About Derrick Dubois

Derrick graduated from UVM with dual degrees in mathematics and geography. After graduation, he landed a job traveling the country helping universities better the student experience. He is passionate about binge-watching Netflix and working with students. Derrick now works at the UVM Foundation connecting with students and young alumni.

Get Off the Pile

At Afterword, we work to find tidbits of advice that will help you in the “real world” after UVM. Getting noticed during the job interview process can be a challenge — so we reached out to two alums who hire and find jobs for people to see if they had any advice for you. Because, it can be hard to get off the pile.

Enter our newest series on the blog: Get off the Pile.

Get off the pile image

Today, Dani Peck ’12 and Noah Nielsen ’10 share some helpful tips. Noah has worked in New York City and built relationships with hiring managers and vendors to connect people with amazing career opportunities. And Dani has worked at Keurig Green Mountain Coffee, Inc. for several years and has held many roles in the career and communications realm.

Here’s their advice for getting off the pile:

  • Get to know your connections — It’s frustrating when people are trying to network with you and just send a resume with a note saying something along the lines of ‘can you put in a good word for me’. Connect with them on LinkedIn, provide some more background about yourself (particularly if they are an alum), or offer to buy them a cup of coffee — make a real connection.
  • Network the right way — Networking can help you land the job you’re looking for when done well. It’s takes more effort than just passing on your resume. You should ask for advice or have informational interviews. Then, once you’ve built a connection with a contact, ask for a referral. In the professional world, a referral means a lot. Most people will not personally refer someone unless they know them personally or have had a conversation with them about their experience and career goals.
  • Show that you have direction — Dani speaks from her own experience, “I don’t like it when new grads have ZERO direction for their career path. If I ask what they’re looking to do and the response is ‘anything,’ then I know they are not motivated and driven.” Even if you’re unsure of exactly what you want to do, you should narrow your focus and know what you’re passionate about so that you can relay this when speaking to potential employers or networking contacts.
  • Perfect your resume — Make sure your resume fits on one page and that it’s free of typos. It may seem obvious, but it’s key to getting off the pile. Keep editing and refreshing until it’s perfect because your resume is usually your first impression.
  • Follow up — Noah speaks from experience, “I speak to so many students and young alumni, hand them my business card, and then never hear from them.  I can’t help you if you don’t reach out.” Write a hand-written thank you card, send an email, connect on LinkedIn – do something that shows you care about your new connection.

Now go out there and get off the pile!


Ryan and Derrick

5 Cities. 5 Events For You.

The UVM Alumni Association is kicking off summer, with 5 events in 5 cities – just for you.

Whether you just moved to a new city or are back home for the summer, this is a great way to meet UVM alums in your area. Plus who doesn’t love a summer happy hour?

Register for free here and we’ll send you a reminder when the event gets closer.

  1. New York City. Thursday, June 16 from 6pm to 8pm at The Revival (129 East 15th Street).
  2. Burlington. Thursday, June 23 from 6pm to 8pm at Three Needs (Pearl Street)
  3. Boston. Wednesday, June 29 from 6pm to 8pm at Tia’s (200 Atlantic Ave., Boston)
  4. San Francisco. Thursday, July 14 from 6pm to 8pm at John Collin’s (138 Minna Street)
  5. Washington, DC. Thursday, July 21 from 6pm to 8pm The Mission (Dupont Circle)

If you live in or near one of these events, check them out — it’s a great way to meet other UVM alumni near you.

Register for the events here.

My First Year Out: 2015 Edition

We have a very special edition of My First Year Out for you today. Three of your classmates are working in Admissions at UVM, Aya AL-Namee, Maggie Love and Connor Luong. We had a chance to catch up with Aya and Maggie this week. Here’s what they had to say about spending their first year out at UVM.
MFYO Aya, Connor, MaggieWhat do you find most rewarding about working at UVM immediately after graduating? 

Aya: Being close to staff, faculty, and friends who have helped me develop professional skills has been the most rewarding part of working at UVM. I’m constantly growing and getting feedback from people that know me well which helps me gain confidence in myself as a professional.

Maggie: The most rewarding thing about working at UVM immediately after graduating is being able to advocate for the school to prospective students and their families. It’s easy to talk about how wonderful our community and academics are and how many opportunities there are here, because I experienced it personally.

Has this given you a new perspective on UVM?

Aya: Working at UVM is very different than being a student, especially in admissions. In my job, I travel to different high schools and college fairs to speak about UVM and encourage high school students to apply. Seeing how excited they are about the idea of attending is very unique. It honestly has made me fall in love with UVM even more.

