All posts by Kayla Schlein

“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.

How My Experience at Davidson College Helped Get Me Through Law School

By Emily Palmer ’17

Davidson provided me with the opportunity to take law-related classes as an undergraduate, which confirmed my desire to go to law school. At Davidson, I took classes like Criminology, Legal Research and Writing, Constitutional Law, and Constitutional Police Procedure. These classes mirrored some of the most important classes I would take in law school, and my early experience with reading court cases put me well ahead of my peers during my first year at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles.

As a political science major, I was also able to study some of the greatest leaders in American political history. From studying politicians to civil rights leaders, my classes at Davidson always emphasized the importance of leadership and service. Helping others is a constant theme at Davidson—whether through philanthropic fundraisers or volunteer opportunities—and I believe that my time at Davidson is what sparked my interest in a career in public service and criminal prosecution.

Clerking in the Family Violence and Major Crimes Divisions of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, I have witnessed firsthand the suffering of domestic violence victims, and the deep, unfathomable pain of families of murder victims. I have watched victims find the incredible strength to testify against their abusers in pursuit of justice, and I have seen the overwhelming relief of victim’s families when justice has been served. These experiences with the LADA’s office have allowed me to grow as an individual and have made me deeply appreciate how public service benefits local communities. Davidson is responsible for instilling within me the values needed for prosecution: ethics, honor, and empathy, and for that I will always be grateful.

Davidson also provided me with an incredible mentor and advisor—Dr. Susan Roberts. Dr. Roberts supported me in every possible way during my years at Davidson. She was always a sounding board for my career aspirations and internship searches, a supporter of my extra-curricular activities, and is someone that even now I can go to for advice. My relationship with Dr. Roberts taught me the importance of having mentors in your life, and the value of surrounding yourself with people you can go to for guidance. I have been lucky enough to find mentors every step of the way through law school and working at the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office. Without them, I know that I would not have made it through college or law school.

Survivor-themed Networking, Resume Reviews, & Employer Visits for the Davidson College Swim Team

Survivor-themed networking, resume reviews, & employer visits, are just to name a few of the career opportunities, the Davidson College Swim Team took part in over winter break as part of the Career Advantage program. Emily Bassett (‘20) and Frances Resweber (‘20) tell us more about their experience in Fort Lauderdale.

Over winter break on the Swimming and Diving team’s annual training trip, we had the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities organized by Davidson’s Career Center that were geared toward some of our long-term career goals.

In the past, our training trip has always been heavily swim- or dive-driven: two practices a day for up to ten days in a row. With the exception of some beach down-time in between practices each day, we fell into the usual rhythm of eat, sleep, swim/dive. As seniors this year, however, we realized that our training trips would look a little different as we used our extra time to search for jobs, complete applications, or make some finishing touches on our resumés.

Thankfully, Josh King from the Career Center joined us in Florida this year to help us navigate this process. Josh organized several events to help not just the seniors, but everyone on the team begin to brainstorm and make steps toward our future career goals.

The first of these events was a Survivor-themed networking event for the entire team. Just like the reality TV show, we went through several competitive rounds of learning how to ask and respond to questions that we might encounter in a real networking event or an interview. After each round, we voted for the best networker on the island, culminating in a final round with a jury that consisted of former contestants. This was such a valuable event for our team because we had the opportunity to learn and practice networking skills that will prove to be valuable for the rest of our lives as we move beyond Davidson in a familiar setting with our teammates.

Some of the questions forced us to think critically about how our lifestyle and skills we’ve acquired as collegiate athletes will benefit us as employees. Throughout most of our time at Davidson, we’ve simply gone through the motions without much forethought on how this type of lifestyle will be advantageous to us after our undergraduate experience. We’ve realized that practicing morning and afternoon, amounting to about twenty hours per week, has turned us into advanced time managers. During practice or competition, we’ve learned how to be resilient and how to move on from a practice or race that doesn’t go our way. Finally, being an athlete at Davidson has taught us the value in communicating with our coaches, teammates, and professors that will translate well to our positions as co-workers.

In addition to the networking event, we had the opportunity to meet with Josh individually to review our resumés. Josh also scheduled three visits catered toward our team’s most popular career interests: a local non-profit (KID), Miami University’s School of Law, and Miami University’s School of Medicine.

About twenty members of the team took advantage of the opportunity to learn more about Kids in Distress (KID) and volunteer their time at the non-profit. KID is committed to providing support to abused children, providing counseling to parents in an attempt to preserve families, offering childcare and after-school care to children on a daily basis, and even has a foster care system on site. The swimmers and divers, along with head coach John Young, who volunteered at the non-profit were able to either work directly with children enrolled in their preschool or help to organize their warehouse which was full of toy donations for the holidays. Getting an inside look at the facility and the work that goes into running a successful non-profit, including the variety of ways you can take a career in the non-profit sector, was an eye-opening experience.

