Archive for March, 2011

Resume Update: Going Functional

Dale Davidson

Portland, OR 97210 – 781-640-3794  –

Professional Experience

Leadership and Project Management

  • Streamlined and improved the gear issue process for outfitting  250+ Navy SEAL trainees. This process involved reorganizing personnel, delegating authority to subordinates,  and implementing a factory line process. Cut down gear issue time from a historical 4 hours per gear issue to 2 hours.
  • Founded start-up TrekDek INC. In spare time outsourced web development,   implemented social media campaign, filed incorporation paperwork, and collaborated with overseas manufacturers.

Administrative Skills

  • Identified redundant spending in the Navy’s Advanced Training Center budget. Was able to study various departments’ spending history and pinpoint  specific items that could be cut without impacting mission readiness.  Potential savings were approximately $5000-$10000.

Communication skills

  • As both a Kaplan SAT Teacher and 12th Grade Literature Teacher at Egyptian High school, was able to effectively communicate important principles and ideas. SAT students’ test scores improved 15-20%. Literature students improved understanding of core principles of literature.

  • Started personal blog to communicate thoughts and experiences. Has received 1700 views since inception.

Employment History

AUG 2010 – FEB 2011                     12th Grade Literature Teacher, Nefertari American  International School, Cairo Egypt


MAY 2009 – AUG 2010                    Ensign, United States Navy, San Diego, CA


SEP 2005 – MAY 2009                      Midshipman, Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps, Washington, DC


NOV 2006 – MAY 2009                    SAT Teacher, Kaplan Test Prep, Washington, DC


Bachelor of Arts, The George Washington University (2009)

Major: International Affairs with concentration in security and conflict

Minor: French Language and Literature

I invite all of you to critique the thing.


My resume (please revise to make me look more awesome)

Here is the full text of resume. I would love to hear your suggestions on how to lie better, I mean present myself in a better light (euphemisms are great).

Dale Davidson

(781) 640-3794


The George Washington University, Elliott School of International Affairs, Washington, DC, Bachelor of Arts, May 2009

Major: International Affairs: Conflict and Security

Minor: French Language and Literature

Honors Program (September 2005 – May 2007)

American University Center of Provence, Marseille, France, Spring 2008, Semester Abroad

Intensive language study; Home stay; Coursework conducted in French, Focus on French colonization of North Africa


TrekDek INC, Founder, August 2010 – Present

  • Founded TrekDek INC
  • Managed a web development team located in India remotely
  • Managed communications between TrekDek INC and overseas suppliers (primarily in China)
  • Implemented social media campaign
  • Implemented market research plan
  • Engaged in fundraising activities (venture capitalists/angel investors)

Nefertari American International School, 12th Grade Teacher, Cairo, Egypt, August 2010 – February 2011, 40 hours

  • Developed 12th Grade Literature and Writing curriculum for Egyptian students
  • Implemented appropriate classroom management systems
  • Continually engaged students in activities designed to raise their interest in literature and writing

United States Navy, Ensign, Coronado, CA, May 2009 – August 2010, 40 hours per week

  • Student Control Officer, Guarantee military personnel are properly enrolled in advanced academic and tactical special operations courses
  • Operations Assistant, Aided with the execution of day-to-day operations at the Naval Special Warfare Center
  • Basic Underwater Demolition / SEAL Student, Participated in physical training, directly responsible for the welfare and safety of 15 other students, and ensured training vehicles were properly maintained

Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps, George Washington University Unit, Washington, DC, August 2005 – May 2009, 12 hours per week

  • Earned a commission as a United States Navy Ensign in May 2009
  • 1 of 16 nationwide NROTC midshipman selected for year group 2009 Naval Special Warfare training (SEALs)
  • Hand-picked to track and ensure proper military gear outfitting and logistical support for over 150 members as the supply officer (May 2008 to December 2008)
  • Supervised the welfare, collegiate academic, and military physical standards and conduct for 20 midshipman (December 2008 to May 2009)
  • Recruited, trained, and mentored military and civilian students considering application into the Navy SEAL program as the Special Warfare Club coordinator.  Duties included designing and leading core and cardiovascular strengthening exercises, building underwater self-confidence, and developing citizenship (August 2007 – May 2009)

Scholastic Aptitude Test Teacher, Kaplan Test Preparation, December 2006 – April 2009, 12 hours per week

  • Instructed SAT Preparation classes to high school students through dynamic teaching methods that engaged students in course material
  • Administered practice exams mimicking real-life testing conditions
  • Critiqued student essays and provided feedback on writing skills
  • Improved students’ test scores by 100+ points
  • Consistently rated ‘excellent teacher’ by students

