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Connecting Careers

It’s easy to feel a bit lost when searching for a job, especially that first one when the ink is still drying on your diploma. It’s nice to have a friend or two or a few thousand who have been there, survived, and thrived. Reduced to its simplest elements, finding those friends is what the UVM Career Connection is all about.

The Career Connection is nothing new at UVM, but this joint effort between the Office of Alumni Relations and the Career Services Center has picked up participants and impact in recent years. Mary Beth Barritt heads up the Connection from her office in the Living/Learning Center, where she is in contact daily with the wide circle of alumni, parents, and friends who make the program possible.

Making one-to-one connections for advice — say, putting a senior chemistry major interested in exploring pharmaceutical work and a move to Manhattan in touch with someone who has been there is a key component of the network. With the on-line database, it’s easy for alums and students to search by region or profession to find experienced advice from fellow members of the UVM community. Events in Boston, New York, and Vermont also draw hundreds to hear panel discussions led by alumni and UVM parents, and to do the important business of networking.

Liz Paley ’88, vice president of marketing for Polo Brands, is among those who have dedicated significant time to last January’s New York event and the growth of the Career Connection in general. Barritt counts Paley among her most active volunteers — “panel speaker, panel planner, marketing club host at Polo, individual student mentor, referral agent extraordinaire.”

Paley says she sees alumni involvement in helping to provide internships and work experience as a natural complement to the education provided by UVM faculty. “There are so many UVM graduates succeeding in the world in a wide variety of fields and in a wide variety of cities — both in the US and around the world,” she says. “Sharing those stories and offering advice is a way for alums to remain connected with UVM in a very powerful way.”


To join the Career Connection, you’ll need to become a member of the UVM Connection, the online community for alumni, family, and friends of UVM. The process Starts Here. You’ll be asked to enter your last name and your unique UVM ID#, the 10-digit code that appears on the mailing label of your copy of Vermont Quarterly.

If you have trouble locating your UVM ID#, just e-mail alumni@uvm.edu or call (888) 458-8691.