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

Thank You Class of 2015!

Hey 2015ers, thank you for following along for the past 18 months. Before I continue, check out this video…

I want you to know that this is the last post I will write specifically for you, Class of 2015.

Why? My job was to help you transition from being a student to a UVM alum and you’ve done that (mostly without my help)! I hope this blog has helped a little bit with that transition and given you some inspiration and a few chuckles along the way.

That said, I hope you’ll stay connected to UVM. One of the best ways to do that is to make sure your contact information is up to date. That way we know where to send event invitations and other UVM-related items.

In the coming weeks you will receive a mailing from me offering tips on how to stay active in the UVM and alumni community. It will look like this:


If you don’t get a mailing that means you haven’t recently updated your current address. But you can do so here.

UVM is also on LinkedIn (UVM Alumni Association), Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat (@uvmvermont). So be sure to follow along.

I’ve had a lot of fun writing for and getting to meet some of you and I once again wish you all the best. If you want to stay in touch, email me at and volunteer to share your first year out story with the class of 2016 or ’17 and beyond.

Take care,


Networking Advice from Emma Grady ’08

Over the past two weeks, the UVM Alumni Association hosted networking events in New York, Boston and DC.

If you couldn’t attend or don’t live in one of those areas, fear not. This week I’m bringing the alumni networking to you.

I checked in with Emma Grady ’08 who volunteered at the networking event in New York City where she lives and works. As a frequent alumni volunteer, she’s a pro at the most effective networking approaches. Check out her advice below.


Ryan: What are some things young grads did well at the most recent networking event?

Emma: Showing up. The fact that so many students and recent graduates came out eager to network and kick off their careers is a great sign.

R: What are some things they could have improved upon?

E: Overall, I think you get out of these events what you put in. So my suggestion would be to take advantage of the volunteer networkers who are offering to help by following up and staying in touch after the event is over. The event is a jumping off point, and building real connections happens over time.

R: What advice do you have for recent graduates on talking to folks like yourself at these types of events and in their networking pursuits?

E: I think it’s important to prepare questions and ask your most important question first. There is limited time to speak with everyone and you might not have time to ask a follow up question. The first question I am most often asked is how I got to my current position. There is no short answer, and everyone’s path is unique, so it might be more valuable for recent graduates to first ask for advice on how they might pursue a similar career path than to hear about the various jobs I’ve had.

R: Any other advice related to networking and job searching for the most recent UVM alumni?

E: Be specific when asking for help. I think it can be challenging to know where to start but if you isolate next steps and priorities it will help guide you when reaching out to contacts–from asking for an informational interview to requesting help editing a resume. If you’re specific about what you need, there’s a better chance you’ll get it.

P.S. Emma was recently featured in a Vermont Quarterly article about 10 UVM alums succeeding in the Big Apple. (You can check out the article here.)

Fall Semester Highlights from Campus

The semester has come to a close just in time for a polar vortex! The temperature is cold up here, so I’m doing my best to stay warm this holiday season.

That being said, I thought it would be a great time to get you caught up on what’s been happening on campus this fall. Check out the stories below for a snapshot of the semester.

Top Stories

UVM Names Robert Larner, M.D. College of Medicine after Dr. Larner ’39, M.D.’42 makes new $66 million bequest!


UVM Flies Black Lives Matter Flag Outside of Davis Center


Vice President Biden Brings ‘Cancer Moonshot’ to UVM


UVM Alumni House Opens [Video]

Notable Speakers

A Day in the Life

  • On October 19th, 2016 students, faculty and staff captured their day on social media. Check it out here

Academics and Research


Student News

Want to stay informed?