We're moving!

We're moving our new stories to Denison.edu, the college's super-sweet mothership. Over time, we'll be moving some of our best past stories from TheDEN over there too. In the meantime, we've made available an archive of all stories here. This archive will be available for a few months before this site is permanently shut down. See you at Denison.edu! - June 2016

Half-court dreams

Courtney Baxter ’11 had big dreams after graduation—and big dreams often lead to unknown territory. In a recent New York Times article, Baxter talks about the journey to find her first job, and the not-so-ordinary path she took to get it.

I found my dream job in New York after writing an e-mail version of one of those half-court basketball shots. In a state of post-graduation anxiety early this year, I had paused from my résumé tweaking and cover-letter editing to acknowledge that I was at a loss. That’s when my gut persuaded me to e-mail an author I had never met, and to ask her for advice.

It had been nine months since I graduated from Denison University in Granville, Ohio, with a B.A. in gender studies and international studies, and I had already lived in Michigan; Washington, D.C.; Ohio; New Jersey; and now New York, doing internships and taking on short-term stints as a nanny. I wasn’t ready to go to graduate school, and I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my career.

Throughout college, I had been reading and following the work of Courtney E. Martin, author of “Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists” and “Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: How the Quest for Perfection Is Harming Young Women.” I loved her accessible writing about activism, feminism, freelancing and nontraditional faith. Thanks to online media, she had served as a kind of mentor-at-a-distance who both inspired me and calmed my career nerves. When I read her, I saw myself; if she could be so influential, there was hope for other big dreamers like me …

Be sure to read the rest of Baxter’s account of finding her dream job. Who knows, maybe you’ll be inspired to take a half-court shot of your own.

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