What has surprised you the most about your 1st year out?

Aya: I was surprised as to how ready and excited I am to be in the “real world”. It’s less scary than I thought it would be. Also working at UVM has exposed me to the staff and the professional community of our campus. I must say that they have been very welcoming of me as a young professional.

Maggie: How supportive the UVM community is, regardless of whether you’re a current student or not. I notice it most when I interact with other alums, which we do often in our positions. No matter what year they graduated, they’re always willing to offer support in any way they can. My new favorite thing to share with families is that the community that’s created here at UVM is so strong that it extends beyond Burlington and stays with you after graduation. Whether you need housing, a job, or a friend, chances are there’s a UVM alum willing to help.

What do you like most about staying in the Burlington area after graduation?

Aya: I love being close to areas where I made many great memories as a student. I still go to the waterfront to watch the sunset and get creemees. Having friends in the area who are going through the same transition as me is also a benefit. We often come together to bond over challenges and celebrate successes.

Maggie: This seems like a common theme for me but the sense of the community and everything there is to do on and off campus (concerts, art, lectures, food, etc.). Burlington is such a great place to live and UVM is a wonderful campus, it’s hard to narrow it down!

My First Year Out: Andrew Kaufman ’12


We had a chance to catch up with young alum Andrew Kaufman ’12 to hear about his first year out. Check out our conversation below.

Ryan and Derrick: What was your first year after graduation like for you?

Andrew: My first year was a bit odd, as I missed everything about UVM. Luckily, I had plenty of friends who stayed in the area and there were plenty of opportunities from UVM to get involved as an alum. I now serve on UVM’s Vermont Regional Board.

Getting my job definitely involved a bit of luck, as I managed to convert my senior internship into a job offer in the final month of school, in my field of study — marketing. Believe it or not, that was actually a stressful choice at the time. I accepted the position and have been with the company ever since.

After graduation I had a week off before I was thrust into the working world. Naturally, like many others, I moved back in with my parents — I guess that’s one of the benefits of being local. I lived at home for a couple months and saved up some money while I figured out how the “real world” actually worked. I then ventured out on my own and moved to Winooski, where I’ve lived ever since.


So in short, my first year was surprisingly relaxed. I envied my friends who had the ability to travel the country and the world, but I was able to jump start my career and I’ve been with my company almost four years now. I guess there’s something to be said for that.

R & D: What did you do to land your job right after graduation?

Andrew: It really came down to networking. I networked daily during my four years at school. I remember, my senior year, I spent countless days calling companies and contacts I had met looking for “advice”. When it came down to it, I met my future employer through a friend of my dad’s friend’s son! Crazy how it ends up working out…

R & D: What’s one thing you wish someone told you your first year out?

Andrew: Don’t rush — you’ll find a job. There’s nothing wrong with taking a step back, reflecting on the past couple years and traveling around. Take that time to begin figuring out what you want to do and move ahead from there.

Networking isn’t over. There are lots of young professional groups, sports groups, etc. in the area. It’s still important to get out and get involved. The benefit about staying in the area is that there are always other students doing the same thing, so you still know people locally. I’ve since joined marketing groups, young professional groups, etc. and have been able to meet many other business people in the area. One never knows when a new contact will lead to a new and exciting opportunity!

Plan Your Own Happy Hour

This February, we’re planning something big. No, not turning UVM campus into a giant ice rink (Ryan’s been asking about that for years…)

Better! We’re planning happy hours in cities all across the country to bring UVM to you.

Did someone say happy hour...

WE NEED YOUR HELP to make these Happy Hours great.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Let us know if you want to help plan and host a happy hour in your city.
  • Tell us your favorite local hang out so we can contact them and coordinate details.
  • Help us craft emails and push out information on social media to market your event.
  • Check your mail. We’ll send you an “event-box” filled with hosting materials and UVM swag.
  • Bring your local friends! Help us get the word out and fill the bar with great people.

That’s all there is to it. Are you in?

Our goal in asking you to plan and host these events for young alumni in your area is to better connect you to the local UVM network. There are so many great UVM folks out there and we want to create ways for you to meet them.

So if you’re interested, fill out this quick form and we’ll be in touch with more details.

If hosting is not your thing, that’s totally fine. We’ll let you know where and when these socials are happening so you can come grab a drink.

We look forward to hearing from you.

–Derrick & Ryan