Posts Tagged burlington

Savvy Seniors: Networking Advice from a Recent Grad

Posted on November 15, 2012 with No Comments

Trisha Hlastawa

Trisha Hlastawa, ’12,  graduated with a degree in Community Entrepreneurship and Public Communication. She currently works at Healthy Living in South Burlington as a Customer Service Supervisor and Community Outreach team member.

What role has networking played in your career exploration and job search?

Networking has played a key role. I found out about a job at Healthy Living from a Career Counselor who knew my interests. I got the job and have worked in many different positions at the store since. Previous to this position, I used networking as a way to find jobs as needed.

Networking can be a bit intimidating to some, what’s been your experience?

I have found networking to be intimidating when I don’t know anything about the person I am interacting with. The key thing is to find something to talk about that is familiar to the person and myself and that we can both relate to. Once a conversation is sparked, it can lead in many different directions. Overall, networking has been rewarding to me. As many people say, it is a small world. The more people I meet, I find people who know people I know and vice versa. We are all ultimately connected in some way.

How do you recommend students get started with networking?

I recommend students start networking with people they know. Express interest in meeting new people to your relatives or friends; this can spark their interest in helping you to make more connections. It’s also really important to put yourself out there and get involved in on-campus activities or part-time jobs. Sometimes you just have to take chances and see what happens.  Establishing relationships with people who know what you are interested in and want to see you succeed can make a big difference when you are looking for a job.

For more information on Networking see the Career Services website.

Also, don’t miss this great workshop!

Savvy Seniors: Networking Workshop Wed. Nov 28th, 4:15pm, L&L E-166

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.

Networking for Beginners

Posted on April 5, 2012 with No Comments

Networking Event

Why should I network? How should I network? How should I prepare for a networking event? If you are currently battling with the job- or internship-search process, it is probable that you have asked yourself at least one of these questions.

Being a student, I find it difficult to prepare for networking events. Without a general push in the right direction, it could be tough to find the motivation to network, so I asked and answered the following questions to get started:

Why should I network?

Networking is a great way to build connections and opportunities. With the job market being as competitive as it is, general career and industry-specific advice from professionals can make all the difference.

How should I network?

  1. Identify opportunities to grow your network such as UVM’s Vermont Career Networking Night, the Vermont Young Professionals, or other networking events.
  2. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are great ways of social networking as well.  Research and follow your preferred employer to keep updated on new trends and events.
  3. On LinkedIn, join professional groups or alumni groups such as University of Vermont Career Connection and University of Vermont Alumni.

How should I prepare for a networking event?

  1. Research the networkers. Look them up on LinkedIn to learn about their career paths.
  2. Research the companies represented at the event.
  3. Come prepared with questions for the networkers.
  4. Make business cards or build your resume. Both of these are great ways to get noticed.

This should get you started!

~Randall, Career Peer Advisor

World of Work: Scott Whitted ’74, Deputy Chief, District Court Litigation Division, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Posted on February 2, 2012 with No Comments

Homeland Security Logo

Scott Whitted ’74
Deputy Chief, District Court Litigation Division, Office of the Principal Legal Advisor, Immigration and Customs Enforcement
United States Government, Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement
http://www.ice.gov/index.htm
Williston, VT

Major: Political Science

What type of law do you practice and how did you choose that?
I’ve practiced civil law for my entire career, including private practice, with the Vermont Attorney General’s Office and now at one of the agencies in the Department of Homeland Security. I’ve never been a full-time litigator, but before I started my federal job I spent some time in court, especially when I was in the Attorney General’s office. Although criminal law and criminal procedure were interesting classes in law school, I never wanted to practice criminal law. Civil law held more appeal for me.

What surprised you about law school and/or the practice of law?
One big surprise was how poorly many lawyers write. The textbooks for most law school courses are compilations of judges’ decisions that often are not well written. They tend to be too long and full of obscure language. Law students copy the style, which perpetuates bad writing. In addition, practicing law can be a real grind, with much tedium and little glamour. There are rarely quick resolutions to legal problems.

What changes have you seen in the legal job market?
With the current economy, the competition for jobs is heightened. It’s a buyer’s market right now. My office recently advertised for four openings and we received dozens of applications.

What advice would you have for students interested in a career in law?  What should they be doing now?
Take college classes that encourage you to think critically and analytically. Those skills will help you to identify problems (“issue spotting”) and develop realistic solutions, which are important aspects of a lawyer’s job. Also, learn to write clearly and concisely. Lawyers do a lot of writing, and unfortunately many lawyers do not write well.

In addition, don’t be afraid to work for a few years before you go to law school. Not only may you be able to save some money toward law school, but you’ll have the benefit of experience in the “real world” before you return to academia. Admittedly, I may be partial to this approach because I worked for five years between UVM and law school.

Internship of the Month: ECHO Lakeside Aquarium and Science Center

Posted on January 19, 2012 with No Comments

Kyle Pestlin

Intern: Kyle Pestlin
Class Year: 2012
Major: Biology
Employer: ECHO Lakeside Aquarium and Science Center
Internship Title: Animal Care Intern
Website: www.echovermont.org
LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/kyle-pestlin/21/945/963

Briefly tell us about the organization you were with:

ECHO is an aquarium and science center located on the Burlington Waterfront. Their goal is to provide a fun and interactive environment for kids to learn about the local history, culture, and ecosystems. ECHO houses 70+ species of fish, amphibians, invertebrates, and reptiles and provides various internship opportunities including a variety of education/teaching internships.

How would you describe the various projects you did in for your organization someone who is unfamiliar with your field?

I worked in the Animal Care department which strictly deals with the animals. My job consisted of cleaning tanks, feeding, designing and building exhibit habitats, medicating animals, and learning about ECHO’s water system. All the techniques I’ve learned in animal care are transferable to other zoos and aquariums across the country to the standards of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

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

What I enjoyed most about this internship was to learn about all the different aspects of animal husbandry. Working at ECHO has really improved my ability to create animal specific habitats that I now apply to my lizard tanks at home.

The most challenging aspect of working at ECHO was to remember all the different diets for each of the animals. For example, some fish get fish food that we make, while some eat fish, some eat earth worms, others eat blood worms, and that’s just the fish. Frogs, reptiles, turtles, and crustaceans all have specific diets as well.

How did you gain credit for this internship?

I met with Mary Beth Barritt at Career Services. She informed me of a course she was teaching that provides credit for internships (EDSS 239). The work for the course consisted of reading inspiring and thought-provoking articles and then writing responses to these articles while including relevant internship experience. This course helped facilitate the learning process in my internship by requiring critical thinking on aspects of the internship that otherwise would have gone without acknowledgement or appreciation.

What impact did this internship have on your career direction?

This internship really opened my eyes to what I truly enjoy doing. Just knowing that I am improving the lives of these animals by giving them care and attention makes it all worth it. This internship has also confirmed the importance of knowing you are contributing and making a difference in society.

What advice do you have for students searching for internships?

When looking for an internship you have to stay persistent and look for a job in a field you are truly interested in.

Why should students do an internship?

I feel having an internship is really helpful no matter what. Even if you hate your internship you then know that you may be in the wrong field. You may learn you enjoy certain aspects of your internship more than others, and it may not even be what you had expected. This helps narrow your overall career path to the job that will ultimately be best for you.

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