My First Year Out: Sam Jedrey ’15

Hey Class of 2016! About once a month we interview a young alum who shares their stories on Afterword about their first year out of UVM.

And, after an all-night brainstorming session, we decided to call it “My First Year Out.”

Your first few months can be challenging, with seemingly endless job searches, settling into a new city, or heading back home for a while – it can be overwhelming.

You still might not know what you want to do with the rest of your life, but we are here to let you know that’s okay and you are not alone! For example, my first year out was pretty tough, but I made it!

This week, Sam Jedrey ‘15, a business school graduate, would like to share his unexpected first year out. Sometimes the plans you have change, and keeping a positive attitude is critical to bouncing back.

Sam Jedrey

Ryan: What was your first year out of UVM like?

Sam: I learned a lot about myself. I decided to stay in Burlington and not move back in with my parents. This forced me to always be on the hunt for work.

I graduated from UVM with a job in insurance sales and hoped that would set me down the right path towards success with my degree. Everything seemed to be working out well, but I quickly learned that was not the case.

After realizing insurance was not for me, I moved on from that position, and took some time to find a job that felt right to me, not just an attractive position to impress my friends and family.

I worked in the food industry for about five months in the Burlington area, interviewing for countless positions during my free time. Importantly, all of this helped me discover what I was looking for in a career and focus less on what the company was looking for in me.

After months of searching, in February I landed an internship with in Burlington which eventually led to a full-time position with Dealer in Manhattan Beach, CA. It took longer than expected but it’s all starting to work out now. What a crazy year!

R: What was your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?

S: My biggest challenge was remaining positive. While working at restaurants, I felt that I was under-utilizing my degree. Now, I realized that all types of experience are valuable.

Time away from the business world gave me the opportunity to really take a step back and discover opportunities that would fit my needs.

You can learn so much from any position if you keep an open mind about how it benefits your life and the lives of those around you.

R: What did you learn from this experience?

S: Not only did I discover what I disliked about insurance, but, more importantly I learned what I didn’t like in regards to career culture.

For me, I was eventually able to find an environment that works well for me by working at places that didn’t feel right. Sometimes, working a job that doesn’t fit is just as valuable as finding a job that does work for you.

It’s not the easiest path, but learning from each experience will help you narrow down a career path that fits your sensibilities. Now I can look ahead to my future with these thoughts in mind.