Making a Life Worth Living

Are you interested in creating a life with meaning while making a difference?  You are in good company! Students in Global and Regional Studies 95 (Fall 2010) explored Right Livelihood, personal missions and putting their values into action on a daily basis.  Here are some actions and resources that inspired them into living by their beliefs and convictions.

At Home

Right Livelihood is a Buddhist concept of earning a living in an ethical, values-based manner.  In other words, using your values as a lens for making decisions about your work and actions in the world.

Putting that into play, GRS95 came up with principles of Right Livelihood at UVM :

  • LOVE: Combine Passion and Love – what matters most to you
  • POSITIVE: Offer contagious positivity
  • RESPECT: Create respectful relations with others and the earth
  • COMMITMENT Take a stand for something you believe in, leading by example
  • COMMUNITY: Prioritize community & face-to-face relationships
  • CHALLENGE: Accept the challenge of overcoming adversities, not letting fear get in your way

Out In The World

Living by our convictions has a ripple effect that spreads beyond our own lives.  And sometimes we need to look beyond our doorstep for inspiration and camaraderie. Here are some connections from the world at large:


The Right Livelihood Award Outstanding vision and work on behalf of our planet and its people.

Yes! Magazine Powerful Ideas, Practical Actions Connecting people, organizations, and resources to help build a world where all people can live free and dignified lives.

Worldpulse Global issues through the eyes of women.

Storycorps Every voice matters.

Making It Real:

Life doesn’t begin once you graduate.  Clarifying who you are, what matters to you and putting it into action each day is important.  With so much information coming at us each day and so many demands on our time and attention, it is important to be thoughtful about where we put our energy.   Developing a vision and taking action can assist you in navigating and creating a life you want to live.  Here are some steps:

  1. CREATE a mission statement
  2. ACT – life is now, not just once you graduate – take actions daily that matter
  3. CONNECT  – build connections with people who inspire you


World of Work: Allan Urgent '93, Assistant US Attorney

Allan Urgent '93

Allan Urgent ‘93, Assistant United States Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice

Newark, NJ

Major: Political Science

Graduate Program: Fordham University School of Law (J.D.)

What does your typical day look like?
I represent the United States of America and federal agencies in civil litigation. The types of things I do include appearing in court to advocate for the government’s position, drafting legal documents and correspondence, and communicating with client agencies and opposing counsel to negotiate case resolutions.

How did you get to where you are today and were there any significant experiences that helped shape your career path?
I served as a judicial law clerk for two different federal judges, and I worked for four years at law firm doing commercial litigation before I obtained my current position.  As a judicial law clerk, I was able to develop my legal research and writing skills, observe practicing attorneys at work, and learn what motivates judicial decision-making.  As an associate at law firm, I got practical experience representing clients.

Do you have any advice for undergraduates?
Talk to as many people as you can in the fields that interest you and pay particular attention to people who love their work. Understand that it might take you longer than you would like to get where you want to be, but keep working towards putting yourself in the best position to capitalize when an opportunity becomes available.

What would you do differently about how you went about your career?
Do a better job of developing and maintaining contacts from all of the positions that I have held including internships.  Do not underestimate the importance of personal connections in determining who gets hired.

If you’re interested in seeing all our World of Work profiles, click hereIf you are a UVM alumnus and would like to be featured, please contact us at If you are interested in contacting a featured alum, check out the Career Connection alumni database or contact us.

Market Yourself to Get Hired: Social Media Edition

What is social media? Sites we use all the time; Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIN, Twitter, and blogs– these are all social media sites. We call them this because of the way we can create our own  “media “ like status updates, sharing of other people content, or posting and sharing articles, pictures and videos, among other things.

How can my Facebook or my Twitter really help me get hired?

First, it might be worthwhile to notice how it can get in the way of getting you hired.

-Are there incriminating photos of you on your Facebook? One word: untag. Untag, untag, untag. Just because Joe-Shmoe in the triple across the hall thinks you are hysterical dancing with a lampshade on your head, doesn’t mean a future employer will be as amused if they do a search for your profile.

-Check your security preferences. If you go to your “Account” button on the upper right hand corner of your Facebook page, you can change your security settings to ensure that only the people you want to view you can actually see your updates and your photos. I strongly encourage all users not to allow “friends of friends” to see you, because if you have 800 friends, it is possible for 640,000 people or MORE to view your profile.

