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Spotlight on: Julia Sexton ’21

I am a Senior Biochemistry major and a Peer Leader within the Health Professions Interest Group at the Career Center. This fall, I will be attending Pharmacy school to pursue my Pharm.D at the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Albany, New York. Being from the Albany area, I was initially drawn to UVM because of the location and because of the strong pre-health advising. Throughout my undergraduate coursework, I discovered that I was mostly interested in how chemicals and medications could be used in the treatment of disease, while also searching for a profession in patient care, leading me to consider a career in pharmacy. I started working as a Pharmacy Technician at Walgreens last fall. Through this role, I have become a Nationally Certified Pharmacy Technician and a COVID-19 vaccine immunizer. After pharmacy school, I hope to complete a 1-2 year residency to become eligible to work in clinical settings. 

Throughout my time at UVM, I have been an active member in Chicks on Sticks, an all-female-identifying club focusing on increasing women representation in the ski and snowboard industries. Over my winter breaks, I have also worked as a Ski Patroller at Gore Mountain in upstate New York. That being said, I have a passion for skiing. Being at UVM has allowed me to ski and explore many ski areas I had never been to before. My favorite resort in Vermont is probably Jay Peak, aside from the long drive. However, this season I had the Ikon pass and a Smugglers Notch pass, so I skied primarily at Sugarbush and Smuggs.   

My advice to any student considering a career in pharmacy or healthcare is to try to listen to your gut rather than the people around you. Yes, it is challenging to get into professional programs, but try not to let others discourage you from pursuing your dreams. Along with this, try not to let others (especially parents) steer you in the direction they think is best for you. At the end of the day, you need to consider what career will be most fulfilling for you, not what would make others happiest. Lastly, don’t be afraid to change your mind. I jumped from idea to idea before I finally landed on pharmacy. I also got experience in the field to ensure that this was the path for me. You have plenty of time to change your mind!

Spotlight on: Maddie Panyard ’21

I am a Senior Animal Science major and a Peer Leader within the Health Professions Interest Group at the Career Center. I have been a part of health-related peer mentoring at the UVM Career Center for three years now and will deeply miss all the friends and counselors that I have connected with through this role. When I joined the Career Center team initially, I was a sophomore pre-med student who was majoring in Biochemistry. I thought I was interested in cancer research and wanted to become an oncologist. However, after taking a biochemistry class and shadowing a pediatric oncologist, I realized that was not the job for me and I did not want to limit myself to just cancer-related things. In my first year as a pre-health peer mentor at the UVM Career Center I learned that there is an incredible amount of healthcare jobs besides the typical physician. I also realized that my childhood passion for animals was not going away in my college life as I worked as a stable hand and kennel assistant. Therefore, I decided to explore the world of veterinary medicine and discovered that I absolutely loved it. I ended up switching into the Animal Science major to be able to take animal health specific classes and grow close with professors who hold DVMs (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine).

I learned invaluable networking and job-related information from the Career Counselors and my peers at UVM which allowed me to attain a wide variety of experience in my undergraduate years. Specifically, my advisor at UVM helped me land an amazing veterinary assistant internship abroad in South Africa for the Summer of 2019 where I was able to learn about the importance wildlife population health on human health. After that experience, I networked with local clinics and landed an ICU overnight technician job at Vermont Large Animal Clinic for my junior year. Following that, I attained a Veterinary Technician position at River Cove Animal Hospital in Williston, VT where I am currently employed. After graduation, I will continue working there full-time as a veterinary technician while I apply to veterinary school. As of right now, my career goal is to own a practice that focuses on creating personal relationships with both my patients and their human owners. 

For my undergraduate peers debating on a career in healthcare, the best advice I can give you is to explore everything that University of Vermont has to offer. These four years are not the time to “check box” your requirements for a professional experience, rather they are for you to figure out who you are, what you love, and meet individuals who will help you get to your goals. Join the club that you want to, change your major if you need to, and invest in your hobbies. If healthcare is for you, I promise that everything will fall in place for you. These experiences, health-related or not, will expose you to new people and new things that will let you know whether this “thing” is for you. Personally, I changed my major three times in college and do not regret it.

My career goals jumped from medical school to PA school to veterinary school in the past four years. Yes, all these career goals were in the realms of healthcare but my experiences and interactions with UVM faculty, peers, and alumni helped me narrow down my focus to something that fit me. I am extremely thankful for my experiences (good AND bad) in all the different healthcare fields because it just makes me feel reassured that I chose the right career path. Have fun, experience as much as you desire, and most importantly be YOU!

Senior Series 2021: Application Materials

Welcome back to another edition of the Senior Series.  

