All posts by Kayla Schlein

Davidson College Prepares Us to Change the World

By Natalie Naticchia ’23

Coming into Davidson as a first year, lots is left open-ended…your major, your career path, and the first steps you take to finding those important answers. It is normal, and natural to feel as though you transitioned from being a big fish in a small pond in high school, to now a small fish in the big new pond of Davidson College. How do you navigate this new “normal”? On top of schoolwork, sports practices, and trying to find a new social circle, it is easy for your future career endeavors to take the back burner. After all, it is four long years away – right?

I quickly discovered that Davidson’s mission was not only to create creative, open-minded, and strong students – but to also prepare us to change the world. It is no surprise that Davidson alumni have gone on to have successful careers, and ultimately, change the world. From the close relationships you develop with professors, to the lessons that are preached through my coaches, and the group work I do with fellow students in the library – it is about more than getting a high GPA, getting an A in the course, or memorizing information to regurgitate on an exam. It is about learning. True learning. It is about being curious, being engaged, and finding that when you sit down to find answers-most of the time you end up with more questions. These values are not only standard but are celebrated!

On top of this environment created by the college as a whole, I was introduced to the Center for Career Development (CCD) rather early through Career Advantage, a program run by Josh King, the Assistant Director for Athletic Career Development. The CCD’s mission is obvious: to prepare students for a successful future and pave the way during their time at Davidson. It can be hard to understand where to start in developing your career path. What are the first steps, when are the appropriate times to take them, and how do I know what I am doing is right? The CCD never hesitated in answering these questions. It was easy to make appointments with the office, where I could sit down with someone who would help me construct a powerful resume specific to my experiences, create a polished LinkedIn account, or find career events and opportunities that were tailored to me. The passion the CCD has for helping students is authentic, contagious, and inspiring. Never have I left their office defeated, but rather inspired, that I am on track to pave a successful career path for myself.

During this climate of chaos, the workforce is facing inevitable consequences. Instead of shying away from this, the Center for Career Development tackled it head on. To enhance the Career Advantage programming during these times, Josh thought it would be beneficial to create the position of Career Advantage Ambassadors: a role that promotes career events-from student, to student. I have been privileged to work as a Career Advantage Ambassador, along with 4 other student-athletes, to market virtual career events hosted by the Center for Career Development. The college as a whole, and more specifically the Center for Career Development, have done an incredible job in supporting students through this stressful time, and making sure none of their questions go unanswered. As a Career Advantage Ambassador, and a student-athlete at Davidson College, I am proud of the reaction that the Davidson community has had during this time.

How to Invest When Market Fails

By Dimitrios Chavouzis ’21

People often don’t realize that yourself is the only stock you pretty much have to stick with. Thus, while markets fail and stocks lose their value, it is time to use all this extra time we have to increase our value. 

There are a lot of ways to work on your professional skills during quarantine. From getting certified on LinkedIn, to signing up for online courses you like, to even working on some personal projects you are passionate about, quarantine has given everybody enough time to improve and grow from this situation. Here is a list of things that will help you get more “marketable” and get you out of a potentially boring daily routine. 

  • Start the project you always thought about but never actually implemented. Having a creative personal project that you are passionate about in your resume is more important than what you might think.  
  • Get certified over LinkedIn. Find skills that apply to your dream job and get certified on them.  It might take some time to prepare for the test but at the end of the day it will totally be worth it. 
  • Sign up for the online class you always wanted to take but never had time for. Yes, you might have to pay some money and you will need to do some work. However, you get to do something productive and you end up with a credit or a certificate too.  You will be surprised how many prestigious certificates are out there waiting for you to find them. 

Life in quarantine isn’t easy. However, it is up to us to use it as creatively and productively as we can, in order to get as much out of it as we possibly can. We can either finish all the Netflix and Disney+ shows, or we can improve and grow from it. Turns out that your stock’s value can increase even when the market is failing. 

It’s OK to Not Be (Traditionally) Productive

by Emma Blake ’20

Embedded within the majority of Davidson students is a drive for productivity. Whether this takes the form of academics, athletics, political organizing or something else, we as a student body work hard to output the very best in our specific fields and interests. It’s difficult to succeed at Davidson without being productive; it’s part of our lifestyle.

