Are You An Idealist?

Exploring the possibility of doing a summer internship for a nonprofit next year?  If so, be sure to put, at the top of your resource list.

The mission of Idealist is to “connect people, organizations, and resources to help build a world where all people can live free and dignified lives.”

In addition to internships, you can “connect” into information on full-time jobs, volunteer opportunities, fellowships and research information on nonprofits organizations, “around the world.”

Idealist also sponsors a Grad Fair each year in a variety of locations. This year, UNC Chapel Hill is hosting the Idealist Grad Fair in the North Carolina region.  The date is Saturday, November 12, 2011, from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm.  If you are interested in pursuing advanced degrees in social services, public policy or international development, plan to attend.  If you are unable to attend the fair on this date, check Idealist for other dates/locations.

Your “Idealist” opportunity is just a click a way.

What is a Right Davidson Major for Admission to Law School?

Short Answer: Any major at Davidson.  The American Bar Association Guide on Preparing for Law School
 encourages students to, “pursue an area of study that interests and challenges you, while taking advantage of opportunities to develop your research and writing skills. Taking a broad range of difficult courses from demanding instructors is excellent preparation for legal education.”  So, for our first and second year students considering law school, choose a major that matches your academic interests and challenges you!

Employers Rank Top 5 Candidate Skills/Qualities Sought in Job Candidates

Each year the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) surveys it employer members on the skills and qualities they seek in new college graduates seeking positions within their organizations.  The top five are:

1)    Verbal Communication Skills
2)   Strong Work Ethic
3)   Teamwork Skills
4)   Analytical Skills
5)   Initiative

– Source: Job Outlook 2011, National Association of Colleges and Employers.

The great news is that you are developing these skills and qualities through your Davidson education!  Employers will be looking for examples in your job applications and during your interviews.  Work them into your resume and have stories ready to share when you meet with employers.  Read more here

Using Twitter in the Communications Job Search

Are you interested in pursuing a career in communications?  Start tweeting!

A recent study indicates that 76 percent of American and Canadian communications professionals use Twitter daily, compared to 32 percent of the general public.  Twitter usage among these professionals has grown by 100% over the past two years.

If you are interested in a communications-related career–whether in marketing, advertising, corporate communications, nonprofit fundraising, or a host of other fields–we recommend using Twitter to network and learn from this growing network of professionals.

To get started, sign up for a Twitter account if you don’t already have one.  Do a search for “communications,” “public relations,” or other areas of interest.  Twitter will pull up “people results” on the right sidebar: typically industry experts who already have large followings.  These results will give you a place to start.  Once you find individuals of interest, see who they are following to get more ideas.  You should also follow the Twitter accounts of your favorite publications and news organizations.

There are some Twitter accounts devoted to informing the public about communications jobs:  follow @nyprjobs, for example, and get updates about PR job openings in New York City.  However, note that those who have the most success using Twitter as a networking tool actively tweet themselves, rather than simply following others of interest to them.  You want to build your knowledge base to the point that you are comfortable actively contributing to the professional community.  For example, if you run across an interesting article or statistic about your communications field of interest, you can tweet a link to it with a brief line of commentary.  This June 2011 U.S. News and World Report article  focuses on how to use Twitter effectively to change careers, but it also has some great advice for anyone looking to build a strong brand on Twitter by sharing expertise and resources.

Still skeptical?  Take a look at this blog post by Kelly Giles, UNC alum and Assistant Director of Sales and Marketing at a company called Optimal Resume.  I met Kelly at a recent conference, where she shared that by being an “active and authentic” blogger and Twitter user, she ended up with a fantastic job.  It’s a testament to the potential power of “140 characters or less”!

Interested in a Career as a Policymaker?

Working in public policy and public service means more than working for the government. It’s a connection between nonprofits, the sciences, universities, NGOs, the private sector, and governments as well. Employment in any of these organizations often involves working for the public good. These are opportunities that offer excellent pay and benefits, numerous choices of where to work in the United States and around the world, and resources to advance with further training and education.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides information to help you evaluate public policies on healthcare, retirement benefits, the minimum wage, workforce education and training, economic development, workplace safety, monetary policy, consumer spending, and other topics that affect the well-being of American workers, retirees, and their families.


Are you exploring the possibility of working for a nonprofit? Consider volunteering as one of the first steps to take towards developing your nonprofit career.  It is a great way to serve others and make a difference while developing skills and gaining experience.  Nonprofits like to see a history of volunteerism in a potential employee’s background, especially if you have volunteered for their organization in the past.  Most individuals who work in the nonprofit sector will share that their “first beginnings” were as a volunteer.

Campus Resources
The Center for Civic Engagement has a plethora of programs, grants, resources and service activities you can tap into for volunteering/exploring service-related organizations.  You can also explore student clubs and programs through the Civic Engagement Council.

Career Services offers a variety of workshops and resources on social service & nonprofit opportunities.  Login to WildcatLink for the latest workshops, internship and job listings.  Check out the Social Services & Nonprofits career field page, under the Student section of the Career Services web page, for a broad list of resources and career-related information.

Finding an organization you can support in a volunteer role, can provide a rewarding experience for both you and the local community.   Your service will build a lifetime of skills and “goodwill” for both you and those you have served, whatever career path you choose to take after Davidson.

Internships with the Democratic National Convention

Fall internships with the DNC have been posted!  The deadline for applications is September 12, 2011.

The DNC is seeking self-motivated, results-driven and trainable students for this opportunity. A DNCC intern will have a wide range of responsibilities, such as acting as the first point of contact for a Department head in the offices of the CEO, COO, or Chief of Staff. Interns may assist with special projects in various departments such as Intergovernmental Affairs or Communication and Public Affairs.  They may prepare correspondence, assist staff with requests pertaining to the convention, assist with IT network systems, or help prepare memos as well as research important legal topics.

This internship is a minimum of twenty hours per week (flexible scheduling), beginning September 26 and ending December 16, 2011.

To apply, students must submit a resume, an application (includes essay questions), and three letters of recommendation.  Interviews will be conducted in two rounds.  The position description can be found in WildcatLink.  For the full position description and application, contact Brenda Harvey, our Recruiting Coordinator, at

Exploring Overseas Opportunities

Thinking of studying, working or volunteering overseas?  Davidson College has many resources to support your international interests.  The Dean Rusk International Studies Program (the offices of study abroad, the international student advisor, and a grants and programming staff) works to give a global dimension to every student’s education.  Learn about available travel grants for a project overseas or how to take a semester abroad, while studying at Davidson.

In addition, Career Services provides a wide variety of services and programs that provide you with the ability to explore your interests in international opportunities.  Programs like Peace Corps and JET (Teach English in Japan) recruit regularly on campus.  Check out the International Opportunities section, under Students, on the Career Services website for more resources and information.

Third Annual Charlotte Area Farm Tour

Know Your Farms has announced its third annual Charlotte Area Farm Tour to take place the weekend of September 17-18, 2011. The tour is a great opportunity for you to connect with the local thriving agricultural community.

The Charlotte Area Farm Tour takes place from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. both days (Saturday and Sunday) and highlights 30+ local farms.  Learn about those important farm-to-fork connections and discover sources for fresh, healthy food in the greater Charlotte community. Explore possible future opportunities in the local community.