Last week, we reviewed the updated job search strategies that will help you find viable job opportunities within this changing world. Now that you know where and how to look, your next step is to ensure you have great application materials.  

Resumes and cover letters: that’s what we mean by application materials. We have organized several resources for you based on 3 stages of the writing process: drafting, fine-tuning, and final review. This can feel like a daunting task, but once you get started, Career Center staff can help you polish your documents.  

Take some time to peruse the resources included in this message. Have you scheduled a block of time to re-visit the information and resources later this week? Writing a resume or cover letter isn’t a quick task, but breaking it up into smaller chunks and stages will ensure that you get it done in a timely fashion.

Remember, you can still book career counseling appointments! We have plenty of availability for virtual appointments. You can self-schedule on Handshake, or send us an email at career@uvm.edu.

Resumes

Getting Started

Your best bet to get started on a new or updated resume is to consult our Resume module in Blackboard. If you haven’t logged in before, visit uvm.edu/career/blackboard for instructions on enrolling.

In addition to the module, Candid Career, an online resource, is packed with videos on every career-related topic you can think of. We’ve picked out a few that might be the most helpful to you in creating a good draft resume.

We also found a few articles that might be helpful to read over, include a step-by-step guide to getting starting in creating a new resume.

Fine-Tuning

Once you’ve got a solid draft in place, it’s time to start working on fine-tuning your document. Maybe you have an existing resume from past applications, or you’ve got the ball rolling on a new draft. Either way, we’ve pulled together a few articles and videos to help you polish what you’ve got!

A common question we get from students is, “what should I put on my resume?” An equally important question is, “what should I leave off of my resume?” If you are looking to fine-tune your resume, here are a few resume red flags provided by professionals in fields from education to engineering.

Red flag free? Great! Now it is time to really focus on revisions and proofreading. This article provides a strategy for helping resume writers sharpen their word choice by using keywords and strong action verbs. Use this to sharpen the words on your resume so you will stand out to recruiters and digital resume screening tools. 

A Final Look

You’ve revised your resume several times. A friend, family member, or another member of your personal network has taken a look at it. You’ve proofread it again. Now what?

For brief, written feedback, consider requesting an online document review. For a more nuanced review, consider scheduling a 30-minute career coaching appointment. A career counselor will talk through challenge areas, and provide tips for maximizing your presence on the page. While we are happy to meet with students at all stages of the writing process, coming to the Career Center with your nearly complete draft is a great way to finalize your document for submission. Our online document reviews have a 1-3 day turnaround, and we are able to offer next-day appointment scheduling. To request a written document review, log in to Blackboard, click “Prepare” and then “Resume” – the final step of the module is where you can submit your document for review.

Cover Letters

Getting Started

Just like your resume, we also recommend starting off with our Cover Letter module in Blackboard as you prepare to write a first or new draft. This will take you through the basic steps of getting a cover letter written.

We also have two documents to help you think about your story and how to present it on the page. Our Cover Letter Basics reviews the purpose of a cover letter and provides some tips for success. The Cover Letter Worksheet takes you through the step by step process of reflecting on your skills and experiences and customizing your cover letter for each position you apply to.

Fine-Tuning

Once you’ve got a solid cover letter draft, it’s time to start honing your document. We’ve pulled together three Candid Career videos focused on cover letters from the perspective of an employer.

Use this advice from employers to tailor your document for each position you apply to. You could also consider reaching out to an alum on UVM Connect to ask them to take a look at your cover letter. Bring your specific questions – what kind of feedback are you looking for? Many alums are ready and waiting to help you!

A Final Look

Congratulations – you’re almost there! Before you send your cover letter out for job applications, it might be helpful to have a Peer Mentor or Career Counselor share their perspective through an online, emailed document review in Blackboard or a virtual appointment (which you can schedule via Handshake). Just like for your resume, you can submit a document for review by logging in to Blackboard, clicking “Prepare” and then “Cover Letter” – the submission field will appear in the last page of the module.

Exploring: April 2021

Hello Explorers! Read on to learn about your 4-year path, watch a fun video on informational interviews, and hear more about the latest content we have been creating for you.

As the Exploring Interest Group, we highly recommend you take time to reflect on who you are and what you want out of life. Reflecting on your interests, skills, curiosities, and identifying the people who you want to connect with is the first step towards figuring out your unique path. The 4-Year Path to Career Success is a great tool to help you get started on your reflection and planning process. You can fill this out on your own or you can meet with us for assistance either by logging into Handshake to schedule an appointment or you can attend one of our Virtual Drop-In sessions. We are here to help you create the life you want to live-happy exploring!    

