Finally struck gold on the job hunt

David A. Hunter (BA Political Science 2011)

A note from the Editor: The following article was taken from a recent email David Hunter sent to the University. In it, he reflects on the journey that has led him to succeed in the competitive world of the Washington D.C. job market. I thought to share this message with you because I find it inspirational for young Richmond alumni in the middle of following in David’s footsteps, for the faculty and staff who work with our students to maximise future opportunities, and for alumni who have already climbed the career ladder and are familiar with the challenges involved and may now be in the position to provide invaluable internship or network connections to current and future generations of Richmond students and alumni.

 

Dear Professors, Student Affairs Team, and other faculty and staff at Richmond I had the pleasure to know in my time there,

Sorry to have not been in better touch. The last two years since I finished at Richmond and 18 months since I walked the stage, moved back to the States, and settled in DC have been busy. I started out interning with the American Enterprise Institute, one of the world's biggest think tanks and quite conservative, in their Economic and Fiscal Policy Department. After about six months, I moved to an internship on Capitol Hill with the Congressman from my hometown. Though the work was tedious, I loved it. Capitol Hill is the epicenter of daily policy making and oversight of the Federal Government and it thrilled me to no end. Sadly, I chose what was perhaps the worst time in the history of Capitol Hill to try to find a job there as the sequester and other fiscal trimming had left most Congressional budgets 25% lower than they were in 2008.

But finally, after about 2 years, 4 internships, more than 30 dead end interviews, and around 200 applications, I finally got an offer from Accenture. I will be working out of the DC office in their federal consulting department. Ironically, it was not through any of my internships, Richmond connections, or any sort of professional experience that got me the break. Rather, in my 18 months of bartending, I worked a party and met a Manager at the firm, who helped to get my resume to the right people. However, I could not have capitalized on this opportunity had it not been for my degree, work experience, and many trials and tribulations since graduation. But, here I am, a 23-year old with an offer from an amazing firm after 2 years of messing around, networking, learning and failing following university.

Throughout this 24-month soul search, where time and again I got close to the beginning of a career only to be shot down, the value of my degree has become apparent. The ability to think beyond a conventional perspective, talk to people of all backgrounds, write in a variety of forms and lengths, and pursue problems with an open mind, has brought me to where I am now. Through my combination of academics and extra-curriculars, along with the full support of our faculty in innumerable ways (from supporting outside lectures and trips, to giving me the terrible grades I occasionally deserved and making me the thinker I am today) I am grateful for what you have done for me and will never forget my time at Richmond.

My plan from here is similar to what it always was - get a bit of a career going, go back to graduate school, and then settle down and hopefully run for office or start a foundation. But as I have learned over the past months, plans do not always work as planned.

Finally, I feel it is my duty to help those entering the world I am in now. Though I doubt I have the power to get anyone a job anytime soon, I am happy to be put in touch with Richmond alumni in any county, field, or political party and do the best I can to help expand the opportunities of my fellow alumni. I encourage you to put any student of Richmond in touch with me, to share my story, and to continue giving the best education and experience you can to keep Richmond the best place on earth to have such a unique opportunity.

Best wishes and thank you again,

David Hunter

 
 
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