Posts Tagged Career

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!

Using the STAR Method in an Interview

Posted on April 24, 2014 with No Comments

Computers shaking handsOver the last few years, we’ve written various posts about the interview process and how to best prepare for such a daunting step within the job search. However, the one thing we haven’t discussed is the importance of learning and practicing the STAR method, so you’re probably asking yourself; what do we mean by the STAR method? Well, it’s a tool you can use when you’re asked either a situational or behavioral question during an interview. STAR is an acronym for:

Situation, Task, Action, Result/Resolution

So, if an interviewer asks you:
“Tell me about a time when you led a team and it went well?”

    • By using the STAR method, you’d describe an example when you led a team and it was a success- the Situation.
  • For example, “Last year, I coordinated and led a team of volunteers on an Alternative Spring Break in New Jersey where I was responsible for 6 students for a week.”

    • Next, you’ll want to describe the work or Tasks you performed.
  • For example, “I drove all of us to New Jersey to help a small community center with the restoration of their town center near the waterfront where Hurricane Sandy occurred.”

    • At this point you’d want to describe your role as the leader- your Actions.
  • For example, “As part of my role, I collaborated with the Community Center Director each day to determine the top priorities, whether it was clean up or restoration of the building, then I’d delegate a job for each of our student volunteers.”

    • Finally, you’d want to describe the result of your leadership- Result.
  • For example, “By giving each volunteer a job, we created a more efficient work environment and ended up finishing the restoration sooner than we had expected.”

    So, what are the benefits of using the STAR method?

    • You’re guaranteed to answer questions with clear examples.
    • It should keep you within the suggested 2 minute time frame for your answers.
    • And it will showcase the skills you’ll bring to the position you’re applying for.

    Practice using it, and then try it in your next big interview. It’s guaranteed to help you succeed.

    ~Danielle

    Don’t Forget to Say Thanks!

    Posted on April 9, 2014 with No Comments

    Hand writing thank you with a penSo you passed the interview stage.  Now what??

    Send a thank you message within a few days of the interview.

    In addition to being courteous, a thank you demonstrates enthusiasm, reiterates interest in a position, and provides another shot at selling yourself for the job.  Plus it demonstrates strong communication skills!

    It’s always beneficial to add more than just “thank you.”  But what should be included?

    • Start with the pleasantries. Thank the employer for taking time to meet with you.  Tell them you enjoyed your conversation.  Discuss interest or excitement about this position and the company.
    • Get specific. Talk about a key moment or expand on an answer.  Discuss personal skills and experiences and how they would be assets for the company.  If there was an important detail left out of the interview, highlight it—briefly.  If part of the interview didn’t go as well as planned, address that here (but don’t make excuses).  Make a connection to information the employer gave during the interview.  Say something like, “When you told me about x, I thought about y.”
    • Sign off. Let the employer know how you’ll follow up, and thank them again.

    Whether to email or mail the thank you depends on the preference of the employer or on the type of interview (phone vs. in person).  The time frame for notification could also dictate how it should be sent. (You don’t want the employer to receive your the note—by mail—the day after they’ve made their decision, right?)

    Here are a few more tips:

    • If the interview was with more than one person, send each one a customized note.
    • Keep the thank you concise.  It doesn’t need to be as long as a cover letter.
    • As always, remember to proofread… Don’t send a note that reads “thanks you.”

    After the thank you has been sent, wait.  If you haven’t heard from the employer by the time they specified, follow up by phone or email and express your continued interest.

    You’ll find a lot of different advice on how to say thank you.  The most important thing is that you do it – one way or another.

    ~Abbey, Career Peer Mentor

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