Put Your Curiosity to the Test 

Do you want to explore an area of interest, but you don’t know where to begin? One step you can take is to set up an informational interview with someone working in a job or career you’re curious about to learn more about that chosen field. By interviewing a professional contact and asking them about their experience you’ll receive career advice, you’ll bridge connections and learn more about whether it’s something to consider as a career. In addition, it will help you map out your next steps.


To prepare for informational interview(s) you’ll want to research the professional’s current position, the organization they work for, and then reflect on what’s most important for you to learn about during this conversation. This will help you think of the questions you want to ask them during your time together. Remember, they were once in your shoes, so try not to feel intimidated by the interview; it’s all about building a trusting relationship. After the interview, reflect on what you learned- is it something you want to pursue further? Are there more skills you need to gain? Are there other people you want to connect with? If you need help, please connect with us.

Here’s a helpful video to learn how to get started!  

Instagram Story Highlight reminder

The Exploring Interest Group has been creating curated information to put out on the Career Center Instagram. Check out information about how to explore through different experiences, what career competencies are and how to develop them, and interactive stories that give you the space to reflect! Keep checking for awesome content! 

Get Matched and Virtual Drop-Ins

Get Matched: Join us to explore major options, by engaging in 1:1 discussion and/or by completing the Choosing a Major activity. Register in advance or drop-in, and get advice and help on May 5th from 7-8pm.

Virtual Drop-ins: The Career Center is excited to offer drop-in hours again! We will be hosting these appointments virtually, and there is no need to sign up in advance. Just log into this link: go.uvm.edu/ccdrop-in, to meet with a couple of Peer Leaders who will be available to help throughout the week.  
You can meet with Alex, the Exploring Interest Group Peer Leader on Mondays from 1-2pm and Wednesdays from 5-6pm. You can meet with Peer Leaders from another Interest Group on Thursday from 1-2pm, too, if those hours work best for you!

Resources

UVM Clubs – Find clubs you want to join! By joining a club or two, you can meet other students who share the same interests and you will build skills that can transfer into the professional world.
Join an Interest Group – This will help you explore your interests through events, specialized resources and opportunities to meet people in the field of interest. Just log into Handshake and choose your Interest Group today.

Senior Series 2021: Job Search Strategies

Last week, we reviewed some of the resources available to help you adjust to these ever-changing times. This week, we will share tangible job search strategies that can help you find opportunities post-graduation.


Remember to set aside time later today or later this week to re-visit the information and action steps outlined in this newsletter – it’s pretty densely packed. You can expect to spend a few hours each week working on your job search. Going through these newsletters in careful detail is a great way to organize that time. 

Many graduating seniors are feeling the pressure to find a full-time job that relates to their career aspirations while many organizations are having to change their own hiring timelines. The pandemic has forced everyone to adjust their plans to plan for a future which is difficult to predict. Under any circumstances, it’s rare to find a “dream job” as your first job out of college. This is the first step in your career journey, and it’s an opportunity to build your network, develop your skills, and reflect on what you want out of your long-term career. As you progress in the world of work, you’ll be able to speak to what you learned and how you grew during this difficult time. And remember: everyone else is going through this unprecedented moment in time, too.


You can still book career counseling appointments for one on one support – we’ve got availability for our virtual appointments. You can self-schedule via Handshake.  

Networking in the Job Search

Networking can be one of the most valuable uses of time in a job search. It allows you to gather information that can help focus your career planning, clarify paths, and learn about opportunities. At its core, networking is about building relationships and exchanging information — and it’s okay that at some points in your career you’re gathering information more than you’re sharing it with others. As seniors embarking on a job search, you should have lots of questions! And getting those questions answered will help you learn about your chosen fields, tell your story better, and maybe even uncover job opportunities. While it may be intimidating to ask someone to connect, you’ll be surprised to learn how many people are eager to help. Here are some tools that will help you in the process: 

UVM Connect

UVM Connect is an exclusive online community of UVM alums, students, staff, and faculty. From the platform’s directory, you can find and reach out to members who have offered to provide fellow UVM’ers career support. These folks have already raised their hands to help out and indicated on their profile how they would like to – such as discussing their industry or offering a shadowing opportunity.
For tips on creating your profile, getting the most from your directory searches, and crafting your outreach message, check out the UVM Connect Module on Blackboard

LinkedIn

With more than 500 million members, LinkedIn is the largest professional social networking platform. LinkedIn provides a dynamic page for your online professional presence, a wealth of real-world information about careers, and a method for reaching out to members. 