Other informative events that Josh organized included a trip to Miami University’s School of Law and their School of Medicine. Josh traveled with the team members to both an info session and tour of the respective campuses. During the visits, we got an inside look into what the school’s admissions offices are looking for by personally hearing from admissions officials. Gaining this face time with high up graduate school officials was invaluable, and the information they had to share will undoubtedly prove useful when the time comes to fill out applications to professional schools post-Davidson. Finally, receiving tours from current medical and law school students gave each of us the valuable perspective of current students and an understanding what going through these programs will really mean. Learning from students going through the med/law school process was one of the most meaningful parts of the trip to everyone who attended one of these graduate school visits.

The Swimming and Diving Team is very grateful to the Career Center and the unique opportunities they provided for us on this trip. We hope that our teammates will get to continue this experience for years to come!

Emily Bassett (‘20) and Frances Resweber (‘20)

Consider Culture – Why I Chose the Craddock Group by Emily Lynch ’19

Introduction

When I moved to Washington, D.C. in June 2019 to begin my position as a Management Analyst with The Craddock Group, I did not fully understand government contracting and its role in supporting and managing the operations of so many federal and local government agencies. Over the last nine months working as a government contractor, I have learned that The Craddock Group is essentially a niche management consulting organization that specializes in advising government agencies. I have developed consulting, technical and analytical skills, and work towards mastery of the Microsoft Office applications. I interact regularly with clients, and help the team develop innovative solutions to our clients’ challenges. Working (indirectly) for the government alongside a team of private-sector professionals has already taught me many valuable personal and professional skills, including flexibility, patience, and persistence.

Opportunity

During my senior year at Davidson, I came across The Craddock Group’s Handshake posting for an entry-level “Management Analyst.” I felt inspired by the company’s mission and excited by the goals described on the company’s webpage – I knew I had found a good opportunity. The job description emphasized the firm’s specialties, which include real estate services, capital planning, strategy and management consulting, and federal budgeting and financial management. I liked that these capabilities were broad and would offer me exposure to multiple subject matter areas that aligned well with my interests and academic background.

I was immediately drawn to the firm’s focus on real estate services. With a background in residential real estate, I was eager to relate my personal experience to the real estate consulting services The Craddock Group provides to its government clients. While I was fully aware that residential real estate is an entirely different practice than public sector commercial real estate, this seemed like an opportunity for me to apply what I had learned through a prior summer internship and evolve it in the context of intergovernmental relations and navigating the challenges of federal agencies. As a political science and economics double major, I was excited about the interaction between the private sector and government entities. I was familiar with the vast complexities of the government bureaucracy and could envision the benefit of a private sector perspective in the strategic management and optimization of the government’s real property portfolio.

Culture

The Craddock Group is a small firm, comprised of less than 25 team members. The firm employs a talented group of private sector professionals and former members of the military and federal government, who support one another and are constantly learning from each other. The environment of The Craddock Group is a lot like the student body at Davidson – small in number, but rich in experience, skill, and the capacity to succeed in accomplishing any given objective. We operate in a supportive and collaborative community, that is welcoming and encouraging. The nature of the contract-based work splits the team into smaller project teams that support clients on different initiatives, yet there is unity and comradery across the entire team. I learned quickly that this was the type of company that takes pride in its people and whose goal is to teach new hires by immediately immersing them in ongoing projects and giving them direct, hands-on opportunities to contribute.

At The Craddock Group, we learn by doing. I was not, by any means, an expert in the subject matter, nor was it the expectation that I came to the firm with an extensive real estate and capital planning background. Instead, my value lay in the skills that Davidson teaches through its liberal arts coursework that prepares students to communicate effectively, accept challenges to master new skills, and learn quickly. As an analyst, I am tasked with projects that I have no prior experience with and given the freedom to tackle the project and learn the process firsthand. From the beginning, I have been directly involved in supporting ongoing projects by working on-site at the client’s office, participating in frequent meetings with internal team members and clients, and collaborating with my teammates to produce high quality materials and tools that are delivered to our clients. As with any new job, there was a learning curve, but my colleagues have answered all my questions, provided advice and feedback along the way, and helped me fully integrate into the company. Frequent interaction with senior team members has been an unparalleled tool that I will continue to benefit and learn from.

