Archive for the World of Work Category

World of Work: Maya Thomas ’11, GIS Specialist, Civil Solutions

Posted on September 19, 2013 with No Comments

Maya Thomas

Maya Thomas ‘11
GIS Specialist
Civil Solutions, a division of ARH Engineering
Hammonton, NJ
Major: Environmental Science (RSENR)

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

I work with spatial data and create maps – lots of maps. Most of our clients are local governments (counties and municipalities) and we provide mapping services for them. For example, we take data from tax maps and convert it to digital data so clients can look at it on the fly on our web service or on their own GIS software.

What motivates you to go to work everyday?

I really love GIS! I love seeing the things I map everyday. I drive on the roads I add to my road maps, I pass by the buildings I digitize, and I learn about new municipalities in New Jersey every day.

What advice do you have for students searching for jobs or internships in your field?
Work on as many GIS projects as you can in your coursework. Incorporate it into your research and internships. Connect with your faculty to find out about internships. From what I’ve seen, certification (different from certificates!) is important in this field. Whether a certification is from GISCI, Esri, ASPRS, or other organizations, start thinking about ways to prepare for those exams or applications. And, of course, network! Both my full-time jobs after college were gained from building connections. 

Describe your best day at work.

My best day at work is when I have tons of different projects to do. Mapping out a survey site for colleagues here, creating road maps there, updating parcels over here, and maintaining the web mapping service over there. The day goes by quickly and I feel so accomplished by the end of the day!

World of Work: Ali Peterson ‘07, Shakespeare Theatre Company

Posted on April 25, 2013 with No Comments

Ali Peterson'Ali Peterson ‘07
Corporate Giving Manager
Shakespeare Theatre Company – www.shakespearetheatre.org
Washington, D.C.
Major: Zoology/Political Science
Graduate Program: Masters of Business Administration, The George Washington University

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

A typical day is hard to come by in my line of work, we are constantly trying to stay ahead of the curve and be innovative in our approach to our work. On the most basic level I am a fundraiser. I work to research, develop and nurture relationships between our theatre company and corporations interested in partnering with us. My work requires me to keep a close eye on business press, stay on top of the needs of our partners and manage their benefits. I also help to plan major events and strategically advance our relationships with members of Congress.

What motivates you to go to work everyday?

The Shakespeare Theatre Company is a Tony award winning professional theatre company producing and presenting world-class performances of classical shows. The quality of the artistic work inspires me but I am more motivated by the way in which we are able to reach audiences. We go into every DC public school and teach kids how to embrace classical texts. We bring students into our theatre to interact with performers, designers and directors. We offer free performances every summer to people of all income levels and abilities. We do theatre for everyone, to challenge our audiences’ minds and lift their spirits.

What three words would describe your work environment?

Collaborative. Creative. Fun. 

Tell us about your path to this position.

I absolutely did not expect to have this job when I was an undergrad at UVM. After graduation I moved to DC to seek a job in Senator Patrick Leahy’s office. I secured a position as a scheduler in his personal office and did that for two years. I then worked on energy policy for over a year and finally, worked as a press secretary for nearly two years. All told, I spent five and a half years with the Senator and learned a great deal about what I want and don’t want for my career. I learned that I want to work at the intersection of arts and business and I found a way to do that by returning to school and working part-time at the Shakespeare Theatre Company on the side of my work in the Senate.

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

Great fundraisers are needed by organizations of all shapes and sizes, if you have an interest in fundraising work I suggest you read everything you can on current trends and practices, take informational interviews with people working in the field, and know the specific demands of the industry you are most interested in. Also, if possible gather some information or develop an understanding of the financial position of the company you are interested in working for.

World of Work: Alli Morse ’12, State Street Bank

Posted on December 11, 2012 with No Comments

IAlli Morse

Alli Morse ‘12
Project Manager/Business Analyst
State Street
Major: Mathematics

What are employers looking for?

During senior year of college family, friends, professors, and fellow students are all asking the golden question: “What are your plans after you graduate?” For some students, it’s a question they love to be asked because they have an answer. Maybe it’s graduate school, a full-time job, or traveling throughout Europe for a summer. But I would argue that for most students, it’s a question they dread. Come December of my senior year, I fell into the latter category.

After ruling out graduate school and the trip to Europe, due to the damages it would cause on my bank account, I began looking into ways of incorporating my math skills into the business world. I knew I wanted a large, global and reputable company that would allow me to develop as a financial professional and grow within the company.

After a lot of research and submission of online applications to multiple companies, my friend recommended looking into State Street. With hopes of networking with State Street colleagues, I attended the annual UVM Boston Career Networking Night. After giving my well-planned spiel to a Senior Vice President from State Street, she gave me her business card and told me to follow up with her offline. The next day, I emailed all alumni with whom I connected, including the SVP from State Street. The next thing I knew I was headed into Boston for “Informational Interviews.” After four hours of draining interviews, including an unsolvable math problem, I left One Lincoln Street thinking I would never get a job there. But I was determined to continue on my search.