So, what happens when our sense of normalcy is overturned? Will this productivity, so ingrained within us, continue? Is it even fair to expect our motivation to return while we’re adapting to the new normal of life in a pandemic?

During my first week at home in quarantine, I composed a detailed schedule for myself. It involved daily Zoom classes, homework, GRE prep, workouts, reading, and professional development. It’s been about a month now since I outlined that original schedule. Truthfully, it hasn’t stuck. And I’ve started to come to terms with that being okay.

Since the world seemingly turned upside down and people everywhere hunkered down to quarantine and social distance, there has been immense pressure to take advantage of our free time and use it for productive outcomes. As a Davidson student accustomed to partially measuring my worth in academic productivity and success, it’s difficult not to be inundated by a constant internal dialogue telling me I need to write a Spanish paper, run 5 miles, and apply to 2 jobs each day in order to make the best use of my time. But this is not true. There are different kinds of productivity, and it’s more than okay to focus your spare time on what makes you happy, instead of what makes you feel traditionally productive.

 This is a really difficult time. Some of us are grappling with losing our last semester at Davidson or our opportunity to study abroad. Others are adjusting to life in a home environment that might not be healthy or safe. I’ve found that sometimes the most “productive” things we can do are activities that bring us peace or make us laugh. Yes, try your best to keep up with online classes and assignments, but recognize that it’s also okay to use your time to bake banana bread or bagels, binge watch The Office, and FaceTime your friends. We’re Davidson students and I’m confident that we will regain our motivation and academic productivity soon – as I said before, it’s embedded within us. For right now though, it’s okay to use our time to do whatever makes us feel happiest and healthiest.

A large doughnut on a plate

Description automatically generated

Some homemade bagels! There’s a quick and easy recipe here: https://www.skinnytaste.com/easy-bagel-recipe/

My Davidson on Wall Street Experience

By Max Shockett ’22

This past March, I had the opportunity to travel to New York City and participate in the “Davidson on Wall Street” career trek. During the three-day exploration, our group of 10 sophomores toured the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), visited with five financial institutions, networked at an alumni event, and engaged with Training the Street.

I initially learned about the trek from fellow students and professors, all of whom spoke very highly of the experience. As an economics major wanting to work in finance post-graduation, I have attended numerous Career Development employer events and am involved in the Davidson Investment and Finance Association (DIFA) to help further my understanding of the business world. I had done so much to learn about a career in finance without having any real-world experiences. The mission of this trek is to help sophomores wanting to work in finance by networking and providing experiential learning in New York. In addition, the Wall Street program is privately funded by one alumnus who saw this need for students and provides Davidson with an advantage from other undergraduate liberal arts schools.

Our visit to the NYSE was an experience that I will never forget. Having the opportunity to tour the trading floor is a rare and unique experience, especially for undergraduate students. We visited the Monday morning following what at the time was the worst recorded week in the market since 2008. Upon entering, I expected there to be a somber and chaotic mood, given what is portrayed in our media. Instead, even following the opening bell, traders were working diligently and swiftly without the commotion I imagined.

During our five employer visits, I was surprised to see the differences between each of the firms. Employees had varying dress codes, offices were configured differently, and each institution had distinct objectives, contributing to contrasting office cultures. This debunks the typical freighting portrayal of “Wall Street.” By interacting with employees of all levels, we quickly learned that there was not one specific career path and each firm looks for different qualities in analysts.

BlackRock (the world’s largest asset manager) was my favorite company visit. After meeting with alumni in the fall during their information session on campus, our office visit included a live demonstration of the firm’s proprietary risk management software, displaying the company’s unique approach towards utilizing technology to their strategic advantage. We also spoke with four Davidson alumni at the firm, each of who were in different stages of their career and in completely different roles. I was amazed to see all of the different opportunities and career paths available under the umbrella of the financial industry.

Overall, Davidson on Wall Street increased my interest and enthusiasm in the financial and banking industry. During my time at Davidson, I have been fortunate enough to interact with the incredible students and supportive faculty, and this trek helped show me how supportive and eager Davidson alumni are to help.

