All posts by Kayla Schlein

Networking for Dummies

This blog was written by Jessica Moo Young ’19, 2019-2020 Davidson Impact Fellow for Habitat for Humanity International.

When I took the Myers-Briggs type indicator four years ago, it told me what I already knew: I’m an introvert. So as I started to think about a career, the idea of networking loomed. Work-related or not, I was always unlikely to approach a stranger and start talking; throw in name tags, job descriptions and business cards and the situation seemed even more strained. Striking up conversation with the sole purpose of making a contact or landing a business deal was just too transactional. With this understanding, I went 21 years without attending a single networking event. After starting my fellowship at Habitat for Humanity
International, my hard-earned streak was quickly broken. Within a month and a half, I had networked everywhere from DC to Bangkok and back.

Though I’m still nowhere close to being a networking aficionado, redefining my approach has helped me to start building a meaningful community for myself. Rather than stepping outside of my comfort zone, I’m extending its range in many senses of the phrase. Before walking into any work function, I find time to compose my thoughts and set a tangible goal for myself, for example, to meet 3 or 4 people and engage in great conversation with each. (Reminder: still an introvert.) It might take longer to meet people, but it also allows more time to connect with them on a deeper level and in more personal settings. Instead of going with the usual what-do-you-dos and who-do-you-knows, I focus on questions that I’m genuinely interested in asking. My go-to is, “How did you get to where you are now?”—a question that tends to cover a person’s career decisions, changes, journey and growth. The answers are always inspiring and help me to understand different thought processes and pathways to success.

Growing up, I thought that a career meant finding a job and sticking with it ‘til death do you part. But in speaking with others across different sectors and fields, I’ve found that people are dynamic, change is inevitable and there is not one way to pursue a career—which can be made up of several positions at various organizations en route. With these new findings and the ones to come, I’ve opened myself up to a world of opportunities, arguably much more daunting than casual conversations with colleagues.

NTT Experience – Consulting Program

Adrianne Cheung Class of 2017

This month, I am in Atlanta on a project, facing off with a group of 15 VP’s and Senior VP’s, standing up new sourcing initiatives. Six months ago, I was in St. Louis overseeing the first release of a new core system that took 2 years to implement. Before that, I was graduating from Davidson with only a semblance of where I was headed.

Google will only tell you so much about Business Consulting under the umbrella of a large technology company and a short blog will only tell you so much more. One thing I can tell you, is that the crux of program management consulting is living in change and ambiguity and being able to think through whatever situation lies in front of you on that given day. For me, joining NTT DATA Services through the Consulting Program began the process of acclimating me to the never-ending changes in the financial services world. I was able to create a support network of peers and mentors that I could go to with “silly” questions or feedback and guidance for the do’s and do not’s. Those connections are still the people I go to two years later when I want to talk through a scenario or find new perspectives on a solution.

More than anything, I was able to get a glimpse into project life through the conversations I had with first- and second-year consultants during the Consultant Program. New experiences can be daunting in any stage in life but for those of us new to the ‘real world’, having a friend to lean on can be a life saver. Every one’s experiences will be different. Every project will have its unique flavor. I have flown to new cities, spent hours at the Charlotte office and stayed in the client offices, while others worked from home, or were always at the client’s local office. I have sat for long hours staring at numbers whereas some coworkers have never looked at a spreadsheet during their tenure. Being able to learn from my peers’ experiences, shape my own path, and navigate the minefield of client delivery have been some of the most interesting aspects of my career thus far at NTT DATA.

The Power of the Davidson Career Advisor Network (DCAN)

By Shaw Hipsher ’03

I have thoroughly enjoyed utilizing the Davidson Career Advisor Network as both an advisee and an advisor. As a ‘03 alumna, serving as an advisor gave me the opportunity to get to know a freshly graduated alumna (2018), learn about her Davidson journey, and hear about her current goals. Making introductions and connections to people (many of them also Davidson alumni) who might be able to offer her information, resources, or opportunities related to her goals was a joy. Braving the awkward space to have a conversation with a stranger sometimes takes a little reassurance and support— especially the first couple of times— and a warm introduction can make all the difference. It was a pleasure to provide those introductions. Moving to the other side of the table and receiving advice from a fellow alumna has been really helpful as well. From a critique of my LinkedIn profile to getting a fresh perspective on how to present experience when moving between sectors, I thoroughly enjoyed my conversation and follow-ups with my alumna advisor. Her solid support, sharp focus, and prompt follow-through reminded me of just how special it is to be a member of the Davidson family.

