Category Archives: Education, Community Organizations and Nonprofits

Career Treks: A new tool for your job search

Last week, myself and 11 other students participated in a Career Trek to Charlotte to learn about non-profit work and opportunities in ministry. Career Treks are a new initiative by the Center for Career Development in collaboration with other departments and groups on campus. These treks provide opportunities throughout the year for groups of students to visit a company or companies, learn more about those specific organizations, engage with industry professionals and gain first-hand knowledge of the environment and culture.

Music Director explains church history to students
Music Director, Anne Hunter Eidson, introduces Davidson students to Caldwell’s history of community building and social justice.

Last week’s Career Trek was hosted at Caldwell Presbyterian, a church and community known for its breadth of ministries focused on advocacy and community transformation. During our visit, we heard from members of Caldwell’s staff, as well as representatives from three non-profit organizations and initiatives.

The Third Place is a community coffee shop and common ground space run by QC Family Tree and hosted in Caldwell Presbyterian. The Third Place works not only to create economic opportunities for members of the community, but also to be a place where folks can come together to build the bonds that form deeper communities.

Hagar International is an organization committed to supporting the recovery of women and children who have been victims of trafficking and slavery in Vietnam, Cambodia and Afghanistan. Their motto is “whatever it takes, for as long as it takes, to restore a broken life.”

End Slavery in Charlotte works to raise awareness about modern day slavery, and to support local anti-slavery organizations in Charlotte by filling gaps in the services available.

Over the course of an hour, we learned about the history and work of each organization. The representatives also spoke about the non-profit industry and offered their advice to us as students seeking to go into the non-profit industry. We asked questions about what to look for in job postings, how to choose between graduate schools and entry level job opportunities, and what they did to get to where they are today. Dr. Ray Casey, CEO of Hagar USA, told us that his work is guided by the questions “Who am I?” and “How can I give of that?” He said, of five degrees (one BA, three Masters and one PhD) the one he uses the most day-to-day is his Master of Arts in Non-Profit Management. Lisa, from Ending Slavery in Charlotte, spoke process and challenges of starting a non-profit. Leaving the Career Trek we had more answers, new industry contacts and a group of peers we knew shared our professional interests.

The Center for Career Development will be running Career Treks throughout the year, across a variety of industries. The next Trek will be to Red Ventures on October 21.  Students should register in Handshake by October 18.

Pro-tip for Trek participants: be ready to leverage the opportunity to be in-person with industry professionals. Ask focused questions and make sure to hold onto their contact information to follow up after the event.

Sea Turtle Rescue at the South Carolina Aquarium

Original posted contributed by Aren Carpenter ’18, recipient of the Jolley Foundation Internship Grant for summer 2017.

This summer I had the amazing opportunity to volunteer at the South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston thanks to a Jolley Foundation grant. I spent about half of my time working in the Sea Turtle Rescue Hospital that treats stranded, injured, and ill sea turtles from the entire east coast. It was an incredibly productive summer for the hospital this year; we treated more than 30 sea turtles and were able to release several just in the time that I was there. There are few experiences more rewarding. The staff and volunteers have such passion for these animals and it was a real pleasure being able to work with them to make a real difference for these turtles. I was involved with the daily care (feeding, cleaning, medical procedures, etc.) of the sea turtles and I was the primary caregiver for 12 terrapins, an estuarine turtle that I was using for research.

Terrapins are near threatened in several South Carolina populations and my research allowed me to study their interactions with crab traps, a leading cause of their aren-carpenterdeclines in the area. I conducted a series of tests on these terrapins and I am planning to submit my findings for publication later this year! Hopefully, my research can help mitigate terrapin deaths in the future. My previous exposure with terrapins also allowed me to start a biweekly terrapin educational program at the aquarium geared for younger children and teenagers. I was told by several of my supervisors that many guests commented that they loved the chance to have hands-on experiences with terrapins, so I believe it was a successful endeavor! As one of my professors used to comment, ‘you never know when one experience, however brief, could inspire a kid to be the next biologist or vet or scientist’. I’d like to think that I was allowing the thousands of kids I talked with to have such an experience.

