Category Archives: Technology and Software

Up Close with Epic: Leveraging your Liberal Arts Degree

up-close-with-epic

I started working at Epic, an EMR software company, back in March of 2016. For context, Epic is a company where no one comes with prior experience. There is no “electronic medical record” major that state-school students take to get ahead of liberal arts students. From day one, I was on the same level with all of my peers. We all underwent training classes and took the same tests to prepare us for working in the world of medical software. In fact, Epic promotes a culture where your background is less important, and instead the work you put in decides your success. That is where Davidson so clearly prepares its students the best. 

My degree from Davidson has intrinsic value. My late nights in my library carrel writing papers did little to solve Macroeconomic issues, but they did prepare me for thinking critically about a subject so I could come prepared for lecture the next morning. That extra hour I went to office hours to ask for clarification about my Latin American education paper did little to improve my overall grade, but it instilled confidence to reach out for help and allowed me understand the value of creating professional relationships. Additionally, speaking up in my Political Theory class to voice my opinion on the 2016 election did little to change anyone’s vote, but it provided practice for transforming a cloud of disorganized thoughts into clear, concise points.

In sum, my degree is important. In truth, my degree has pushed me toward success.

My work at Epic has little overlap with specific classroom experiences. No singular class prepared me for interacting with hospital executives or leading presentations on EMR software. However, if I piece together my experiences with class presentations or research projects, I can clearly see a picture of the building blocks of my success. Even though I began my job at Epic with a limited understanding of what the job entailed, it did not matter, as I had my degree. I was prepared, equipped, and ready for any challenge. I was ready to work.

There are multiple full-time positions at Epic posted in Handshake. Learn more here

daniel-bianchini

Daniel was a Economics major at Davidson and graduated in 2016.  He is now living in Madison, WI while working as a Project Manager with Epic

From English Major to Software Developer: Up Close with McMaster-Carr

“I just graduated with an English major, and now I’m a software developer.”

I have introduced myself this way many times over the last few months, and in response, I tend to receive looks of surprise and skepticism. I’m proving the skeptics wrong thanks to McMaster-Carr, a company that values liberal arts graduates and gives them the resources they need to become successful software developers.

As a rising senior, I was unsure about how I wanted to start my career. I had done my summer internships with nonprofit organizations, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to start my career in the non-profit field. I began participating in programs through Davidson’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship program and realized that I wanted a job through which I could pursue my newfound interests in technology and design. Without much background in either field, though, I wasn’t sure what my options were.

I applied on a whim for a Development and Design role at McMaster-Carr Supply Company. I did not know anything about the industrial supply industry, but I liked the job posting, which emphasized the opportunity to gain skills in technology, design, and business. I was surprised to find that for these entry-level software developer roles, McMaster was not exclusively seeking students with backgrounds in computer science. Throughout the interview process, McMaster employees confirmed the company’s stance that you can teach people to code, but you can’t teach people to learn, justifying their decision to seek out a start class with diverse academic and professional backgrounds. Throughout the interview process, I articulated the ways in which my Davidson education, extracurricular roles, and internships taught me how to navigate ambiguous problems and learn new skills and content quickly; though my experiences had little to do with computer software, McMaster recognized my potential as a quick learner, and I received the job as an entry-level developer in McMaster’s Systems Department.

I’ve only been in my new role for two months, but I’m finding that the Systems Department at McMaster is an amazing place to start a career. Systems is responsible for designing, building, and maintaining the software that McMaster uses for both internal and customer-facing business operations. As a developer at McMaster, I am learning how to develop across the full stack – from front-end languages for designing websites, to back-end languages for managing databases, and everything in between. In my first six weeks, I participated in a rigorous training program to learn programming and design skills, and now I’m continuing to learn as a member of my project team. The company prioritizes skill building, so my assignments are framed as opportunities to both contribute to my team and develop as a programmer. Additionally, the technology our department creates touches every part of the business, so the developer role is a great vantage point from which to learn about business strategy and operations more broadly.

