This week’s My First Year Out story is from a UVM alumni couple. Emily Meltzer ’12 and Philip Bruno ’12 share the story of their first year out — which involved moving cross-country after graduation.
1. Describe your first year out of UVM.
We packed up all of our things in Burlington and moved straight to Seattle – 10 days after graduating. We both knew we wanted to move west, and Seattle had the perfect combination of the city and the outdoors. To be honest, we didn’t move with a plan in place. Emily worked in Pike Place Market for the summer until securing an AmeriCorps position, and Philip worked a few part time jobs until landing a full time position at a digital marketing startup.
Our first year out of school was all about testing the waters, discovering our professional passions, and exploring a part of the country that neither of us had previously spent time in. It was a total whirlwind!
2. What was your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?
Our biggest challenge was getting past our original expectations of what employment is “supposed” to look like when you graduate. First jobs are hard work, often thankless, and definitely aren’t always trendy, glamorous or full of cool perks. Both of us were lucky to have growth opportunities happen very quickly within our places of employment, and had room to experiment with our respective career paths.
We are both strong advocates for ourselves and always came to the table prepared to provide input, even if we were the “lowest on the totem pole”, so to speak. At first it was intimidating to engage in conversations about topics that we were so new to, but we were pleasantly surprised by the amount of respect we were treated with by our more seasoned colleagues.
3. What are you doing now?
Emily is the Director of Development for the social services branch of the YMCA of Greater Seattle. She oversees fundraising, marketing and volunteerism for the organization.
Philip is the Senior Mobile Marketing Manager for Add3, a digital marketing agency based in Seattle. He leads strategy, launch and optimization of campaigns for national and multinational brands.
4. What advice do you have for recent graduates?
Believe it or not, more tenured professionals are excited to hear what you have to say. What you might not have in professional experience, you make up for in lived experience and creativity. People who have “been in the business” can become limited in their ability to think outside of the box, but recent graduates have a much broader view of what’s possible.
You have the ability to think beyond the status quo since you haven’t been confined to the status quo of your industry yet. Take advantage of your newness and use it as a super power!