Archive for the Doing Good Doing Well Category

Internship of the Month: Travellers Worldwide

Posted on November 3, 2011 with No Comments

Caroline Graff

Intern: Caroline Graff
Class Year: 2013
Major: Psychology
Internship Title: Volunteer at Wildlife Park/Teacher’s assistant to Refugee children learning English
Company: Travellers Worldwide

Briefly tell us about the organization you were with:

Travellers Worldwide is an organization that sends volunteers around the world to work in a variety of different projects. During the time spent abroad volunteers are immersed in different culture where they get the chance to experience life in another country. All programs are at least six weeks long but can be extended to a full semester.

How would you describe the various projects you did in for your organization to someone who is unfamiliar with your field? I worked in two different projects. One was at a wildlife park where I was able to meet the locals as well as travelers visiting the park from around the country and even around the world! I got to experience working with various animals, mainly marsupials and birds. The second project I worked on was at as a Teacher’s Assistant in an Intensive English Center for refugee children.

What did you like best about this internship? What was most challenging?

I particularly enjoyed working with the children at the school I was with. It gave me an opportunity I had never had before. I got to learn about their culture and meet kids from all around the world who came to Australia to make a new life. I gained a great deal from the experience–it opened my eyes to how important it is to have institutions that allow for immigrants to assimilate to their new culture. The hardest part was having to come back home!

How did you gain credit for this internship?

I took the service learning class, EDSS 239, at UVM where I did various readings and wrote papers connecting them to my experience.

What impact did this internship have on your career direction?

As a psychology major, working with the children allowed me to realize I have a love for kids, and it got me thinking about doing something in the psychology field where I would be able to work with kids. Working with refugees was also particularly interesting and I would enjoy doing something like that as well.

What advice do you have for students searching for internships?

Trying an internship in something you’ve never done before or that doesn’t have to do with your major can also be a good thing where you’ll learn a lot and it may introduce you to something you’ll be interested in.

Why should students do an internship?

Internships allow you to gain a different experience than you do in the classroom. Particularly if you usually take large lecture classes, internships allow you to gain hands on experience. I found the internship work to be a relief from some of the classroom stresses of having to take exams. You get the opportunity to work on something you choose to explore more deeply and it can be an eye opening experience.

Doing Good, Doing Well: Need Direction?

Posted on September 15, 2011 with No Comments


So many choices to make! So many places to go! So many decisions awaiting!

Life doesn’t start after graduation.  From majors to jobs to internships, to how to spend your weekend or your day – decisions keep rolling in.

Having a sense of mission can help serve as a lens for the smallest decision – like how to spend the next hour – to the larger ones – as in how to spend your life.  Companies, movements, organizations have missions to guide them:

People also have missions as well that guide them – here are a few for inspiration and ideas:

  • Art: JR, a semi-anonymous French street artist, uses his camera to show the world its true face, by pasting photos of the human face across massive canvases.
  • Hunger: Jamie Oliver, is creating strong, sustainable movement to educate children about food & inspire families to cook again.
  • Women: Eve Ensler waging a global campaign to end violence toward women.
  • Compassion:  Karen Armstrong, co-created the Charter of Compassion, based on the fundamental principles of universal justice and respect.

How about you? What is your mission?  What excites, motivates, and inspires you to get up in the morning?  Not sure? Once a month, we are offering a workshop, Creating a Personal Mission Statement and Action Plan.

Come put into words what matters to you and identify small steps to guide your days, your job search, your life.


What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

Posted on June 3, 2011 with No Comments

Check out this recent article, “It’s Not About You.” by New York Times columnist David Brooks.  He discusses the problem of making a career or life decision amongst “limitless possibilities.”

The answer articulated in this article is not to focus on ourselves, but rather to engage with our communities and finds issues and problems that we want to commit our energies to. He writes, “Most of us are egotistical and most are self-concerned most of the time, but it’s nonetheless true that life comes to a point only in those moments when the self dissolves into some task. The purpose in life is not to find yourself. It’s to lose yourself.”

So, how do you find something to commit yourself to, “to lose yourself” in?

Click here for more.

