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.

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).

My First Year Out: Chris Veal ’14

For today’s My First Year Out, I caught up with Chris Veal ’14, a 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, Chris is also a first year Medical Student at the Larner College of Medicine here at UVM. In that vein, Chris speaks about his first year out preparing for medical school. His advice is great for anyone preparing for or considering any graduate program.

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


1. Describe your first year out of UVM.

My first year out of UVM, I starting working in the Office of Health Promotion Research at the UVM College of Medicine. During this time, I worked with Dr. Brian Sprague on a variety of research projects centered on Early Stage Breast Cancer and Breast Cancer Screening throughout the state.

This job granted me the opportunity to publish my first article in a peer-reviewed medical journal! My article titled “ Health Related Behaviors and Mortality Outcomes in Women Diagnosed with Ductal Carcinoma In Situ” was published in this months edition of the Journal of Cancer Survivorship.

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

My greatest challenge after college was staying focused and preparing for medical school. I did not take the MCAT until after I graduated from UVM. During the months of preparation for that incredibly difficult exam, I had to balance a full time job with studying for the MCAT.

Ultimately, I discovered in order for me to do as well on the MCAT as I wanted to, I would have to quit my job and devote a solid 3 months to studying solely for that exam.

I moved back home with my mother and studied like crazy. Once I took it, I was incredibly blessed to have the chance to return back to Vermont and start a job that I absolutely loved at the UVM College of Medicine. It felt like I didn’t miss a beat.

But quitting my job and taking the time to thoroughly prepare to take the MCAT was the best decision I feel I could have made.

3. What are you doing now? 

I am currently a first year Medical Student at the amazing Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont. I must admit, people told me medical school was hard, and I believed them, but I was not expecting it to be as hard as it was during my first semester.

Medical School was a shift for me in many ways, both emotionally and physically. Yet overall, I couldn’t imagine being in a better place.

What’s special about the College of Medicine here at UVM is the level of support given to each and every student. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion has been my rock of support throughout my time here. I’ve also had the chance to retain amazing relationships with several of the faculty members — one of whom I have lunch with every Tuesday at noon!

Medical School has been an incredible experience, despite the challenges it brings each day. It reminds me that UVM still is the special place I graduated from back in 2014.

4. What advice do you have for recent graduates?

For any alums that are trying to pursue a career in medicine or any health care profession, I would highly suggest taking some time off between graduate school and undergraduate.

I took off 2 years and I think that truly gave me the time to enjoy being in my 20’s for a little bit, and also give me a chance to interact with the real world.

Over those 2 years, my friendships grew closer, I began to understand what I wanted out of life, and I became more active in my community. My time out of school gave me a great foundation to spring from once I started medical school, I would highly suggest it!

Checking in with the Class of 2016, Part II

Part of navigating this first year out is knowing that you’re not alone and no one has it all figured out yet. Your classmates are facing the same challenges and new experiences as you.

Those challenges may look different for different people, 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 Hannah Decelles, Jackson McNally and Alex Pasin.


  1. What are you up to? I am living in Durham, North Carolina working as a Registered Nurse in the Emergency Department at Duke University hospital.  I work the night shift (7:00pm-7:30am), which has been an adjustment and I have definitely become nocturnal!  I moved here in July (the hottest summer of my life!!) and have really enjoyed getting to know a new place.
  1. What are you most excited about in the next year? What are you most scared about in the next year? I am most excited to get to know the area I am living in and exploring more of the south.  The south is SO different from the northeast, from the food to the culture to the people.As much as I love being in the Emergency Department and working as a Nurse, I am also scared when I walk into work every day that there will be something that I wont be able to handle, or a patient that as a team we cannot help when we should’ve. In this next year I know mistakes will be made, but it terrifies me. As scared as I am, I love the team I work with each and every night and I know they have my back.
  1. What has been the best thing since you graduated? The best thing since I’ve graduated is working as an RN.  I learn new things at work every single day, and absolutely love where I work.  It is really gratifying to feel as if I am doing exactly what I want to be doing.


  1. What are you up to? I’m a wilderness therapy guide at True North Wilderness Program, working with struggling adolescents and young adults.
  1. What are you most excited about in the next year? What are you most scared about in the next year? I’m excited to see how I continue to grow as a guide and how I’m able to not only help and inspire my students, but also make progress in my personal life as a result. I’m pretty bad with money, so I’m scared about potentially struggling to manage my money as I continue to work.
  1. What has been the best thing since you graduated? The worst? The best thing has been the relationships I’ve built with the people I work with. I really feel like I’ve found a home for myself. The worst thing has been motivating myself to stay active during my off days instead of relaxing the whole time.


  1. What are you up to? I’m currently working in customer service at Burton snowboards.
  1. What are you most excited about in the next year? What are you most scared about in the next year? The best thing is getting in some shredding with the new work crew, hoping for it to dump. The worst is being scared it won’t snow and I’ll have to freeze my tears to try and get some freshies.
  1. What’s the best thing since you graduated? The worst? The best thing about graduating is being able to walk by campus and not have a heart attack realizing I have an essay due or a test the next day. The worst thing is now that worrying is about bills or where I parked my car.