In all, my summer was everything I hoped it would be. I can’t say enough how thankful I am to the Jolley Foundation for allowing me to expand my horizons, if you will, by exploring new career paths and making a difference in the lives of turtles and aquarium goers alike this summer.

Stapleton Intern Experiences Summer of Discovery

This post was contributed by Daisy Jones '19.
This post was contributed by Daisy Jones ’19.

This summer I worked at Dove’s Nest in Charlotte.   Dove’s Nest is a women’s rehabilitation center for substance abuse. My job was to basically spend time with the women and hear about their stories. Everyday I sat in on group therapy sessions, attended classes and workshops, and ate lunch with the women. I also did various organizational tasks for my supervisor. Additionally, I had the opportunity to help out  in the admissions department of Dove’s Nest. This meant that I helped orient new residents to the program and gave them their materials.

I worked at Dove’s Nest through the Stapleton/Davidson Urban Service Internship program. This is a program that is offered every year through the Chaplain’s Office. Its focus is to understand issues of urban poverty and homelessness through non-profit work in the city of Charlotte. My time at Dove’s Nest flew by incredibly fast, and before I knew it, I was already saying goodbye.

My final day at Dove’s Nest, I left in tears and was still sobbing on the city bus, all the way back to my host family’s home.

It is difficult to pinpoint one specific reason I was crying so hard. One motivation that stands out to me is that I thought I was going to have a better chance to say goodbye to the women I loved so dearly. I sat in on my last group therapy session and the women in this group said their goodbyes then, but I kept saying back to every woman, “I’ll see you later.” At lunch, it was the same routine. I kept telling all the women I sat with everyday that I would see them later in the day. Sadly though, this wasn’t true. I ended up being treated to lunch by my supervisor and another co-worker, and did not make it back in time to say goodbye to anyone. The overwhelming realization washed over me that I would never be in the same place again. The women would be different, the people different, the stories different. I was so mad that I didn’t have a chance to say goodbye, but I also wondered to myself if it would make any difference. I know that this experience at Dove’s Nest had touched me, but had it really touched them in the same way?

I used to be concerned with this question of “how much impact have I made on these people?” and “what tangible difference can I see?”  But after this summer, my questions of worth are ones like “what have I learned?” and “how can I see things differently from the way I have seen them before?” and “how much impact have these other people made on me?” I was crying on the bus because there was an overwhelming answer to all of these questions, on top of a genuine concern that I didn’t get to fully say thank you to the women at Dove’s Nest for all they had done for me.

This job was not about outcome or success, rather building relationships with people based off our common humanity.

The Stapleton showed me how to work towards loving people exactly as they are. It showed me that there is nothing more I can do to be seen as lovely or worthy. It reminded me of this essential truth in everyone, and inspired me to see people in this way. I believe I was weeping on the bus in part because I made the realization that we still cast men and women away. We are conditioned to come up for justifications for why “they deserve” to be homeless, an addict, poor, and we are so conditioned to ignore the simple truth that we are all worthy. This summer opened my eyes like never before to this truth, and challenged me to think of the moments where I have simply cast others away.

Through my tears on that final day, I saw out of the corner of my eye a tissue in the hand of an African-American man. I looked up and held eye contact with this stranger for a moment, when I realized that this man was familiar. He was actually the only person I remember from the bus route consistently. He got on at West Boulevard, what many native Charlotte-eans refer to as “rough part of town” and rode the same bus to uptown where I got off everyday to get to my host family’s house. This act of kindness made me cry even harder than I was crying before. Through my tears, I somehow mustered the words, “thank you.” When the bus got to my stop, I walked out towards the door. I turned back to give that man one last look. He looked at me and nodded. I got off the bus. I will never learn that man’s name. I will never get to tell him how much that moment meant to me. Simply, he showed me that he loved me, without knowing me, without knowing if I was “worthy.”

