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D EVELOPING YOUR CAREER PATH Christina L. Davis, Esq. Senior Legal Manager, Enterprise Growth Group American Express General Counsel’s Office.

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Presentation on theme: "D EVELOPING YOUR CAREER PATH Christina L. Davis, Esq. Senior Legal Manager, Enterprise Growth Group American Express General Counsel’s Office."— Presentation transcript:

1 D EVELOPING YOUR CAREER PATH Christina L. Davis, Esq. Senior Legal Manager, Enterprise Growth Group American Express General Counsel’s Office

2 W HAT I DO ? I am a lawyer, providing legal advice for the prepaid division of American Express. 2 Pictures of Cards-Copyright American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.

3 T HE E DUCATION AND LICENSING NEEDED TO BECOME A LAWYER Bachelors of Arts or Bachelor of Science Juris Doctor from an A.B.A. accredited law school State Bar License My credentials: B.A., Wellesley College J.D., Georgetown University Law Center NJ State Bar License 3

4 There are several tools for successfully developing your own career path 4 DREAMING EXPLORING STRATEGIC DECISION-MAKING PREPARING

5 ONE : DREAMING Assess your skills, talents and interests TRY DIFFERENT THINGS! Why? Career dissatisfaction is inevitable if you don’t think about what you want to do with your life. 5

6 TWO : EXPLORING Use the Internet MyPlan.com Careervillage.org Kidzworld.com- Talk to your parents, relatives, and family friends (Watch them, too) Look for “Shadowing opportunities” Look at Careers and Career Paths What may I want to pursue as a career AND What is it going to take to get there? Bureau of Labor and Statistics Site for Children: 6

7 THREE : STRATEGIC D ECISION MAKING Think about your PRIORITIES often and rank them. Your priorities will help you determine your career path. Your priorities will change and their ranking will change, but it is important to reevaluate them often. You don’t have to make every decision today. Pace yourself. Know that you are going to change your mind. It’s ok! 7

8 FOUR : PREPARING WHAT CAN I DO TODAY? In preparation for ANY CAREER, you need to develop a strong work ethic and attitude toward what you do. You need a “Leadership Mentality ” “Attitude reflects Leadership” 8

9 T HE LEADERSHIP MENTALITY : THE “W ELLS ” OF L EADERSHIP * Well Read- Read a variety of books. Books open doors and allow us to see the world from different perspectives. Well Spoken- Pay attention to what you say and how you say it. Leaders mean what they say and say what they mean. Well Travelled- Aspire to see the world outside of your own community to open your eyes to opportunities and the needs of others. Well Balanced- Develop your mind, but also develop compassion, civility, integrity and the ability to listen well. Being well balanced also means to exercise, but rest. Work hard, but play too. Being well-balanced prepares us for the unexpected and allows us the ability to act and react to the world in positive and productive ways. * Dr. Robert Franklin, 10 th President of Morehouse College, Atlanta GA. 9

10 T HE E VOLUTION OF YOUR CAREER PATH MAY NOT LINEAR OR CLEAR AT TIMES … H ERE IS MINE … 9 th Grade- A career day presenter sparks my interest in becoming a Biomedical Engineer. I love drawing but I can’t stand blood or medicine and I don’t care for math either. 10th Grade: I like to write. Perhaps I should investigate journalism? I like to write but I don’t like factual writing. I like to be creative and express my opinions. 11 th Grade: Lawyer? Maybe. My dad is a lawyer. He loves his job. He gets to be creative and persuade people with his “writing” and speaking in the court room Grade 11: I learn there is so much more you can do with a law degree than practice in the courtroom. e.g. Lobbyist, Corporate lawyer. Grade 11: My Godmother is a judge. I talk to her about colleges and universities and academic requirements. Grade 12: I deliberately choose to go to Wellesley College, a small liberal arts school to strengthen my writing and speaking,. Looking toward the future I think a smaller school may hopefully means a better/personalized recommendation for law school. 10

11 M Y C AREER P ATH (C ONT ’ D ) College Sophomore: Do I still want to be a lawyer? What kind? I choose to major in Political Science (the most common prelaw major) and African American History & Liter. College Sophomore and Junior year: I investigate the types of lawyers. International lawyer, corporate lawyer. Senior Year. I’m scared!! Do I really want to be a lawyer LIKE my father? Do I really want to continue to go to school at all? Senior Year: I choose a law school with many types of fields of study. Georgetown University is the largest law school in the country with a diverse curriculum. I attend Georgetown. I take 4 years (rather than 3 to finish) They let you do that so long as you are paying for it! Third Year of Law school: I need a job. I don’t really want to practice in the court room. So what do I ultimately want to do? I learn many corporate legal jobs require that you first have law firm private practice experience. Corporate Job is my ultimate goal because “in house” lawyers have more work-life balance (so I thought!). I move to NJ and get a clerkship at the Essex County Court House in Newark, NJ, a job which I am told will hopefully lead to a “better law firm job. I got a job as a lawyer a small firm in Morristown, NJ ; smaller firms practice in a variety of areas of the law! 11

12 M Y C AREER PATH (C ONT ’ D ) In 2000, I wanted more work/ life balance ( a family, vacation, free time), so went to work at American Express, First with Merchant Services then Prepaid Services (Enterprise Growth) I switched to Prepaid in 2007 because Financial Services industry experts said that Prepaid is the future of Financial Services”. Hopefully more options for me. ? (Corporate Compliance Career. Maybe) 12

13 F INAL W ORDS … 13 “The greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually be afraid you’ll make one.” -Elbert Hubbard All picture credits: Google Images


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