DCAN provides a unique opportunity to grow your Davidson circles outside of local networking opportunities. For example, my advisor is in California and I am in Charlotte so I got to meet someone I might never have otherwise. My advisee was in Charlotte, but she’s wanting to move to DC, a city where I have lived, and I was able to make several introductions there to help her grow her network before she moves. The job market is a fast-paced, competitive environment that can feel overwhelming and impersonal. Resources like DCAN can bring humanity and personalness back to the experience of launching (or relaunching) your career or job search. I highly recommend creating an account and giving it a go as an advisor, advisee, or both.   

Soccer ‘Cats in Philly

Our life as Davidson student-athletes revolves around our sport and academics. Our education is never compromised, even when we travel. This season, Davidson women’s soccer has endured a strenuous travel schedule in the A10. Although missing classes is not ideal, the time we have towards our academics is very valuable. The Philadelphia career event, sponsored by the career center, was an impactful experience understanding the importance of navigating the Davidson alumni network and focusing on our future after Davidson. 

An aspect about Davidson that was not stressed enough during my first three years was the strong alumni network the institution has. Our trip to Philadelphia was a great example of it. Initially, the networking event was a bit nerve racking because I thought it was difficult to relate to Davidson alum who were at different points in their lives compared to me. Once I had my first conversation with an alumni, we ended up having more in common than I thought! My teammates and I enjoyed talking about the changing social scene at Davidson, our majors, our future career paths, and our love for the college. 

As the evening went on, the team got to hear from a handful of alumni on a networking panel. Ryan Northington (‘96), former Davidson men’s soccer player, emphasized the impact our position as student-athletes has on our resumes. He mentioned that when he reviews two applicants with similar credentials but one is a student-athlete, he chooses the student-athlete every time. Hearing this made me feel much better about entering the workforce, knowing the advantage I have over other applicants. Being a student-athlete brings important skills that can be applied when looking for employment. Team player, time management, communication skills are just a few examples that the panel listed that were key skills to emphasize. I learned so much from these Davidson grads, especially being persistent in making Davidson connections. 

The Philadelphia career event also included professional school panels for medical, law, and business school. I attended the Villanova law school panel which featured Villanova law students who were former student-athletes in undergrad. The admissions director went through the process for applying to Villanova’s law program, then afterwards we heard from the students about their experience when they applied to law school. Listening to their unique stories, I found a common theme about transitioning from being a student-athlete to a regular student. My undergrad application process revolved around soccer and where I wanted to play. Now, soccer will not be an important factor when picking which law schools I apply to. The law students advised me and other players to figure out what are the main things we are looking for in a law school. Maybe it’s financial aid, location, being close to family, or prestige. In reality, soccer won’t be one of them, but soccer can help us when we apply. Similar to Northington’s point, the Villanova law students encouraged us to emphasize the skills we developed while being student-athletes.

Overall, I believe this career event was helpful for every player to reflect on what directions to take during their Davidson career. Of course, my path looks starkly different from my freshmen counterparts, but we all learned that student-athletes are hireable! To achieve our desired career goals, we must be proactive in utilizing our alumni network, and ultimately being our own advocates when competing for internships or full-time jobs. 

Michele Manceaux ’20, Psychology & Political Science Double Major (Pictured Right)

Career Advice from Davidson College Scholar Athlete

Read about scholar athlete, Annie Beresheim ’19 and her career advice to current Davidson College students.

Annie Beresheim, previously part of the Davidson College Women’s Lacrosse team, just graduated from Davidson in May 2019, and was recently hired at BlackRock . Annie offered great advice meant to help current students prepare for life after Davidson. While Annie offered specific advice in regards to BlackRock, this advice can be applied to careers in other industries as well.

“I am thrilled to start my career at BlackRock!  I interned with BlackRock last summer and then received a full-time offer after that.  I would offer the following advice to students that are interested in applying- 

  • Reach out to anyone on DCAN that works for or has worked for BlackRock.  Learn about the culture and the company and make connections with people that you could potentially be working with.
  • Learn about the different groups. Do your research so that you know what groups sound interesting to you and which positions you are most qualified for. 
  • I think that each individual can apply to up to three groups. If you do not get selected for one of the positions but believe you had a strong interview, do not hesitate to reach out to your interviewer to ask what you can do better on your other interviews. This is a helpful way to make a connection with someone at the firm in addition to learning how to improve on future interviews. Not many people do this and it is definitely something that interviewers remember and respect.  
  • Make sure that you are on top of your deadlines and information sessions. Especially fall of junior year!”

And Now Introducing …..

The Center for Career Development is excited to welcome two new members to the team. We are kicking off the Fall semester with Josh King, Assistant Director of Career Development for Athletes and Julie Lucas, Operations and Employer Engagement Coordinator. Josh, a North Carolina native, joins us from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. Julie, is returning to the CCD after spending time with the Office of Alumni and Family Engagement at Davidson College.  