-But wait…who ARE your friends? And what are they saying? This is tricky. If you have friends who repeatedly post to your wall about their various thoughts and events, and they don’t jive with a professional image you are working toward creating, it might be a good idea to send them a private message and let them know. Still not getting the picture? Unfriend.  As harsh as it sounds, it sounds even more ridiculous to think you didn’t get an interview for a great internship because the headhunter saw tasteless jokes or comments on your page.

Ok, so you’ve untagged, you’ve scouted your settings, maybe even let a friend or two go to protect your page content. What are some proactive steps you can take to actively use social media to your advantage? I have some ideas.

-Create a webpage. I have a close friend who used his Mac to create a webpage where he posted his resume, embedded his Twitter feed, and periodically he posts interesting articles and his thoughts on them in a blog section to the site. All of his pages include colorful pictures of him at work, doing the types of things he enjoys most (he is a teacher) working with students in labs, on field trips etc. Basically, the site is a way for him to be “googled” and be in control of what comes up on the Google hits.

-Making a webpage seems like a lot to you? Try creating a Google Profile. It’s an easy way to create your own directory tab that comes up whenever your name is searched. You can provide as little or as much info as you want. I have a small professional headshot on mine, a little info about working in at UVM and where I received my education, plus my current industry. I do not include where I work or my contact information.  Check out this example of a profile….

-Think about taking control of what comes up when you are Googled. Oh sure, some things cannot be helped, but maybe your Tweets could use some more security than you may have initially thought, maybe it is time to really commit to creating a LinkedIN page for you to upload your resume, maybe you find that a blog from high school you thought had disappeared…hadn’t. Take control; get the good stuff up, and the bad stuff, gone.

Want to know more about how you can Market Yourself to Get Hired? Drop by our weekly sessions on Tuesdays at 4:15pm in L/L E166 during the Spring 2011 semester!


Create a Professional Resume with Resume Builder

Did you know that Catamount Job Link has a great feature that helps you create your resume? All you need to do is log into your Catamount Job Link account and follow the steps below:

  1. Click on the “Documents” tab at the top of your homepage.
  2. CJL homepage screenshot

  3. Click on the “Resume Builder” tab
  4. CJL documents page screenshot

  5. At the bottom of the page, click on the “Create a Resume” button.CJL resume builder screenshot

Resume Builder will take you step by step in building a professional resume without the hassles of formatting the page.  Your document will be submitted to Career Services for review, and then we will send our feedback via email. All resumes will be reviewed and accepted or recommended revisions will be sent to you within two business days. After revisions are made, you can then re-submit your resume for approval. Please plan ahead for employer deadlines.

Once it’s approved, you will have a resume that can be used for applying to jobs within Catamount Job Link and beyond. If you have any questions, come visit us during our Drop-In hours, M-Th., 1-4pm or attend our Resume Jumpstart on Mondays at 4:15pm.


World of Work: Bizia Holmes Greene ’96, Etiquette Consultant

Bizia Holmes Greene '96

Bizia Holmes Greene’ 96 Self Employed Etiquette Consultant
Santa Fe, New Mexico

Major: Anthropology

How would you describe what you do on a typical day to someone who is unfamiliar with your field?
As an etiquette consultant, I field phone calls and emails from the curious public about etiquette related questions and conundrums. I write an etiquette column for the local newspaper. I also teach private and group lessons in etiquette which is the bulk of my work. These lessons can be an hour to an all day workshop covering topics like public speaking, dining skills, introductions skills, etc. Clients range in age from 4 yrs old to retired professionals.

What advice do you have for students searching for jobs or internships in your field?
Professionals in my field are extremely hospitable, generous and polished. They thrive off of making other’s feel comfortable. An eye for detail and strong organizational skills are key.

What motivates you to go to work every day for this organization?
The thought of helping people better their lives and feel more confident in social/professional environments. Etiquette is a tool that empowers you and opens doors in the absence of talent or experience. To share that and see the results is very satisfying.

Tell us about your path to this position. Did you expect to hold this job when you were a college student?
My first college internship was at a Burlington hotel in the executive offices. After graduation, they hired me as concierge. In the years following graduation I worked as a restaurant hostess, a spa manager at a high end resort, event planner for fundraisers and museums and a wedding planner. The career path and its job requirements fit the bill for etiquette which I discovered years after graduation.

What was your childhood dream job?
Airport manager! I spent career day (grade 8 ) at the Burlington International Airport. I have been a world traveler my whole life and I strongly believe traveling is the best education one can have.

If you’re interested in seeing all our World of Work profiles, click here. If you are a UVM alumnus and would like to be featured, please contact us at If you are interested in contacting a featured alum, check out the Career Connection alumni database or contact us.