As you build your network on LinkedIn, connect with those you know and trust. Start with friends, family, friends of family, classmates, faculty, supervisors, and mentors. Every connection you make expands your personal LinkedIn network and opens up more possibilities for people you can reach out to on the platform.
Use your UVM community on LinkedIn for support by joining two groups on the platform – University of Vermont Career Connection and the UVM Alumni Association. As a member of these groups (or any professional group on LinkedIn), you are able to reach out to members, whether you are connected on LinkedIn or not. 


The Alumni Tool is one of the most powerful parts of the platform. It enables you filter the 89,000+ members of the UVM community on LinkedIn by where they live and work and what they do. You can also search by keyword – title, company, skill, etc. UVM’s Alumni Tool can help you identify alums pursuing careers of interest, living where you want to move, and sharing a major or other UVM community with you.   For more information on these LinkedIn features and creating a strong profile, check out the LinkedIn module on Blackboard

Finding Opportunities

There are so many different ways to find different job opportunities online. Here are a few options to consider as you progress in your search: 

Company Websites

Almost all businesses will have a section of their website that includes their current openings. If you have had your eye on a specific company, their website could be a great place to start searching for jobs. One important consideration is that it might be hard to know the current standing of job posting on a business’s website due to the pandemic. Be sure to sort by date posted or look for other clues that it’s a recent opening.

Databases

With the amount of uncertainty in the job market due to the repercussions of the pandemic, it is probably a better bet to cast a wider net during your job search than to narrow in on specific companies. It’s hard to think about putting some of your career aspirations on hold, but it might be wiser to play the long game and consider what’s going to provide you with a source of income and comparable experience for now instead only focusing on your #1 choice. 

A great way to broaden your search is through job search databases such as Handshake, LinkedIn, Indeed, or Glassdoor. Each of these platforms post thousands of jobs daily, instantaneously broadening the scope of your job search. Many of these jobs will even allow you to use your updated profile as a means of applying. 
To be honest, there are a ton of these databases online. We chose to stick to a small selection, however, because spending a lot of time crafting a strong profile on a few of these sites can increase your chancing of finding a job more than spending hours scrolling through lists of jobs on a wide range of sites. Recruiters use all of these sites to search for talent and Indeed even has staff who essentially serve as match makers, trying to pair candidates and employers alike. 

We recommend developing strong profiles on each of these platforms in order to raise your chances of being contacted by recruiters. If you are using Handshake or LinkedIn for the first time, check our Blackboard modules to learn how to set up your profiles and navigate the basic functions of the websites. You can use what you have learned from these modules to update your profiles on Indeed and Glassdoor as well. The more of your skills and experiences you incorporate on these profiles, the more these databases will work. Each one uses algorithms to suggest opportunities related to your skills and interests. A strong profile will make it easier for recruiters to find you as well.  

Depending on your specific industry interests, you might want to check out an industry-specific database too. Each of our Interest Groups highlight commonly used job search platforms on their “Industry-Specific Resource” pages.

Final Thoughts

As you ramp up your job search in the next few weeks, here are a few things to take into consideration: 


Location: Remote? – Many companies are grappling with how to handle their physical offices as areas of the country re-open for in-person work. Keep in mind that positions may be temporarily remote, fully in-person, permanently remote, or still in transition. Read descriptions carefully and represent your location-based intentions honestly. If you can only work a position while it’s offered remotely, be up front about it. There may be some flexibility depending on the role, the organization, and your skills and experiences.

Position Timing – The more recent a posting, the better. Some hiring processes move fast, and the pandemic might mean postings have lingered as “open” despite no longer being active due to a loss of funding. Sort databases by “date posted” to see the most recent openings.

Watch Out for Scammers – Unfortunately there will always be someone looking to take advantage of a tough situation and this pandemic is no different. Do your research before you apply to companies you are unfamiliar with and never give out your SSN or banking information on an application. Visit our website for more information about fraudulent job postings.  

Track your Applications – It can be helpful to track your applications, especially when you’re applying to multiple positions each week. This can be a simple table that includes the job title, employer name, contact information, application submission date or due date, and relevant notes from the job description or about the organization. That way, you have a better idea of which employers to follow up with about applications – and have some context about the job if you get an interview. 

Practice Self-Care – During any job search, it’s important to take time off and unplug when you need it. This is especially important when you are juggling so many other transitions. Over the past several weeks, you have had to manage rather dramatic changes in your home, academic, and social life. For tips on self-care, connect with our friends in Living Well – they’re offering lots of great virtual programming and their Instagram feed features a range of advice on caring for yourself and your community during these difficult times. You want to bring your best self to the job search, so taking time to pause and reflect on what you need is important, too.  

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