North Carolina native Josh King earned both his Masters in Sport & Entertainment Management and his Bachelor’s in Sport Management from the University of South Carolina. Josh’s career in athletics began in high school while working with Duke Men’s Basketball Camps for nine summers, beginning in the summer of 2005. Since then, Josh has over a decade of experience working in college athletics and higher education in a variety of capacities. He most recently served as Director of Football Academics and Student-Athlete Development Coordinator at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. There he served as the lead academic advisor for football, as well as serving as an academic advisor for rowing, men’s golf, and women’s golf. In the student-athlete development realm, he advised ODU’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and SAAC Leadership team,  and lead the Monarch’s Career Development Programming for 475+ student-athletes. Prior to ODU, Josh worked at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi as the Compliance & Student-Athlete Services Coordinator where he advised women’s soccer, oversaw life skills programming, and handled day-to-day operations for their NCAA Compliance program. During his time at the University of South Carolina, Josh worked with the Gamecock’s Men’s Basketball team as a four-year manager and was promoted to head manager after his sophomore yer. He also worked with the Office of Compliance Services with the athletic department as an intern during graduate school. In his free time, Josh enjoys attending traveling domestically and abroad, as well as training for half-marathons. He resides in Charlotte with his wife, Natalie King, and their two dogs, Harper and Koger.

Born and raised in Illinois, Julie Lucas, her husband and two young children, relocated to Southwest Florida beginning her career of working with students.  Twenty years later, she and her husband moved to the Davidson area where she started work as Office Manager at Davidson College in the Center for Career Development. A decade later, an opportunity became available to broaden her knowledge and work with the Office of Alumni and Family Engagement. Julie enjoyed interacting with alumni and understanding the College Relations division although it confirmed her love of working with students. Julie is excited to return to the Center for Career Development as their Operations and Employer Engagement Coordinator. When away from the office she strives to find the perfect balance between a highly productive and aesthetically pleasing garden. 

We are excited to welcome Josh and Julie, as they are huge assets to the team and to the students of Davidson College. They are greatly looking forward to working with Davidson College students through advising, employer programming and professional development. 

You Asked, We Listened: CCD Introduces New Office Model to Meet Students’ Needs

Davidson students responded and we listened! Over the summer, the Center for Career Development (CCD) implemented a new staff structure to best meet the needs of Davidson students. Our advising team is now aligned with targeted industries or serves the needs of specific student cohorts, which allows tailored advising and professional development efforts.

What does this mean for students?

Students can schedule an appointment with a specific adviser who is focused on their particular area of interest. Our advisers are developing expertise regarding resources, opportunities and best practices for professional development in their specific arenas.

“The Center for Career Development has always served as a champion to students and supported them through their career journey,” said Jamie Stamey, executive director of the CCD. “Our new model provides the opportunity to take this support to the next level by designating advisers to specific industries and student cohorts who can develop formal resources and expand employer and graduate school relationships.”

The new model also gives students the chance to develop a strong relationship with their career adviser throughout their time at Davidson. Students are encouraged to schedule an appointment with their respective adviser to introduce themselves and start the career conversation immediately. 

Without further ado, meet your CCD advising team:

Beth Adams: Assistant Director, Business & Finance

Abby Brown: Assistant Director, Education and Public & Human Services

Raquel Dailey: Assistant Director, International Career Development

Lindsey Dolan: Assistant Director, Arts, Entertainment & Technology

Josh King: Assistant Director, Athlete Career Development

Dalton Langdon: Exploratory Career Adviser

Gaylena Merritt: Assistant Director for Fellowships & Scholarships

Kelli Robinson: Assistant Director, Science & Pre-Professional (Law & Health)

Advising appointments are still scheduled through Handshake. Select the appropriate career topic you would like to discuss and schedule a time with your adviser that works best for your schedule. We’re excited to work with students and the Davidson community!

TV Helped Me Find My Career Path

Read about CCD Student Associate Eboni Freeman ’21, and how she gravitated toward the field of psychology by …… watching hours of TV.

From around the age of 14, I have always been intrigued by criminals, specifically serial criminals, and the factors that lead them to commit such heinous acts. My initial interests manifested as a result of watching shows such as Criminal Minds and NCIS. I took my first Psychology course in high school and loved learning and dissecting why humans behave the way that we do; looking at how our biology, cognition and our social environment interact and influence our behavior. I found myself to be so intrigued by the stories of serial killers, their motive behind their actions, and the psychology of it all. I always question the moment in which an individual turns into a killer- what changed to lead them down such a terrible path?

