at Red Ventures on LinkedIn:

Ricky Stephens ’12     Katherine Wood ’13     Sydney Schreiner ’14     Jaime Dybuncio ’13     Benjamin Jackowitz ’12     Tom Polak ’14     Lucy McMurry ’13     Thomas Noel ’11       Robert Lorenzen ’13     Brian Sachtjen ’12     Abby Perkins ’14

Davidson Parent Robert Strauss Discusses Careers in Journalism

Robert and Ella Strauss '14
Robert and Ella Strauss ’14

On Friday afternoon, Davidson parent Robert Strauss held an informational session for students interested in pursuing a career in journalism. Father of Ella Strauss ’14 and Sylvia Strauss ‘17, Mr. Strauss has been published in numerous national publications, including Sports Illustrated, the Philadelphia Daily News, and the New York Times. In addition, Mr. Strauss served as an adjunct professor in the University of Pennsylvania’s English department for ten years, as well as the University of Delaware’s English department for five years. In 2011, Mr. Strauss published his first book Daddy’s Little Goalie and is currently in the early stages of his latest project, based on his New York Times article “What Do You Want to Be, Now That You’re Grown.”

Mr. Strauss spoke to students about his start in the field of journalism—although he had always had a love of newspapers and sports, he never considered them as a way to make a living. In college, he met a girl he was interested in, who turned out to be the upcoming editor of the college’s newspaper. She asked him to be the paper’s Sports Editor and as Mr. Strauss says, “You can guess why I said yes.” As it turns out, the girl transferred the next semester, and Mr. Strauss was left in charge of the Sports page.

This series of events prompted Mr. Strauss to apply to and attend graduate school at UC-Berkeley for one quarter, after which he dropped out. He bought a bus pass, knocked on doors, and got a newspaper job in Mankato, Minnesota.

Mr. Strauss emphasized that he started out small, and believes the process of entering the field today would be much the same. From there, Mr. Strauss notes, “Every job I’ve ever had had to do with connections.” He encouraged students to use their Davidson connections, family connections, and any other connection available to get a foot in the door. “Anybody can do entry-level jobs,” says Mr. Strauss. “The hard part is getting one.”

As a freelance journalist, Mr. Strauss shared with students the process of submitting a story idea to a publication. He stressed the importance in being interested in what you write, as well as the value of looking beyond the Internet for sources. “Even if you can get the story online, go out and see someone.”

Ultimately, Mr. Strauss noted, “It’s not necessarily a bad time to go into journalism. It’s just a different time.” He concluded by telling students that if journalism is their passion, they should pursue it, but never do anything for free!

Thank you to Mr. Strauss for taking time to speak with Davidson students and to Ella Strauss for keeping the conversation on track!

“Somebody Has to Run the Kennedy Center”: Sherburne Laughlin ’83 Discusses Careers in Arts Management

Sherburne Laughlin '83 shares arts management career resources with students

Sherburne Laughlin ’83, Director of the Arts Management Program at American University in Washington DC and a former member of Davidson’s Board of Trustees, visited campus last week to speak with students about careers in arts management.  An economics major at Davidson, Ms. Laughlin went on to work at a bank before earning her MBA from Yale University and launching her career in the arts management.  This is the third successive year that she has given this talk to a full room of students.

Ms. Laughlin started her talk by generating discussion on many pertinent issues in the arts today, such as the role of government funding for the arts and how to get that funding, ensuring that boards can make decisions for the sustainability of their organizations, censorship in the arts, and intellectual property issues with art.  She also commented on what she calls the “Arts and …” movement which encompasses arenas such as health, social justice, and business as well as technology and “gamification” in the arts.

As arts management graduate programs are looking for students with experience in the field, even at an assistant level, Ms. Laughlin advised joining the workforce for a few years before pursuing a graduate degree.  If you work first, she argues, you will ask better questions in graduate school and will have a better sense of why you want to pursue a career in arts management.  When looking for a first job in the field, look for various assistant level positions or internships in areas of arts management like development or marketing.  She suggests staying in contact with people who are in your network, including Davidson alumni.

Ms. Laughlin also guided students towards resources such as the Arts and Science Council in Charlotte and the North Carolina Arts Council that have their own job banks.  She also pointed out Americans for the Arts, which has a great professional development web page and services.  Laughlin explained the importance of keeping up to date with publications and blogs such as The Art Newspaper, Arts Journal and Createquity and advised students to register for the e-mail list You’ve Cott Mail.

There are many different places to look for jobs in the arts, including education, established arts organizations, service organizations, artist residencies, clubs, and festivals.  Laughlin encouraged students to look for opportunities that may not be obvious, giving an example of someone she knows who has a position in the arts with the National PTA (Parent Teacher Association).

Laughlin ended the presentation by giving more details about her program at American University, one of the oldest arts management programs in the country.  She pointed out that the older programs are beneficial due to the large alumni network that they create.  It provides an opportunity to graduate with certificates in Technology in Arts Management or International Arts Management.  The program is small, with twenty students in each class, and has a nearly 100% job placement rate.  They also have a special arrangement with Sotheby’s through which they send students to a very rigorous and fulfilling program in London.

If you would like to get in touch with Ms. Laughlin to discuss a potential careers in arts management, and/or the American University program specifically, feel free to send her an e-mail at slaughlin@american.edu.