Networking: Advice and Tips from Aya AL-Namee ’15

Over the past two weeks, the UVM Alumni Association hosted networking events in cities all over the country, including Boston, NYC, and San Francisco!

If you couldn’t attend or don’t live in one of those areas, fear not. We checked in with  Aya AL-Namee ’15, who attended the networking event in Boston, and are bringing her advice to you!

As someone who’s worked in admissions, and a frequent Alumni volunteer, she’s a pro at the most effective networking approaches. Check out her advice below.

What advice do you have for recent graduates attending networking events?

My advice is to not be shy and to put yourself out there. Approach every interaction as a learning opportunity and a chance to ask for advice and you will get much more than what you expect from the networkers. Do not limit yourself to your industry! You will be amazed at what you can learn from other people who have experience in different professional fields.

Did you have an outstanding interaction with someone at the networking event? Why was it memorable?

I had many outstanding interactions and my most memorable one was with a business student who fearlessly approached the education and non-profit table and asked for general job searching advice – Should I go to grad school? Should I get a job right after? What was even more impressive is the fact that she added me on LinkedIn before any of the students who were interested in working in my field!

Any other advice related to networking and job searching for recent UVM alumni?

If you are a recent UVM grad, I highly recommend getting in touch with as many UVM alumni in your area as possible! You never know what that can lead you to. At the very least they will be a great group of friends and support system for you in your “real world” first steps.

Fall 2017: Semester in Review

It’s the last day of finals here on campus (I know, we can’t believe it either) and that means a whole semester has passed since you graduated!

Campus has been busy with all sorts of things this semester, so we thought we’d do a quick recap so you won’t feel like you missed out on any of the good stuff.

Here are some highlights.

Torrey Hall Fire:

The Burlington Free Press captured a live video at the scene as it was handled by the fire department.

If you didn’t know, the third floor of Torrey Hall houses the Pringle Herbarium.This was a scary day for many professors on campus, as they didn’t know if the rare specimens would survive. Thankfully, there was little damage to the herbariarium. Check out the Seven days article for more info.

Student Protests / Student Demands:

During the semester, a group of students brought their concerns regarding diversity at UVM to the administration, and President Sullivan.

Seven days has an article that covers the whole conversation, as well as the list of student demands and the president’s response embedded on the page.

Dairy Bar:


And the best part- They’re using local milk and cream from the UVM C.R.E.A.M. Program! We prefer cookies and cream or their coffee flavors. Yum!

Full Story Here.

Wellness Environment:

This semester was the first with the new and improved Wellness Environment. With a new central location in the new first year dorms, and expanded student participation, the ‘WE’ has made a big impact on campus. (As well as a bit of a splash in the news).

These Students aren’t nodding off, they’re meditating. -Boston Globe

Hudziak talks WE progress, concerns. -VT Cynic

New Buildings on Campus:

Wondering how they fit all those new WE students into central campus? Well, there’s been a bit of construction. We realize a lot of this was going on when you all were on campus, but here’s a quick update.

The Discovery Building (part 1 of the STEM Complex) has been completed, and at the beginning of this semester, Cook Hall was torn down to make room for the Innovation building, which will come next. Oh, and there’s a cool pedestrian bridge that links Votey to Discovery!

Right behind, the Central Campus Residence-Hall (yep, it hasn’t been named yet) opened for the first time, and includes a new dining hall (apparently the lines have been out the door all semester)! Oh, and there’s a cool pedestrian bridge linking it with Bailey-Howe Library. So yeah, bridges are in right now.

Still underway is the construction of Ifshin Hall (an expansion on the Kalkin Building) and they’re beginning renovations to the Taft School building, at the corner of Pearl and South Williams; a new home for Art and Dance on campus.

Faculty Features:

Missing your fave prof? Check out these super cool faculty features! They interviewed people like Yutaka Kono, Rasheda Weaver, Tina Escaja, Ilyse Morgenstein Fuerst, Major Jackson and more!

They can all be found on the UVM Facebook page.

And just like that, the semester is over!

What’s a Career Outcome? – A Reminder about a reminder

Hey Gang, Are you feeling a bit like this when people ask about your career?

We get that.

It’s not super fun to talk career stuff, because you are all on different paths to professional glory, and your current position could be completely different in a few months. But we’ve been asked to give you guys a reminder about the Class of 2017 Career Outcome Survey.

We realize that you’ve probably gotten a million emails about this. Your parents might have even gotten an email about it.

We’re doing a solid for our friends over in the Career Center by sending one more reminder. This will be the only time we remind you guys about it.

They want to give all of you the chance to provide feedback- positive or negative. Did UVM help prepare you for the world?

