World of Work: Alli Morse ’12, State Street Bank

IAlli Morse

Alli Morse ‘12
Project Manager/Business Analyst
State Street
Major: Mathematics

What are employers looking for?

During senior year of college family, friends, professors, and fellow students are all asking the golden question: “What are your plans after you graduate?” For some students, it’s a question they love to be asked because they have an answer. Maybe it’s graduate school, a full-time job, or traveling throughout Europe for a summer. But I would argue that for most students, it’s a question they dread. Come December of my senior year, I fell into the latter category.

After ruling out graduate school and the trip to Europe, due to the damages it would cause on my bank account, I began looking into ways of incorporating my math skills into the business world. I knew I wanted a large, global and reputable company that would allow me to develop as a financial professional and grow within the company.

After a lot of research and submission of online applications to multiple companies, my friend recommended looking into State Street. With hopes of networking with State Street colleagues, I attended the annual UVM Boston Career Networking Night. After giving my well-planned spiel to a Senior Vice President from State Street, she gave me her business card and told me to follow up with her offline. The next day, I emailed all alumni with whom I connected, including the SVP from State Street. The next thing I knew I was headed into Boston for “Informational Interviews.” After four hours of draining interviews, including an unsolvable math problem, I left One Lincoln Street thinking I would never get a job there. But I was determined to continue on my search.

The next month I dedicated to my job search, which consisted of networking with people at both State Street and other financial institutions. For the most part, many people never responded but I was persistent which, in the end, was key. Over a month after my visit to State Street in Boston, I received an offer from State Street within SSGM ERM Department. It turned out I had key competencies they value. I graduated Cum Laude in May 2012 and in June I moved to the North End in Boston and started at State Street.

I am currently a Project Manager/Business Analyst for the Risk Management department within SSGM. So, landing a job after graduation is possible! It takes time and effort. While beginning your search, here are some tips from a lead recruiter at State Street to assist your efforts.

Pre-Law Series: Legally Bound

Law Scales

I hope that you had a wonderful summer break! As you settle back into the autumn routine of classes and homework, some of you may be thinking about your next steps, and considering a career in law.  If you are thinking of starting law school next fall, you will hopefully already have begun the application process.  See our suggested timeline.   If you are an auditory learner, you may enjoy this podcast: Planning Your Law School Application Timeline.

It can be easy, as you get wrapped up in personal statements and LSAT scores, to be solely concerned with the question: “Will I get in to law school?” However, I encourage you to also be asking yourself, “Do I want to go to this law school?” and “Is law school the right choice for me?”

Several law schools are coming to campus this fall to discuss the admission process in general, as well as give info about their particular school. I encourage you to come, not only to ask questions about how to improve your application, but also to learn more about the different schools: their programs and culture.  Also, if you are able, a law school forum is a great way to meet with admissions reps from a number of schools.

Look here throughout the fall for info & tips on law school admissions and the field of law.

Mark your calendars:

  • Law School Admissions Panel: Monday, September 26th: Davis Center, Jost Foundation Room
  • Boston Law Forum: Saturday, September 17th in Boston

For more information on applying to law school, please visit the Career Services website.


World of Work: Bridge Hunter '97, Scientist at Genzyme

Genzyme Logo

Bridge Hunter ’97, Scientist, Genzyme

Waltham, MA

Undergraduate Major: History

Graduate program: PhD in Applied Anatomy and Physiology, Boston University

How would you describe what you do on a typical day to someone who is unfamiliar with your field?
I have been in an industry setting for six years so half of my time is spent working in the lab running experiments to test out potential therapeutics. The other half is spent organizing experiments and managing others that work on my project.

What advice do you have for students searching for jobs or internships in your field?
Contacts are the most helpful way to get your foot in the door. Numerous people have contacted me through the UVM Career Connection website and while I haven’t found any of them a position at my company, I have been able to forward resumes along to colleagues or give advice about potential job opportunities. Another great resource in my field and my area is the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council. It is an association of more than 600 biotechnology companies, universities, academic institutions and others dedicated to advancing research.

What is your favorite part of your work? Most challenging part?
Scientific research can provide some of the most rewarding experiences while at the same time offer some of the most frustrating. The success rate in drug discovery is about 1%. It is easy to become frustrated in this field but one goes into this with the idea that their work will eventually lead to saving lives or at the very least improve the quality of life for ill patients.

What motivates you to go to work every day for this organization?
I have always been proud to work for my company because of its dedication to discover therapeutics for patients with rare genetic diseases, areas of unmet medical needs, and neglected diseases. Many of the larger pharmaceutical companies have not found it profitable to be in these markets because of the small number of people affected by these diseases. Our company has made it a priority to find a sustainable way to develop therapies for these diseases.

Tell us about your path to this position. Did you expect to hold this job when you were a college student?
When I came to UVM in 1989, I enjoyed my classes but I kept losing focus, so much so that UVM suggested I take some time off. I took three years off and finally came to the realization that I wanted to be involved in sports or medicine, or both. With help from UVM’s academic support program, I reentered UVM and earned a 4.0 my first semester back. I enrolled in the sports therapy program and the classes I took led me to develop a desire to enter the medical field so I spent my last two years fulfilling the pre-med requisites and completing a minor in biology.

I spent a year after graduation applying for graduate programs in exercise physiology and I was accepted to a program at Boston University. Before entering the program in the fall, I spent the entire summer working in a research lab in muscle biology. The professor directing the lab was pleased with the work I had performed and offered me a position. This lab position allowed me to perform research and take classes towards my PhD for free and provided a small stipend. During my tenure at this company I slowly drifted away from muscle biology and have been able to work in many different disease areas such as diabetes, cancer, atherosclerosis, colitis, and most recently infections of the colon.

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.

Networking Events and Tips

Need more ideas on what to do after graduation? Thinking about an internship in a big city?  Talk with UVM alumni who were once in your shoes – and found success.

Check out the UVM Networking Nights in New York and Boston over winter break!

Tips for Networking Success:

•      Wear name tag on your right side so that it is easily seen when you are shaking hands.

•      Ask open ended questions like, “Tell me about your…”

•      Don’t monopolize time, but DO get permission to follow up by phone or email.

•      Focus on quality of connections over quantity

•      Write a comment or conversation piece on the back of each person’s business card to help you remember who you talked to and how you can follow up

•      Thank your contacts: Send a thank you e-mail or note promptly.  This shows professionalism, and helps them to remember you.

•      Remember networking should be beneficial to all parties:  If you can offer a resource or connection, do so, and don’t forget to follow through.

Looking for more advice, sample questions and emails, and a tracking sheet? Check out our website’s Networking pages.

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.