MFYO – Nathaniel Fuchs ’16

This week we are checking in with another one of your classmates – Nathaniel Fuchs!

He is the recipient of a Fulbright grant to do research in Norway this fall. Check out his post grad story.

Describe your first year out of UVM.

I have been fortunate in my first year out of UVM and I’m grateful for the friends, family and places that have made it so interesting. But first of all WOW… it’s been a whole year!

It boggles the mind, graduation seems like a moment ago.

To give a brief timeline I started the summer working for UVM’s Spatial Analysis Lab (SAL) as a Team lead, left for six weeks to work as hiking crew in the Olympic Mountains of Washington state, came without a day to spare to be an assistant Manager at a hiking camp (Cold River Camp) in the White Mountains of New Hampshire for two weeks, returned to SAL for a number of months.

I currently write to you in a cabin lit by firelight again as assistant Manager of Cold River. In a month I leave for Norway to start my Public Health research as a Fulbright Scholar.

Reflecting on my travels it seems like an improbable feat, I’ve been many places and jumped from one experience straight into another, in a word tumultuous. I flew through 8 airports, drank water from the snowfields of the Olympic Mountains, stuck my feet in the sand of both the Pacific and Atlantic shores, faced off with mountain goats and wrote a Fulbright application in a tent without a floor.

I received notice of being accepted to Brown, Boston University and Tufts Medical School for Masters in Public Health and have been granted status as a Fulbright Scholar.

I currently consider myself the most fortunate man alive.

These experiences have allowed me to meet a number of fantastic people, see the natural beauty our nation has to offer, do research and save for graduate school. For a first year out from college, it’s been an exciting adventure.

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

The greatest challenge that I faced in my year out from college was, I think, a universal one. Namely, the transition to a different way of life, from student to a fully matriculated adult. Being at university brings the stress of trying to succeed in the structure set out by others.

By graduating, it’s now on you to both create structure and succeed within it. This transition, for me was really hammered home by the process of securing jobs and organizing a path that leads to where I want to go.

Overcoming the transition for me was really a process of persistence and deliberation. To apply to competitive grants and jobs is difficult. Specifically because you know that it’s possible that some or all of it won’t pan out as planned.

The silver lining is that eventually something WILL WORK and the only path to success is to keep on trying.

What did you learn from this experience?

The most valuable lesson I’ve learned is that finding confidence equal to ones ability is really the true test of becoming an adult. Sometimes I feel like I’m just a kid from a small town doing his own thing.

However, in the end of the day I’ve gained knowledge from my experiences/mentors and I can navigate a world of problems, it I put myself up to the task.

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to yourself as you prepared to graduate from UVM?

Simply put I would say plan for the future and enjoy the present, don’t put one of those two in higher priority than the other. After all it is possible to do both.

What are you doing now and what are you looking to do next?

As mentioned above, I’m currently working as a manager at a hiking camp in the wilds of the White Mountains. It’s the place that I love most in the world and it’s fortunate in the extreme that I get to enjoy the solitude of the woods and streams before venturing off into the bustle of Oslo.

I’ll be off to do my Fulbright Research in August. After that I’ll either be off to Graduate school or maybe another research grant if I’m lucky!

Get Off the Pile: A Survey for You!

We want to help! For the past year we have been offering up career tips and hacks through our Get Off the Pile series, now we want to expand and include tips from experts at UVM on how you can best manage your personal finances.

Personal finance can be tricky in the 21st century (how many of you feel like you spend all of your money on food and rent?)

We’ve certainly been there.

Sometimes it feels like it’s difficult to get ahead and save money with student loans and everything else we are paying for. How can we still do what we want to do AND be fiscally responsible at the same time?

Take a minute and fill out our quick survey about what personal finance advice you would find most helpful in our upcoming posts.

Have a great weekend!

Kathryn & Ryan

Class of 2017: Check-in Survey

Wow! It’s been two months since you graduated. That might feel like a really long time, or no time at all. It really depends on what you are up to. With that in mind, we have a survey for you to complete so we can check-in and see how you are doing.

As we mentioned in our first post for you, we are here to help you navigate your first year out of college. We are not keeping track of how many jobs you have. Trust us, that would stress us out too.

Everybody has a different plan and we want to find out where you are and what you need so we can support you through this challenging and exciting first year out of UVM.

The more we know, the more helpful we can be.

So we’ve put together a quick five question survey to touch base.

To make it more fun, we’re giving away a free UVM Long Sleeve Shirt to three randomly selected survey respondents!

Fill out the survey and enter to win a UVM shirt!


Kathryn and Ryan

What’s the Deal with My UVM Email? 2017 Edition

You’ve had your UVM email address for 4+ years now and you may be wondering what’s going to happen with it now that you are an alum.

Two things are going to happen very soon:

  1. You’ll get some weird messages about your current email account, but don’t despair, you’ll have it for a few more months at the least.
  2. You’ll have the chance to create a permanent, lifetime UVM email address. And, you get to log-in using your current NetID and password (nothing new to remember!).

First, the weirdness.

If you haven’t already, one of the first things you’ll get is a cryptic-looking email from UVM that reads like this:

This is an automated email sent to all recent graduates like yourself that makes you feel like you are reading this:

It is definitely confusing and looks like someone may have hacked your account, but don’t worry, it’s really just a message to let you know that a change is coming to your NetID and email.

The most important thing you need to know is that if you want to keep a UVM email address forever, you can very soon!

