Introducing the Afterword Podcast

Yep, you read that right — Afterword jumped on the ol’ podcast bandwagon.

I’m not sure how often I’ll do these, but it’s a fun new series and I’m excited to share it with you.

Today’s episode is a continuation of our Get Off The Pile series on careers and jobs. The topic is how to talk about your career experiences in job interviews, even when you don’t have much experience (or when that experience isn’t relevant at all).

I interviewed my boss, Kevin Morgenstein Fuerst, the Director of Annual Giving here at the UVM Foundation. Check out the quick 10 minute interview to hear how he landed his first few jobs (without much experience) and his creative tips for talking up your experience and making yourself more qualified than you might actually think you are.

Get off the Pile: How to talk about experience (or lack there of).

Survey Results!

Thanks to everyone who took the time to talk to a student caller on the phone or fill out the survey online. We love hearing from you.

This time around we heard from almost 200 folks which is fantastic! Here’s what ya’ll had to say.

Question 1: What are you up to now?
The majority of you are employed — 80% of you have a full time job or are in graduate school. That’s roughly double the percentage reported when we asked the same question back in August!

Question 2: What are you most connected to?
You love your student clubs, the departments you graduated from, and your UVM friends!

Question 3: Do you want to get involved as a volunteer?
More than 80% of you said that you don’t want to be formally involved right now, and that’s totally fine. We’re glad you told us so we know not to bug you. The great thing about being an alum is that you’ll always be connected to UVM so you can choose when you want to be more involved and when you want to hang back.

Question 4: Where are you?
The map shows how your class is spread around the country (sorry — I couldn’t fit AK, HI, or anyone living abroad). Vermont wins with 600 of you — with Massachusetts, New York, and Connecticut rounding out the top four states. And there are a few brave souls as far flung as Hawaii, Idaho, Wyoming and Louisiana. 

Thanks again to everyone who participated!

The more we know about your class, the more we can tailor blog content and events to you specifically. We’ll continue to check in periodically, since as you can see from looking at this summer’s survey, a lot can change in a few months.

Class of 2016 Check-in, Part III

Part of navigating your first year out is knowing that you’re not alone and no one has it all figured out yet. You and your classmates are facing similar challenges and new experiences.

Those challenges may look different for each person, but know that you’re in good company.

That’s what this segment is all about. We check-in with a few of your classmates and see what they are doing and how they’re navigating their first year out. Oh, and I couldn’t miss the opportunity to ask a few “this or that” questions about some UVM/Burlington/Vermont stuff.

This week we spoke to Connor Banfield, Roger Dagama, Jess D’Amelio and Phoebe Sheehan. 

  1. What are you up to? I’m waiting tables at Sweetwaters while figuring out my life.
  2. What are you most excited about in the next year? What are you most scared about in the next year? I’m most excited to leave Burlington and move out west. I’m most scared about Donald Trump ruining our country.
  3. What has been the best thing since you graduated? The worst? The best thing since I’ve graduated has been not having tests or classes. The worst part is that all my friends moved away.

  1. What are you up to? I’m currently in my last semester UVM’s Master of Accountancy program and I’m preparing to take the CPA exam.
  2. What are you most excited about in the next year? What are you most scared about in the next year? I’m most excited about moving to Boston, starting my new job, and passing the CPA exam (hopefully!). I’m most scared of the CPA exam.
  3. What has been the best thing since you graduated? The worst? The best thing since graduating has been spending one more year in Burlington! The worst is the reality of not calling Burlington home in a few shorts months.

