Category: General

Career Success: Unlocking the Student-Athlete Advantage

Being a student-athlete isn’t just about playing a game while in college. It’s a crash course in essential life skills. In this article, we’ll explore how being a student-athlete can benefit you and give you a leg up in internships and job hunts.

Building Valuable Soft Skills: Playing sports teaches you more than just the rules of the game. It teaches skills like discipline, dedication, time management, teamwork, leadership, and goal setting. In your interviews, make sure you express how being a student-athlete your entire life has taught you those skills, as they are like gold to employers and will make you stand out from other “regular” students.

Ability to handle pressure: employers aren’t just interested in your GPA, they want someone who can handle multiple things happening at once, and still be able to perform. Remember that time you had practice late at night but still had to finish an assignment before midnight AND study for an exam the day after? Somehow, you figured it out, and still got a good grade on the exam! Without making excuses, at 10 PM you put your nose down and got it done. That is what employers want, someone who instead of complaining and asking for an extension, just gets it done.

Teamwork and Leadership: Whether it’s working in a team to reach a common goal in sports or working on a project for school, being a student-athlete shows you can play well with others, a quality employers highly value. Plus, your experience in sports gives you a head start in understanding how teams function, you probably had to handle situations where a teammate was not doing their best and you had to pick them up or had an argument with a teammate and had to find a way to agree. Those are all possible scenarios that might come up in an interview.

Facing challenges Head-On: Life isn’t always a win, and sports teach you that. Overcoming injuries, losses, and resolving team conflicts are experiences that show employers that you are resilient, adaptable, and determined to find a way to get it done.

So, when preparing for your next interview, or working on your resume, think about how being a student-athlete helped you grow, and how it shaped you into who you are today. Don’t be afraid to use those experiences to your advantage and to differentiate yourself from other candidates!

If you would like to know more or have questions on how you could showcase your skills on your resume or in an interview, feel free to email me ( or schedule an appointment here.

Oliver De Croock ’24, Student-Athlete at Lawrence University majoring in Economics and Data Science. Oliver works as a Career Peer Educator at the Career Center and is the President of the Lawrence University Business Networking ClubConnect with Oliver on LinkedIn.

The Denver Publishing Institute

By Lauren A. James-Spielman

Entering the publishing world is no easy feat, especially without experience. To stand out, additional education beyond Lawrence may be necessary.  Rather than attend a two-year graduate program, a much shorter training program exists to help you learn the relevant skills, create influential connections, and understand the ins and outs of the industry. The Denver Publishing Institute (DPI) is an option to turn your passion for books into a profession. 

Every summer, the Denver Publishing Institute enrolls 95 students in their four-week graduate-level publishing program that has launched the careers of over 4,000 participants across the country since 1976. Graduates can be found at work in every aspect of the publishing business–trade and textbooks, children’s and scholarly books. They have gone on to become designers and production specialists, sales reps and literary agents, editors, marketers, and publishers.

According to their handbook, “the program includes multiple workshops focusing on important processes within the publishing field. In the Editing Workshop, you will work on actual manuscripts to engage with the various stages of editing and will have the opportunity to practice editorial skills such as the preparation of a reader’s report, developmental manuscript editing, copyediting, and proofreading. In the Marketing Workshop, you will gain practical experience writing a publicity release for an actual manuscript, learn to identify target audiences and develop a complete marketing plan.”

In addition to hands-on workshops, prominent publishing executives from every area of the business will share their expertise on a broad range of publishing issues. You will also have many opportunities to gain general career knowledge, including tips on résumés, cover letters, interviews, and making job connections.

To learn more about the DPI, including costs and application requirements, visit their website here. Priority application deadlines are at the end of March, although applications are still accepted through early May.

What is Grant Writing?

By Lauren A. James-Spielman

Have you ever wondered how nonprofits and charities get the funds they need to complete their projects? Grants are given to these organizations by donors to support their missions of activism and social change. Grant Writers, therefore, play a vital role in the nonprofit and local community realm, using clear and specific language to persuade the reader of a grant application to provide the funds needed for potentially life-changing projects to come to fruition. Because of the wide range of programs, those who decide to pursue the path of grant writing can work in fields that are meaningful to them, including immigration, housing, food inequity, social justice, and more.