The Stapleton was so much more than a work experience. It changed the way I think about theology, homelessness, poverty, and my response as a person of faith. In fact, it is hard for me to really think about this experience as “work.” I met some of my favorite women at Dove’s Nest, that I never would have had the chance to meet if it wasn’t for this internship program and the Chaplain’s Office. I am eternally grateful for this internship, for the Chaplain’s Office, and for that tissue from that stranger.

Working at a Non-Profit in Beijing: Americans Promoting Study Aboard

Tai Tran's photo

Original post written by Tai Tran ’18, participant in the Davidson in East Asia Internship Program.

My experience at Americans Promoting Study Abroad has confirmed quite a few things I have read about working with non-profit organizations. First of all I would like to point out that this is an organization I have had quite a big insight and familiarity with before asking for an internship position for. APSA began with partnerships with quite a few other non-profit organizations. The idea was to have these other organizations who were more well established help APSA get on its feet and walk alone. However, that was never really achieved. Thus, we have the situation I am in now. An organization that is about eight years old yet does not have the stable base that it should have at this point. In our team of three, with two staff members from the One World Now organization, this summer we have a group of 21 students and a curriculum that we build as we go. There is far too much work to be done and there is only one full time staff member here in Beijing, our Executive Director. Being overworked and understaffed, that was my impression of a non-profit organization.

But many people would never believe the results we are able to churn out. To get so much done, with only a few staff members, within a limited amount of time, and resources, in my opinion we are all amazing here at APSA. And I am sure this is true for many other non-profits. The amount of fun and self discovery I have been able to enjoy during my internship has only left me with a positive impression. My research skills came in handy when it came to formulating short summaries of sites with hundreds of years of history and significance. My experience at Davidson College has taught me to wear many hats at one time in order to help us stick to a schedule or program. Although I have yet to actually find myself applying what I have learned in classes, other than my Chinese language classes, I have taken at Davidson College, my experience with extra-curricular clubs and networking has given me a better grasp of the real world and what it means to get work done at Americans Promoting Study Abroad.

Read more posts from the Davidson in East Asia Internship Program.

Get to Know the Center for Career Development

2015 Center for Career Development Staff
2015 Center for Career Development Staff

Welcome back!  While we enjoyed a little break this summer, we are excited that campus is back to normal.  We took advantage of the quiet to do a little restructuring, plan some programming, connect with new employers, and just a few other things.  So, meet our staff and some of the great resources in the Center for Career Development!

Nathan Elton, Director
Nathan Elton, Director

Nathan’s Favorite CCD Resource: Davidson Career Advisor Network (DCAN) Some of the most common career advice you will hear is to talk to professionals in potential or identified career areas of interest.  Through DCAN there are over 800 Davidson alumni and parents who have signed up to share career advice, look over your resume, or prepare you for an upcoming interview.  Jobs and internships can be tough to land, but by using these connections you will know more about career fields that match your interests and abilities, and be better prepared for securing a position.

Jamie Johnson, Associate Director for Career Development
Jamie Johnson, Associate Director for Career Development

Jamie’s Favorite CCD Resource: Myers Briggs Type Indicator All of us have uniquely different personalities. The MBTI assessment will help give you a better understanding of your own personality, such as what energizes you or how you make career decisions. The assessment will also assist you in better understanding the people around you, whether they be at school, work or home. To take the MBTI, please contact our office at 704-894-2132 to set up an appointment to meet with a Career advisor.


Jeff Kniple, Associate Director for Employer Relations
Jeff Kniple, Associate Director for Employer Relations

Jeff’s Favorite CCD Resource: Information sessions are the place to make a personal connection with employers in advance of an application or interview.  They are the easiest place to make an impression with key staff members, to learn about how companies market themselves, and to learn other information that can be helpful in a cover letter or interview.  For internship and job seekers they are essential to the process.



Tiffany Waddell, Assistant Director for Career Development

Tiffany’s Favorite CCD Resource: Workshops and Programs The CCD offers workshops and events on a variety of topics for students throughout the academic year.  From getting started with LinkedIn and learning how network with Davidson alumni and other professionals, to penning the perfect resume – check out WildcatLink to learn more about what workshops are available to you this year and RSVP today!