  1. What are you up to? I currently live in Burlington, Vermont and am a Production and Design Assistant at Meredith Corporation / Eating Well Magazine in Shelburne and a Fulfillment and Design Assistant at Skida Headwear and Accessories in Burlington. I also work on a range of freelance design projects. 
  2. What are you most excited about in the next year? What are you most scared about in the next year? I’m very excited about my new roles and seeing where these various part time jobs take me. Currently, I’m mainly interested in growing my design skills, even if that involves biting off more than I can chew, and I hope to learn animation. At the same time, what I am most scared about is the same as what I’m most excited about – the evolution of my skill set and career experience in a creative and competitive field. Gotta keep moving.
  3. What has been the best thing since you graduated? The worst? Since graduation, the best thing that has happened is staying around Burlington. I love the new relationship I’ve built with UVM as a post grad. The worst thing was all the inevitable madness and confusion that happened before I found more stability with my current positions.

  1. What are you up to? I am currently living in Whitefish, Montana where I’m working full time nights as a NICU nurse. 
  2. What are you most excited about in the next year? What are you most scared about in the next year? This upcoming year I am most excited about getting to explore a new town, a new ski resort and being only 30 minutes away from Glacier National Park! I’m most nervous about getting attacked by a grizzly bear or mountain lion.
  3. What has been the best thing since you graduated? The worst? The best thing since I’ve graduated has been getting to work my dream job with my tiny little babies. The worst thing since I’ve graduated has been being so far away from the majority of my friends and family and Cabot cheese is $10 a block in Montana.

  1. What are you up to? I am working as a photojournalist for the Centre Daily Times in State College, Pennsylvania. I cover a variety of news, ranging from the football and wrestling at Penn State – a Big Ten Conference member – to taking photographs of community news in State College and surrounding towns. I also recently documented the 2017 presidential inauguration and the Women’s March on Washington.
  2. What are you most excited about in the next year? What are you most scared about in the next year? I am most excited about my job this year because, as cliché as it may sound, every day is an an adventure. News is unpredictable and strange. Every photograph presents an opportunity to tell a story or reveal a truth and the challenge to capture images that illustrate a story and resonate with readers. In these past five months I’ve been surprised by how many opportunities I’ve had to photograph assignments both locally as well as nationwide and I look forward to keep being surprised by the next awesome opportunity journalism provides.
    It has been challenging making the transition from full time student to full time employee. Since the news cycle is 24/7, my job requires I work weekends and holidays, with two days off in the middle of the week. I am constantly on-the-go and my own interests, outside of photography, are often neglected. Other than my typical recent college grad fears (paying rent, bills, etc), I’m concerned I won’t have enough time to pursue my personal photo projects or outside interests.
  3. What has been the best thing since you graduated? The worst? Besides moving in with my boyfriend and adopting a kitten from our local animal shelter, the best thing to happen to me since graduating from UVM is landing a full time job in the news industry, where work is scarce, especially in the field of photojournalism. At UVM I majored in English and minored in Religion so on paper I didn’t look especially qualified. However, spending four years at The Cynic as a photographer and photo editor and doing a photojournalism internships at the my hometown newspaper and at an online Vermont publication gave me invaluable experience. I also took a few great photography courses in the art department at UVM, where I developed my artistic eye. These experiences helped me produce a decent portfolio, but I was still surprised to land my dream job just two months after graduating. In the short time I’ve been working for the Centre Daily Times I’ve expanded my connections in the news industry and I’ve had multiple occasions where my photographs went across the wire services and were picked up by publications across the country.
    The worst thing since graduating has been having to leave Burlington behind. I really miss my friends and our countless trips to Oakledge or late night jaunts to Three Needs. Central Pennsylvania is beautiful, with its rolling hills and slightly warmer weather, but I miss New England and its familiar vibe.

My First Year Out: Scott Bailey ’09

For today’s My First Year Out, I caught up with Scott Bailey ’09, another member of the UVM Foundation Fellows Program. The Fellows program is currently a cohort of six young alumni from the last decade nominated by Foundation leadership to insure the perspective and opinions of our young alumni are represented in the work of the Foundation board and committees.

In addition to his role as a Fellow, Scott works at MassChallenge, a non-profit in Boston that helps fledgling start-ups succeed. Sounds pretty cool right? Check out the link above to learn more.

