Judith Rosales Rivas Shares Her Experience with Golden Doors Scholars

Judith poses with Ric Elias, founder of Red Ventures and Golden Door Scholars

Judith poses with Ric Elias, founder of Red Ventures and Golden Door Scholars

Judith Rosales Rivas ’17, the author of this post, is one of two 2015 recipients of a South Carolina Internship Grant provided by Davidson College and The Jolley Foundation.  The purpose of the grant is to allow students to participate in educational internships and to explore living and working in the state of South Carolina.

This summer I had the privilege of working for Red Ventures’ nonprofit called Golden Door Scholars. Golden Door Scholars is an organization that was founded by Red Ventures’ CEO Ric Elias and aims to provide equal educational opportunities for undocumented youth in the Carolinas. Being a Golden Door Scholar myself, I know how important this organization is for students that have limited ways to access a college education. As an intern, I realized how great of an impact their efforts make in the lives of all the scholars and donors alike.

“I felt a sense of purpose and I knew I was making a positive impact not only for the 45 scholars that have received the scholarship so far, but also for future scholars.”

I must say that this summer was the most productive one I have had. I was busy all day, preparing for events, helping with the construction of the new Golden Door Scholars website, meeting with volunteers and mentors, working in groups with other scholars, writing back to donors and students asking for help and advice, etc. It was all worth the hard work. I learned so much about networking, teamwork, and ways to find resources on my own. I felt a sense of purpose and I knew I was making a positive impact not only for the 45 scholars that have received the scholarship so far, but also for future scholars. This coming year Golden Door Scholars will go nationwide, and more students in this country will be benefited. I am extremely happy that I am part of this change.

The experience I gained through this internship will help me start an organization for undocumented students on Davidson’s campus. Davidson College students (like the majority of colleges and universities) do not have knowledge of resources specific to undocumented students, which is one of the reasons why I think starting such an organization will be an important step in making Davidson a more welcoming and supportive institution. Thanks to the internship, I found resources such as post-college scholarships that do not require citizenship, healthcare options for undocumented youth, and support groups in the Charlotte area. Furthermore, one of my responsibilities on the job was to do research on licensing requirements for undocumented students. These vary from state to state, but I now have a better knowledge about which professional jobs are available for students that lack documentation.

I hope that more opportunities like these are opened for students in the future because they are life-changing experiences that elicit personal and professional growth.

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Water Missions International: Julia Sacha’s Summer Internship

Julia Sacha ’17, the author of this post, is one of two 2015 recipients of a South Carolina Internship Grant provided by Davidson College and The Jolley Foundation.  The purpose of the grant is to allow students to participate in educational internships and to explore living and working in the state of South Carolina.

When was the last time you used clean water? Was it that sip you took from your bottle a few minutes ago? Was it washing your hands before lunch? The flush of your toilet half an hour ago?

We use water so frequently we don’t even think about it.

For some people, collecting water is one of the most time consuming activities of their day. For instance, the woman who has to walk 3 hours each way to Lake Victoria in Uganda to fill up a jerrycan of water.

Women and children can spend up to 6 hours of their days just collecting water — water they may not even know is contaminated with various bacteria.

I had the opportunity this summer to intern with Water Missions International, a nonprofit Christian engineering organization that works to provide sustainable safe water and sanitation solutions for people in developing countries and disaster areas (watermissions.org). I interned in their Health Impact Studies division, where they research how people’s health has been influenced by the use of water and what cultural barriers keep people from using Water Mission’s safe water system. Specifically, I researched survey platforms and arranged two surveys to be used in Uganda. I worked on both a household survey and a mobile survey to determine how often people use the safe water and reasons why they may not use the safe water. Do they collect dirty water due to a lack of knowledge of harmful bacteria? Is it due to the relative distance from the safe water? Is it due to the cost of the safe water? The answers for these questions vary depending on the community and are not always straightforward. Yet, they are immensely important, as drinking a small amount of dirty water is enough to make one sick.

