Becoming the Author of Your Story

Posted on August 15, 2014 with No Comments

Hand typing on laptop keyboard

The UVM Career Center is pleased to welcome students back to campus, including those joining us for the first time, and want you to know that we are here to empower you towards personal successes and growth in the year ahead.

Throughout the year, the Career Center has many resources available to support your career development including a robust website, an off-campus job and internship database exclusively for UVM students and alums, workshops, large events, drop-in hours and scheduled appointments.

One resource you are strongly encouraged to begin using early and re-visit often is the 4 Year Plan for Career Success. The 4 Year Plan was designed with you in mind- a road map to guide you through successful career development during your UVM journey. Simply identify the plan affiliated with your current class year and begin personalizing your own goals and strategies.

In addition to these options, we hope you will find this blog informative, educational, relevant and fun. We strive to cover a wide variety of topics with a rotating cast of authors bringing their unique takes on important career conversations.

Ultimately, you should know that there is an entire campus community here to cheer you on as you blaze your path here at UVM. Take courses that excite you, join organizations that align with your values and create networks of people who motivate and challenge you. Here’s to a wonderful year!

~Ashley Michelle

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

Top 5 Tips to Make the most out of LinkedIn this Summer

Posted on June 25, 2014 with No Comments

LinkedIn

Whatever you are doing this summer (job, internship, volunteering, travel), you are probably meeting interesting people. Stay connected with your summer connections through LinkedIn. Here are 5 simple tips to keep in mind as you network on LinkedIn:

1. Connect with a purpose.  LinkedIn is a professional social network, not a personal social network.  Don’t spam professionals with connections requests, be thoughtful and connect with a purpose.

2. Include a personal note in your connection request.  Why are you reaching out to connect?  To learn more about a members career path?  To set up a 15 minute call to learn about your prospective professional connection?  State your purpose in the connection request.

3. Participate in group conversations that align with your professional goals.

4. Follow the companies you aspire to work for and learn more about.

5. Share relevant, professional, through provoking content. Look like a thought leader as a young professional.

And remember to join UVM alumni groups on LinkedIn as well!
University of Vermont Career Connection on LinkedIn
UVM Alumni Association on LinkedIn

Good luck to you all and be confident that you can do anything you set your mind to.

Cheers,
John Kelly O’Connor, ‘05
Account Executive
LinkedIn Marketing Solutions

Savvy Seniors: Yes, YOU do have Career Experience!

Posted on May 9, 2014 with No Comments

Seniors with whiteboards indicating where they got career experience

Last week, we saw so many of you at the Senior Celebration at the bookstore where you were picking up your caps and gowns and sitting for formal graduate portraits.  We asked you to share career related experiences you had during your time at UVM.

This is what happened:

Career Counselor: Would you like to share a career related experience you had during your time at UVM?

UVM Senior: Oh, I don’t think I have anything to share….

But then after a brief conversation, everyone did have something to share!  We loved hearing about all the great things you’ve done on campus, around Burlington, nationwide and around the world.

So as you’re polishing that resume, looking for jobs, or talking yourself up in your next interview, remember that these are all great ways you’ve gained experience during your time at UVM:

  • Internships
  • Study Abroad
  • Research
  • Service-Learning
  • Class projects
  • Part-Time Jobs
  • Summer Jos
  • Leadership Experiences
  • Volunteering
  • Campus Clubs and Organizations

So what do you say about these experiences? Employers across industries are all interested in communication, organization, and leadership skills.  Everyone is looking for people to join their team who are able to collaborate, are self-directed and have strong work ethics. Reflect on your experiences and try to articulate what you’ve done so you can tell a potential employer how those experiences helped you build relevant skills. (See this great list of action verbs for ideas.)

Want some more individualized help with your job search? We are open all summer and we do help alumni!

Here’s to the Class of 2014!