I think Scott’s story is a great example of finding a way to build your career by taking some risks and following unexpected paths to success. And as always, learn from your mentors, they can really help!

Here’s what Scott had to say about his first year out.

1. Describe your first year out of UVM.

My first year after graduating from UVM was an interesting one. I remember leaving the lobby of Kalkin after finals and passing in my paperwork to accept my diploma. As I handed it in, the woman at the desk asked if I had forgotten to fill out the back where it asked students to list the job they’d be taking following graduation. My only response was “it’s correct.”

It was 2009, the Dow was below 7,000 and there was talk of the next Great Depression. Like many of my classmates, I left college without any strong job prospects, but what I did have was a drive to create a meaningful impact in my community. Even then, it was clear to me that entrepreneurship was part of the solution to addressing social, economic, and equity issues around the world. Together, startups, entrepreneurs, and the venture capital community drive new growth, opportunity, and optimism – and that’s something we needed most.

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

Looking back, I’d say my biggest challenge during that first year was learning to focus my efforts. I had to push myself to develop a set of criteria that could help identify the best opportunities and the right fit for me. A lot of you are probably in that same position, worrying about what you’ll do after you leave UVM. The best advice I can offer is to be flexible. Create a process, market yourself, and know that it’s okay for things to change. This is something I’ve learned from the startup community.

After graduation, I reached out to one of the leading innovation organizations in Burlington, the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies. David Bradbury, a UVM alum, serial entrepreneur, investor, and community leader, generously took me under his wing right out of school. He introduced me to different stakeholders in the community, taught me to how to talk to startups and identify the challenges they were facing while launching and growing their businesses. I had a lot to learn, but I was hooked.

I may have started my career in an economic climate where it seemed like there was little opportunity, but I felt the strong desire and need to create more for myself. Gradually, I stopped looking at individual aspects of the world and started to connect the dots. From my work at VCET I knew that startup accelerators not only helped entrepreneurs bring their ideas to life, but also created powerful innovation ecosystems in their communities. They fueled economic growth, job creation, and more, and I wanted to be a part of that change.

3. What are you doing now?

After my first year at VCET, a mentor of mine convinced me to explore opportunities with MassChallenge, a new Boston-based organization that aimed to catalyze a global startup renaissance. I’m still at MassChallenge today, helping thousands of entrepreneurs get access to the resources they need to successfully build their companies and identifying new opportunities to expand this support across North America.

My job looks a lot different than what I could have ever imagined for myself when graduating, but that’s also because it didn’t exist.

I love being a value creator and the first to try something new. I get to interact with startups every day and am so inspired by their vision to change the world. I have an opportunity to collaborate with so many smart and talented people across the global innovation ecosystem that are also focused on the big picture.

4. What advice do you have for recent graduates?

This whole experience has taught me that the right opportunities are out there. It’s just up to you to find them… maybe even create them yourself!

We’re Calling You Next Week!

I do a lot of emailing around here, but I thought it would be nice to actually talk to you the old-fashioned way.


And since I can’t call everyone myself, I’ve asked the Chatty Cats — a group of students who do phonathon calling here at the UVM Foudantion — to give you a ring next week. They’re all UVM undergrads, so treat them well (and give them some advice too).

Don’t worry, this is not some secret ploy to ask you for money.  Yes, the Chatty Cats typically fundraise for UVM, but not this time — they are just calling to check-in, ask a few questions, and get your feedback.

We will try to call your cell phone number — if we have it — and our number will show up as 802-656-9999.

To make sure we reach you, you can update your phone number using this form.

Here’s why the call is important: It helps us understand how you are doing so far in your first year out, AND you will have the opportunity to tell us how you would like to stay involved with UVM. It’s your opportunity to give feedback – positive or negative – and make your voice heard.

I look forward to hearing from you next week!

– Ryan