Posts Tagged career connection

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.

Savvy Seniors: It’s a Small, Small World

Posted on November 1, 2012 with No Comments

Six Degrees of Separation

It’s commonly said that we’re separated, at most, by six degrees of separation from any other person. In their recent book, the start-up of YOU, Reid Hoffman (cofounder and chairman of LinkedIn) and Ben Casnocha discuss the 1967 study that this oft repeated phrase is based on. They also note how it might show up in daily life: “The clerk at the local hardware store once hiked through Yosemite with your brother-in-law. Your new girlfriend is in the same bowling league as your boss…It’s fun to make these unexpected connections.”

These connections, however, they argue, are more than fun and interesting, they are gateways to new information and potential opportunities.  Hoffman and Casnocha discuss the importance of having both strong and weak ties in our networks. The strong ties are built on trust and well developed mutual interest and similarities, while the weaker ties can “serve as bridges to other worlds.”

Most students and alumni realize after some reflection, that they do know someone who may be a good potential contact in their career exploration and job search. Quite often the person they think of is one of those weaker ties, or 2nd degree contacts, for example the uncle of a friend. All students, however, can tap into the power of the extended UVM alumni network through LinkedIn. As Hoffman and Casnocha write, “Online social networks are converting the abstract idea of worldwide interconnectedness into something tangible and searchable. Out of an estimated one billion professionals in the world, well over 10 million of them are on LinkedIn.”

If you’re not LinkedIn, it’s time. If you are already on it, chances are you could be using it more effectively.

To get started:

~Kala

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: What’s Your Plan?

Posted on April 12, 2012 with No Comments

Stepping Stones

Commencement is just six weeks away!  If you don’t already know what you are doing and how to get there, here are some tips and advice to get you going.


Not Sure what you Want to Do?
You’re not alone!

  • Assess and Prioritize

What can you do today to prepare for tomorrow?

Take one small step towards your goals!

More Great Advice!
100 Blog Posts Every College Senior Should Read
Quint Careers: Job Search Advice for College Seniors: Job Hunting in Times of Uncertainty
Linked In Founder Shares Advice: Take Intelligent Risks
6 Tips for Success all College Seniors Should Know

~Kala

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

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