Your email address will keep working for another few months, and soon, you will have the option to receive a lifetime email address that ends with You’ll activate your account using your existing NetID and password — super simple.

Your lifetime alumni email address will be available in just a few weeks and you’ll get a message announcing when you can log-in from the Alumni Association.  We will be sure to remind you as well.

And, just to get you thinking, here are 5 great reasons to use your alumni email account:

  • 50 GB of inbox space (miserly Gmail only gives you 15 GB)
  • No advertising and no data harvesting (we’re looking at you again, Gmail)
  • Allows you to keep a consistent email address as you change jobs, addresses, and internet access providers.
  • You can have it flow right into your mail app on your phone (just like when you were a student).
  • You get to rock your school spirit in email form — forever.

And while we’re at it, if you’ve moved recently, feel free to update your mailing address here, so you don’t miss any of our fun stuff in your home mailbox:

Meet Your Hosts Ryan ’10 and Kathryn ’15

Welcome back! This week we wanted to take an opportunity to properly introduce ourselves as the hosts of Afterword.

One of the major reasons we started this blog was to help recent graduates feel accompanied on their journeys through the real world, and gain advice from fellow alums along the way. In other words, if you aren’t sure what’s next, you are definitely not alone.

We have a recurring series on here called “My First Year Out” in which we interview a recent alum about what they were up to in their first year out of UVM.

This week, we are going to tell our own first year out stories, and give some helpful tips on what we learned along the way. Stay tuned in future weeks for more posts like this from other recent alums.

Now, on to our stories…

Kathryn Meader ’15

Describe your first year out.

When I graduated from UVM in May 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 at Macy’s and with every closing shift I knew 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 know I wouldn’t have gotten that job without the encouragement/advice of one of my mentors. When I took that position, I told myself I would keep that job for a full year. Then I would allow myself to think about grad school, or where I wanted my career to go from there. When I began my job search again, I realized how much I had grown in my time at the Foundation.

I was thrilled this spring when I was approached about moving into the Assistant Director of Annual Giving position. I’ve loved living in Vermont post UVM, and welcomed an opportunity to continue my life here.

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

I think my biggest challenge after graduation was my own indecisiveness. Once I left the security of college, there was a moment when it hit me – no one was in charge of me.

No one was expecting anything of me. For the first time, I actually felt as though I had absolutely no structure to my life. School had always been easy, and something that I excelled at. Because it was easy, I was never forced to make any real decisions.

Suddenly, I was faced with a world of choices, and no real rudder for what I wanted to do. It took a long time, and a significant amount of realizing what I DIDN’T want.

This is a challenge I think we are all grappling with, on one level or another. There are people in the world who have known since they were small what they wanted for their career. But, I am not that person – most people aren’t. We all sometimes need to learn to give ourselves the time to really learn about what we want.

In the end, I overcame this challenge by learning to give myself a break.Hear that? Give yourself a break.

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself?

Try not to be afraid to ask people for help/advice.

What are you doing now, and what are you looking at next?

Well, having just started my new position with the Annual Giving team two months ago, I’m really excited to learn all there is to learn about the world of fundraising and annual giving. I am especially excited to enter this world from the perspective of a recent graduate, because I think that will give me important insight into the way that younger potential donors feel about fundraising projects, and how to best engage with a growing population of young UVM grads.

I want to help make sure that young alums feel engaged with UVM, and continue to have positive interactions with the Foundation.

Ryan Chartier ’10

Describe your first year out.

Like Kathryn, I had no plan.

But I did think about my very first move after school ended. Sometime during senior year I decided I would move back home with my parents after college and work for a while to save up money. I was REALLY broke all throughout my last year at UVM trying to pay for rent etc, so I worked a few jobs to make ends meet and kept a positive attitude.

The idea of saving money up to move somewhere on my own eventually seemed like a good idea. Graduate school was in my future, but honestly I didn’t think too much about how I would realize that plan.

I spent most of the year working, saving up money and visiting Burlington to see friends once in a while. Where I grew up in Western Massachusetts, there wasn’t a lot to do and most of my high school friends had moved away, so honestly it was kind of boring and I regretted my decision.

I spent a lot of evenings reading and watching TV shows, specifically watching all nine seasons of the X-Files, so if I happen to mention the X-Files a lot, it’s been burned into my brain.

In the early winter I applied to grad school and really wanted to just go back to Burlington and UVM so that’s what happened. Hooray!

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

My biggest challenge was thinking that I NEEDED to do something with my degree. Since I was an English major, the possibilities are pretty broad and not that specific, so that’s why I went for an advanced degree.

Another challenge was just believing in myself and that I could make something happen if I just got my foot in the door somewhere. The ‘real world’ feels like an ocean of limitless depth that you can find yourself lost in, so really narrowing down what I wanted to do was a big challenge.

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself?

I would say don’t move home, unless you have an internship opportunity in that location. Go somewhere you really want to live with your friends, even if you have to rough it for a while.

Also, don’t rush. Like Kathryn said, give yourself a break.

Take a minute to enjoy life and remember that you just spent four years or more bettering your education and preparing for an independent life. Enjoy that independence. Keep moving forward.

What are you doing now, and what are you looking at next?

Currently I am working as Assistant Director of Annual Giving at the Foundation where I work in development and keep alums better connected to UVM by doing personal outreach and fundraising.

Recently I took on some new responsibilities in my job so I am looking forward to getting on the road to meet more UVM alums and gaining more development experience. Later this summer I will be taking a vacation to Denver and New Mexico to see some places I have never been.