Spotlight: Alex Hollander, ’21

Today’s Spotlight is one of our Exploring Group’s Peer Leader – Alex Hollander. She is a junior who changed her major from Nursing to Health Sciences. Below she has provided tips on how to go about changing or declaring a major.

Do your research!

Finding a new major can be difficult. It’s best to start by finding information about all your options. I suggest going through the majors and minors list for UVM online to see what grabs your interest. You’ll want to ask yourself- what do you want to learn more about? This is a great way to begin the search and find out what you like versus don’t like. Once you’ve identified a major that you’re curious about, go to that major’s department’s website to learn more about it.

Talk to your advisor and/or an advisor in a major of interest

Your advisor is a great resource. Schedule a time to meet with them and talk about your values and interests. This can help them suggest majors/minors that might suit you. They can also answer questions about your online search and further questions you have, they may even recommend you speak with an advisor in the identified major to make sure you understand what that chosen major entails in terms of credits, classes, and possibly what students have gone on to do professionally if this is a question you have.

Meet with the Exploring Interest Group to do a major sort

The Career Center has great resources. The Exploring Interest Group is for students that aren’t sure about what they want. We do an awesome major sort activity where we run through all majors at UVM with you. We will help you narrow down your options to where you can actually start planning on a major.

Run What If reports

Once you know what majors might be the one for you, running a What If report is the next step. Finding a major you like and a major you want to study is awesome, but only if it is feasible. For many of us, you want to find a major that allows you to graduate on time. So, a What If report will tell you what classes you would need to take for the particular major you’re exploring. By doing this, you can plan out how much time you have left at UVM with the potential new major.

Watch some educational videos on your major

Finding a new major might mean going in a new direction. I love CrashCourse videos on YouTube because they cover so many academic areas. If you are looking at a major you have never taken a class in, or even if you have, it’s worth doing some final investigating before committing yourself to it. Watch a video, see if the information actually interests and excites you.

We hope this can help you get started on choosing or switching a major. If you have further questions or need more assistance, please make sure you attend the upcoming Majors/Minors Fest on Tuesday, October 29th in the Davis Center from 1pm-3pm.

Spotlight: “Olive and Milo” Internship

Josie is currently a Junior at The University of Vermont. She is majoring in public communications with a concentration in journalism and a minor in applied design. She devoted time this past summer to navigating Handshake, a job and internship platform, in search of an internship for the fall semester. She was able to tailor her search by entering her interests, experiences, desired career fields, location preferences, and skill set.

Josie found an internship that truly spoke to her and fit perfectly into her desired schedule for the fall. After completing the application process, Josie was ecstatic to hear back that she was selected for the internship for the entirety of the fall semester – not to mention, that she would additionally be receiving credits for her work!

She started her social media and marketing internship with “Olive and Milo” at the end of August. Her role involved assisting her supervisor in marketing for her clients and being responsible for writing blogs. Some topics she specifically was able to gain more experience with and became more comfortable with throughout this internship thus far include developing her social media presence and understanding, as well as increasing her personal confidence with creating unique topics and ideas for discussion.

Josie was able to build her understanding of marketing and obtained hands-on experience. Such opportunities contributed more to her personal growth and allowed her to picture a more solidified idea of potential professions and job-oriented interests. Not to mention, she was also able to determine beneficial and ample skills that she already has established, as well as other areas that she may work on to make herself a better candidate for future opportunities within these industries.

Additionally, this internship has also allowed Josie to get a personal feel on preferred work environments. She explained that interning at “Olive and Milo” has helped her understand how she works best, which is very similar to the overall company function and ethic. Working in a collaborative and motivational environment with encouraging people that hold similar values is a special feature of “Olive and Milo” that she will continue to seek.

While Josie has expressed a number of unique learning outcomes that she has already grasped from interning at “Olive and Milo”, her greatest gain thus far has been her personal gain in understanding this particular professional field and being able to narrow her interests more for the future. She is happy to be learning and gaining experience at “Olive and Milo”, and expressed that, “As a communications major, I could tell when I looked at their website and handshake profile that I would be getting involved with a company that is practicing what they preach. I was excited to work with a company that seemed to have it together – and I knew I was going to learn so much. I could tell that I would be working with one person that started the company so I could learn more about entrepreneurship as well – which I did. Overall, I could tell I would be working with someone that wants their business to grow, and I wanted to be there to help and learn.”