The world today is more complicated than it’s ever been. When Davidson students graduate, they will face challenges more tangled, political rifts more wide, and and conflicts more extreme.
It’s a good thing, then, that Davidson prepares students with the skills they need to face a complex world head on: inside and outside the classroom, Davidson students learn to think critically, ask hard questions, and manage huge amounts of stress. Students graduate as leaders capable of navigating a changing world.
But despite students’ ability to solve complex questions in a complex world, traditional career paths are less and less able to do so. How will we protect coastal cities against a rising sea? How will we safeguard our national power grid against cyber attacks? How will we provide more equitable access to higher ed? While traditional professions like law and medicine will play a part in answering these big questions, they are only a piece of the puzzle. The questions of our future will also be answered by jobs that we’ve never heard of. These job will reach outside of the realm of traditional professional silos. And many of them don’t yet exist.
So, as Davidson students begin thinking about how to wield their liberal arts education post-Davidson, it’s important for them to remain conscious of and search for jobs and internships outside of the traditional career canon. It’s important for students to find and create jobs that give them the support, communities, and opportunities they need to change the world.
To accommodate that imperative, Davidson I&E, in collaboration with the CCD, runs the Global Innovation and Entrepreneurship program, which is a fully-funded summer program that matches students with innovative jobs at entrepreneurial ventures across the world. And it furnishes them with the opportunity to develop a professional network and learn more about entrepreneurialism.
While many think of entrepreneurship as a sport reserved only for techies in Silicon Valley, it is more expansive than that. Entrepreneurship is about identifying a gap, nimbly prototyping solutions to fill the gap, and then quickly implementing a sustainable solution.
Indeed, there may be many entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, but there are many more people across the nation wielding entrepreneurship to find sustainable solutions to big problems. In part, it’s entrepreneurs that are designing levees systems to protect cities against rising levels; it’s entrepreneurs that are creating new security algorithms to protect our power grid; and it’s entrepreneurs that are using digital solutions to make higher ed more equitable.
Students find opportunities like the aforementioned through the Global Innovation and Entrepreneurship program. Last year for instance, one student worked at a startup in Bulgaria to invent self-driven cargo aircraft. And, another worked in New York at an organization that works to increase office wellbeing. If students keep an eye on handshake this year, they’ll see a similar range of opportunities.
The Global Innovation and Entrepreneurship Internship Program is open to everyone– you don’t have to be an economics or math major to apply. In fact, all you have to be is a Davidson student, because at Davidson students learn how to solve complex problems and be leaders in a changing world– students learn how to be the perfect entrepreneurs. Applications will be due in early March, so keep your eye out for information from the Center for Career Development and Davidson I&E when you return from winter break!
John Michael is a Digital Learning & Innovation Fellow at Davidson College.