Get Off the Pile: Itchin’ for a New Position Edition

This week on Get off the Pile, we checked in with two recent grads who have taken steps to begin work in a new position after one year at their respective jobs.One person has successfully moved up in the company, while the other is searching for a new location to work.

You may have had some of these same thoughts in the last few months and we are here to let you know that it is pretty common to feel like it is time to spread your wings and try something new. We hope this week’s post will give you some helpful perspectives on how to approach what’s next.

Graduate #1 – Moving up in the company

Share a little bit of background on what you have been up to/ what the job is like etc.

I have been working in tech sales for a large company called Salesforce for the last 9 months! I started out as a Business Development Apprentice, outbound prospecting for 13 Business Development Reps (BDRs) and managing contact lists for over 100 accounts within the Financial Industry. My job was to work on projects with the BDRs to find high level decision makers to reach out to within the companies they worked with, to position Salesforce products.

After 6 months of collaborating with BDRs and various managers, I interviewed to start a brand new Sales Development team in our New York office. I am one of six founding member of the first SDR team in NYC and it’s an honor. We make about 50-80 calls a day and find out how Salesforce can help various businesses grow and connect with their customers in a whole new way. It’s been an outstanding experience for me to gain business acumen and some of the best coaching in the sales world.

When did you start feeling like it was time to make a change?

My contract as an intern lasted for 6 months and then I was planning on relocating to one of the various Hubs Salesforce has to offer, but early in my tenure there were whispers of a new SDR team forming in New York, so I held on as long as possible to interview for one of the first spots. I think, ultimately, communicating what I wanted to my managers, and setting clear goals and expectations set me on a path to success for this once in a life time role. I studied community development at UVM and I love investing in the growth of people around me, which set my heart on staying, and I made sure to communicate that to my interviewers.

My current manager has an 11% hiring rate and I am so thankful to have him as a mentor and for this opportunity. Make sure you are inspired by the people who are mentoring you.

What steps did you take to get the ball rolling?

I think the most important thing is that no one knows what you want until you tell them. Being transparent about your goals is paramount, especially when you are interviewing. It is important to set the stage and expectations with your mentors and coaches early. I chose to work for Salesforce not only because it’s a great company with an awesome culture, but also because the training is second to none. I wanted my path to success to be very transparent and I wanted clear-cut goals and outcomes that would allow me to achieve and grow in my career. I would encourage any young person to think about that.

The only way you are going to get to the promotion is if you are delivering on your promises and accomplishing what you are tasked to do and more. Work hard every day, start thinking outside the box, and ask yourself “What can I do better?” “What is hindering my success?” “What is the bigger picture?” And, “How can I get my team to its goal?” In sales, you cannot be successful without asking yourself those questions every 10 minutes.

How did it all ultimately happen?

I worked to develop solid relationships with my managers. In addition, they were big advocates for me as I created value for my team. I spent a great deal of time networking with peers and making sure that important players in the business knew who I was. Most importantly, I made sure that I was delivering the best results I could and everyone knew where I stood on my projects. I always communicated when I could do more and set expectations for when I was busy. I delivered every time and that’s what got me to where I am today.

What are your future plans?

My current plans are to stay with Salesforce for a handful of years and then to reassess where I am and how I am feeling. I really enjoy developing people and talent, so one day I plan on going into management or enablement. An MBA is probably somewhere on the horizon, but I’m an opportunist. If a good enough offer comes my way maybe I will find myself down another path. Who knows? I recommend keeping an open mind and staying tough through the hard times at work. Pick a career or job that meets your needs and be transparent with your managers as well as the others around you.

Graduate #2 – Looking to live in a new location

Share a little bit of background on what you have been up to/ what the job is like etc.

I am a photojournalist at a local newspaper where I shoot events like football games, parades and local news. The one downside to this job is the crazy schedule but that comes with the territory, so I knew ahead of time that it would not be a typical Monday through Friday 9-5 job. This has made it hard to travel or vacation because I work every weekend.

When did you start feeling like it was time to make a change in your job?