Day-to-Day Work

As analysts, we process information relating to the client or project at hand by organizing, synthesizing, and analyzing data, and then working to develop insights, strategies, and recommendations to streamline the client’s mission and operations. Tasks often involve developing PowerPoint presentations on thoroughly researched materials and information, and creating data tools that store information and manage the client’s records, allowing us to analyze trends, identify issues, and present graphics and reports that demonstrate the portfolio of assets and capital projects.

We operate in a project-based environment with a specific team assigned to carry out the tasks associated with a given contract. The diverse range of projects require a wide range of skills to produce deliverables that satisfy the unique requirements of a particular contract. The variety of work constantly exposes me to new challenges that we seek to resolve as a team. It also makes each day and each week very different from the next. The Craddock Group has provided me with the opportunity to develop invaluable technical and interpersonal skills in the workforce from mentors whose expertise I admire, while also learning in an environment that encourages innovation and creativity.

Advice to Current Davidson Students

As a recent college graduate, my advice in navigating the job search is to carefully consider a prospective firm’s culture to determine whether or not the type of work and work environment will be suitable for you. As I have experienced in my time as an analyst at The Craddock Group, you do not need to be an expert in the industry on day one, but instead, you need to be willing to learn, engage with new challenges, create connections, and be flexible in adapting to the project flow.

Annie Brockett ’17 – From Teach for America to Alliance Bernstein

As I reflect upon my senior year at Davidson, I can feel the stress of my post-grad job search.  At the time, I was balancing a full course load with my final season of Division I Lacrosse. If I was sure of anything, it was that I was unsure about my future career. My peers seemed to be following well-worn paths:  law, finance, business, medicine, consulting, and the like. It would have made perfect sense for me to jump on this bandwagon. Both of my parents are lawyers, and both of my brothers were working at large banks on Wall Street. Law school seemed a distant possibility, and finance had potential.  

I remained open to several opportunities while narrowing my location preference to NYC. In my attempts to leverage the limited NYC finance network, Teach for America (TFA) became increasingly attractive. It was an opportunity for me to lean into the discomfort of the educational nuances I might have overlooked as a child, and to acquire a differentiated skillset that would set me apart in my future professional endeavors. TFA was the most challenging and most rewarding thing I have ever done.

After fulfilling my 2 year commitment to TFA, I decided to pivot to finance. The challenges I confronted while teaching in Brooklyn served me well in my transition to Sales and Trading at Alliance Bernstein. While teaching and finance may seem worlds apart, my interview preparation came easy given the plethora of anecdotes I could tailor to my process. I could speak to real-world experiences that put my strengths on display in a way that came off as polished yet authentic. While I didn’t have a finance background, I did have an eager spirit and unparalleled work ethic. I started at Alliance Bernstein in June as a Sales and Trading Associate on the High-Touch Institutional Equity Trading Desk. Each day I find myself in an uncomfortable, unfamiliar situation that forces my development and tests the steep upward trajectory I promised.

My best advice for Davidson students is to highlight your eagerness to learn. Davidson has gifted us with a unique liberal arts experience that sets us up for success in any opportunity we pursue. Be confident in what made you successful at Davidson but humble yourself to constructive criticism. Find ways to make yourself informed, marketable, and indispensable.

Eli Abernethy – DIF Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University

This blog was written by Eli Abernethy ’19, 2019-2020 Davidson Impact Fellow for Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University.

It is hard to capture in such a short reflection the extent to which I have enjoyed my time as an ethics fellow at the Winship Institute. The fellowship has exposed me to a broad range of bright and driven people within the Emory community, many of whom I collaborate with each day. These include clinical researchers, nurses, residents, pharmacologists, radiologists, oncologists, and patients themselves. These interactions have been formative on their own: I have grown more comfortable working in a fast-paced setting and collaborating with others, regardless of their position or rank in the medical field.
Moreover, the fellowship has provided me with empirical ethics research experience on multiple topics while also offering an equal amount of time observing the characteristics of what good clinical practice looks like. This has provided me with a tremendous amount to learn (and hopefully one day emulate).

Most of our work involves exploring ethical issues in cancer care, and this involves interviewing both doctors and patients. Speaking with both groups is extremely interesting. We hear from experienced and renowned oncologists about how they practice medicine and the characteristics they find most important for a strong relationship with their patients. Interviewing patients allows for them to reflect on their condition and attitude towards their treatment plan, while we have the honor of hearing just a small part of their life story and witnessing their strength. Moreover, the time spent with both doctors and patients has allowed me to better appreciate the complexities of the doctor-patient relationship, namely by giving me opportunities to study the relationship from both perspectives.


Overall, the fellowship has provided me with an excellent foundation of medical ethics and an appreciation for the importance of patient advocacy. I look forward to the rest of my time here and continuing to advocate for positive changes in cancer care in a clinical setting, however small they may be.