Additional Information

  • Designated U.S. Navy Reserve Intelligence Officer, Ensign (1635 / O-1)
  • TS/SCI Clearance
  • French Language Ability (Intermediate Level)
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office
  • Affiliated with San Diego VAVi Sports and Social Club Marathon Training Team

A reflection on my career failure and the job search process

Over the past month or so I’ve been going through the job hunting motions in a rather half hearted way. The procedure works something like this:

1. Scan Craigslist or Monster for any job that seems remotely tolerable

2. See how involved the application process is. If the only step is to send a resume, then I copy and paste the listed e-mail address, attach the file C://Documents/Dale Davidson Resume and send. If the application process involves going through the company’s “career” section of the website where you repetitively fill in the fields for contact information, work experience, and education, I generally don’t apply for it.

3. Repeat.

This process is incredibly frustrating as the response rate is very low. This has forced me to consider the idea that maybe I’m not the highly valuable commodity that I believe I am. Not really wanting to believe this idea, I opened that Word document I call my resume in order to see if I could rephrase a few things.

This is when I discovered I suck.

At first glance, my resume looks interesting. Lets take what would appear to be my most valuable resume point: my short Naval career.

“United States Navy, Ensign, Coronado, CA, May 2009 – August 2010, 40 hours per week

  • Student Control Officer, Guarantee military personnel are properly enrolled in advanced academic and tactical special operations courses
  • Operations Assistant, Aided with the execution of day-to-day operations at the Naval Special Warfare Center
  • Basic Underwater Demolition / SEAL Student, Participated in physical training, directly responsible for the welfare and safety of 15 other students, and ensured training vehicles were properly maintained.”

Here is how an interview might play out:

Hiring Manager: May 2009-August 2010? About a year? I thought the military was generally a four year committment.

Dale: Yea it turns out after I dropped out of Navy SEAL training, the Navy figured I wasn’t worth further investment. This doesn’t mean that I won’t be valuable to your company though oh Mr. Hiring Manager.

Hiring Manger: Oh ok, well what about your time as a Student Control Officer? That sounds cool. You must be smart because it says “academic” in there and of course it is super sexy-cool because it says “tactical special operations.”

Dale: Oh yea! Well, of course I didn’t actually do anything academic or tactical or special operation -like at all. What I actually did was made sure Navy SEALs were enrolled in the Navy’s grade system called eNTRS. No I don’t know what it actually stands for. The job only really took about 45 minutes a week. The rest of the time there I spent surfing the internet. But no worries, I will be productive 100% of the time at your company.

Hiring Manager: Hmm, I see. Well that’s ok, you must have done some work as an Operations Assistant right? Operations are cool, especially when its in the same sentence as warfare.

Dale: Oh my god I completely forgot about that other office I hung out in! Yup, the only project I had there was to get some new motivational plaques hung up in the barracks. That process took a lot longer then it really should have because about 15 people were involved in the process, but hey, I think I was a crucial part of that job!

Hiring Manager: Well we don’t really work with plaques…but no matter. I see you were in the SEAL training program? How was that? Was it hard?

Dale: So that, well, this is a little embarrassing. I quit before any of the hard stuff started. I was in what they called PTRR. Its where you go before you class up. You work out in the morning and then go home after lunch.

Hiring Manager: So no demolition training?

Dale: No, only in my Call of Duty sessions.

Hiring Manager: Well I guess that’s something. But whats this about vehicle maintenance?

Dale: Oh yes, everyone had collateral duties. Mine was to make sure that the vehicles used by the instructors were clean! I even had a whole team to make sure the trucks got washed!

Hiring Manager: Well you seem to be an ambitious young man. Unfortunately, we’re looking for someone who has 2-3 years experience in this field! In fact, it would better if you already worked here, you know, to prove that you’re capable of working here.

Dale: F%$#

Yea, and this is for a job that pays $10 an hour that I probably could’ve gotten in high school. Way to go American economy.

In any case, I will just have to continue to misrepresent my work history to reflect better on me, that is, until TrekDek sells for millions of dollars.

I will be uploading my resume in the next post for all you thoughtful readers to revise in such a way that will make me look more attractive to employers.



PS: If you in any way are interested in TrekDek, please “like” the TrekDek page on Facebook. Thanks!



Why you should still go to touristy places

There is a certain type of traveler that displays a certain disdain for tourists and popular tourist destinations. A sense of ruin washes over him as he glazes over the mobs of fanny-pack wearing, Starbucks drinking, Canon sporting visitors that seems to have invaded this formerly exotic land. These mobs, with their overly cheerful local tour guides, will never truly be real travelers. With that observation, our jaded traveler dutifully heads back to his $5 a night hostel to plan his next adventure off the beaten path.