Sarah Williams '11, Assistant Director for Alumni & Parent Engagement
Sarah Williams ’11, Assistant Director for Alumni & Parent Engagement

Sarah’s Favorite CCD Resource: WildcatLink is the best resource for accessing Davidson-specific career opportunities and resources. It is an online portal where you can apply to jobs and internships, sign up for job shadowing opportunities, and register for career-related events and programs. If you haven’t already, you will soon become very familiar with WildcatLink!




Jamie Stamey, Assistant Director for Internships
Jamie Stamey, Assistant Director for Internships

Jamie’s Favorite CCD Resource: InterviewStream is a great tool to help you prepare for upcoming interviews.  Record a video of yourself answering industry specific questions.  Then, critique yourself or share with a mentor to get their feedback.  You know what they say about practice!  You might also see this pop up in some of you Davidson-sponsored program applications, like Job Shadowing and the #DavidsonIE Internship Program.


Kate Falconi '08, Assistant Director for Employer Relations
Kate Falconi ’08, Assistant Director for Employer Relations

Kate’s Favorite CCD Resource: Vault Think of this as a huge online library of career and industry guides to help you learn about jobs and career fields, and make sure you are ready for interviews.  It also includes rankings of employers in 20 different industries, such as advertising, PR, media, banking and consulting.




Julie Lucas, Office Manager
Julie Lucas, Office Manager

Julie’s Favorite CCD Resource: It’s easy to schedule an appointment to meet with one of our advisors.  Stop by the office or call 704-894-2132. Appointments are available from 9-12:00 and 1:30-5:00.  For quick questions, we also offer daily walk-in times M-TH 10:00-12:00 and M-F 1:30-3:30.




Logan Myers, Career Adviser
Logan Myers, Career Advisor

Logan’s Favorite CCD Resource: Davidson’s LinkedIn Landing Page and LinkedIn Networking Group Want to learn what 11,000 alumni are doing based on their major, where they live, what they do and where they work?  Davidson’s LinkedIn Landing page is an easily searchable system to learn about alumni based on these and other criteria.  Want to interact with alumni in LinkedIn?  Check out the Davidson College Network Group, where you can send messages to over 6,000 alumni.


Internship & Job Challenge: Meet Hadley White ’98

Hadley White '98, The Aspen Institute
Hadley White ’98, The Aspen Institute

Hadley became the Seminars Manager at the Aspen Institute in June 2013. Prior to her current position, she spent nine years as a consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton. Her favorite assignment was working in Stuttgart, Germany for U.S. Africa Command for nearly three years, where she worked in the Strategic Communication Division and served as the Interagency Coordinator. In Washington, DC, she supported numerous institutes within the NIH in a project management role, and assisted with international health initiatives, such as the Supply Chain Management System (SCMS), a component of PEPFAR.

Originally from Atlanta, she attended Davidson College where she majored in history and spent a semester abroad in Kenya, where her interest in Africa began. After college, she worked as a producer and writer at CNN in her hometown for three years. Her graduate work at the Fletcher School at Tufts University focused on international development and health security, culminating in her master’s thesis on AIDS in Africa as a security threat. She’s excited to be living in Colorado and is looking forward to her second ski season in Aspen.

Q: What attracted you to the Aspen Institute?

A: I had spent 9 years in the federal consulting business and was ready for a change in career. The Aspen Institute appealed to me because of its focus on leadership, intellectual rigor, policy programs, and big thinkers in various fields. The fact that my job would be in Aspen, Colorado was just a bonus!

Q: In what ways did your time at Davidson uniquely prepare you to be successful at the Aspen Institute?

A: One of the things that my interviewer (now boss) focused on was that I went to a liberal arts college. At Davidson I learned to ask probing questions, the importance of community, and had a broad based background which I could apply to the Institute’s many different programs.

Q: What do you love most about your job?

A: I love that I get to know leaders from around the world and from different backgrounds who are dedicated to improving their communities. It’s incredibly inspiring and makes me feel good about humanity.

