This week I was fortunate enough to sit down with Tiara Davis ’14, an Assistant Director in our Career Services Office at St. Lawrence. As a University, we are well known for our nationally ranked alumni network and for our plentiful resources available to undergraduate students as they pave their way in the professional world. Tiara provided some helpful information regarding the services offered in her office, advice for women in the workplace, and the words of wisdom should would share with her younger self.
Q: What is your role in the Career Services Office, and what was your path before that brought you to St. Lawrence?
A: I am the Assistant Director of Career Services. Last year, I worked as a Residential Coordinator for the Residence Life Department, and before that I was a Special Education teacher in the Bronx. I’m still hoping that one day I’ll be discovered and become a big star. I just hate memorizing lines. So maybe a big star who’s silent! A silent big star! I mean it’s different. It could work….
Q: In your opinion, what are the best (or your favorite) services/programs offered in the Career Services Office?
A: Definitely the LINC Program, the SLU Connect events, and our Laurentians in Residence panels. (For any information on those, head over to the Career Services tab on the St. Lawrence website or on Handshake for event schedules.)
Q: What do you enjoy most about your job?
A: I love when I get to laugh with students. You know the laugh that hurts your insides and you have to walk away because you’re in pain from laughing? That’s the kind of energy we have in my office! I love that we get to grow and develop together. I especially appreciate that we get to do so while having smiles on our faces.
Q: Do you have any advice for undergrads that you wish you knew while studying at St. Lawrence?
A: Hmmmm any advice. This is what it would sound like if I were to write a letter to myself.
Dear Little T,
You is fire! You are so different and so incredibly funny and weird. Those are the things that are going to launch your career. Keep being funny and stay weird because it works for you!
I am so proud of you and I want you to be proud of you in the future as well. When you leave St. Lawrence, you won’t have a ton of people cheering you on, so you really need to learn how to do that for yourself. Be your own biggest fan!
You are a multifaceted person capable of excelling at a lot of different things. Embed all of your talents in the work that you do!
Also, remember that you don’t pay 60k a year to draw flowers on your paper. Do the readings, pose the questions, and invest in the learning process. Your learning experience is what YOU make of it.
And finally, keep dancing! It’s what you love so don’t give it up.
Always yours (literally),
Q: What is your favorite way to spend your free time outside of work (any activities you like to do on campus or in the Canton area?)
A: I really like to go for walks. Get a great playlist or audio book on and just go for a long stroll. I also enjoy cooking really cool meals with my friends. Last weekend we made shrimp and grits! I think we’re gonna try out Creole Gumbo this week…
Q: Do you follow any online blogs, news journals, or professional figures on LinkedIn?
A: Nope! That’s a thing? I do follow several powerful women on Instagram and tune into their podcasts. In my current role, I really wanted a mentor, but just couldn’t find the right fit. The career podcasts that I listen to filled that void. My favorite podcasts are Myleik Teller, Clever Girls Know, and Side Hustle Pro. There is something there for everyone’s experience.
Q: What are your suggestions for undergraduate women looking to build a work-appropriate wardrobe?
A: For SLU women, start during spring semester move out. People are throwing away so much stuff. Some of my best pieces came from hand me downs I scavenged from other students. I would get a group of friends, 36 big black trash bags (yes, 36) and shop til’ you drop! Collect, collect, and collect some more. Then go to someone’s room, put on some tunes, and get some looks together. Some looks will work, others won’t, and you’ll be able to take ideas from your friends as well.
I’m a big advocate for saving financially; so why spend when there are tons of options for free? The stuff we have here is top quality! I shared this story in detail because I did the exact thing last year as a Residential Coordinator. Kirk Douglas Hall has good stuff but everyone wants to go there. Start with the Hulett and Jencks and end with the Senior Townhouses– you never know what you may find while people are cleaning out.
Q: Lastly, any advice for women in the workplace?
A: Yes! Every day that you come to work, SHOW UP and SHOW OUT! Every. Single. Freaking. Day. Always put your best foot forward even if it’s not a job that you love. Practice good habits now and they become routine later. I’ll share my favorite quote with you: “You’re not working for the person you report to. You’re working on YOUR reputation, YOUR skills, YOUR connections etc. Stop giving a little to your “boss” because you’re only cheating yourself.” Be your own boss!
Photos: Corporate Speech Solutions (thumbnail), LinkedIn photo by Tara Freeman, St. Lawrence University Photographer