Savvy Seniors: Know Who You Are

Posted on October 30, 2014 with No Comments

Ben Mervis

A Networking story by Ben Mervis, ‘12
Account Manager @ Rescue Social Change Group

Before walking in to a networking event or job interview, I tell myself: “you have the experience and you have the hunger.” Most importantly, I remind myself to be confident. Then, I wipe the nervous sweat off my palms, stride into the venue and shake some hands.

As a Senior at UVM, I worked on my confidence by building my best story: “I’ve spent the last 4 years developing skills in marketing strategy and campaign implementation, and have a sincere interest in socially responsible businesses and marketing.” I tested different versions and lengths of this in front of the mirror, over dinner with friends and at networking events of every type. I realized that each time I told my story I understood more about who I was and what I was looking for.

I met my life-changing connection on Church Street. His name is Jeff, and he was visiting from California; his non-traditional marketing agency works with different branches of State and Federal Governments to develop behavior change marketing campaigns.  After staying in-touch via LinkedIn and other means, Jeff introduced me to his client, and I began working for the Vermont Department of Health coordinating social marketing campaigns. I launched my career as the direct liaison to Jeff’s marketing agency, in-addition to other marketing and advertising contractors. Eighteen months later I moved to California to work for Jeff as the Account Manager on a National tobacco-prevention campaign.

The Takeaway:

  1. Figure out what you ACTUALLY want to do.  Conversations with people will help you get there by exploring the different roles and fields where you can apply your skills.
  2. Talk to people. Tell your story. You never know where that connection will take you.
  3. Follow-up! My company’s CEO constantly says “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.” I say that it’s the tactful, confident and persistent (within reason) applicant that gets the job.

You have the experience, you have the hunger, now go shake some hands!

Choosing a Major–A Major Adventure!

Posted on October 29, 2014 with No Comments

Woman drawing a 3D spiral off a wall

Undecided? Great! Some colleges use the word “exploratory” to identify students who have not yet decided on a major. It’s a great reminder that choosing a major can be a positive process that helps you make the most of your college experience!

Where to begin?

  • Start with some self-exploration. What interests you? What do you like to read… do….watch? What kinds of things intrigued you as a kid?
  • What are your options? You may be more decided than you think! Rule out those of no interest, and watch that list of possibilities shrink to something more manageable.
  • Get more info on majors you are curious about. Check out course listings, read course descriptions. Get brave! Follow up by meeting with a faculty member in the department and ask them to refer you to a student who is enjoying the major.
  • Test the waters by taking a course or two in the major. What piques your interest?

Take the pressure off yourself!

Need help getting started? You don’t have to do this alone!

  • Stop by the Career+Experience Hub for a quick consult to help you get started.
  • Still puzzled? Schedule an appointment at the Career Center for a longer conversation and a more in-depth look at your interests, values and skills.

With 100+ majors at UVM, there are many wonderful options. You can have a major that intrigues you, leads to interesting experiences and helps you prepare for a successful life after graduation. We’re here to help you as your make this choice!

~Mary Beth

The Party’s Not Over Yet! Here’s How to Stand Out AFTER the Job Fair.

Posted on October 21, 2014 with No Comments

Staff of City Year Corps Members

Vilma Rodrigues-Silva is the Recruitment Manager of the Northeast Region for City Year New Hampshire. She goes to lots of job fairs, so we asked her about the best ways for candidates to stand out after the event.

Is there an appropriate way to follow up with an employer after a Job Fair, even if I didn’t get a chance to meet you there?

YES! Following up with an email is fine if you missed us at a fair or could not make it. You do not need to be shy about letting a recruiter know that you are interested in a program (that is what we are here for!), and there is no need to explain in detail about why you didn’t make it to the fair. Following up with an email shows us that you are taking the initiative to learn more about our program, and that is a good thing.

What do you think about thank you notes after a Job Fair?

Personalized, hand-written notes are amazing! However, if I received these from even half of all of the students I met at job fairs, I would have hundreds of them coming in and I wouldn’t be able to keep up. I believe handwritten notes should be left to more personal interactions or after an interview. All other instances of meeting at fairs or presentations could be followed up with an email note, thanking the recruiter for their time and for coming to campus. What makes a good note is simply saying thank you and mentioning something specific that you learned or that the recruiter said that stuck with you.

Is it possible to follow up too much?

