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Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

1. What is the Davidson Career Advisor Network?

The Davidson Career Advisor Network (DCAN), hosted by the Office of Alumni and Family Engagement and the Center for Career Development, is a powerful online tool that allows alumni, parents and friends of the college to connect one-to-one with students and alumni for career conversations, résumé critiques, and mock interviews. Advisors can select the types of consultations they are willing to provide. Consultations are held over the phone or using audio on your computer.

2. What powers DCAN?

DCAN is powered by Firsthand, a company founded in 2009 that specializes in career coaching technology. They run a public platform,, in addition to creating specific platforms for colleges and universities.

3. How will this system help students and alumni?

DCAN helps students and alumni find the expertise they need to fulfill their professional goals, practice for a big interview, and/or get insight into a particular career field or industry. 

4. How much does it cost?

DCAN is free for all Davidson College advisors and advisees.

5. Who can register as an advisor? As an advisee?

The great majority of our advisors are Davidson College alumni and parents of Davidson College students. All other advisors are close friends of the college. Davidson College students and alumni can both use DCAN as advisees. 

For Advisees

1. How do I know if the advisor I select is right for me?

Before requesting a meeting, advisees can review the advisor's profile online, including any available feedback from other advisees. You can also view an advisor's current title, work experience, academic background and, when available, general schedule.

2. Will the advisor be able to see my name, phone number or email address?

DCAN and Firsthand will never share your name, phone number, or email address with the advisor. Of course, you are welcome to share this information with your advisor during the course of your conversation.

For Advisors

1. What can I expect if I sign up?

As an advisor, you will receive a profile on DCAN, viewable only by current Davidson College students and alumni who request access as advisees. The online platform offers automatic phone calls, built-in-scheduling services, and a platform for file-sharing without revealing your personal contact information.

2. What types of advice can I offer?

You are welcome to provide any career-related advice that you think is relevant to your advisee. Everyone has professional expertise from years of work and education, but few ways to connect with the Davidson community to share those insights. Whether they are interviewing for a job or internship, applying to graduate school, or learning about a specific industry, students and alumni want your unique perspective. Advisees are responsible for letting the advisor know what type of information or advice they are seeking. Feel free to ask your advisee for additional clarification on his or her needs and interests in advance of the conversation.

3. How is my privacy protected?

DCAN and Firsthand take the privacy of advisors very seriously. At no point is your phone number or email address given. Students can contact you in advance, share files and schedule subsequent meetings by using their consultation home page that routes everything through our system and protects your privacy.

4. When should I expect my first consultation?

Your advisor profile will be "live" once it is complete, so you may receive a request any time after registering. You will be notified by email if you receive a consultation request. You can increase traffic to your profile in a number of ways, including adding a clear profile photo and adding detailed descriptions of your skills and experience. We also recommend updating your availability regularly so that when students and alumni contact you, the scheduling process is seamless.

5. How should I prepare for my first consultation?

The meeting request you receive by email from DCAN will have some suggested meeting times based on the preferred times listed in your profile. This meeting request will also include details about the type of advice the advisee is looking for (e.g., informational interview for investment banking). Once you accept the meeting request for a specific time, DCAN will send you a calendar invitation. In preparation for your meeting, we recommend you prepare as you would for any professional meeting. You can contact your student in advance of the meeting through the consultation home page (accessible on your advisor profile) if you have specific questions on what they would like to cover (e.g., types of investment banking interviews they want to focus on) or if you want them to forward additional files to your attention. All information will be shared through this consultation page and you will receive an email if the student contacts you.

6. What is the cancellation policy?

An advisor can reschedule a meeting as long as it is accepted by the advisee. We recommend rescheduling a minimum of 48 hours in advance of the session when possible.

7. I forgot my password. How do I reset it?

Please visit and submit your email address at the bottom of the page to reset.

8. What if I want my profile hidden or removed?

We can hide or delete your profile at any time, and for any reason. Please email Ashley Neff at with your request.

9. What do I do if I want to be an advisee in addition to being an advisor? What if I am not comfortable being an advisor at this time, but want to seek advice?

All registered alumni advisors may use the system to seek advice in addition to giving advice. If you are an alumnus/a who would only like to register as an advisee, please email Ashley Neff at with your request.

10. How is Davidson preparing student advisees for their consultations?

The Center for Career Development provides ongoing networking advice and coaching to students throughout the year. 

11. How can I share feedback with Davidson about my advising experience?

Feedback from advisor to advisee typically occurs within the consultation and remains confidential. If you have a concern about a particular advisee that you would like to voice to the Center for Career Development, you may do so by sending an email to

12. How can I limit the number of requests for consultations that I receive?

As an advisor, you can limit the number of consultation requests that you receive per month. Once you hit your limit, your profile won't show up in search results or be available for requests until you enter a new 30-day period. You can set up this limit when you register or any time you log in to your account to update your profile.

You are also welcome to reject any specific requests for consultations that you receive, especially if you feel like another advisor is likely to be more useful to an advisee that you can be. If this is the case, simply decline the request and provide a reason to the advisee requesting the consultation.

13. Where on my profile should I discuss the ways in which I can be most helpful to students and alumni?

We recommend filling out the summary at the top of your profile ("Summarize your background and expertise") as well as filling out details related to the type of consultations you are willing to offer (career conversations, resume reviews, and/or mock interviews). Generally, the more details the better, as they enable advisees to choose more suitable advisors and to ask more educated questions. 

14. I do not identify with any of the function options in the platform, yet the function field is required. How can I ensure that advisees will be able to find my profile?

Note that many advisees will be searching the platform not just by industry or function, but by keyword. We therefore recommend sprinkling relevant keywords throughout your profile. Possibilities for keywords include more specific job functions or industries (e.g. ministry, fundraising, sustainability, human services, psychology, science research, venture capital); diversity (if, for example, if you have diversity-based assets or training that you could bring to a consultation), or subsets of students/alumni you are most interested in advising (e.g. LGBTQ, first-generation, Chidsey Fellows, Belk Scholars, English majors, student-athletes).