By Ted Pasquette ’24
When I first received the email about the HD program, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The email entailed me to attend a dinner with Dean McCrae and other Davidson students, whom I wasn’t familiar with. Upon consideration, I said why not. I mean, who could resist a free dinner right? Well during the dinner, I had the pleasure of meeting many young men of color who were desirous of undertaking various career paths in life. I heard many different passions from healthcare, environmental advocacy, computer science, social justice, banking, English and even aerospace engineering. This single dinner would embark the series of networking events that HD would host for us. The group and I met once more to discuss our next step in traveling to Washington D.C. There, we would expand on our network and potentially make a lasting impression on companies that we might be interested in working for.
Networking. Networking has become a powerful tool in the workplace. Today, many jobs are obtained by merely knowing an insider who can put in a good word for you. The HD program highlighted this notion in their career workshop. You never really know who you meet and what connections they may have. You might encounter someone who is outside your field of interest who can link you with someone that is, which is why it’s very important to leave a lasting impression on anyone that you meet. I am thankful for HD to have incorporated a presentation on how to conduct ourselves in a professional space and key points for success in networking events.
Furthermore, we had a strength session where we defined and elaborated on our top 5 talents and how we can utilize them to achieve our goals. Everybody is different and we each possess our unique skills to traverse our endeavors in life. If we can become aware of those skills and realize their feasibility, we can further cultivate and build upon them to maximize our potential for success.
Let me emphasize that the trip to Washington D.C. was FREE. In 3 days, we indulged in a networking event with Davidson Alumni, we engaged with HR&A Advisors Inc., Deloitte, and Virginia Union University, and we also had the opportunity to tour the National Museum of African American History and Culture. On top of all that, we had extra time to explore what the capital of Washington D.C. had to offer!
I met an array of wonderful people during the HD program. The program Directors, Ashley Bodie, Raquel Dailey, Joy Massenberg and Nadia Campbell are some of the most amazing individuals you will ever meet. They entrusted us with all the tools necessary to engage in our visits. They also took the initiative to make sure everyone was always all right. I encourage anyone who can take part in the program to take full advantage of this opportunity! You’ll leave the program with valuable skills that will benefit you in the professional world!