I have actually loved working here and being a photojournalist. It is something that I want to continue with, the one thing I don’t like is the location. Moving to a small, rural town has given me a new perspective of the country I live in and I will always be grateful for that experience. However, I miss living in a more metropolitan area with more diversity of people, thought, and and opportunities.

What steps did/are you take/taking to make a change in where you work? How did it all ultimately happen? (interviewing, research, travel, etc.)

I knew that I wouldn’t be truly happy until I move but after some long discussions with my boyfriend, whom lives with me, I have decided to stay a little while longer to make some connections and leave on a good note. I think that it is important especially for millennials and young professionals to hear that you probably won’t get hired for a position if you don’t intend on staying long; one it shows poor work ethic and two in the long run it costs the company money to hire more frequently, which they won’t want to do. Keep that in mind before you leave your position, do a self evaluation. Will I get a good recommendation if I quit now or will sticking it out for a couple months lead to a different opportunity?

Even though right now I it might not be the most ideal situation, I have something to look forward to and I think that is most important, to be optimistic especially in my field. Many young professionals are in my situation and I think the best advice that I could give someone like me is that you are in charge of your own life. If you aren’t happy then it is up to you to make a change, you shouldn’t stay in a position that you hate because it wears you down. I’ve seen some of my friends lose sight of what they enjoy because they just took a job without doing much research and now they’re stuck. When it comes down to it, it is just about you and your happiness. I found it helpful to make a plan, it doesn’t have to be a solid plan but an idea of what would make you happy then do some research on jobs that included those things. Job searching can be very frustrating, I have been going through this process and looking online at some positions but until then I’ve decided to make the most of it. 

What are your future plans?

As for what is next, I know that I will be moving to a city. I found the rural, quiet life is not my speed. I am thinking about going to Grad school for photojournalism but I’m going to wait to see if I can find another photojournalist position before I do that.

Like this post? Check out all the other ones here.

My First Year Out (So Far) – Octavio Araujo

On this edition of My First Year Out (So Far) we check in with Octavio Araujo, who shares some helpful tips on adapting to an exciting (and challenging) new work environment, learning about airplane structures, and moving to the west coast.

Describe your first year out of UVM:

It’s only been 11 months, or so, but it sure feels like year. I left Burlington shortly after graduation to spend two weeks in Florida with my family before the big move. I had accepted a job offer in Seattle from Boeing without having ever visited the west coast.

I’d say that was intimidating given I didn’t know anybody living there.

Boeing is a big company and I was constantly asking myself if I was going to be up for the challenge ahead, learning how to design plane structures, especially in a place renowned for designing the best commercial airliners.

I had only a vague idea of the team I would be working with, so I didn’t know what engineering topics I would need to brush up on specifically before starting.

It turned out that the team was quite amazing, mostly senior engineers, with the exception of three new hires including myself. The amount of knowledge I’ve gained in these last 9 months is incredible. I’m surrounded by experts in all airplane components, from wings to empennage and fuselage.

I must give credit to all the amazing professors in the school of engineering, who provided me with the tools, knowledge, and experiences I needed to succeed.

The work is challenging, but also rewarding. The designers I collaborate with have a lot of passion for their work. I would say that out of sheer luck I have the best job in the world, but must also admit that I’m really devoting myself.

Sometimes it can be stressful and difficult, days can be long, and due dates too close. I’m back in school for a Boeing/University of Washington certificate in Modern Aircraft Structures, which takes place after work. I regularly take optional training for 8hrs on Saturdays, and during free time I’m trying to teach myself advanced CAD workbenches in CATIA.

I also sometimes volunteer with the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers doing high school STEM night.

What was your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?

I’m most proud of two things. First, I was presented to Boeing’s chief design engineer and given a task by my manager very hastily. I had to read up on some specific material to bring out specific differences between industry standards and in-house standards. I was unfamiliar with both, but brought myself up to speed and was able to deliver as expected.

Second, I’m being mentored by a wing expert at the moment who assigns me work and coaches me through. As a mechanical engineer I’d expect to be doing only strict mechanical engineering. In this particular case, I’ve had to learn A LOT about fire.

As new airplane models undergo FAA certification, different engineering organizations are delegated responsible to comply with all regulations affecting your component. In this case, the wing, is impacted by FAR25.867 which defines certain wing surfaces must be fire resistant.

