This blog is for those wanting to keep up to date on all the work that the Vermont Council on World Affairs is doing around the world.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Networking: Connecting Locally, Working Globally

Jeff Halvorson of SSG Advisors Networking with Students
Who knew that among mountains and ski enthusiasts, that I would find a global professional network in Vermont.

The Vermont Council on World Affairs and Tetra Tech co-sponsored a networking event, Connecting Locally Working Globally at the University of Vermont last Thursday for students interested in global careers.  

The event featured global professionals representing Tetra Tech, VCWA, SSG Advisors, The Rainforest Alliance, Spiral International, and MyWebGrocer, all of which have offices in Vermont and work in countries all over the world.

Among the professionals was our VCWA director, Patricia Preston, who spoke about the importance of building a professional networks, regardless of the major you graduated with.

Patricia Preston of the VCWA and Lauren Dees-Erikson of Tetra
Tech ARD speaking with students 
The event commenced with a panel of the professionals speaking on behalf of their organizations, and providing advice to students looking to enter a global career. Many of the panelists stressed the importance of learning a second language, perfecting the resume, and knowing how to ask the right questions.

A memorable piece of advice came from Jeff Halvorson of SSG Advisors, who stressed that  "when you are looking for a job, learn how to be the best interviewer. Don't ask questions about the company that you can find on the website. Leave an informational interview having had an engaging conversation."
Jen Peterson of Tetra Tech ARD providing resume advice to students

After a brief panel Q&A, students had the opportunity to speed network and receive feedback on their resumes from the professionals and UVM career center advisors.

As both a UVM student and a VCWA intern, I found the networking event helpful and informative in guiding me in the next steps for a global career in international development. Each of the professionals were eager to help and speak about their experience in international relations, such as serving in the peace corps and teaching abroad.  

Leaving the event I was impressed how each professional's experience was varied and unique. As the daunting date of graduation approaches, it was assuring to hear that there is a silver lining to career uncertainty. Not every future job choice will be expected, and some may even seem unrelated- but all experiences weave a path to where you eventually want to go in a career. The first step is taking a risk and saying yes to opportunities.

The VCWA was pleased to see an interest in building global networks with not only students, but global professionals in Vermont.  A special thanks to all the participating companies and students who attended.  

Katie Hickey
VCWA Intern

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