We’re glad to be able to open up this space to a guest blogger, Kailee Brickner-McDonald, a former practicum intern with Non-Profit Programs here at Career Services, for this Doing Good, Doing Well post. We are glad she was able to share this story of networking with us!
UVM’s Alternative Winter Break and Vermont Institute on the Caribbean–Partners since Career Services’ International Non-Profit Career Panel in 2009
In the spring of 2009, UVM Career Services hosted an International Non-Profit Career Panel. Similar to the networking panels offered this semester (link to calendar for those kinds of events), it brought together alumni and local employers in the non-profit field and students with all levels of interest.
Among the students who participated, Leondaro Badia, ’09, showed up. He shared how he was going to be interning with the Vermont Institute on the Caribbean (VIC) that summer. At the time, UVM Student Life’s Alternative Winter Break’s (AWB) leaders were looking for a new hosting community for their international service trip. Talking with Leondardo about his connection to VIC’s Baseball Exchange Program through a service-learning class, it seemed like a good match for AWB. Thanks to the connection, AWB started to work with VIC. In the winter of 2010 the 11 UVM students on the AWB trip helped with the Healthy Neighborhoods, Healthy Kids initiative and a park building project with 4th and 5th graders in Los Dominguez, a marginalized neighborhood in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. This year another 11 UVM students returned to the same school to lead workshops on girls’ self-esteem and leadership. AWB plans to continue the partnership with the community and organization into the future.
Check out this photo of the 2011 Alternative Winter Break group in the park that the 2010 group helped to build:
This fruitful connection at the International Non-Profit Career Panel demonstrates how “networking” is truly a community-building experience. Peer-to-peer student collaboration and information -sharing that night was just as important as the relationships which also began among employers, alumni, and students.