So I went along and learned [almost] everything about it, from fleet accidents to current regulation interpretations. I (with orientation from my mentor) came up with intelligence over how to achieve compliance and had to present to a committee of technical fellows (high regarding engineering ‘rank’ at Boeing, engineering decision makers).

In both occurrences I was nervous and unsure of myself, as coming into the presentations you’re told “it’s only another meeting in their schedule” but going upon leaving you realizing “this is where careers are made”.

I guess preparing and being able to think on your feet was necessary to overcome these challenges.

What did you learn from this experience?

At the end of the day, you need to be yourself. Bring who you are to the table and let people criticize your work. Take pride in your mistakes, they end up being lessons.

I learned that the only way to get better is by practice and preparation. Burrow like a worm.

Any advice for your classmates?

Convince yourself you can always do better. Everyone is on their own clock, but don’t procrastinate. Do something! Strive to find that which drives you.

What’s it like being on the west coast?

I’m focusing on getting a good start in my career, but whenever I can I try to head downtown and explore Seattle. I’m not the most outdoorsy person, but I’m exited for spring and hiking. I’m making plans for summer, I want to explore the west coast a bit more!

I’m also taking advantage of the Pacific North West and I’ve been able to go on some pretty cool hikes around the area, currently waiting for friendlier weather to enjoy more of the outdoors.


If you liked this post, check out our previous check-ins with your classmates Kristen Smith and Lyndi Wieand.

Remember Free Cone Day On Campus?

Hey everyone, I’m sure many of you remember waiting in line outside the Davis Center every April to get your free cone (or multiple free cones). It was surely a tradition for UVM students and lots of fun.

I’m here to share some sad news. The scoop shop on campus is closing later this year, so free cone day on campus will be no more. The good news is, the Church Street shop is reopening after a winter of renovations, so you can still get your cone in town — but campus will not be the same.

With this nightmarish scenario in mind, I visited the DC scoop shop for the last time this past Tuesday for cone day, and did my best to make the day last forever…

Check out the video below.

My First Year Out (so far…) – Lyndi Wieand

Today we have a special edition of My First Year Out. If you have been following along for a while, you’ll remember we checked in with your 2016 classmate Kristen Smith back in December.

This time we catch up with Lyndi Wieand who shares some lessons in juggling a busy schedule and persevering through career challenges.

Describe your first year out of UVM.

My first year out of UVM has been busy, busy, busy! The week after I graduated and moved back home, I went on vacation with my family to Jackson Hole, WY and Yellowstone National Park. That was an incredible trip and I feel so blessed to have experienced such natural beauty.

It was so different moving back home for good this time, instead of just for a few months during college. I do miss my friends, my rugby team, and the beauty of Vermont.

Shortly after that trip, I started working. I had one job lined up before I moved back working at a local hospital as a Nutrition Services Aide and I also started working as a waitress in early June. I worked those two jobs simultaneously for about two months, working about 50-60 hours a week.

The hospital job wasn’t what I expected it to be and it didn’t relate to my Dietetics, Nutrition, and Food Science Degree, so I resigned in August. However, in July I received an opportunity to work at a brand new local winery that would open in August owned by a former internship supervisor and her husband. My role at the winery is to give tastings, but I’ve also been able to help with the production process of several of the wines, getting Food Science experience.

My life got even more busy in October when I was offered a position at Lehigh University as a Nutrition Assistant to the Registered Dietitian on campus. Carrie, my boss also happens to be the winery owner and my former internship supervisor… oh how networking is important!

So now I am currently working three part time jobs, still at 50-60 hours a week, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

What was your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?

My biggest challenge would be juggling three work schedules and having very little free time for much of anything. Sunday is my only day off, so I try to either recover from the work week, or finally get time to spend with my family, boyfriend and friends.

My second biggest challenge was going through heartbreak last April when I wasn’t “matched” for a dietetic internship–the next step I need to complete before I can become a real person in the nutrition field, a Registered Dietitian. Part of the reason I’m working so hard and so much since graduation is to get more experience in the nutrition field.