Q: What advice would you give to students thinking of applying for the summer internship with the Aspen Institute?

A: Emphasize flexibility, motivation, strength in details/administration, and desire to have a meaningful learning experience. It’s an unforgettable internship, and I’d love to get at least one Davidson student in Aspen here every summer.

Hadley and the Aspen Institute are participants in the 2014-2015 Internship & Job Challenge.  To view the Summer 2015 internship description, visit WildcatLink.  The application deadline is February 1, 2015 at 11:59pm.

Internship & Job Challenge: Meet Zara Riaz ’15

Zama Coursen-Neff '93 hosted Colin Vaida '16 and Zara Riaz '15 for a summer with the Human Rights Watch
Zama Coursen-Neff ’93 hosted Colin Vaida ’16 and Zara Riaz ’15 for a summer with the Human Rights Watch

The summer of 2014 was a career-defining experience for Zara Riaz ’15.  Zara had the opportunity to participate in an internship with the Human Rights Watch in New York City.  The position was offered by alumna Zama Coursen-Neff ’93 in connection with the Vann Center for Ethics.

Continue reading for a glimpse into Zara’s experience.

Q: What originally drew your interest to this particular position?

A: I was drawn to this internship because of my experiences learning about human rights violations in Colombia and the Horn of Africa. I attended the Colombia Staff Ride with Dr. Crandall in January 2014, and this trip highlighted the effects of human rights violations committed by both the Colombian government as well as guerilla members. I was interested in the indirect effects of these violations, such as the shift of expenditures from health and education to larger military expenditures. I also attended the Rift Valley Institute field course on the Horn of Africa with Dr. Menkhaus in 2013. Many of the readings for this trip included reports by Human Rights Watch on violations occurring in the Horn. I wanted to use this internship as a means of not only gaining a better understanding of learning more about the particular areas I had previously studied but also about the mechanisms for defending international law and the challenges that human rights advocacy faces.

Q: How did the experience impact your career goals and your next steps?

A: This internship played an invaluable role in shaping both my short-term and long-term goals. I learned that I want to pursue human rights as a field of study, and that I want to approach this field from a legal perspective. After interacting with many lawyers at Human Rights Watch, I was inspired by how law can be a powerful tool for defending the rights of vulnerable populations and individuals. Furthermore, this internship highlighted the importance of gaining contextual knowledge of the environment you are studying or operating in. For this reason, I would like to spend time working in East Africa before pursuing law school.

Q: Can you share one brief story about a specific project, moment, etc. that was particularly impactful?

A: One of my projects was to prepare a report for the Committee on the Rights of the Child for the periodic review of Ethiopia, essentially a “progress report” on behalf of Human Rights Watch that details the organization’s findings on children’s rights in Ethiopia. After learning about the “villagization” program that resettled pastoral populations into villages and the human rights violations associated with the program, I began to think about the intersection of human rights and development. While I had studied political and economic development in previous courses, this report highlighted the need for human rights to be central to the development agenda, focusing on protecting the rights of the most vulnerable or marginalized populations and not simply increased growth.

Current students can view postings for summer internships and entry-level positions presented by Davidson alumni and families for the 2014-2015 Internship & Job Challenge on WildcatLink.

Internship & Job Challenge: Meet Amanda Silver ’15

Amanda Silver '15 and colleague Alex Bearman working at the 2014 Street Soccer USA New York Cup.
Amanda Silver ’15 and colleague Alex Bearman working at the 2014 Street Soccer USA New York Cup.

Amanda Silver ’15 participated in the 2014 Davidson Entrepreneurship Internship Program as an intern with Street Soccer U.S.A.  The internship was shared with Davidson by alumnus Lawrence Cann ’00.  Street Soccer U.S.A, is a hybrid nonprofit / for-profit with a mission to strengthen low income communities and to fight homelessness and poverty through sport. During the summer, the organization hosted a soccer tournament in New York City’s Time Square.

Here are some thoughts from Amanda about her experience.

Q: What originally drew your interest to this particular position?

