Caroline Queen may be an Olympic kayaker, and she may spend her days doing business development work for Ritz-Carlton, but she is first and foremost a Davidsonian from the class of 2014. A "strong N" on the Myers-Briggs test, meaning she is a person who focuses on the future and trusts her intuition, she also tries to be realistic and set reasonable expectations.
"I didn't expect to surpass every expectation I set for college" she said, "and I think I blew every expectation out of the water. Being in a community of people that loved to learn and grow and be in service of something larger—it was just awesome."
Queen draws many similarities between Davidson and her current employer.
"Ritz-Carlton has a culture of service excellence that starts with leadership in the official and unofficial sense," she said. "I also feel empowered to be creative and develop relationships. These are all things I valued about my time at Davidson, and this mindset prepared me for my career in ways I didn't realize at the time."
A psychology major with interest in industrial-organizational psychology, Queen switched gears after thinking through how she would apply her liberal arts education and testing a few waters through internships, including one with Ritz-Carlton.
When she was filling out her new employee paperwork the first week in the office, there was a question about including organizations as beneficiaries of insurance policies and retirement accounts.
"If I have the option, why not?" Queen said about including Davidson in these long-term plans. "It was a natural and easy choice for me; I gave it maybe two minutes of thought. I think it says something about Davidson that it was a no-brainer for a 25-year-old to make plans for a potentially large contribution in the future."
Queen said the general rigor of Davidson prepared her for everything else in life, and she always felt supported through the challenging times.
"It is an environment of challenge that's not going to put you in a bad spot," she said. "We were given amazing tools and resources to solve tough problems and explore innumerable topics. I learned how to be collaborative and resourceful, and that has carried me into my professional life."
As a student, Queen was involved with Dinner at Davidson, the student-led effort to raise awareness and dollars for The Davidson Trust.
"The yield I got from working on Dinner at Davidson alone was so much higher than our tuition cost," she said. "To think that someone would be prevented from the overall Davidson experience for fiscal reasons is super disappointing. I would love to eventually fund a scholarship on campus to help students with those challenges."