As a Christian nonprofit, faith is an essential part of the work done. Every morning before work, we gathered to pray for the countries we were working in, the community members, their systems, and for one another. I believe Jesus worked, is working, and will continue work through Water Missions’ to provide safe water and transform people’s lives. I truly hope to use what I’ve learned about sustainability and helping others in both my daily life and future career.

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Internship Application Timeline by Industry

Category Range Heaviest Posting Time
Arts, Media, Communications & Marketing — (Writing, Journalism, Publishing, Advertising, Public Relations, Marketing, Broadcasting, New Media, Film, Music, Entertainment, Visual & Performing Arts, Museums/Galleries, Architecture) August – May January – April
Banking, Finance, Real Estate & Insurance — (Finance, Banking, Corporate Finance, Hedge Funds, Private Equity, Investment Banking, Commercial Banking, Wealth Management, Venture Capital, Real Estate, Actuarial, Insurance) September – May October – March
Consulting, Management, Sales & Human Resources — (Consulting, Management, Leadership Development Programs, Human Resources, Sales, Hospitality, Tourism, Fashion, Sports) November – May January – May
Education, Community Organizations & Nonprofits — (K-12, Higher Education, Community Organizations, Nonprofits, Ministry, Social Services, Mental Health) August – May December – April
Health Care, Medicine & Medical Research — (Health Care, Medicine, Medical Research, Global Healthcare, Public Health, Health Care Policy, Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology) October – March January – March
Public Policy, Politics, Government & Law — (Public Policy, Government, Politics, Law, Think Tanks, Human Rights, Poverty, International Development, International Relations, Military) September – April January – March
Sustainability, Renewable Energy, Food Systems & Nature — (Environment, Agriculture, Local & Organic Foods, Sustainability, Renewable Energy, Natural Resources & Land, Wildlife) December – April January – April
Technology & Software — (Technology, Computers, Hardware, Software, Gaming, IT, Electronics, Engineering) September – May January – May
Based on postings in WildcatLink for 2013-2014
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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.


Posted in Alumni and Networking, Arts, Media, Communications & Marketing, Career Exploration, Consulting, Management, Sales & HR, Education, Community Organizations and Nonprofits, Finance, Real Estate, & Insurance, Graduate School, Healthcare, Medicine & Medical Research, Internships, Job Search, Job Shadowing, Public Policy, Government and Law, Sustainability, Energy & Nature, Technology and Software | Leave a comment

Questions Answered by a Career Coach

Davidson graduate Mel Giegerich ’15 recently sat down with Career Coach, Cherie King.  Check out these great videos in which Cherie helps Mel explore six essential questions.  Also, check out this Huffington Post blog article written by Mel’s sister, Caroline Giegerich.

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How to be a STAR Intern

STAR Intern

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How an Intern Spends a Typical Workday

NACE intern-typical-work-day

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Paid Internships: Do I Pay Tax on That?

Contributed by Ben Baker, Professor of Economics

If your employer treats you as an independent contractor (self-employed) instead of as an employee, you need to be aware of a potential tax issue.  Employers do not withhold any taxes from the earnings of independent contractors so you will be responsible for paying any Federal income tax, state income tax, and self-employment taxes yourself.  That could come as quite a shock next April when you find that you owe several hundred dollars when you file your income tax returns.


The majority of workers are treated as employees, meaning that their employers withhold taxes and remit them to the appropriate governmental agency.  Employees receive a Form W-2 by January 31 each year, detailing the amount of taxable income that was earned as well as how much was withheld in income taxes and FICA tax (Social Security and Medicare).  If you are an employee, you pay one-half of the FICA tax (7.65% of earned income) and your employer matches that amount (another 7.65%) for a total of 15.3%.   If you are self-employed, you will receive a Form 1099.  In this case, you are responsible for paying both the employee and employer portions of the tax – the entire 15.3%.   This is in addition to any income taxes that you may owe.

Many interns are unaware that they are responsible for paying all of the taxes themselves and are unpleasantly surprised at tax time.