~Kala

World of Work: Anh-Thu Ngoc Lam ‘11, Christopher A. Walsh Laboratory, Boston Children’s Hospital

Posted on May 2, 2014 with No Comments

Anh-Thu Ngoc Lam headshotAnh-Thu Ngoc Lam ‘11
Research Technician, Department of Genetics and Genomics
Christopher A. Walsh Laboratory, Center for Life Science, Boston Children’s Hospital
Major: Biochemistry and Spanish, Honors College
Graduate Program: Human Genetics & Molecular Biology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (Fall 2014)

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

Apart from a handful of basic technical duties that I am in charged of in the lab, I work closely with MD and PhD Post-Doctoral fellows to develop their research projects. I am part of a team whose goals are to discover genetic mutations involved in various brain malformation diseases in humans. Our goal is to uncover the genes involved in brain development and to better understand how these genes regulate brain functions.

By studying individuals affected with these conditions, we are able to identify the associated genes and their mutations. From that information, we can try to understand how those genes affect various biological processes in regards to brain development. We use MRI to help us see and confirm the structural abnormalities and guide us to a better understanding of the site of action and the function of the gene(s) involved. We hope that this will lead to better options for diagnosis, management and treatment for affected individuals and their families.

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

Get yourself involved in research early on in your undergraduate careers by taking the initiative. Speak to your professors about internships, summer research opportunities, and available science grants that you could apply to. Gaining research experience will benefit a lot when it is time to job search or go on to graduate studies.

Find a good adviser who will nurture you academic and scientific growth. There are two UVM professors that I must thank for their continuous support and guidance from when I first started at UVM, to entering the work force, and even till today as I prepare to transition into my PhD education. The first is professor is Dr. Bryan Ballif of the Department of Biology who accepted me into his lab even with no prior research experience. He personally taught me lab techniques and was also part of my thesis committee. The other professor is Dr. Carmen Pont who taught some of my Spanish and French classes. They both have been my perpetual guides as I attempted to navigate my myriad of academic interests, encouraging me to pursue what excites me most, to follow through with what I am passionate about. People, especial mentors, are the most valuable resources! Network and build connections everywhere you go and with everyone that you meet!

How did your time at UVM, both in and out of the classroom, prepare you for your position? My time at UVM was transformative. UVM opened my eyes to many educational possibilities. As a dual degree student, I had access to a balanced exposure of both arts and sciences through two well-established departments: Biochemistry and Romance Languages and Linguistics. I was able to take classes with faculty and classmates who represented a rich spectrum, from top scholars and researchers to passionate and enthusiastic students. Through the Honors College, I was given the opportunity to collaborate with a very dynamic group of scientists early on and by defending an Honors Thesis, I learned to effectively and successfully communicate my research not only to specialists, but also to nonscientists by modifying my explanations according to my audience.

Outside of academics, I was part of the UVM Taekwondo Club and MEDLIFE, which I still continue to be a part of long after graduating. I was also a part of the choir at the UVM Catholic Center and volunteered at the Fletcher Allen Hospital Pediatric ward right on campus.

UVM provided me with an environment to meet people from different backgrounds, all with something to teach me. I am grateful for the quality education that I have received at UVM and will continue to build on the solid foundation wherever life takes me.

What is your favorite part of your work? Most challenging part?

During my time as a research technician at Boston Children’s Hospital, I have seen the excitement of searching for new knowledge and have learned the pivotal role science plays in the advancement of medicine. Though I have faced many frustrations and numerous failures at the bench side, it is with determination and persistence through the frustrations and failures and seeing a project through its entirety balanced with the implications of the results that truly make the dedication rewarding. Knowing that I play an integral role in the research that is being done and seeing the results help improve clinical care are some of the reasons why I love my job. I am grateful to be in such a rewarding field with opportunities for continual growth and advancement in the future.

What was your childhood dream job?

My childhood dream job was and still is to become a physician scientist. I am tackling my dream one step at a time and hope to be able to accomplish it one day!

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