Tag Archives: networking

Taking a Gap Year Before Med School & Information on Fellowships

Taking a Gap Year Before Med School
Thursday, February 21st
 – 7:00pm, 900 Room
Meet alumni to learn about their gap year experiences before med school and learn about fellowships available before and after graduation.

Davidson Alumni: 

Devin Haddad ’10, Caroline Ludwig ’12, Malcolm Moses-Hampton ’12

Fellowships and Scholarships: 
Dr. Ted Ogaldez, Director of Graduate Fellowships at Davidson College, and Dr. Scott Denham, Chair of the Graduate Fellowships Committee.

Alumni Bios: |
Devin Haddad ’10 – A Center major at Davidson, Mr. Haddad moved to Washington, DC after graduation to work for an immunology lab at the FDA for two years. He is now a medical student at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

Caroline Ludwig ’12 – A biology major and French minor, Ms. Ludwig is currently working at LifeStar Emergency Medical Services in Winston-Salem, NC, and volunteers at the Brenner Children’s Hospital.  She also teaches a dance exercise class at the local YMCA.  Ms. Ludwig plans to attend medical school next year.

Malcolm Moses-Hampton ‘12 – Mr. Moses-Hampton is currently a NSF Lab & Research Technician in Dr. Julio Ramirez’s Neuroscience Lab in the Davidson College Psychology Department.  As such, he manages and conducts grant projects with Dr. Ramirez. Mr. Moses-Hampton plans to attend medical school in 2014, eventually practicing as a neurosurgeon with specific application to traumatic brain injuries.

 

Don’t Forget to Network! The Importance of Networking for All Positions – Even the State Department

By: McKenzie Roese, Career Services Ambassador

Trekking up the hill is never my favorite thing to do early in the morning, but my hike was worth it after attending Dean Rusk’s Teatime talk on the State Department application process. Not only did I enjoy a delicious breakfast courtesy of Dean Rusk, I also learned about the intricacies of the application process for the State Department. While the process may seem clear-cut and systematic, there are definitely nuances to application that you should know about before applying.

Stefanie Cook and Paul DiFiore, both members of the class of 2013, starred as the discussion leaders after their remarkable summer experiences with the State Department. Cook spent her summer in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in the US embassy. DiFiore explored the domestic front in the Central American Affairs Office in the Western Hemisphere Affairs Bureau, while also partaking in the Davidson in Washington program. Both did an excellent job informing students about the tedious, competitive, and often disappointing application process while also providing ample tips for the procedure. Their main point: Networking is everything.

In terms of networking’s wonders, Cook stressed the importance of reaching out to her political science advisor, Dr. Menkhaus, for providing an “in” to the Ethiopian bureau. Not only did Cook apply to the obscure, underappreciated Ethiopian bureau, but she also utilized her professor’s connection to the Ethiopian office to give her an edge above other candidates. Likewise, DiFiore reached out to a recent Davidson graduate working domestically in the State Department to help him stand out in the crowd. Reflecting back on his networking efforts, DiFiore honestly admits, “Even though I had a good resume and relevant experiences, there were lots of other grad school students who were way better qualified who were also applying. There always are. Having a contact was what got me in.”

Applying to obscure bureaus within the State Department and utilizing the power of the Davidson connection, both students stressed the importance of networking for landing their summer internships. Cook, reminiscing on her experience, recollected, “I got so engrained in the culture.” Luckily, she had the opportunity to immerse herself in Ethiopian culture, while DiFiore explored the domestic systems of D.C. bureaucracy, because they both reached out to the strong Davidson connection to help achieve their goals. Hopefully this will inspire you to reach out, for any position, to the Davidson community and alumni network when the time comes.

