Devon Davidson: Merging music and business
SMB IN THE CAREER WORLD
The college experience is a transformative time for many people. Opportunities to participate in campus activities are significant in providing skills and experiences that are foundational in future employment. For many, participation in the Spartan Marching Band is formative is shaping leadership, communication, and life-skills. An added bonus is when students are able to connect these skills immediately through their schooling or summer opportunities, like internships. As we begin the fall 2018 season, we are going to take a look at some ways our members apply their experience in the SMB in real-world.
Devon Davidson is a trombone squad leader in the SMB and, this summer, he has worked as a Legal Audit Intern for GreenStone Farm Credit Services. As a squad leader, Devon teaches and reinforces marching fundamentals and leads a squad of four during pregame and in parades. In his role as legal audit intern, he works with Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data making sure the company complies with regulations. Additionally, he assists in the financial reporting group with monthly financial reports.
We asked Devon about his time in each organization and how his experiences relate.
WHAT SIMILARITIES ARE SHARED BETWEEN YOUR LEADERSHIP POSITION IN THE SMB AND YOUR WORK WITH GREENSTONE FARM CREDIT SERVICES?
Many similarities they share is in marching band you have to pay extreme attention to details and this is also true when working with large data sets such as the HMDA data. Another obstacle is that when trying to teach another person how something is suppose to be done or how something works you have to explain it in many different ways. This is especially true with teaching new marchers as everyone learns things differently. I use this in my internship because not everyone understands data results the same way. Some people are more graph oriented but others may just want to see the numbers behind the graphs. When explaining your process you have to explain it differently depending on how the person you are talking to learns the information. Effective communication is key in both marching band and at GreenStone. This allows everyone to understand what is being done and how to get to that point.
HOW HAS YOUR TIME IN THE SMB ENABLED YOU TO BE MORE EFFECTIVE IN YOUR INTERNSHIP?
In the SMB you have to learn how to manage your time extremely well between class, exams and marching. Learning how to manage my time carefully over the past few years in the SMB has greatly helped me balance my time between projects at work. Also paying close attention to details and being disciplined when working is a great skill that has been refined by the SMB. The band has also helped me with my communication skills. Being able to communication and teach in different ways and help people understand is a huge benefit on the field and in the work force.
WERE THERE ANY UNUSUAL SKILLS THAT YOU GAINED FROM YOUR TIME IN THE SMB THAT WERE SURPRISINGLY HELPFUL IN YOUR INTERNSHIP?
Being able to think quickly and effectively has helped me pick up on new information quicker. As a marcher you need to be able to multitask and adapt quickly to maintain uniformity and this helped with my transition into my first internship.
HOW DO YOU SEE YOUR TIME IN THIS INTERNSHIP AND THE SMB EFFECTING YOUR FUTURE EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES?
This internship has given me tons of new skills that I can use in my future careers. My co-workers have shown me many new programs and process to help manage data and to work effectively within a farm credit system. The SMB and music as a whole has taught me how to be disciplined and function well under pressure. It has also advanced my communication skills and has prepared me for future success no matter what career path I choose. Also, the fan base and alumni base have built a strong network for me in my future goals in life.