A: I was originally drawn to Street Soccer USA because it combined my interest in social entrepreneurship with my experience with fundraising and events. After reading the description, I immediately resonated with their mission to use sports to empower homeless and at-risk youth and adults. Street Soccer is an organization dedicated to growing its community and create impact, so I got to see first-hand what it takes to found and run a nonprofit organization.

Q: How did the experience impact your career goals and your next steps?

A: I had an incredible experience, and learned that I want to pursue a career in the nonprofit sector. To me, working for a cause that I am passionate about doesn’t feel like work at all. I came back to campus confident that I can wear many hats, and look forward to learning even more by working with different startups and social ventures in the future.

Q: Can you share one brief story about a specific project, moment, etc. that was particularly impactful?

A: My internship experience culminated in a 4v4 soccer tournament in New York’s Times Square. Our day started at 3:30am to set up the fields, and ended close to 11pm that night, but spirits were high the entire time. All our hard work came to fruition when we put on a successful event. Street Soccer’s founder and president Lawrence Cann ’00 became an incredible role model and mentor throughout my internship experience. His organization embodies teamwork in every way, and I am grateful to have been part of a group of such hardworking individuals.

Current students can view postings for summer internships and entry-level positions presented by Davidson alumni and families for the 2014-2015 Internship & Job Challenge on WildcatLink.

The Nature Conservancy 2015 GLOBE Internship Program Student Informational Session – Tuesday, December 16, 2014



The Nature Conservancy

2015 GLOBE Internship Program

Student Informational Session – Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Did you graduate in 2013, 2014 or will be graduating in May 2015 with your Bachelors, Masters, or Ph.D.? If so, you qualify for this extraordinary internship program!

Are you seeking a structured internship experience with a strong orientation, the on-boarding process,  professional training, networking opportunities, mentoring (buddy) program, and real work experience?

If your answer is YES to both questions, join us on Tuesday, December 16, 2014 at 7:00pm EST to learn more about the GLOBE Program. We will also discuss the application process and answer any questions you may have about the program. To join the call, you will need access to a computer and phone line.  Below are the instructions:

How to Join the Web-Ex:

On Tuesday, December 16, 2014 at 7:00pm EST (log on approximately 5-10minutes early)

Go to

  • Dial 1-866-385-9623
  • Conference Code:  547 920 8976

Feel free to share this with your peers and don’t forget to mark your calendars!

FYI, all positions are currently posted on until Friday, January 23, 2015, just in case you cannot attend the Web-Ex.

 For Questions or Comments, please contact:

Shawneece Hennighan, Diversity Recruiting Specialist;; (302) 747-7743


VonGretchen C. Nelson, GLOBE Program Director;; (803) 316-6789

Destination Unknown: We know it was a success!

destination-unknown300On Monday, September 29th, at 7:30 P.M., the Center for Career Development and the Residence Life Office hosted Destination Unknown: Realizing the Potential for Your Future.  The event was targeted at delivering information particularly important for Davidson seniors.

Center staff and student ambassadors provided information about the job and graduate school searches, resume improvement, cover letter writing, and social media polishing.  Jamie Johnson, Associate Director for the Center for Career Development, answered questions and provided information about the graduate school search.  She “felt it went very well and provided a foundation for other similar events to come in the future.”

Students could also take professional headshots for their LinkedIn accounts.  If all of these useful resources weren’t enough, yummy hors d’oeuvres and mocktails were served.  Ory Streeter, one of the Area Coordinators at RLO, worked as a bartender, requiring students to give a fact about responsible drinking in a professional setting before receiving a mocktail.

Seniors loved the event!  Alexandra Clark ’15 said, “The experienced career counselors, both students and faculty, gave me really helpful advice and tips to prepare me for my career search and for life after Davidson.  The Center for Career Development is an awesome resource for seniors and I look forward to going to more of their events.”

Seniors, don’t worry if you missed this event!  Make an appointment with a staff member from the Center or stop by walk-in hours for Center staff or student ambassadors to see what you missed.  You are always welcome!