My Experience with the Center for Professional Development
As a junior, this year has been an important time for me to think about what I want to do after Dartmouth. Thankfully, searching for research opportunities, internships, and other professional development opportunities has been relatively painless due to all the helpful resources that exist for these sorts of things at Dartmouth. In this post, I want to write specifically about the Center for Professional Development (CPD) on campus, as scheduling time to meet with them has definitely been one of the most helpful ways to prepare myself for success after Dartmouth.
As a Dartmouth student, you can easily schedule meetings with representatives from the CPD at virtually any time in the week, either in person or over Zoom. I've used these kinds of meetings for so many different purposes: resume reviews, getting help with writing cover letters, learning about internship opportunities in my field of interest, and so on. Being able to have these one-on-one consultations with experts is invaluable, and has definitely made me feel more prepared when applying for internship opportunities.
If you feel uncomfortable meeting one-on-one, the Center for Professional Development website has tons of these same resources all available in online form. Resume templates, cover letter examples, and tips on how to apply for things from fellowships, to graduate schools, to internships! Being able to return to these resources easily when I need them has also been a great help for me as I've navigated job and internship searches.
The CPD even provides funding for unpaid internships! If you can find an unpaid internship in your field or career of interest, you can apply to one of their many grants in order to get your experience funded. This has been helpful for me because it has enabled me to seek out unpaid internships that would otherwise be difficult for me to do because sustaining yourself as a college student is difficult! Since I'm into filmmaking and documentaries, knowing that I could get funding from the CPD allowed me to cold email documentary studios and let them know that I'm willing to do an unpaid internship. Without the funding opportunities available through the CPD, I otherwise would not be able to do this.
Overall, the CPD is just one example of an institutional support system that I've been able to take advantage of while at Dartmouth. One thing to remember is that while resources like the CPD do exist on campus, it is incumbent on students to seek them out and take full advantage of them. At Dartmouth, and any university, the resources are only worthwhile if you are able to take initiative and make them work for you! For prospective undergraduate students at Dartmouth or other institutions, practicing this active mindset will help you take advantage of resources at college and beyond.