Yes, there is a “too much policy.”  It’s important to show recruiters that you are interested in their program, but keep in mind that there is an abundance of information on the websites and brochures. You don’t want to ask a recruiter something that could simply be found on the homepage of a website. However, if you need clarification on something you’ve read, want more information on something you found, or want a personal account of the recruiter’s experience, then feel free to call and email.

What else should candidates know?

I – and many recruiters – love talking to students at fairs! If you already know a little about a program and plan on visiting the fair, you should come prepared to ask questions to gain more knowledge. If you randomly end up at a table because it caught your attention, politely introduce yourself and ask to learn more! Don’t be afraid to inquire for more information, and to tell the recruiter a little about yourself. Show confidence!

Job Fair Insights from the Other Side of the Table

Posted on October 16, 2014 with No Comments

Build Your IT Career at Fast

Here’s the inside scoop from a recruiter who attends A LOT of job fairs!

What can students do to stand out (in a good way) at a Job Fair?

One of the first questions we ask a candidate at a career fair is, “have you heard of Fast Enterprises?” Students should find the companies and opportunities that they are interested in ahead of time and check out their website & social media. Doing research shows that you are interested in and excited about the opportunity to work at a company.

What do recruiters like best about attending a Job Fair?

We love to meet candidates face to face! This is a candidate’s chance to explain their qualifications to us, rather than us simply viewing their resume on a computer. Tell us about you, what you are looking for and what you can bring to our team. Make a great first impression.

What do recruiters like least about attending a Job Fair?

Because FAST is a smaller company, not many students have heard of us and don’t stop by our booth to learn about us. Instead, they stand in line at the large companies that they are familiar with. We recommend considering the smaller or unfamiliar companies. Just because you haven’t heard of the company before does not mean that they do not have great opportunities available! Be flexible at a career fair and open to all job prospects.

Why should first-years and sophomores attend a Job Fair?

Career fairs can seem intimidating, but attending during your freshman and sophomore years is advantageous. It will help you practice your networking skills and it shows employers that you are motivated, and a go-getter. We love sharing the FAST stories with all candidates and we even give tips to younger students about how they can become a better candidate for FAST in the upcoming years.

~Gina Somsen
Recruiter, Fast Enterprises, LLC

Talk with Fast Representatives Sarah Berry and Chris Schmidt (& 125 other employers!) at the Fall Job Fair on October 22, 2014. 2-6pm. Davis Center

World of Work: Hannah Richman ’08, California State Parks

Posted on October 8, 2014 with No Comments

Hannah Richman in her Park Ranger uniformHannah Richman ‘08
State Park Peace Officer (Ranger), California State Parks
Major: Anthropology & Political Science

How would you describe what you do on a typical day?

As a Park Ranger, I am charged with protecting the parks from the people and the people from the parks. It’s a balancing act between allowing people to explore and enjoy California State Parks while protecting the area for future generations to experience.

Tell us about your career path to this position.

I was an Anthropology major at UVM and had no idea what I wanted to do after I graduated. During my senior year of college, I went to a race at Angel Island State Park in California. When I got off the ferry, there was a Park Ranger on the island who struck up a conversation with me based on my hat (a State Parks hat I found at a thrift store). We started talking about his position and what an amazing job it was. He suggested that I go to the website and apply for a position in the spring. From there, it took me approximately 2 ½ years to get my job with the California State Parks and now I can’t imagine doing anything else.

What is your favorite part of your work?

Every park has different needs. At my current park I spend the majority of my time patrolling in various off-road vehicles, making sure the people are behaving safely, and rendering first aid where needed. A part of why I like my job so much is that I am not confined to doing just one thing. I always wanted to be a lawyer, teacher, doctor, or someone who doesn’t have to sit in an office all day. As a Park Ranger I am an EMT who gets to practice my skills on a regular basis, I have an extensive understanding of the law and the criminal justice system, and every day I get to speak with the public and teach them about the area they are visiting. As a bonus, I learn more about California’s natural and cultural resources every day.

What three words would describe your work environment?

Dynamic, Challenging, Entertaining

What advice do you have for students searching for jobs or internships in your field?

Anyone who is interested in working for California State Parks should go to www.parks.ca.gov and look under the jobs or volunteer headings. There are many opportunities to work for State Parks either as a volunteer or as a paid employee. Some of the jobs are part-time and seasonal positions and others are full-time employment. The Park Ranger position has many steps. Once the position is announced, the first step would be filling out a standard application found on the State Parks website.

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