As an added bonus, if you guys fill out the survey today you’re automatically entered to win a $20 gift card! 1 in 10 will be winners, so fill it out today!

Click through to take the survey, and then you’ll never hear about it again (from us)!


Thank you, Pam and George. 💛

If you haven’t heard, Pam and George are retiring their bright yellow food truck at the end of the fall semester, and taking some well deserved time for themselves.

We’re really sad to see them go, but we want to celebrate them too. So, we thought we’d take a moment to talk with them and hear about how they’re feeling on the eve of this milestone.

(Pam and one of her regulars. His dog gets a hotdog from Pam’s every day after his walk “Finnegan style” – no bun, cut up into pieces.)

How long have you been running the truck?

We’ve been doing this since right about 1982. We used to have two separate trucks, Pam’s and George’s. We would hire lots of students from the university- a boys truck and a girls truck. It was lots of fun back then, a lot going on.

What has been your favorite part about this whole experience?

Oh, I would say my favorite part has been getting to know everyone here on campus- the students, the professors, the staff and workers in all the buildings who come by for breakfast or lunch. There have been so many memorable faces and personalities, and it’s been great to get to know the community here.

There have been such great times, and there have been hardships as well. Throughout all of that, the UVM community was here for us in a really wonderful and supportive way.

What was your least favorite part of running the truck?

Definitely the winters, the winters can be really hard.

And don’t forget, we raised our kids during the whole time we’ve been running this truck. Though it was a lot of fun to make sandwiches for the kids before school- I’d have to make two of this kind of sandwich, two of that kind of sandwich and the kids would be trading among themselves.

What’s going to happen to the truck when you’re all done?

Oh, it will get another life- we’re going to sell it to Ahli Baba’s. Their truck, believe or not, is 20 years older than ours! So our truck will have a new life with them.

Is there something you’d like to say to all the UVM Alumni who have graduated?

Just that I’m proud of them. There are so many students and athletes we’ve known who have gone on to do amazing things, and we’re just so proud of all of you.

Well Pam, let me say this, from all of us:

We love you, and thank you from the bottom of our hearts for keeping us all fed for those 8:30 classes, reminding us that a smile can brighten your whole day, and being a “Mom away from home” for so many of us.

We’re so happy that UVM was such a home for you both, and we’re so lucky that you have been a part of the UVM family for so long.

Best of luck on everything you do in your retirement. Enjoy!!

Take a break and listen

Check out our latest installment of the podcast series!

Grab your headphones, get outside, and stretch your legs for a few minutes while you listen to two alumni talk about what they love about UVM (and what advice they have for you)

Ryan sat down for an interview with two UVM alumni: Penrose Jackson ’70 and Katherine Ash ’10.

Penrose currently serves as President of the Alumni Association Board of Directors, and Kate is currently part of the UVM Foundation Fellows program. They graduated 40 years apart, but you can listen to how UVM has played an important role in both of their lives.


Some highlights from the interview:

Penrose was a student here during the height of the Vietnam war, and graduated the same year as Kent State. (Here’s the Wiki if you need a refresher). Many of her classmates wore black armbands to graduation, and overwhelmingly felt disenfranchised from their college experience.

Because of the feeling of the time, she never really connected with the university until the first Vermont Regional board was created.

Upon reconnecting with the university as an alumni, she felt entirely different.

“I discovered a university very different from the one I had known, which was was far more dynamic, far more intellectually engaging than the one I had encountered as a student.”

On advice for recent grads:

Penrose: “Be Curious. For it’s really about staying curious and staying true to your values. If you do those two things, you will have memories in life.”

Kate: “Don’t feel compelled to stay in a track. For many of us in the social sciences or physical sciences, or those of us who feel like we must pursue a masters or a PhD or join a fortune 500 company.

We don’t always do the deep evaluation and deep reflection about why our priorities are the way the are. So i would say not only be curious but be creative. Find something that’s truly yours… Also, start saving for retirement.”

Favorite memory from UVM:

Penrose: “We were still handed Beanies as freshman. And I thought we were supposed to wear them. I remember going out in the hall and being the only one wearing my beanie.

And we still had curfews! And there was an unconfirmed urban legend that girls (we were girls then, not women) that girls could not wear pants to class if it was above 0. This was the end of the sixties, and this all changed dramatically in the four years that I was here.”

Kate: “I took a trip called Alternative Spring Break when i was a junior, or maybe a sophomore. We went down to Lexington, MS, just two years after Hurricane Katrina.

It was such an eye opener for me… I learned so much about that part of the country, and actually it was what inspired me to put New Orleans as my first pick on my Teach for America application, so I could get back to that region and contribute.”