Grant writing is no easy task, but it does typically follow the same format. Those providing the grant (Grantmakers) will have specific rules that may differ from one another, but they will always want to see the following:

  • A short summary of your proposal that lays out the problem you are solving
  • The plan for the work you intend to carry out
  • A broad outline of the budget, distinguishing direct and indirect costs
  • The qualifications and experience of those carrying out this project

Despite the job title, there’s more to grant writing than just writing. In order to begin the process of developing a grant, extensive research is necessary to make your proposal as comprehensive as possible. This includes researching the impact of your project, the projects of adjacent organizations, related grants that have been accepted in recent years, and that only scratches the surface. It doesn’t just end with the grant itself, either. Tracking the progress and success of a grant makes it possible for other grants to be made for both your own organization and for others in the field who hope to also receive funding.

If you’re interested in becoming a grant writer, you’re already off to a great start if you’re enrolled here at Lawrence! Most positions require a bachelor’ degree, and majoring in a relevant field like English, creative writing, or any major that helps develop your writing skills can lay a strong foundation. However, the best way to begin grant writing is to get experience. Many organizations are looking for volunteers to help with their grant writing, so researching your local nonprofits can help you begin your journey and develop valuable connections.

Works Cited:

How to make your Law School application stand out

You are approaching the end of your junior year at Lawrence. You have already carefully chosen your major, taken rigorous, relevant courses, and earned a strong GPA. You have also completed several pieces of research, become an excellent writer, and accomplished a great deal in an internship, specific extracurricular activity, or on-campus job. Now you are ready to start seriously thinking about your law school applications. How will you stand out from all the other applicants?

To stand out in a competitive pool requires a multi-pronged approach. Here are some specific actions you can take:

Maximize your LSAT score: This often carries the most weight. While aiming for a top score is ideal, consider retaking the test if you think you can improve significantly.

Tell your unique story: The personal statement is an especially important part of your application. Do not just list achievements. Instead, highlight your motivations, experiences, and how they shaped your passion for law.

Highlight specific skills and qualities: Use your personal statement and CV to demonstrate strengths like analytical thinking, problem-solving, communication, and leadership through anecdotes and examples.

Highlight relevant work experience and education: Your CV should also be used to highlight your academic achievements and any legal internships, or paralegal jobs you may have held. Unrelated jobs can also be included if they demonstrate responsibility, time management, and transferable skills.

Proofread meticulously: Eliminate typos and grammatical errors.

Get someone to review your material: Have someone with expertise in this area review your application material. Career Center staff and faculty members are extremely helpful in this regard.

Tailor your application to each school: Highlight features that align with their specific interests and programs.

Provide strong letters of recommendation: Choose faculty recommenders who know you well and can speak to your academic strengths and potential.

Consider optional essays: If offered, use them to address potential weaknesses or provide further context to your story.

Be genuine and authentic: Let your personality shine through, showing the admissions committee who you are beyond numbers and scores.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach. However, by focusing on academic excellence, crafting compelling narratives, highlighting diverse experiences, and presenting a well-polished application, you can increase your chances of standing out in the competitive law school application pool.

Tax Tips for Artists and Musicians

Navigating the tax landscape as an artist or freelance musician can feel opaque and overwhelming. This guide will help you hit the right notes with your tax return, ensuring you claim every deduction and credit legally available.

Know Your Self-Employment:

  • Track everything: Income from gigs, commissions, streaming royalties – every penny counts. Use a dedicated app, spreadsheet, or even a trusty notebook to keep meticulous records.
  • Form 1040 is your friend: You’ll report your professional earnings on Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ, depending on your expenses.
  • Self-employment tax is real: Brace yourself for an additional 15.3% tax (covering Social Security and Medicare) on top of your income tax. Factor this into your pricing and budget accordingly.