Capitalize on Information Sessions

By Brennan McCormick, Career Services Ambassador

With recruitment season in full swing for seniors seeking employment, the Union is bustling with employer information sessions. Although these sessions may seem dull and daunting, if approached correctly, they can be an important step towards landing a job offer. Here are some tips on how to best take advantage of employer information sessions:

Bring Something To Write On.
It may seem obvious, but students often come to information sessions empty-handed. There are three things you should be taking down over the course of the session:

  1. The contact information of the presenters.
  2. The application process timeline, and
  3. Two or three things that you like about the employer.

The contact information will allow you to reach out to the employer personally and network before your application is considered. If you receive an interview, you will inevitably be asked why you want to work for the company. Jotting down notes on what you like about the company during the session will help you answer those questions.

Talk To The Representatives Of The Company.
Before and after the session, chances are that representatives of the employer will be around to answer questions and offer perspective on the job. Talk to them. You will not be the only person applying for the position and if the employer can put a face to your resume, there’s a much greater chance that it is considered. Make a special effort to talk to the recruiting director, as they will ultimately be screening your resume.

Follow Up With The People You Meet.
This is particularly important for positions with a lengthy interview process. There is no one better to give you perspective on what to expect and how to prepare than someone who has successfully navigated the application process in the past few years. Many will be willing to do a mock interview, or at least point you in the direction of resources they found helpful when they were preparing. You’ll never know what they have to offer if you don’t reach out.

Get “Linked In” With Your Future

By Paul Van Peursem, Career Services Ambassador

LinkedIn has always been somewhat of an enigma within the adolescent and young adult groups, typically seen as the “other” social networking tool or only for “grown-ups.” However, you shouldn’t brush this networking tool off as either irrelevant or daunting. Although it cannot guarantee a job offer, LinkedIn can help facilitate the job search through group discussions & forums, connections with co-workers and peers, and  provide a positive web presence.

Groups
Whether based around a company, university, interest or location, groups provide a forum for participants to share news and, most importantly, job references. By joining groups, you give yourself the advantage of hearing about jobs – either in your group’s industry, location, or at your school! Instead of fostering a competitive atmosphere between job seekers, all of the LinkedIn groups I have been a part of were a place for employed members to help out the job searchers. Especially if a group is connected by a common interest or location, members want to see other fellow members succeed in their job career.

Co-worker Connections
If you have the chance, “link-in” (connect) with your fellow co-workers. Although they may not be potential employers, they can send job opportunities your way, grow your network of friends, and provide recommendations. LinkedIn allows people to “recommend” your work; so those you have worked with, or for, can comment on one of your positions with praise for your character, work ethic, etc. They are the ones who actually know your job skills and can provide a legitimate reference when future employers are checking your job history. If you have a close relationship with your boss, be sure to ask for a recommendation – even a sentence or two of praise could go a long way. Also, as you gain more and more connections, you are more easily searchable within the LinkedIn database.

Web Presence
Most importantly, with the proliferation of Facebook and Twitter, it is essential that young adults have a positive image projected on the web. I have heard countless stories of employers ‘googling’ potential hires and what better place to steer them than LinkedIn (and away from Facebook!) Keeping your page updated and professional, although similar to your resume, illustrates that you care about your professional success and that you are able to present yourself well. Using the recommendation tool and filling your profile with responsibilities or skills lets you go beyond what could otherwise fit on a one-page resume.

I was highly skeptical when I first joined LinkedIn, but the help it’s provided in job searching and networking with senior executives has convinced me that it is essential for any college student looking to join the professional world.

Managing F.E.A.R.


By Damian White, Career Services Ambassador

Throughout my undergraduate experience, I have found that some of the most interesting and powerful lessons are learned outside of the classroom.  On September 18th, I had the opportunity to attend a talk given by Hill Harper at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.  Hill Harper, an alumnus of Harvard Law School, is an author, activist, and actor who is most recently known for his role in CSI: NY.