World of Work: Catlin O’Neill ‘99, Deputy Director of Legislative Operations for House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi

Posted on May 18, 2011 with No Comments

Catlin will be the Keynote Speaker at the Washington D.C. Career Networking Night on June 6, 2011. Register online and learn more about the 30+ alumni networkers here.

Catlin O'Neill '99

Catlin O’Neill ‘99

Deputy Director of Legislative Operations for Office of the House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi

Washington, D.C.

Major: Sociology; Mass Communication & Culture

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

I would first say, I don’t have a “typical” day. I spend a great deal of time trying to stay on top of current events – political, national and international – as they unfold while simultaneously doing my job. I work in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives – also known as the “Floor”. Predominantly, I act as a resource for Members of Congress on legislation considered by the House, the subsequent votes and the rules/procedures of the House. Further, I serve as a liaison between the Leader’s office and the Republican Leadership, their staff, the White House legislative staff, the Democratic Caucus, the Senate Leadership staff, the Officers of the House and the Parliamentarians.

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

There are several things that I would suggest to students interested in pursuing a career in public service. People often get involved because they are inspired by a candidate or elected official or cause. It is important to develop yourself as a resource – a willingness to get the job done regardless of the task or the time. Try to identify opportunities that diversify your skill set and further the cause. Read everything in order to develop an awareness of the nuances in politics/policy. A depth of knowledge increases confidence and ability. You can increase your value by recognizing that the government is a 24/7 operation made up of people, not unlike yourself, that need questions answered or problems solved in a timely fashion – to that end, be accommodating and responsive. Lastly, it never hurts to expand your network of contacts – ultimately government is of the people, by the people and for the people.

What three words describe your work environment?

Significant. Spirited. Inspiring.

Describe your best day at work.

I had three extraordinary days at work:

  1. January 4th, 2007 – the Swearing-In of the first woman Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi.
  2. January 20th, 2009 – the Inauguration of President Barack H. Obama.
  3. March 21, 2010 – the passage of Health Care reform.

What was your childhood dream job?

As a child I wanted to be a marine biologist…then I took biology.

If you’re interested in seeing all our World of Work profiles, click here. If you are a UVM alumnus and would like to be featured, please contact us at If you are interested in contacting a featured alum, check out the Career Connection alumni database or contact us.

World of Work: Allie Tompkins ‘10, National Prison Project Intern for the ACLU Foundation

Posted on April 25, 2011 with No Comments

Allie Tompkins '10

Allie Tompkins ‘10

National Prison Project Intern for the ACLU Foundation

Washington, DC

Major: Political Science/Global Studies

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

As an intern, I come into the office 5 days a week for a half day. I answer letters from inmates writing the prison project for assistance, and I work with a paralegal to do research on policy and prison programs for the attorneys on staff at the National Prison Project.

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

Look for the jobs that really speak to what you are interested in. I applied to a ton of internships, but the two places I received offers from were the places I was most passionate about working at. I think this really stood out on my cover letter and during my interviews.

What motivates you to go to work every day for this organization?

Even though I’m an unpaid intern, I’m motivated to go to work every day because the ACLU puts into action what I was most passionate about learning at UVM, Constiutional Law. In our project, we represent prisoners and provide them with information. I think this is important because they are a truly underrepresented part of society and it requires a lot of viligance to make sure that their rights are being upheld in prison.

How did your time at UVM, both in and out of the classroom, prepare you for your position?

At UVM I became really interested in Constitutional Law, and the ACLU is one of the best places to gain experience in this field. During my interview the attorney I spoke with was very happy that I knew a lot about the federal courts appointment process, something that we spent a lot of time on in my Political Science senior seminar. Outside of the classroom at UVM, meeting so many critical thinkers and people who are willing to question the status quo and ask important questions has really influenced the way that I understand what I do at my internship and how I interact with the other people at my job.

What was your childhood dream job?

My childhood dream job was a Marine Biologist (wasn’t that everyone’s dream job at some point?), somewhere along the way I also wanted to be a doctor.

If you’re interested in seeing all our World of Work profiles, click here. If you are a UVM alumnus and would like to be featured, please contact us at If you are interested in contacting a featured alum, check out the Career Connection alumni database or contact us.

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