The next month I dedicated to my job search, which consisted of networking with people at both State Street and other financial institutions. For the most part, many people never responded but I was persistent which, in the end, was key. Over a month after my visit to State Street in Boston, I received an offer from State Street within SSGM ERM Department. It turned out I had key competencies they value. I graduated Cum Laude in May 2012 and in June I moved to the North End in Boston and started at State Street.

I am currently a Project Manager/Business Analyst for the Risk Management department within SSGM. So, landing a job after graduation is possible! It takes time and effort. While beginning your search, here are some tips from a lead recruiter at State Street to assist your efforts.

World of Work: Deanna Cameron ’91, Ronald MacDonald House Charities

Posted on September 12, 2012 with No Comments

Deanna CameronDeanna Cameron ‘91
Program Coordinator
Ronald MacDonald House Charities – http://www.rmh-vermont.org/
Burlington, VT
Major: Social Work

What motivates you to go to work everyday?

I’ve always been someone who needs to really believe in the cause that I’m working for, so that personal connection to the cause is a huge motivation for me. My niece and nephew were born prematurely and Ronald McDonald House was there for my sister-in-law during the three weeks that the babies were in the hospital. I saw first-hand how the support of Ronald McDonald House Charities strengthens families at a very difficult time.

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

My typical day consists of the following:

  • Our number one priority at Ronald McDonald House Charities is the comfort of our guests. So each day starts out with a house “check-in” in which we review our current guests, any new guests checking in, and address any guests needs.
  • I also manage the nearly 200 active volunteers who cover eight shifts daily in our programs. A large part of my job is ensuring that each of these invaluable volunteers has a meaningful experience serving our organization. I set up month-long volunteer schedules for both the House and in the Ronald McDonald Family Room located at Vermont Children’s Hospital at Fletcher Allen Health Care.
  • The second half of my job is fundraising. Depending on the time of year, I may be planning our next fundraising event. I update the agency’s day-to-day communications and social media to keep our supporters up to date on what we’re doing. I also do community outreach to share our cause and needs. And from time to time, I even get to snuggle a beautiful baby who is staying with us.

Tell us about your path to this position.

I definitely could not have imagined where my degree in social work would take me when I graduated. Early in my career my work was oriented toward direct service, doing case management with a variety of populations such as emotionally disabled teen girls and homeless/marginally housed individuals. From these experiences, I moved onto doing some program development in the housing field, which sparked my interest in this type of work.

The mix of direct service work with clients and managing the operations of service programs has proven to be the perfect combination of challenges to suit my skill set. I have been able to expand on this even more in my last two positions where I’ve also become involved in fundraising–both working with donors and on events.

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

Volunteerism is a great way to take your career in different directions as well as a means to network with a new circle of colleagues. In the non-profit world where every penny is accounted for, new projects are often started solely with volunteer efforts. As greater value and need is placed on these new projects, staffing can be added to the budget and those that volunteered may then be considered for the new paid position(s). I wouldn’t advise students to volunteer with the goal of acquiring a paid position, but as a way to enhance their talents and explore an interest that may not be fulfilled in other ways.

Savvy Seniors: Applying

Posted on March 14, 2012 with No Comments

“8-month-old Micah laughs hysterically while daddy rips up a job rejection letter.”

“What,” you may ask, “is so complicated about Applying for Jobs?”  Well, applying for jobs and internships is more than seeing a job posted on Indeed.com, sending off a resume & cover letter and then waiting for a response. If that’s all you’re doing, you could be in for a long wait.

The primary problem is that that method, by itself, doesn’t often yield the results you are looking for. According to many sources, at least 75% of jobs aren’t even advertised.  How do you find these hidden jobs? Check out Techniques for Tapping Into the Hidden Job Market on JobHuntersBible, a great resource for your job search.  This process is mostly about building relationships with people in your field of interest. Think: volunteering, networking, informational interviewing, and more! (Please see earlier Savvy Senior posts for tips on networking and informational interviewing.)

Another challenging issue, is that when you apply for jobs, you open yourself up to rejection.  It’s not unusual to get discouraged when those first few resumes you send out don’t yield any phone calls asking you to come in for an interview.  Once you get discouraged, it can be hard to keep putting yourself out there, to keep networking and applying for jobs with enthusiasm.

When disappointment strikes, it’s important to figure out how to maintain your positive energy and continue with your search. Check out this article for some ideas:  Top 10 Ways to Deal with Job Rejection.  Then, examine how you are going about the job search. Get a fresh perspective, reenergize, and try something new.  Also, make sure you aren’t making these 20 Avoidable Job Search Mistakes.

Remember, when you are looking for that first job out of college, it just takes one “Yes.”

See the Senior Checklist for more tips and resources under the Apply section.

Good luck!

~Kala

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