As stated above, my gravitation toward the field of psychology, and desire to attend graduate school for Criminology, was derived from the amply hours I would spend engrossed in episodes of Criminal Minds and NCIS. The way in which the characters profiled suspects based on previous acts, evidence, interviews with family and friends, drew me closer and led me to begin analyzing the behavior of those around me. My combined interest in psychology and criminal justice have caused me to be more empathetic towards individuals who commit minor crimes and has led me to better understand why other individuals murder; specifically, what processes are taking place in the mind of this individual that has led them to believe that this action is the right action for them to take. Our criminal justice system is an oppressive and racist system that Americans, and those who decide to gain citizenship, must abide by. It is a system that I do not believe constantly takes into consideration the situation and circumstances which cause individuals to commit, criminal, actions.

Building Your Brand & Network as a Young Professional

Read about CCD Student Associate Charlee Rae Bender ’21, and how she has built her brand and network as a young professional.

The competition for internships these days can be tough in any field or area of interest, yet there are ways in which to ensure the integrity and appeal of your personal brand while also expanding your network in such a way so as to leave a strong and lasting impression on potential employers.

It can be overwhelming to think about your public brand, but it is important to remember that whatever you put out on the internet is something your employer can and will most likely see. Our social profiles on any platform whether it be Instagram or LinkedIn are under scrutiny and the more professional we can make them the more potential we will have as professionals.

1. Start Small: Your E-mail

Sometimes it is the smallest details that get you the job. If you are insecure about your experience and nervous when it comes to talking with employers, everything helps. The best place to begin is with your e-mail signature. According to Meredith Dean CEO and Founder of The Dean’s List, an email signature can make a big difference for securing an internship, potential jobs, and building your network. You can start by including your name, current title (Student, Intern, etc.), phone number, e-mail (other than .edu e-mail) and any links to your social media or websites. Not only does it convey confidence, but it also let’s an employer know you take pride in how you have curated your social platforms and the message you put out for others to see.

2. Websites & Profiles

Be mindful of what you put out on the internet. Whether it is a new Instagram post or a LinkedIn article you are sharing, be thoughtful and intentional with your words. Besides monitoring your content and whether it’s appropriate, also make sure your words have meaning and a purpose. If you love making people laugh, be funny. If you love helping people, give them tips for improving their life in any capacity. It all comes down to picking a message you want other people to hear and what you believe will do good. If you have the time, build a website or online portfolio to store your work- whether articles, graphic designs or photos! Make sure you have a consistent message on all platforms and share something positive.

3. LinkedIn and DCAN

After you have a solid brand and are confident in your professional image, take the next step and start growing the number of connections you have at your disposal. Remember every time you meet someone at a career fair or event or are introduced to an alum, professor, etc., it is an opportunity to build a professional relationship that may help in the future. You may be able to help them in their career and they may know the right people with whom you can get in contact for future jobs too. When looking at Davidson specifically, make sure to utilize Davidson Career Advisor Network Profile (DCAN). There are plenty of alumni in your area of interest or who know people who work in the same field you hope to one day as well. They are always willing and enthusiastic about cover letter & resume chats, career talks or even mock interviews. Make sure you’re making a new connection every day and sharing things like job updates, interesting articles and endorsing skills for your peers and connections!

Searching for Research? You Have Options!

Read about CCD Student Associate Morgan Bergthold ’20 and her experience finding research opportunities.

If you feel as though you may be blending in to the crowd of applicants for employment or grad school, research experience can differentiate you from all the other qualified candidates both by rounding out your resume and giving you a better understanding of which fields most interest you. Additionally, spending time in a lab, in front of a computer, or wherever your project may take you can help you understand how happy you would be pursuing a career in that environment.

When you want to find a research project, your first step should be to talk to several professors in the department you are interested in and ask about what they are currently working on. Even if none of them are exploring topics you find interesting, they will know who in their department is conducting research that may interest you. Once you locate a professor whose research aligns with your interests together you can determine the details of the project you will work on.

In addition to conducting research at Davidson you can apply to programs at other schools or in industry. Most people who do research at a school other than their home institutions do so through a Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) program, which you can apply for in the fall. REUs are often geared toward students who are considering grad school, so they are a great way to get a feel for the environment at an institution you may want to apply to later. Furthermore, many of these programs offer housing in addition to your stipend so they are an easy way to experience living in a new city—you probably won’t need to search for housing. The easiest way to look through the available REU programs is examining the list on the National Science Foundation’s website. However, if you aren’t interested in grad school you may want to look for an internship in industry.  Spending a summer working in industry will offer you a taste of a job path you think you may like and you won’t need to make any long-term commitment to that field. There’s a huge variety of these programs available so there will be one that fits your interests perfectly—Handshake is an excellent resource for finding them.