  • Turn expenses into savings: Instruments, music equipment, studio rent, even sheet music and online subscriptions – many business-related expenses are eligible for deductions.
  • Home office: If you dedicate a designated workspace at home, claim a portion of your rent, utilities, and internet expenses.
  • Marketing: Website fees, social media promotions, and even business cards – all valid deductions for spreading the word about your artistry.

Maximize the Credits:

  • Education: Did you take that masterclass or photography workshop? Educational expenses can be deducted or credited, further sweetening your tax tune.
  • Health: Health insurance premiums are often deductible, helping you stay healthy and financially balanced.

Don’t Go Solo:

  • Tax professionals: Consulting a tax accountant or financial advisor can be a wise investment, especially for complex situations.
  • Networking benefits: Join fellow artists’ unions or professional organizations for shared resources and expert guidance on tax and legal matters.


  • Keep meticulous records: Receipts, invoices, and bank statements are your proof when tax time arrives.
  • Pay estimated taxes: Avoid penalties by making quarterly payments based on your expected income.
  • File on time!

Bonus Tip: Consider incorporating as a business (LLC or S-Corp) for additional tax benefits and legal protection. Consult a professional to see if this is the right step for you.

This is just a starting point, and every artist’s tax situation is unique. Always consult with a professional tax advisor for personalized guidance and ensure you comply with all relevant regulations.

Beyond the Code: Your Secret Superpower for Tech & Data Success

We all know coding chops are like kryptonite to a computer – essential for bending technology to your will. But hold up, budding tech wizards, because there’s a secret ingredient even more powerful than a perfect Python loop: soft skills!

Yep, you read that right. While coding languages and data wrangling are your tools, soft skills are the superpowers that unlock their full potential, turning you from a lone coder to a tech titan or data demigod.

So, what are these mystical soft skills? Think of them as your social superpowers, like:

  • Communication: No, it’s not just about writing clear emails (though that’s important!). It’s about explaining complex technical concepts to non-technical folks, like that one neighbor who still thinks “the cloud” is a fluffy white thing in the sky. It’s about active listening, understanding different perspectives, and building trust with teammates and clients.
  • Collaboration: Tech and data aren’t solo sports. Imagine building a spaceship using only duct tape and bubblegum – that’s what working without collaboration feels like. You need to work effectively with diverse teams, share ideas, give and receive feedback, and celebrate victories together (because let’s be honest, debugging can be a warzone!).
  • Critical Thinking: This isn’t just about spotting typos in your code (although, good eye!). It’s about analyzing problems from different angles, questioning assumptions, and coming up with creative solutions. Think of yourself as a data detective, sniffing out insights and uncovering hidden patterns in the digital haystack.
  • Problem-Solving: Remember that feeling when your code finally compiles without errors? Pure euphoria, right? Well, that’s just the beginning. Tech and data are all about tackling challenges, big and small. So, sharpen your problem-solving skills, embrace mistakes as learning opportunities, and get used to thinking outside the binary box.
  • Adaptability: The tech world is like a rollercoaster on fast-forward – ever-changing, always unpredictable. Be a chameleon, not a grumpy cactus. Embrace new technologies, learn new skills on the fly, and stay flexible in the face of change. This adaptability is what separates the innovators from the tech dinosaurs.

So, how do you hone these secret superpowers?

  • Practice makes perfect: Volunteer for presentations, join project teams, and don’t be afraid to ask questions or make mistakes. Remember, every stumble is a step closer to mastery.
  • Seek out mentors: Find experienced professionals in your field who can guide you and share their wisdom. Bonus points if they’re as cool as Obi-Wan Kenobi!
  • Get involved in your community: Attend workshops, hackathons, and conferences. Network with other tech enthusiasts, share your knowledge, and learn from theirs.

Remember, soft skills are the superpowers that elevate your technical expertise to legendary status. They’re the secret sauce that makes you a team player, a leader, and a valuable asset in any tech or data landscape. So, don’t just focus on lines of code, but also cultivate the social superpowers that will make you a force to be reckoned with in the exciting world of tech and data!


Now go forth and conquer! And remember, the force of soft skills is with you!