I recently went through the internship application process for a second time, and had three interviews in March. This coming Sunday, April 2 is when I find out if I get a “match” this year. I felt a lot more confident in myself this time around than last year, so I’m optimistic!

What did you learn from this experience?

What I learned from this experience is that hard work and dedication can make yourself that much better than you ever thought you could be. I may be exhausted most of the week, but I’ve gained so much experience in the work world that I know I’ll be able to base my real life career off of.

The skills and quality of nutrition knowledge I’ve learned at Lehigh are exactly what I needed to be a better candidate for the internship I will hopefully be completing this coming school year.

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to yourself as you prepared to graduate from UVM? 

I would have told myself to enjoy it as much as I can (even though I think I did), and take advantage of everything wonderful there is to do in Burlington and the surrounding area.

There were a lot of restaurants I never tried, as well as local beers, and outdoor activities. I wish I skied more last year, PA winters and mountains are nothing in comparison to VT. I barely went hiking, which is something that I wanted to do so badly, but rarely had the time.

I would have wanted to get more involved in the other clubs and get more nutrition experience and/or research done while in school, as well as networked more with some of my professors.

Another thing I would have told myself would have been to expect the unexpected. Things you plan won’t always go that way, which is hard for me to accept, since I’m a perfectionist.

When I was rejected by the internships I applied to, my “life plan” for the next year was shattered. I made a new plan to work as much as I could and get nutrition experience, and look where I am now.

Becoming an adult has certainly been a learning experience, but you’ve got to start small in order to get big!

What are you doing now and what are you looking to do next?

The most important thing I am looking forward to next is to get matched to an internship, hopefully my top choice at Cedar Crest College, and start that in late July until April. After completion, I’ll be able to sit for the registration exam, and upon passing, become a Registered Dietitian!

I’m also hoping to start Grad School either this year or next to get my Master’s in Nutrition. Until then, I’ll still be working my three jobs, but maybe cut back on some hours to give myself some more time to breathe and relax in the summer.

Get to Know Vermont Quarterly

Hey everyone! Even though it is technically spring, it still feels like winter here in Vermont.

Never ending winter does however have its perks. You get to keep skiing, drink hot chocolate and curl up under a warm blanket to read something good.

With that in mind, a new Vermont Quarterly (the cool kids call it VQ) just dropped and I wanted to take a second to mention how important it is.

It’s been around forever and it truly is the one thing that connects just about every UVM alum. It includes pretty much everything from academics and campus life, to alumni profiles and class notes.

The magazine is a great way to stay informed on all the stuff we don’t always cover here on Afterword. Even if you are casually following UVM news, VQ will have something for you (not to mention it has a lot of great photos).

Some of you may be saying, “Vermont Quarterly? Why didn’t I get one?”

If you haven’t received the latest edition (or if it went to your parents), that means we don’t have your updated address. You can update that right here and you will be sure to get the next edition.

Here are some of the highlights from the most recent issue (story summaries are by the article’s author):

Basketball brought the Catamounts and Josh Speidel together. Then came the accident, the coma, and the rehab—and now their bond is bigger than the sport.

Josh Speidel and the men's basketball team in the gym

University of Vermont alumni in the state’s top job have been relatively rare. Just seven across more than two centuries of Vermont’s history. But the opening of the 2017 legislative session saw not only a UVM alumnus in the governor’s post with the inauguration of Phil Scott, but a circle of UVM grads taking key leadership roles in Montpelier.

Montpelier capitol dome

Navigating the myriad  mysteries of college— applications to financial aid forms, dorm life  to choosing a major— first-generation college students blaze trails within their families.

Adrian Burnett ’19; Tracy Ballysingh, assistant professor in Higher Education and Student Affairs ; Krya Peacock ’20; Bill Falls, professor of psychology and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

How UVM’s Wellness Environment is rewiring college students’ brains

Illustration of a brain and photograph of student meditating

Katie Elmore Mota is shaking up Hollywood. As founder, co-president, and executive producer of Wise Entertainment, she’s breaking ground with smart, socially relevant content that tells the stories of underrepresented audiences.

Katie Elmore Mota talks with actors during shooting of “East Los High.”