After the hustle and bustle of the crowd settled, Hill Harper asked the audience: “What do you think is the number one obstacle the keeps young people from achieving their dreams?” Silence overcame the crowd, and he answered, “F.E.A.R.” Not a “scared of the dark” type of fear, but Hill asserted a “False Evidence Appearing Real” type of fear.  His point was that students often constrain and restrict their dreams by succumbing, consciously and unconsciously, to outside factors that set limits on their potential.

In the beginning of his talk, Hill told students to write down their dreams. After captivating the audience through the use of his metaphor of being an “Active Architect of our Dreams,” Hill asked the students to double their dreams. At this point, students were supposed to write down dreams twice as big as the ones they had written in the beginning of the program. The fact that so many students could double their dreams was proof that F.E.A.R. had already impacted the way they think about their goals and dreams.

So, how do we combat F.E.A.R.?
As the “Active Architects of our Dreams,” we must have a strong foundation.  Hill Harper says that education and money are the foundation that we need in order to begin to build our “dream.”  He asserts that while neither education nor money promise success, they both often lead to options that help as we navigate the often non-linear paths to our dreams.

Next, we need a framework.  This framework is found in the support systems that allow our foundations to remain stable, such as family, friends, and mentors.

Beginning to see our structure develop, we need walls. He says that these walls are made up of the choices that we make.  These choices become very influential in the way that we prepare for the metaphorical “weather” (hardships and obstacles) that we will face along the way.

Finally, Hill says that we need a door.  This door serves to let people in and out of our structure.  By regulating this door, we begin to take control of who has access to our dreams.

Davidson…I think it is time to close the door on F.E.A.R. and open it back up for our dreams.

Memories of a Student

I just finished reviewing a senior’s resume.  She was unsure where to put the awards she received at the end of the year, and it’s no wonder.  The information on her resume would barely fit on one page.  Somehow, though, we managed to cut a few words here and there. Everything still fits on one page.

As I sit here looking at her resume, it suddenly hits me that I’ve known this student since she first came to Davidson four years ago.  I met her in one of the Davidson 101 classes that all first-year students are required to attend.  She was one of the students who came up afterwards and asked where our office was, and could she make an appointment to have her MBTI test interpreted?  That was the beginning of seeing her once or twice a month.  A lot of students are like that.  They start using our resources and services early, and by the time they graduate, we’ve gotten to know them personally.

This student did make that appointment, and later made another appointment to work on her resume, and then another appointment after that one to find out about an interest test – the Strong Interest Inventory – which she took to help get an idea of what to major in.  Whenever we had workshops she was interested in, I’d see her sitting in one of the chairs, notepad in hand, jotting down something she thought interesting. She was one of those students who considered her classes important, but also practical preparation for a job just as important, too.  When she studied abroad, she was also working on getting an internship by contacting alumni to network with.  She would email employers and alumni, and her networking paid off when she met and interned with an alumn who showed her what the field of advertising was about.  She was hooked.  Now this student has graduated and is heading to the “big apple” in a month to start her full-time job.

There are other students that we get to know like we have this student. They become so engaged in what we do that they become part of our office community. That’s what I think about when I think of the term “Davidson Community.” We get to know these students so well that they help us out with student representative activities that sometimes come up.  For example, sometimes they will help interview candidates, assist students with practicing case interviews, greet employers, or talk with other students about their experiences seeking internships or jobs in Davidson 101 sessions. Their names come up often among our staff.  And long after they graduate we still remember them, and talk about “the year that so-and-so” was here.

That’s what I’m thinking about as I look at this student’s resume. She won’t be here next year and I’ll miss her.  But that’s part of the job.  We get to know students so well that they become more than just a student to us. Sure, another student will come in the office and the same process will begin, but he or she won’t be like this student. (That person will be different, but in a good way.)  Still, she’ll stop by when she comes back for alumni events, along with our other students. She might even talk her company into hiring Davidson students. (The Davidson cycle.)

