Finding Opportunities at Dartmouth
Greetings, reader! One of the many things I've learned about Dartmouth thus far is that your experience is really what you make of it. With so many things to do around campus, and so many people to meet, there is truly a never-ending supply of opportunities to be had, if one only takes the time and energy to explore them.
For example, over winterim, I've had the opportunity to do two really amazing things all because of Dartmouth: teach English in China for two weeks and connect with an amazing "three-in-one" alum who operates as professor, physician, and research director at the University of Michigan.
Teaching English in China was something I did with the Dandelion Project, a student-run organization here on campus which partners with Dandelion Middle School in Beijing to produce supplementary English materials for students. After hearing about the winterim trip, I submitted an application, did an interview, and was offered a position along with three other students! The weekend following Thanksgiving, I headed out to China for the very first time and taught there for two weeks.
For the last three-or-so weeks of winterim, I'm doing extended shadowing with a Dartmouth alum. This opportunity I got through the CPD, which has a list of Dartmouth-related connections for programs over the six-week winter break, such as job shadowing, short-term projects, or career days. After a quick email correspondence, I'd secured my first-ever shadowing experience! I will be learning about cardiology/vascular medicine and research, and will even be able to spend a week accompanying the doctors on rounds in the university hospital along with clinic.
There are really so many things that you can get out of your experience at Dartmouth. Finding a job is often as simple as attending the student job fair at the beginning of the term, or heading online to places like JOBNET. One can even directly approach professors in academic departments for positions, or work in downtown Hanover. Research can be found online—Dartmouth keeps a repository of open projects being investigated by various departments or professors—or via word-of-mouth. Many of your fellow classmates will also have connections in all academic disciplines and I've frequently seen upperclassmen sharing contacts for interviews, jobs, or off-term internships. Students at Dartmouth get maybe upwards of 15 emails a day about various clubs or things to try, which is how I discovered most of my extracurricular activities. While one does have to work to get what they want, most opportunities aren't hidden away or only accessible via secret membership, so if one wants it, all one has to do is work for it.
And lastly, Dartmouth itself has a number of programs that are tremendous experiential learning opportunities. For example, during spring break in March, I am traveling to Washington, D.C. with the Tucker Center to learn about the intersections of faith, race, and justice! Other people I know have gone on Dartmouth Outing Club trips during this winterim break, hiking, canoeing, or climbing their way through December. Some student groups, such as a cappella groups or the student orchestra, might go on tour and perform. And, of course, a good majority of my friends are spending their first winterim back at home with family, recovering from the intense ten-week term before January rolls around. Suffice it to say, there are many ways that one can get involved through Dartmouth, however you want it to look like. The fun is in how you personally structure your journey!