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)