While the path from English major to software developer may seem like an unusual one, I’ve already seen how the skills gained from studying a language (or any other liberal arts subject) can lead to success in software development. In the world of software, technology is constantly changing, so over the course of a development career, the ability to learn new skills quickly is more important than the specific content knowledge with which you enter. Additionally, to design software for a business, you need to ask critical questions about who will use a tool, how they’ll use it, and what is most important from a business perspective; as liberal arts majors, we are trained to synthesize information quickly and cut straight to the important questions, a skill which can give us a unique and useful perspective on a programming team. The learning curve is certainly steep, but I’m confident that a lot of Wildcats have what it takes to make an unlikely transition like mine, from English major to software developer.

Seniors interested in McMaster-Carr should check out the Development and Design role, as well as the Management Development role.

emily-rapport-headshotEmily Rapport graduated from Davidson in 2016 with a major in English and a minor in Hispanic Studies.

 

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

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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.

How to Succeed in a Startup Without a Tech Background

lightbulb-innovation-1078x516Original post written by Allie Cowie ’18, participant in the DavidsonIE Internship Program.

Even though I grew up in Silicon Valley, I never thought of myself as a tech kind of gal. While it was cool to live near Google, Apple and Facebook HQ, I didn’t have much interest in computer science, which I assumed was a prerequisite for 99 percent of the jobs my friends’ parents held. It took leaving the Bay Area and coming to Davidson to make me realize how wrong I was.

Although having a computer science background is certainly a necessity for many tech roles, Davidson and its Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program have helped me realize that my liberal arts education is actually an asset here in Palo Alto, rather than a hindrance. As a Hispanic Studies major with no coding experience, I’m not programming or building apps, but what I am doing is just as valuable to the startup I work for–VersaMe, which was founded in part by Chris and Jon Boggiano, Davidson’s Entrepreneurs in Residence.

Read more.

Why Use DCAN?

–Original blog contribution by: Beza Baheru (’16)

picture of DCAN

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.

 

Online Interview Resources: Sara Muche’s Experience

–Original blog contribution by: Beza Baheru (’16)

Sara Muche

Meet Sara Salam Ayanaw Muche, class of 2017. She is a Public Health major who aspires to work as a physician in the future. During this past summer, she interned at Hamlin Fistula Hospital Rehabilitation Center in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. We had the opportunity to discuss her online interview experience related to her internship.

Q: During the last 3 years at Davidson, have you been interviewed for a position be it an internship, a job or a volunteering opportunity?

 Sara: For the International Grant application for summer internships, one of the requirements was to complete an online interview using InterviewStream.

Q: Were any of these interviews online? If so how did the process look like?

Sara: The process forInterviewStream was very simple. I had to create an account and I had access to the interview question. There was a pdf file that career services provided that told me how to prepare (how to dress, what the area of the room should look like, etc.).

Q:  Prior to your online interview(s), how did you prepare for it? What resources did you tap into? Did you go to the Davidson Career Development website to find helpful resources?

 Sara: The resources to prepare for the interview were all located on the Career Development website. I used the InterviewStream pre-recorded best practices sheet to help. This tip sheet was easily accessible on the description for the grant I was applying for.

Q:  What were the most helpful features of the website you used? Were you able to review your interview and make a note to yourself?

Sara: I found the ability to record my interview multiple times to be the most helpful feature of InterviewStream. While this does not prepare me for interviews in person, it helped me determine the key aspects I should highlight during an interview. Another helpful tool is the sound feature, for someone like me that can often talk relatively softly, this feature made sure I was projecting my voice.

Q: What do you recommend for students who have online interviews in terms of preparation and the actual interview?

Sara: In terms of preparation, I would recommend that students go through the InterviewStream pre-recorded best practices sheet. I would also make sure that the individuals have a general idea of what they will be asked and prepare short responses or bullet points for possible questions. For the actual interview, the tip sheet is also very helpful. I would also recommend for students to go to a quiet area to prevent from unwanted disturbances and sounds from interfering with the interview.

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.

 

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.