Speaking for all the students who participated in this career trek, we are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to explore an industry we are interested in and to have alumni who go above and beyond to support us. Because of our tight-knit community and engaged alumni network, I would encourage all students to utilize the Center for Career Development to help pursue whatever interests them!

Creating Opportunities in Times of Uncertainty

By Ali Menard ’22 and Shannon Lytle ’22 – Davidson College Women’s Soccer and Career Advantage Ambassadors

All over the world, professionals, students, workers, and families are being forced to find new ways to adapt and find their new normal. Nevertheless, life must go on. During times like these, we are reminded of how fortunate we are to be a part of the Davidson College community. We cannot thank the advisors, staff, athletic departments, and administration enough for the way they have expressed support, made accommodations, and shown understanding during these difficult times. 

Josh King, Assistant Director for Athletic Career Development, is an example of an advisor that has taken this challenge and turned it into an opportunity for growth. In mid-March, after students were sent home for the remainder of the semester, he reached out to multiple student-athletes who had an active presence at the Career Center. He recognized that it was going to be more difficult to connect with Davidson students considering most were displaced from campus. With this obstacle in mind, he decided it would be beneficial to cultivate a team of students to help bridge the gap that would now exist. It was from this idea that Josh and Kayla Corbin created a group of five student-athletes, now known as Career Advantage Ambassadors, that we are honored to be a part of.

 The job of a Career Advantage Ambassador consists of two main tasks. First, to establish a connection with specific athletic teams and inform them of the events that will be held each week. Second, to promote the main events that the Career Advantage Program and the Center for Career Development are hosting. To do this, Ambassadors use their social media platforms, and any influence they have within organizations throughout campus. Oftentimes, the job includes creating graphic designs, learning from professionals in the marketing and business world about how to improve our individual skills, and serving as a resource for all student-athletes!  

As both teammates and friends, we quickly discovered that we were both interested in pursuing careers in the business world. Together we began attending as many events as we could to learn more about the complex field of business and to practice our networking skills. Specifically, during our freshman year, we attended a session called “Girls Who Invest.” After the event, we could not stop talking about how inspired we felt. From this inspiration, we decided that Davidson College needed a platform for women to explore the predominantly male business world. Shortly after, the idea to create the Women in Business club was born. Although a liberal arts college provides endless opportunities for critical thinking, we desired a place where women aspiring to have futures in business could meet, share ideas, attend events together, support and inspire each other. In order to make this club a reality, we spent long hours with the Career Center and with Jamie Stamey who provided direction, advice, and support. Today, we have more than 40 young women in our club and continue to have frequent communication with the advisors within the Career Center regarding upcoming events that may benefit and/or interest our members. 

First, we were teammates on the Women’s Soccer team, then we were best friends, and now we are work partners. In our first two years at Davidson, we have learned what it is like to be a teammate in all aspects of life, not just on the field. We demand and expect the best from each other, we push each other, we work together, and we encourage each other in all facets of our Davidson lives. We are grateful to have someone we can depend on, both on and off the field. We look forward to continuing our work together; advocating and working with the Career Center, developing Women in Business further, and providing our members with as many opportunities and as much support as possible. 

We feel fortunate to serve as Career Advantage Ambassadors because the Career Center and its advisors have played a pivotal role in the development of us as young business women and in helping us explore our future careers. We hope that as Ambassadors, and in conjunction with the marketing resources and opportunities the Career Center offers, we are able to encourage others to utilize our fantastic advisors and to experience the opportunities that are continuously offered.

“What Do Now?” – Charlie Kelly, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

By George Hatalowich ’20

Obviously, this is truly an interesting and critical time in the world. We must all understand the significance of COVID-19 and demonstrate proper behavior through practicing social distancing in order to overcome this virus and return to the normalcy we all eagerly desire.  We must also understand the importance of becoming adaptive in our everyday lives, routines, and tasks to achieve our goals. We must not look at these adaptations as disadvantages, but rather as unique opportunities to make progress in some form. Now, you might be thinking to yourself, “Okay, that all makes sense, but what does that mean in the context of a Davidson College student and their professional career?”