Anyway, I shake my head and put aside her resume.  It’s time to get back to work. The phone is ringing in my office letting me know there’s a student waiting with a resume for me to review.  Maybe a first-year trying to get a head-start? …

Iris Leung, Class of ’12, Talks About Her Internships and Job Search

Iris Leung
Major: History    Minor: Chinese
Davidson Class: May 2012

What internships have you had while you have been at Davidson?
During my freshman summer, I interned at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, assisting the museum’s Education Department in creating and leading interactive tours for summer camp visitors. I also translated their “Journey to the Stars” planetarium show from English to Chinese.  The following summer I taught English in Xian, China to kindergarteners using bilingual classroom exercises, drama performances, and songs.  During my junior summer, I interned with Emanate PR, a public relations firm that specializes in consumer, healthcare, and business communications. Not only did I create a business pitch proposal for a mock client, I also assisted in a product launch, blogged for the company website, and helped facilitate a social media contest for one of our products.

What are your plans after graduating this May?
After graduating in May, I will begin my first job as an Account Associate at Emanate PR—the public relations firm where I interned during my junior summer.

How did you find your internship?
To find my internship my junior year, I talked with my career counselor who suggested I use a variety of measures for seeking opportunities, such as LinkedIn and Alenda Links (our Davidson alumni networking system), as well as word of mouth.  She explained that by proactively demonstrating interest and seeking advice from alumni, professors, and even family friends, they could provide me with great tips on finding an internship. I connected with an alumna who recognized my great interest in the PR field and recommended me to the HR Director of the firm as an intern candidate, where I landed the internship and ultimately my full-time job.

What resources in Career Services have helped you the most?
Two resources that were helpful to me in Career Services were, first, the one-on-one sessions with career counselors who showed a genuine interest in helping students find not only jobs, but careers that match their passions and strengths. I did not know what I wanted to pursue when I first started my search, but after I listed my interests and  described my ideal workplace, my counselor helped me narrow down a list that allowed me to realize my dream job.

Second, the annual Etiquette Dinner was extremely useful. Since all Davidson students will undoubtedly have meetings or job interviews over meals in the future, this experience really helped me sharpen my table etiquette as well as the necessary communication skills for such stressful situations.

What other resource has helped you with internship searches?
A resource that helped me learn about opportunities is, surprisingly, Google. While students may know what they are capable of and interested in doing, many do not know what is available. When I wanted an internship that allowed me to interact with many people while constantly learning, I ran Internet searches seeking names of museums to get me started. I would never have been able to work at my favorite museum where it not for Google.

What advice do you have for fellow students?
If you know what you want, don’t be afraid to search online for something related, but more exciting. We’re Davidson students—the world is our oyster!

100 Internship Challenge a Success

This year, Career Services launched an exciting new initiative:  the 100 Internship Challenge.  Since fall semester, we have been hard at work seeking alumni, families and friends of Davidson willing to support our efforts in highlighting meaningful internship opportunities for Davidson students.  As of today, we are up to 116 internships, already past our goal!

As participants in the challenge, alumni, parents and friends of the college have highlighted and shared information with us about the internship program at an organization where they work (or with which they have a close relationship).  They are also doing one or more of the following:

  • Serving as a resource for students applying for the internship program at their organization (this could mean answering questions about their experience with the organization or reviewing a resume)
  • Taking an active role in facilitating Davidson student applications through the internship host’s selection process (this could include answering questions about Davidson and the high-quality education that students receive here)
  • Creating or helping to arrange an internship specifically for a Davidson student

Once we receive the information we need regarding the internship, we work to advertise the posting to students, collect applications, and stay in touch with our alumni or parent contact throughout the process.  In addition to continuing to add new internships, we are tracking our progress with the challenge regarding interviews, offers, and acceptances.  We look forward to reporting this summer regarding the overall success of the initiative.

If you have any questions about the 100 Internship Challenge or know someone who might like to participate, please contact Ashley Neff, Assistant Director for Internships, at asneff@davidson.edu.  We may have passed our initial goal, but we will be accepting new internships for another couple of weeks!