Winter Break Networking Events: A Primer

Are you coming to one or both of our Alumni Networking Events over winter break?

Save the dates for UVM Networking Nights in New York (January 5th)and Boston (January 11th) over winter break!

Let’s talk about networking.

Networking involves being curious about someone, their work, their industry, or their company/organization. A savvy networker asks questions, and listens closely to other people. The point is, networking is a two-way street. You get connected, and you connect others. This involves careful listening, asking questions and a willingness to connect others as much as yourself to interesting people in different fields.

An example: You, wonderful student of career development that you are, decides to attend one of our fantastic alumni networking events over winter break (sponsored by Alumni Relations and your very own Career services Office). Let’s say you are interested in working in middle-level education. You meet someone at registration who is an environmental engineer. You’re curious about what this person’s work life is like, so maybe you ask a couple questions. After a couple minutes, you remember that your roommate, a civil engineering major, has some interest in learning more about environmental engineering and potentially also work opportunities in the summer. You politely ask if you can pass along the environmental engineer’s e-mail to your roommate, the person agrees. You have just “networked”. Additionally, you might also have met someone working in middle-level education, and agreed that it might be interesting for you both to have coffee in a week to discuss what’s new in the field and maybe for you to ask some more questions about this person’s experiences. That is also networking.

Though we talk frequently about how to network, we often don’t talk about how to stay in touch with your contacts, how to maintain those relationships. Maintaining your contacts is also key, as it is easy to fall out of touch with people who may have had a stronger presence in your life in your first year of college, or even in high school. An invitation by e-mail to get coffee or go for a walk might be a great way to reconnect to maintain these relationships.

Looking for more information about how to network? Check out our networking resource page, which includes sample networking correspondence and questions.

Linking In to LinkedIn

I was a senior in my final semester of college when an internship supervisor called me into her office and said, “you HAVE to get on Linked In. I’d like you to make a profile tomorrow when you come in to work, ok?”

“Sure, Ok. What is LinkedIn?”

“Oh, it’s like Facebook for professionals.”

And that was my introduction to Linked In. Why it was important to be a part of a professional online community when I was still in college seemed a bit hazy to me, but as I started to build my profile, upload my resume, and make connections to people I knew from volunteering, from internships, from part time jobs and from school…I started to get it. See, Linked In is a different forum than Facebook. Facebook is all about “social networking.” Linked In is about professional networking.

So…what exactly is networking? What, you mean you haven’t seen our amazing page on networking?! Take a gander…

Don’t forget about our wonderful Alumni Networking Events over winter break:

In NYC on January 5, 2011

In Boston on January 11, 2011

Networking is about building relationships; meeting people from your field, related fields…even completely unrelated fields. The idea is that by asking questions and listening, we can start to learn more about what others do in their work and think a bit about how this might impact us. On the flipside, we might also be thinking about how the people we meet might impact our network of contacts. Networking is a two-way street. LinkedIn is a tool to help you reach out to people, and help people reach out to you.

Check out Linkedin today!

How Should I Choose My Major?

Deciding on your major is definitely an important decision.  It is also a decision that you do not have to make entirely on your own.   There are many resources around you including faculty, your faculty advisor, academic advisors in the Dean’s Office of your college (Arts & Sciences, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, etc.), your friends and family, and of course Career Services!

Here are some good questions to ask yourself when you’re considering a major:

Yes, choosing a major is a big decision, but it is not a decision that absolutely defines the rest of your life or career choices.  It is a choice that often impacts your job or career choices, but it is not the only thing that defines you.  Please come talk with us at Career Services about choosing a major as well as exploring internships, part time jobs or summer jobs related to different majors.

I Went to the Job Fair. Now What?

Thank you to all who came to our Fall Job Fair on Wednesday! The event was a great success, with over 70 employers and graduate schools and over 500 students and alumni attending!

If you’d like to see which employers and graduate schools participated in the fair, check out the fair booklet.

Here are some tips for following up on the Job Fair:

  • Sort out the materials you collected at the Job Fair.
  • Assess what you want to pursue and your next actions. Make a list of what kinds of work you’re most interested in, and what kinds of organizations might be the best fit for you.
  • Get your resume and cover letter ready! Remember, Career Services holds a weekly resume clinic on Mondays from 4-5 PM in Living/Learning E 166.
  • Follow up by contacting employers you met with at the Fair. (Remember, If you’re looking to contact a particular employer, search for them in Catamount Job Link.) Send resumes and cover letters to confirm your interest.
  • Research other organizations and opportunities, starting with Catamount Job Link. Check out our website resources, and our office resource library. (The resource library is available during our office hours, M-F 8 AM-5PM.)
  • Talk it over! Make an appointment with a career counselor to discuss potential opportunities,  review application materials before sending them off, and figure out the next steps. (Call our office or stop by to make an appointment.)
  • Save the Date! Our Spring Job Fair will take place from 2-5 PM on Wednesday, March 23, 2011 in the Davis Center.

Check out these photos from the Job Fair: