Spotlight: Shelly Salzbrunn, Class of ’20

            Shelly Salzbrunn is a senior Public Communication major. After graduating in December, Shelly hopes to travel to Italy and begin working on a fashion project. She’ll begin working with American Eagle in May. This past summer, Shelly held an internship position in production and sourcing for AE. Her responsibilities were centered in the women’s woven tops department, where her main focus was on “core” tops (as opposed to detailed shirts). Moreover, Shelly was responsible for vendor communications. Her duties included designing clothing in-house in New York City, selecting materials, and sending both the design and materials to be produced in other countries. She also had to monitor daily changes made to price and collaborate with merchandising. Shelly was responsible for making sure that the pricing for all pieces were accurate, as well as monitoring and creating updates in the system. As you can tell, Shelly had a full experience with lots of opportunities to practice what she learned in the classroom!

            American Eagle was an attractive company to intern at for Shelly because she is very interested in responsible sourcing. AE has a large task force working on sustainability in the fashion industry. Shelly explained that she came to UVM as a nursing major but always had an interest in fashion. After opening up her own online clothing store her freshman year, she was successful in breaking even! Two summers ago, she was an intern at aerie, where she discovered her love for fashion, PR, and marketing. To get started, Shelly completed a career workshop called “Brand Girls,” which she became involved with after realizing she needed help to break into the fashion industry. When she started the career workshop, she had a mentor that worked at Glamour Magazine who helped her with resumes, cover letters, how to gain a personal network, and how to use LinkedIn. Next, Shelly applied to about thirty-five different internships in fashion and after only hearing back from four, she was able to submit her resume to AE, complete research to prepare for an interview, and eventually get the job.

            Shelly’s internship with American Eagle exposed her to many areas of the fashion industry! She learned how to be a good teammate in a corporate environment, to be self-sufficient while maintaining professionality, and how to grow and take risks in her work. Overall, she was able to learn so much about the fashion industry in general, as well as how to work in a rapidly changing environment!

            Her first internship with Aerie had a positive impact on her values because they value body positivity and it was very clear in the work environment. She wants to continue to work for AE because of her closely aligning values and she is thrilled about their recent work with sustainability and getting involved. Shelly’s overarching goal is to work for a company with a good work environment that also is empowering and uplifting. Her experiences have taught her how important it is to bring people up and how fashion is used as a vehicle to do that. She discovered that what people wear is really important to them and relates to confidence, self-esteem, and individuality, which makes it incredibly important. A major lesson that Shelly has learned is that you can go into work thinking that you will not influence many people, but, what you are doing really does impact so many peoples’ everyday lives.

            Shelly’s internship experiences the past two summers have given her a glimpse into what a future job would be like in the fashion industry. At the end of this past summer, Shelly had to give a presentation to the Vice President of Production at AE, where she had to carry out three samples that the line could have. Her main learning outcome was that although she had taken public speaking classes and was comfortable with presenting in class, it was still an amazing experience to sit in a corporate office and prepare a final project for someone that may be her future employer. 

Going Home.

It’s hard to believe it is almost finals week and the end of the fall semester. The Thanksgiving break serves as a great chance to recharge, prepare and have fun before the end of a busy semester!

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when going home for Thanksgiving break:

  1. Take this time to review your schedule for next semester and see if any classes you are interested in have open spots! Choosing a class that will fulfill you rather than just fulfill a requirement can help soothe the soul.
  2. Connect with alums using UVM Connect! This resource will allow you to connect with UVM alumni who have similar career interests. Use the time this week to reach out to potential mentors who are happy to connect with you to learn more about a chosen field.
  3. Create or polish your resume! With the start of a new semester you probably have an interest to apply to opportunities for the summer and/or fall, so using this time is a great way to get ahead on preparing for that search. For assistance, check out the Career Center’s Resume Module at go.uvm.edu/ccbb for further instruction on creating a strong resume.
  4. Take time to relax and take care of yourself- whatever that means for you. Whether that’s cozying up with your favorite Netflix show, grabbing brunch with some friends, traveling to see family, or maybe a combination of the three.

Thanksgiving break allows us to have a week off with no class obligations. So, if you can balance this time away by preparing yourself for the end of the semester, having fun, and taking time to rest you’ll return to UVM ready to close out 2019 feeling strong.

Julia Carlson, Exploring Interest Group Peer Leader

Careers in Public Health Panel Recap

Careers in Public Health Panel, food and brain icons

Panelist Introductions

  • Daniel Morgan, BA: Zoning Administrator/Public Health Officer for Charlotte, recent graduate of UVM
  • Stephanie Busch, BS A-EMT: Injury Prevention Manager at State of VT Dept of Health working in emergency preparedness, injury prevention, and EMS
  • Jillian Leikauskas, MPH: Substance Abuse Program Evaluator at VT Dept of Health, alcohol and drug abuse program evaluator and grant manager
  • Jenney Samuelson, MS: Deputy Commissioner at Dept of VT Health, working with Medicaid, health reform, and the intersect between value-based payments and population health
  • Sally Kerschner, RN MSN: President of the Vermont Public Health Association, Vermont Department of Health nurse working in maternal and child health
  • Jan Carney, MD MPH: Associate Dean for Public Health, UVM College of Medicine, teaching public health and policy, previous health commissioner of Vermont

How did you come across and find your passion in the field of public health?

Daniel: Healthcare is a public right and a human right and I think that’s really what got me interested.

Stephanie: My undergraduate degree was in biology, chemistry, and anthropology. For me, those circles didn’t really fit my world model and public health is the Venn diagram for those components but also how our environment and our culture all impact our life and our health.

Jillian: I started out at UVM as an undergrad in medical laboratory science working with bacteria. When I graduated I became a microbiologist at the health department state lab and then I wanted to find out a little bit more about the people behind the bacteria and why they were sending in their specimens, so while I was working I started working on my MPH, I became an infectious disease epidemiologist at the department and then discovered a real love of data through that and the data that we use in infectious disease is really about solving outbreaks and doing surveillance and more descriptive data monitoring. I then moved on to doing program evaluation which is specifically evaluating a program and seeing if it is working or impacting the people that it is meant to serve – it’s a little bit more applied, which is why I like it.

Jenney: I went to undergraduate here at UVM and after a few years I joined the nutritional science program with the goal of becoming a dietician. As I graduated from here and began entering my dietetic internship program I went out to Illinois and there when I first started in graduate school. I started working in a community education program which was a public health program at the university and dually went into the nutrition program. I looked at the public health classes and started enrolling because they were the most fascinating and interesting between epidemiology and death education and kind of the comprehensive roles of public health.  From graduate school, I went into college student health and then ended up going into a wellness program in long-term care at a continuing care facility. While I was there, I was really working on changing the systems. I came back to VT and began working on how we can change the process of the socio-ecological model of how care is provided, how we do prevention in communities, and I really found my passion in doing that kind of system-level changes.

Sally: I’m a nurse and I went to the University of Delaware many years ago and I kind of liked working in the hospital but I didn’t know that I didn’t love it until I did my community health work in Wilmington. We did a full semester of public health nursing in lower-income areas in Wilmington, Delaware and once I started tramping the streets I realized that’s what I really wanted to do. I think we all in public health feel the direct connection to the public and to the community and that’s what we’re trying to do here – we are trying to serve and help those with economic, social, and health inequities. I then got my masters at UVM in community health nursing, which is no longer offered here.

Jan: I’m trained as a physician, so I got my MD and did my residency in internal medicine so I’m an internist – doctor for adults – and then I took a course, and I thought oh this is cool science and practice of how you prevent disease. All the things I was taking care of in individual patients – heart disease, cancer, diabetes, for example – there was a science of how you could prevent some of that and that was a great feeling for me.

What do you think is the most pressing public health issue faced in Vermont today?

  • Sally: Climate change
  • Jillian: Housing
  • Jenney: Socioeconomic inequity
  • Jan: Chronic conditions
  • Stephanie: I’m not gonna argue with equity and housing and all of that.
  • Daniel: Basic access, gun control, venereal disease at the college level

Important Organizations/Further Resources

  • American Public Health Association
  • Vermont Public Health Association (internship opportunities)
  • United Way of Northwest VT and Howard Mental Health (volunteer opportunities)
  • AmeriCorps Vista
  • Global health: NGOs, United Nations
  • CSTE: Council of State Territorial Epidemiologists (fellowship opportunity)
  • Internships – example: office of the chief medical examiner with Dr. Shapiro

Spotlight: Alex Hollander, ’21

Today’s Spotlight is one of our Exploring Group’s Peer Leader – Alex Hollander. She is a junior who changed her major from Nursing to Health Sciences. Below she has provided tips on how to go about changing or declaring a major.

Do your research!

Finding a new major can be difficult. It’s best to start by finding information about all your options. I suggest going through the majors and minors list for UVM online to see what grabs your interest. You’ll want to ask yourself- what do you want to learn more about? This is a great way to begin the search and find out what you like versus don’t like. Once you’ve identified a major that you’re curious about, go to that major’s department’s website to learn more about it.

Talk to your advisor and/or an advisor in a major of interest

Your advisor is a great resource. Schedule a time to meet with them and talk about your values and interests. This can help them suggest majors/minors that might suit you. They can also answer questions about your online search and further questions you have, they may even recommend you speak with an advisor in the identified major to make sure you understand what that chosen major entails in terms of credits, classes, and possibly what students have gone on to do professionally if this is a question you have.

Meet with the Exploring Interest Group to do a major sort

The Career Center has great resources. The Exploring Interest Group is for students that aren’t sure about what they want. We do an awesome major sort activity where we run through all majors at UVM with you. We will help you narrow down your options to where you can actually start planning on a major.

Run What If reports

Once you know what majors might be the one for you, running a What If report is the next step. Finding a major you like and a major you want to study is awesome, but only if it is feasible. For many of us, you want to find a major that allows you to graduate on time. So, a What If report will tell you what classes you would need to take for the particular major you’re exploring. By doing this, you can plan out how much time you have left at UVM with the potential new major.

Watch some educational videos on your major

Finding a new major might mean going in a new direction. I love CrashCourse videos on YouTube because they cover so many academic areas. If you are looking at a major you have never taken a class in, or even if you have, it’s worth doing some final investigating before committing yourself to it. Watch a video, see if the information actually interests and excites you.

We hope this can help you get started on choosing or switching a major. If you have further questions or need more assistance, please make sure you attend the upcoming Majors/Minors Fest on Tuesday, October 29th in the Davis Center from 1pm-3pm.

Spotlight: “Olive and Milo” Internship

Josie is currently a Junior at The University of Vermont. She is majoring in public communications with a concentration in journalism and a minor in applied design. She devoted time this past summer to navigating Handshake, a job and internship platform, in search of an internship for the fall semester. She was able to tailor her search by entering her interests, experiences, desired career fields, location preferences, and skill set.

Josie found an internship that truly spoke to her and fit perfectly into her desired schedule for the fall. After completing the application process, Josie was ecstatic to hear back that she was selected for the internship for the entirety of the fall semester – not to mention, that she would additionally be receiving credits for her work!

She started her social media and marketing internship with “Olive and Milo” at the end of August. Her role involved assisting her supervisor in marketing for her clients and being responsible for writing blogs. Some topics she specifically was able to gain more experience with and became more comfortable with throughout this internship thus far include developing her social media presence and understanding, as well as increasing her personal confidence with creating unique topics and ideas for discussion.

Josie was able to build her understanding of marketing and obtained hands-on experience. Such opportunities contributed more to her personal growth and allowed her to picture a more solidified idea of potential professions and job-oriented interests. Not to mention, she was also able to determine beneficial and ample skills that she already has established, as well as other areas that she may work on to make herself a better candidate for future opportunities within these industries.

Additionally, this internship has also allowed Josie to get a personal feel on preferred work environments. She explained that interning at “Olive and Milo” has helped her understand how she works best, which is very similar to the overall company function and ethic. Working in a collaborative and motivational environment with encouraging people that hold similar values is a special feature of “Olive and Milo” that she will continue to seek.

While Josie has expressed a number of unique learning outcomes that she has already grasped from interning at “Olive and Milo”, her greatest gain thus far has been her personal gain in understanding this particular professional field and being able to narrow her interests more for the future. She is happy to be learning and gaining experience at “Olive and Milo”, and expressed that, “As a communications major, I could tell when I looked at their website and handshake profile that I would be getting involved with a company that is practicing what they preach. I was excited to work with a company that seemed to have it together – and I knew I was going to learn so much. I could tell that I would be working with one person that started the company so I could learn more about entrepreneurship as well – which I did. Overall, I could tell I would be working with someone that wants their business to grow, and I wanted to be there to help and learn.”