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.