The Davidson Career Advisor Network (DCAN) is a powerful online tool that gives Davidson students and alumni expert advice from alumni, parents and other members of the Davidson network. This program’s strength comes from the volunteers who take time to visit by phone with students and alumni and discuss their career interests and aspirations.
Randy Skattum ’01 from Dallas is one such volunteer, and he says he values the opportunity to connect with students as they start their career paths and to offer his perspective as students build professional connections and zero in on potential career paths.
Skattum acknowledges the challenges that face students entering today’s workforce.
“The workforce has become much more complicated with new fields being created constantly,” he said. “Companies don’t often recruit directly from campuses anymore, so more responsibility is placed on the student to match his or her interests with a potential career. There is no perfect search engine to match students and fields.”
Skattum helps students navigate the sometimes overwhelming set of opportunities by narrowing down potential employers, industries and careers, allowing students to pursue their passions.
“I merely show students how to utilize the skills they have learned at Davidson to help them find a job,” he said. “Every day, through their classes, students are learning how to take a complex problem and break it down. The process of searching for a job is very similar; it is also familiar—like when they conducted their search for a college.”
As a global marketing communications director for the Celanese Corporation and previously as a strategy consultant, Skattum says the problem-solving skills he learned at Davidson not only helped him immensely while finding a career, but have also proved vital in his field of marketing strategy and business development. By volunteering as a DCAN adviser, he hopes to pass these experiences onto students and demonstrate how Davidson lessons last a lifetime.
Skattum appreciates the opportunity to maintain a connection to Davidson in this way, and he has no plans to slow down. Participating in DCAN is something he enjoys, and it allows him to give back to our alma mater and make an immediate difference in the lives of students.
“It is part of who we are, as a Davidson community, to give back and help each other,” he said. “Service is heavily emphasized at Davidson; I learned that getting involved with my community is just as important as the work I contribute at my company.”
During his Davidson years, Skattum, a math major, was heavily involved in student government and served as the co-editor in chief for the student newspaper, The Davidsonian.
More than 1,140 alumni and parents are registered as advisors on DCAN. Information and registration is available on the DCAN platform.