I’ll be the first to admit that tourist hot spots sometimes irk me. When Erica and I arrived in Ao Nang, Thailand, we were a little grossed out with the tacky souvenir shops and the overly expensive chic restaurants that could be found in any yuppie town in the US. It somehow didn’t feel “real.” The area seemed to have developed to cater to foreigners’ imagination of what Thailand really is. This thought enveloped my brain even as I was juxtaposing it against what I thought Thailand should really be like. Oh the irony.

It is fascinating to me how easily we fall into the trap of thinking that the richness of a place is inversely proportional to how many foreigners or visitors hang out there. The snobbish traveler might believe that the only meaningful travel experiences exist in remote, poverty inflicted areas where the modern world has not yet extended its reach.

Anyone who has ever lived in a tourist hot spot knows that its not true.

I recently left Cairo, a world renown hot spot, but the example I would like to use is far less exotic and ancient. I would like to talk about Washington, DC.

DC is a tourist hot spot. The Lincoln Memorial, the Smithsonian, the National Mall, Georgetown, the White House, Adams Morgan, Dupont, and Arlington cemetery are just some of the examples of place tourists may visit while in the nation’s capital.

I spent my four years of college in DC. I was not there as a tourist. However, I would never claim that my time spent there was wasted or unauthentic just because there was a large presence of tourists there. Japanese tour groups around the reflecting pool did not make my frequent runs around it less exhilarating. The presence of hotels filled with out of state visitors did not make my interactions with friends less genuine. And the museums…well ok, I generally don’t like museums so I’ll leave the Smithsonian out of this.

The fact is, even in the most touristy of places, there’s a world of rich, meaningful experiences to be had. They might not be the experiences that travelers may have envisioned, but they are meaningful nonetheless. The richness of life rarely has to do with location alone, rather, different locations provide new contexts for travelers to process meaningful experiences.

I would even argue that tourist hot spots offer even more opportunities for meaningful experiences than the more remote, untouched locations. Its true that one could be shuttled from landmark to museum and never have any experience that wasn’t created by a travel agency or a guide book. However, if you know what to be open to when you travel, you will find that travel can be rich even in the most trendy of vacation spots.

Lets take a hypothetical traveler and one of my TrekDek challenges and place him in a tourist hot spot, say, Rome. The challenge is to “Cook a local dish.” John Backpacker (our traveler) ate an excellent pesto linguini dish the other day and decides he will cook that. John is staying at a hostel that has a small kitchen with some basic cookware so no issues there. He starts by asking the hostel manager, Mario, where the best play to buy the ingredients for this dish. Mario, remembering his mother’s pesto linguini dish, regales him with stories about how his mother always used fresh basil leaves from the Campo dei Feiori market. Mario gives him some basic directions and John Backpacker starts his trek.

On the way to the market he gets lost and ends up wandering through a few neighborhoods with some beautiful architecture. He asks some locals for help getting to the market and one young Italian offers a ride on his moped. John accepts, and finds himself holding on for dear life. Thankfully, he makes it to the market.

He ends up talking to one woman who is selling basil leaves and she gives him advice on how to make the best pesto. She finds his ignorance of Italian cuisine amusing and invites him over to her family’s house to have a real Italian dinner. John graciously accepts and has a wonderful time speaking Englitalian with the family over a delicious meatball dinner.

John thanks his hosts profusely and rolls back to the hostel (meatballs aren’t exactly a diet dish). The next day, flush with ingredients given to him by his dinner hosts, begins to cook his pesto liguini. Some other backpackers at the hostel take an interest in his activities and offer to help. This leads to the classic scenario of “too many cooks in the kitchen” but no matter, it is all in good fun.

The travelers all share what what was supposed to be a pesto linguini dish over some cheap wine and regale each other with their travel stories.

I admit I exaggerated John’s hypothetical experience a little bit. It is quite possible that nothing overly interesting happens on John’s quest to make pesto linguini. However, having some travel experience, I find that this type of story is not completely off base either. The point is, this kind of story can definitely take place in a touristy location, and arguably, has a higher chance of happening in touristy places than more remote ones (I believe its because of the concentration of people).

Travel at its best facilitates these types of experiences, and as TrekDek comes closer and closer to launch, I invite you all to e-mail me your travel stories as well as what you think the catalyst for these experiences were at .



The monkey and I share a meaningful experience

My pre-conceived (and accurate) image of Ton Sai beach