Are you curious what Midd grads are doing in government, policy or law?
Check out the 3 short stories from alumni below, and also be sure to read through the How to use MiddNet section at the bottom for some great tips and tricks to find other great alums.
Aviva Shwayder ’16, PSCI major, US Senate summer 2015 internship in Washington D.C.
“As Senator Peters once told me, working on Capitol Hill is a dream job for a liberal arts student. You have the opportunity to learn about new issues every day through hearings and briefings where experts come from all over to help inform policy decisions. Overall, the internship was an incredible opportunity to learn how the Senate works on a daily basis and develop working relationships with people on the Hill.”
Zachary Chen ’07 (Chinese), Assistant Attorney General, Vermont Attorney General’s Office
Zachary Chen is in the Criminal Division of the Attorney General’s Office as an Assistant Attorney General. He works for the people of Vermont alongside a stellar group of experienced attorneys in a collegial and stimulating environment. We prosecute a variety of cases that require resources beyond what may be available at local State’s Attorney offices or that the local State’s Attorney may be unable to prosecute because of ethical issues.
Zachary graduated from Vermont Law School in 2014. His first position after law school was a clerkship with the Honorable Paul Reiber, Chief Justice of the Vermont Supreme Court. After the clerkship, he joined the Attorney General’s Office. Between Middlebury and law school, Zachary had a variety of experiences including working on a ranch in Arizona, traveling up the West Coast, interning and guiding hikers in Beijing, and working on a wildland firefighting engine crew.
Tiffany Davidson ’00, (Political Science with Spanish minor), Corporate Counsel, Elsevier Inc.
Tiffany graduated Middlebury College (BA in Political Science, 2000) and then Washington and Lee University School of Law (JD, 2005), and now serves as Corporate Counsel for Elsevier Inc., a global provider of scientific and medical information products and services, including books, journals and patient care tools. In that role, Tiffany advises sales representatives and business management executives on a variety of matters, including the protection of the company’s non-patent intellectual property (trademarks and copyrights) and compliance with accessibility laws, as well as drafts and negotiates licenses for sales of the company’s products and services and author and editor agreements for both print and digital media content. She is active in the company’s Diversity and Inclusion Working Group and also represents the company in the Association of American Publishers’ cross-publishing house diversity initiative. Tiffany joined Elsevier in 2011 from Forbes.com LLC, where she served as a Staff Attorney since 2007 working on internet law issues for the web-based business and financial news provider. Tiffany is passionate about her volunteer service on
How to use MiddNet
MiddNet is a relationship development tool. It is a volunteer career advisory network of more than 7,500 alumni who have agreed to serve as a resource for you as you navigate your career search and exploration. These alumni want to answer your questions and share information and insights about their work in government, law and policy.
Did you know there are 200+ alumni volunteers in the government and policy world? And in legal, there are 600+ alums!
When using MiddNet, it’s most helpful to search by one of three main criteria: industry/career, major and location. Start broad, then narrow in. I suggest starting with industry, here are some specific categories to look for (followed by # of alums in each area):
- Government Consulting/Research & Analysis (18)
- Military/Defense (22)
- Non-US Government Services (3)
- Political Organizing/Lobbying (10)
- Regional/Local/State Government Service (58)
- Think Tank/Public Policy (13)
- US Federal Service – domestic (74)
- US Federal Service – international (37)
- Law, corporate (73)
- Law, environmental (20)
- Law, federal/state/municipal (59)
- Law, private firm/services (190)
- Lawyer/Judge (252)
- Legal Assistant/Paralegal (20)
Also, in the the field called “Additional Career Advising”, scroll to the Law School topic and you will find 100 results of alumni volunteers.
Access MiddNet here, or use the shortcut go/middnet
Once you find a good person to contact, not sure what to say in an introductory note? Click here for a sample email.
Now that you’ve confirmed a time to talk with an alumus, wondering what are some good questions to ask? Click here for some ideas.
Some final tips:
- Be prepared to follow up if you have not heard back from a volunteer in a reasonable amount time, typically a week. A combination of patience and persistence works best.
- The contact system in MiddNet is called a blind email, so you won’t see the alumni email address until he/she responds. But these days it’s not as hard as it used to be to find people’s emails, so be savvy, be creative.
- Always send a thank you note within 24 hours after talking with an alumnus. This fun video produced by Midd students shows how simple it is!
- While MiddNet is excellent, also make sure to use other social networks like LinkedIn to do more research on the person and organization so your email can stand out as personal and targeted.
- Before you contact any alumnus, do your homework such as triple checking they still work at the organization. You should know if the organization even offers internships or entry level jobs, and be able to query the alum about how to navigate that process. Maybe even through a referral to someone else inside the organization. Or better yet, good advice is to try and keep your conversation more than just about internships or jobs and explore other things about the kind of work the alumnus does. See the above list of possible questions for ideas.