Well, this is a perfect opportunity for students to separate themselves.  For a senior, this might be taking an online certification that boosts their resume. For a junior or sophomore, this might be networking via email, phone, or zoom with an alumni or taking on a remote, part-time internship. For a freshman, this might be reaching out to the career center to discuss interests and how to navigate the next three years. However, what it is not is taking this time to kick-back and binge a TV show on Netflix.

So, regardless of how you approach it, your time can be spent effectively and could have major payoffs after the dust settles. With that being said, let’s use this time to progress our professional lives. Thank you for your time and stay safe. God Bless!

Everything is Fine.

by Eboni Freeman ’21

We have been in online classes for about 2 weeks. Personally, two weeks doesn’t seem like enough time to adjust to our new reality. I understand the world won’t stop spinning and time won’t cease just so we can comfortably adjust to the situations we find ourselves in. But it sure would be nice if we could be graced with more time to find our bearings, and I doubt I am the only Davidson student who feels this way.

The adjustment to online classes and, essentially, working from home has been difficult to say the least. My motivation and productivity have declined given that I have come to associate my home with a place where I don’t have to worry about schoolwork. And most recently, my mental health has started to diminish due to the stress of the mounding assignments and reviews and being cooped up in my house with nothing to do.

To increase my productivity, I have moved to different rooms around my house, that aren’t my bedroom, to do work. It was recently suggested to me to designate a spot that is solely for work. It could be a small corner in your bedroom or another space in your house – somewhere you associate only with work.

To improve my mental health and to get out of the house I’ve gone on a few runs, but I am not a huge fan of running so it’s not my go to activity. I’ve Facetimed friends to stay connected and I’ve tried the Netflix Party extension on chrome. You can’t see the person you are watching with, but they have a chatroom where you can chat with the while the show or movie is playing. Yesterday I went on a walk around my neighborhood with my mother and learned so much that I didn’t know – was wonderful because I was going stir crazy studying for my upcoming math review.

A few other suggestions I’ve received include, scheduling Facetime dates where you can catch up with or have a virtual meal with a friend. Go outside even for a few minutes just to get some fresh air. If you are quarantined with family (or friends) start that TV series you’ve been talking about (I recommend Tiger King). A few resources that you would find on Davidson’s campus are also still open to you, virtually – the Counseling Center, the Tutoring Center, the Center for Career Development to name a few.

Everything might not be fine, but you have the ability to make the best out of this given situation by focusing on the positives.

3 Ways to Increase Productivity While at Home

By Stephen Shank ’20

As students, over the last few weeks, our college experience has been shaken up quite a bit.  You’re probably away from your friends, your typical place of residence, and could be struggling to create structure in your life.  When everything around you may seem hectic, it’s important to remember these helpful practices to boost productivity in your life.

There are three C’s that I recommend everyone should follow:

  • Connection- For at least the next month, close interaction with others is put on pause.  However, this doesn’t mean you should stop connecting with others.  As the end of the school year approaches, underclassman are looking for internships and seniors are in the job hunt.  Don’t forget to be proactive by emailing, calling, and connecting with important contacts on LinkedIn.
  • Community- Do what you can to help others as well.  This situation impacts everyone differently and you never know when you are brightening someone’s day.  It’s our job to be leaders in our communities and we can make these days a lot easier when we all work together.
  • Creativity- Take this time to be creative with ways to better your professional development.  Look up new programs you can learn. Maybe there’s a new skill you can master.  Find ways to improve your overall knowledge.

We can all use the extra free time in our day to find ways to be more productive.  It’s important to stay on top of your school work and find a daily structure that works for you.  If we all keep in mind the 3 C’s, we can all push through this hard time together, while staying positive.

Say Yes

By Eboni Freeman ’21

When you are invited to do something or to go somewhere, how often do you find yourself saying yes? How often do you find yourself saying no or coming up with excuses for why you are unable to go? I would answer “pretty often” to both, however, I have found that I tend to say no or make-up excuses more often than I say yes. And until recently, I hadn’t completely understood how saying no and/or giving excuses for why I couldn’t do something has caused me to miss out on so many opportunities.

I would like to consider myself an adventurous person, and in some ways I am. But I have come to realize that I am not adventurous when it comes to putting myself out there and pursuing various opportunities that place me outside of my comfort zone. This realization came when I was in the midst of figuring out where I would study abroad, as well as while I was abroad.