Imagine that you earn $4,000 during your internship.  If that is your only income for the year, you will owe no income tax because you are below the threshold for paying those taxes.  BUT, you will owe $565.18 in FICA, computed as follows:

Earned income                                                                                       $4,000

Self-employment wage base (if this is more than $400,               x  .9235

you must pay FICA tax)                                                                        $3,694

FICA tax rate                                                                                           x .153

FICA tax due with your tax return                                                     $565.18

Chances are, if you are unaware that this tax bill is coming, the money will be spent and you will have to scramble to get it by April 15.


ASK: When you start work ask the Human Resources Department whether you will be treated as an employee or an independent contractor.  If you are treated as an independent contractor, save the money that will be needed to pay the self-employment taxes (and if applicable, income taxes) next April.

CONFIRM: When you receive your first paycheck, look carefully at the pay stub.  Was any Social Security and Medicare tax withheld?  If not, you need to put the money aside.

For more information, contact a tax advisor or check out www.irs.gov to find information about the self-employment tax.

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March 26: #AskforMore Negotiation Workshop

Negotiation Workshop at Davidson College

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Internship & Job Challenge: Meet Megan Falvey ’14

Megan Falvey '14, Grey Group

Megan Falvey ’14, Grey Group

Megan Falvey ’14 graduated from Davidson with a Bachelor of Arts in English and French. Upon graduation, she completed a four month internship with Grey Group, a worldwide Marketing and Advertising agency.  At the completion of the internship, Megan was hired full-time as an Assistant Account Executive.

While at Davidson, Megan set her sights on gaining experience that would benefit her career in the advertising world.  She served as a PR Assistant in the President’s Office and also as the Director of Public Relations for SGA.  She studied in Paris for one semester and completed an internship with Capstrat.  Keep reading to learn more about Megan’s experience with Grey and how Davidson helped her prepare.

Q: What attracted you to Grey?

A: Unlike most large agencies, Grey places a huge emphasis on creativity. In speaking with people working across departments, I realized how important the work was to the company’s success. About 10 years ago, Grey was struggling because the agency wasn’t encouraging clients to push boundaries. With a renewed focus on creativity and digital, Grey won agency of the year in 2013 and Network of the Year in 2014, and can still boast of clients like Pantene, Covergirl, Gillette, and DirectTV. It’s pretty rare to find a creativity agency with such big brands.

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

A: Being able to craft a concrete argument is a huge skill in advertising. I was an English major at Davidson, so I had a lot of experience with gathering evidence to make a literary argument. In Account Management, you have to be strategic about how you present work to clients—from formal presentations, to weekly check-ins. Davidson prepared me for that type of work.

Q: What do you love most about your job?

A: I love how advertising balances business with creativity. Every day my team is faced with a new marketing challenge, and we get to solve it through creative thinking. Since I work on a global account, I also get to work with regions around the world and see how campaigns change based on local insights. No two days are the same. At times it can be overwhelming, but I enjoy what I’m doing and being busy.

Q: Are there any myths about your job that you would like to debunk?

A: For all those who have watched Mad Men, Account Management gets a bad reputation. I have never taken a client out to talk business over martinis. People also tend to assume that because we’re not in the creative department, we only occupy ourselves with the business side of things. In Account Management, I contribute to all stages of creative development, which means that my job actually requires me to be creative.

Q: What advice do you would you give to students applying for this internship?

A: Use your connections. Unfortunately, advertising is a very competitive industry, and if you blindly submit your application online, chances are it will never make it to HR. For Grey specifically, the work is really important. Look through Grey’s portfolio or scan AdWeek and Ad Age to find work that speaks to you, and be prepared to explain why you think it’s effective.

Megan and Grey Worldwide are participants in the 2014-2015 Internship & Job Challenge.  To view the Summer 2015 internship description, visit WildcatLink.  The application deadline is February 20, 2015 at 11:59pm.

Posted in Alumni and Networking, Arts, Media, Communications & Marketing, Career Exploration, Internship & Job Challenge, Internships | Comments Off