Check In with Your Afterword Hosts

Welcome back to Afterword!

This week we thought, as your hosts on Afterword, we would introduce ourselves and give you a little background about us. All three of us graduated from UVM, so we know what it’s like to be in your shoes and we wanted to share our stories with you.

We’ll be checking with other alumni and your own classmates throughout the year – so take a look at our stories and stay tuned for even more in the coming weeks!

What was your first year out like?

My first year out was a struggle to find a career identity. As an English major, I had skills, but was uncertain how to put them to use in a career sense. I moved back home with my parents to save money with a rough plan to go to graduate school, but in reality I should have either stayed in Burlington or moved somewhere else to get some internships and career work.

Now I always tell graduating students, go where you want to be, even if you have to rough it – basically don’t play it safe.

While at home (this was 2010/11) I binge watched TV shows on DVDs rented from local libraries and helped my dad with yard-work and read books in my spare time when I wasn’t working.

I visited friends in Burlington a lot and moved back up about 11 months after I left. Soon after I started graduate school at UVM. Everything worked out and I’m still living in Burlington.

If you could go back, what would you change about your experience at UVM?

I wish I got involved in EVERYTHING I could, more clubs, more intramural sports etc. – Now I volunteer at WRUV to sort of make up for missing that as an undergrad. I’m lucky to have such a cool opportunity.


What was your first year out like?

When I graduated from UVM in 2015, I had absolutely no plan.

Well, that’s not entirely true. I had a part time job at Macy’s working in the stock room, and enough cash to justify staying in Vermont while I began my search for a full time position. Within a month, I was working full time on the floor at Macy’s and with every closing shift I knew in my bones that retail was not for me.

When a Development Assistant position opened at the UVM Foundation, I decided to apply for it – A change of pace. I’m not sure what I expected when I took that position, but it didn’t fully live up to what I was hoping I would find in a job.

I told myself I would stick it out and stay for a full year. When I began my job search again, a year later, I realized how much I had learned about myself.

My job search didn’t go anywhere fast. Luckily, Six months later I was approached about moving into the Assistant Director of Annual Giving position at the Foundation. I love living in Vermont post-UVM, and was thrilled to have an exciting new opportunity to stay.

If you could go back, what would you change about your experience at UVM?

I would have gotten more involved with student groups. I found the people I loved, and I stuck with them. But, that doesn’t mean I found the THING that I loved. I think that if I had been a bit more outgoing and involved with things I may have found something that I was truly passionate about.

Same goes for my studies – I always envisioned myself going on to get higher degrees, but I never found the right mentor relationship with my professors, and didn’t find the thing that I loved enough to get me there.

But hey, let’s be real. Hindsight is 20/20, and I had a lot of growing up to do (I hope I still do!) and if I was 18 again I would probably make the same mistakes all over again. We’re all just the sum of our experiences, and that’s okay!

Everybody give yourself a break- you’re not going to know the answers right now, and that’s fine. Let’s enjoy finding the way together.


What was your first year out like?

After I graduated I had no idea what I was going to do professionally. I had an unpaid internship doing some graphic design work with a local non-profit animal rescue but other than that I didn’t have a plan.

I got in touch with one of my old professors who I had become close with and she offered me an opportunity to be her teaching assistant for her digital art class. It was my favorite class that I took at UVM so I couldn’t say no. Through that experience I got to work with students and her on various graphic design projects.

From there I fell in love with graphic design and I knew this is what I want to do for the rest of my life!

After TAing I got two other internships, paid this time (woo!) as a graphic design intern for the University of Vermont Foundation, spoiler it ended up turning into a full-time position, hence why I’m here, and the other one was at Meredith Corporation working with EatingWell magazine.

I was fortunate enough to get offered a position at UVMF after interning there for a year and have been there ever since.

If you could go back, what would you change about your experience at UVM?

If I could go back, there would be a few things I would change. For one, and this is a big one, I would have started out as a declared studio art major. Since I started out as a mechanical engineering major I had to do a lot of catching up after switching half way through my junior year and on top of that I could not afford to go to school for longer than four years.

Had I taken this path to begin with, I probably would’ve been able to take more of the art classes I wanted to take, instead of one that just fit into my schedule. Since I switched so late and was taking summer classes to catch up, I didn’t get any internship experience while in school because of my schedule.

This delayed my job search as well because most jobs now you need previous experience and I had none. Graphic design is an extremely competitive field and you need experience to even be considered.

I also would have loved to travel abroad and get involved in more groups and activities on campus to gain experience.

But all in all it ended up working out even though it took longer than I expected to get a full-time job but I did it.

My advice to you all is to stick it out! It took me about a year and a half to get a position that I liked so don’t give up!

Would you like to be part of our Check In posts? Head over to the Tell Your Story tab at the top of the page and submit your story or if you have a friend that is doing something interesting refer them to be featured!