Archive for the Networking Category

The Home Stretch

Posted on December 4, 2014 with No Comments

Finish Line Ahead

As you begin finals, we want to wish you good luck in the last days of the fall semester. Between study sessions, you might also start to think about how to use the upcoming break to your full advantage.

During the semester you may have felt too busy to begin delving into career exploration or preparation, but the month-long break is a great time to:

  • Refine your resume
  • Research and apply to job or internship opportunities
  • Contact a UVM grad for a job shadow or informational interview
  • Create or refine your LinkedIn profile
  • Clean up your social media presence
  • Schedule an appointment with a career counselor to talk about your 4 Year Plan and career goals

Remember that the Career Center is open for most of winter break, and phone appointments are available for those outside of the Burlington area.

So best of luck with your finals, enjoy your break, and use the time to catch up!

~Amanda

How to Talk to Strangers

Posted on November 13, 2014 with No Comments

Always Talk to Strangers- The Power of Networking

Did your guardians tell you not to talk to strangers?  Now that you’re in college the buzzword is networking- talk to strangers, make new friends, and connect. Talking to strangers can make your hands sweat, voice crack, and heart race. How do I network and find out about opportunities that can inform and support my future goals without becoming nervous? Being prepared can help. The most underused job search tool is the informational interview—this allows you to seek leads and information regarding an industry or a career path. To do this well, do your homework:

1- Figure out what information you want.
2- Brainstorm people you know—that means everyone from your best friend’s cousin to your hairdresser.
3- Schedule an appointment with someone who seems interesting. It is generally no longer than 30 minutes. Just remember, people are busy.
4- Ask the right questions—here are some sample questions
5- Play the part—dress professionally and know as much as you can about the person you are talking to.
6- Get ready to talk about yourself- draft an elevator speech about yourself and where you hope to go. Bring a resume but only give it if requested.
7- The last question you ask should be, “Do you have any suggestions of other people I could talk?”
8- Be gracious for their time and SEND A THANK YOU NOTE. Stay in touch with your contacts and let them know how they have been helpful in the future.
9- Follow up on any referrals given and do it again and again and again. That job offer could be around the corner.

These tips can help you make strangers into a valuable contact!

~Kim

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!

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

Five Steps to Take to Find Your Fall Internship

Posted on July 11, 2014 with No Comments

Calendar Pages

Though it’s only July, it’s about that time to start looking for your fall internship. There are many great reasons to pursue an internship, and here are five steps to take to secure an opportunity:

1) Identify what you’re looking for

Is there a certain industry that you would like to test out? Skills you might want to learn? Try to take inventory of what you want so that you can narrow down your search later on. One item that might be easy to narrow down is location: If you plan to take classes at UVM in the fall, you will likely be looking for opportunities within driving distance of Burlington.

2) Start doing your research

Do some searches on Catamount Job Link for internship opportunities near Burlington. Check out Vermont Business for Social Responsibility (VBSR)’s website for a list of companies and organizations offering paid internships. If you have a LinkedIn profile (and you should!) you can also take a look at LinkedIn’s “Find Alumni” tool to see where UVM alumni work in the area.

3) Make your list of targets

Gather the relevant information that you will need for your internship applications: The name of the company, the internship title, the application materials that they require, and due dates. A great way to keep track of your internship applications is to use a simple spreadsheet, like the one below:

Internship Tracking Sheet

4) Assemble your materials

Most internships will require a resume and cover letter. Try to create one based on the samples on our website, and stop by during drop ins to have a career counselor give you feedback on your drafts.

5) Submit your documents and follow up

Persistence can be rewarded. If you haven’t anything from an employer after a week or two, try to politely reach out to confirm that your application was received. Contacting the company demonstrates your continued interest, and can make you stand out of the applicant pool.

Depending on how competitive the field is, students typically apply to anywhere between four and ten internships. Still have questions? Come by our Drop In Hours, or contact the Career Center to set up a one-on-one appointment with a counselor.

~Amanda

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