Adams Begins Work As Davidson's Career Services Director
August 13, 2001
John E. Adams Jr. has recently begun work as director of career services at Davidson College. Adams brings to his new position more than 25 years of experience in the field at higher education institutions across the country.
At Davidson he will supervise an office of five employees in conducting a broad range of activities designed to help the college's 1,600 students make choices about their futures in graduate school and the working world.
Born into a Navy family, Adams grew up in several locations around the country. He attended high school in South Carolina, and graduated from Wofford College in Spartanburg. He then attended Chicago Theological Seminary. His professional career began in 1972 at Grinnell College, where he worked for six years in residence life, and created the first full-time career services office there. Since leaving Grinnell, he has worked at the University of Denver, University of Chicago, UCLA, Washington State University, and Butler University.
He left his position at Butler to accept Davidson's job offer because of his familiarity with this region, and his belief in Davidson's mission. "I've always felt that a small liberal arts college offers the best educational experience," he said. "The quality and reputation of this particular college, and the outstanding support the administration gives to all areas of student service, led me to believe I have an opportunity to make a significant contribution here."
Career services begins serving students from a new location this year. The office is on the top floor of the newly constructed Alvarez College Union, which will be visible daily to legions of students passing through the building. Adams said he expects that being at the community crossroads will attract more students to investigate its offerings.
Adams and his staff handle a wide range of services for Davidson students, from helping them identify career opportunities related to their academic major to scheduling interviews for them with potential full-time career employers. Through a resource library and personal counseling, the careers office helps students secure internships and summer jobs, assesses their career interests, and provides them with workshops to learn job skills such as resume writing, interviewing, the application process, and even business dining. The office also helps students identify and apply to appropriate graduate schools, and administers graduate school standardized tests.
Adams also looks forward to developing long-range relationships with companies who recruit Davidson students for employment. "The trick in this business is making your school seem like a local institution to employers in distant places," he explained. "I want to make sure Davidson is enough in the mind of employers in places like Washington and Chicago so that it feels to them like a local college."
Adams and his spouse of 20 years, Rose, collect Western and Native American art. John also explores his family's genealogy, which he can trace back 23 generations. His ancestry includes the John Adamses who served as America's second and sixth presidents.
Davidson is a highly selective independent liberal arts college for 1,600 students. Since its establishment in 1837, the college has graduated 23 Rhodes Scholars and is consistently ranked among the top liberal arts colleges in the country by U.S. News and World Report magazine. Davidson is currently engaged in "Let Learning Be Cherished," a $250 million campaign in support of student financial assistance, academic resources, and community life.