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.

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