In coming to Davidson, I knew I wanted to study abroad. When it finally came time for me to decide where I wanted to go and to apply to various programs, I was unsure of where I wanted to travel. I assumed I would travel to Germany because, at the time, I had been enrolled in German. But one day I was sitting in the Center for Career Development with my dear friend Haleena “Leena” Phillips.  She asked me if I wanted to study abroad in Denmark with her to which I responded with a joking, “No”. I responded in a joking way primarily because I knew nothing about the program.

Following that conversation, I researched the Danish study abroad program and as I learned more about the program and the courses, they offer I decided that I actually did want to study abroad in Denmark. I gathered all of the documentation the application required, I submitted the application and waited to hear whether I was accepted into the program. I received an email acceptance along with information on next steps. Leena was one of the first people I told that I had gotten accepted due to the fact that I wouldn’t have thought of studying abroad in Denmark if it wasn’t for our conversation.

When the day arrived for me to leave the United States, I was excited and sad. I was traveling to a new country, but I was also going to be away from my family and friends for about 4 months. When I landed in Denmark, Leena was the second person I contacted – the first was my mother to let her know I had made it safely. I was in communication with Leena up until the point when I spotted her at the program’s meetup location. The shenanigans began and continued from that point on.

During my time abroad there were countless moments when Leena would text and ask me if I wanted to go somewhere or do something with her. More often than not I would say no or provide an excuse for why I didn’t want to or couldn’t go. But the times I decided to say yes made for some of the most memorable moments of my time abroad. I decided, at the end of my time abroad, that when I returned to the United States that I would be saying yes instead of no.

I share my story to express the importance of putting yourself out there and removing yourself from your comfort zone. Davidson offers so many cool and amazing opportunities to try new things and to explore new places. Seize those opportunities. While you are seizing those opportunities, don’t be afraid to go on different adventures. Remember, you still have the right to say no if it’s something you truly do not want to do. But, start saying yes to your friends asking you to try new cuisines. Say yes to your friend asking you to go to the club or a new place they heard about. Say YES!

How to Travel the World on Davidson’s Dime

By Haleena Phillips ’21

I knew I wanted to travel the world when I saw the countless instagram posts of my peers in countries like Spain, Singapore, and Brazil while I stayed on the brick fort of what we know as Davidson College. With my tight schedule, I did not know how I could fit going abroad into my schedule and the biggest thing was figuring out how I would pay for it. That’s when I luckily came across a list of summer grants from the Center for Career Development’s (CCD) Weekly Digest. The Weekly Digest is a list of updates and information, provided by the CCD, that stem from academic events on campus all the way to summer internships and fellowships. MEET MY WORLD was staring back at me in big bold Times New Roman text as if it was demanding to be seen and I obliged.

Meet My World is a summer travel program, funded by alumni, that gives international students the opportunity to share their home country and culture with a friend from the United States. This program pays for 2 round trip tickets, daily costs of accommodations, and cost of cultural activities. My friend has been trying to get me to visit him in his hometown, Thessaloniki, and who doesn’t want a free trip to Greece? We filled out the application explaining why we wanted to go and should be chosen and were set to go to Greece a week after classes concluded!

 Participating in this program was probably one the best experiences of my life. The Meet My World Grant was not only a trip but a journey. Moving from a different state to attend Davidson was hard enough for me but I did not imagine how hard it was for my friend, Dimitrios, moving all the way across the world. I can kind of relate as I know what it feels like to move to an unfamiliar country but I was much younger so I was able to adapt much easier. I became the expert in his life, showing him around and trying to modify him to fit into American culture this past year and a half. He made me realize that he had no interest in trying to fit in and that his perspective and upbringing from his country has made him who he is. I was able to experience this, putting myself in his shoes and personally experiencing the culture that made him who he is during our stay. This trip made our friendship stronger as we bond over our love of travel. I was able to take back some perspectives and aspects about his country that I was able transfer back to other students who may not understand. If you are interested in this program, please visit https://www.davidson.edu/offices-and-services/international-student-programs/grants/meet-my-world-grant. The application is due April 3, 2020.