The AT&T Summer Learning Academy is a free, unpaid self-paced online learning “externship” certificate program, designed to support college students looking for something to fill the void.
This program is open to all college students and consists of 80 hours of virtual, on-demand 24×7 content. Registration is open now for college students through June 12 and the program runs from June 22-July 20.
New this year: the Middlebury DC mentorship program is now open to all Middlebury students, regardless of your summer internship status or place of residence. All interested students are encouraged to apply soon as space is limited.
If you hope to one day live and work in Washington DC, apply to be paired with a Washington based Middlebury alum in an industry of your choice. This is a unique opportunity to develop networking skills and experiential knowledge from a DC based professional.
The flexible structure of the mentorship program allows you to take part in one-on-one meetings with your assigned mentor to learn further about your chosen industry and the realities of professional life in DC. Mentors will be able to provide advice and insight regarding their time at Middlebury, successes in their careers, and be useful points of contact for future opportunities.
This DC specific networking opportunity is perfect for you if you have found your summer dramatically altered by the Covid-19 pandemic. Welcoming all Middlebury students, the program will be conducted remotely and allow you to explore your career interests even if you do not have an internship.
Major: English and American Literatures and Studio Art
Thank you, Emily, for taking the time to speak with us. How did you explore your career path after you graduated from Middlebury? What drew your interest into project management?After graduating Middlebury and majoring in English and Studio Art, I helped my friends and family create websites. I did this work for a year in addition to different internships as the economy was still recovering from the recession. What helped me most in my job search was networking. After reaching out to different alumni and people in my network, I was granted a position as Media Project Coordinator at Boulder’s Housing Authority. Working at this nonprofit, my role was multifold. My responsibilities included managing communications and public relations. After gaining professional skills for over a year, I shifted into a Business Analyst role at Epsilon. In my six years here, I followed leadership and transitioned into project management. I was drawn to the collaborative aspects of the field and project-based schedule. Now, I’m a Senior Technical Project Manager at Oracle.
How did your Middlebury education prepare you for your career? Middlebury prepared me with the development of soft and hard skills. From learning how to research to working with others, these skills have been invaluable in my career. In addition, I’ve learned how to take initiative and hit the ground running. With many of the roles I’ve held, businesses were tight on training and expected new hires to learn quickly and hop on different projects with a range of responsibilities. Thanks to the interdisciplinary approach at Middlebury and diverse leadership opportunities, I was able to transfer those skills into any role.
What are some of the crucial skills going into project management and how should students prepare?There are two main things to consider when thinking of pursuing a career in project management: the process and the differences among different industries. The process depends heavily on research and maintaining clear communication working with collaborators and clients to ensure a project follows a timeline and is completed without wasting resources. While technology is a big component, my work has always depended on maintaining good social interactions. The type of industry also requires different skills and software proficiency. Some industries like construction may focus more on analyzing risk to complete a large infrastructural project by a set deadline while in the pharmaceutical industry, maintaining clear communication between administrators and health professionals may prove more beneficial.
How do you suggest that students maximize their Liberal Arts education? I would recommend liberal arts students to pair their professional interests with technology. This cross-disciplinary approach allows for approaching problems through different perspectives for better solutions. A good starting place would be taking advantage of software learning while at Middlebury. I learned invaluable skills through the Lynda platform and would recommend the newly transitioned LinkedIn Learning platform for anyone hoping to gain some technical skills in any field. In addition, I think students should make use of the Middlebury alumni and grow their own networks. In my experiences, I’ve never gotten anywhere by just applying to positions with a direct connection. Instead, through referrals and reaching out, I was able to get follow-ups in positions I was interested in. Students should leverage their network to advance in their career.
What was your most memorable experience at Middlebury?It’s difficult for me to pinpoint a singular experience but I had so much fun my first semester. As a Feb, I approached it with an open spirit and explored the different experiences Middlebury had to offer. In addition to my first Spring semester, I still remember some iconic Halloween parties in Johnson. I hope those are still taking place in some shape, way or form.
What is one thing you like about working from home?As a project manager, most of my work can actually be done remotely. This quarantine hasn’t completely changed my routine as I’m still doing work from home. Although we’re in quarantine, it’s much nicer having company from my husband. Days don’t seem so lonely anymore.
This article was written by Arturo Simental ’20.
This series is coordinated by Xiaoli Jin ’19. Look for more alumni profiles each week. You can connect with Xiaoli on LinkedIn.
In this time of social distancing, we are all looking for new ways to stay connected, and Midd2Midd is one of them! Midd2Midd connects Middlebury students, alumni, and parents, supporting mentoring, networking, and engagement within the Middlebury community around the world. Midd2Midd is your place to make things happen. Simply complete your profile, create a customized search, and begin to network!
As you reach out to alumni and other individuals to conduct informational interviews, please keep the following tips in mind in order to have the most successful interactions:
Spell names correctly. It sounds obvious, but this can really get the conversation off on the wrong foot from the beginning. Pay close attention to this detail.
Do not use two different fonts in an email. It makes it really clear you’re just copy-pasting from other outreach notes.
Offer your availability in reasonable blocks of time, for example 1-2 hour windows on 2-3 different days and allow the person to choose. Presume they are busier than you, and make it really easy for them to pick a time. Providing a link to your online calendar and requesting they go in and book the meeting themselves may not be preferred.
Know how to set up a calendar meeting in whatever program you use (outlook, gmail, etc). Don’t just rely on the email to act as the final confirmation, get it on the calendar.
When sending the meeting invite, only use 20 or 30 minutes, not 1 hour. That is too long.
It’s usually best to offer to call them and ask for their best number. Put this into the calendar invite, so at the designated time, no one is wondering who is going to call whom.
Zoom is very popular, but also consider learning how to use Microsoft Teams.
The SerVermont AmeriCorps VISTA Program is a statewide national service program. Participants are placed at community-based organizations and state and municipal agencies whose mission and assignments cover focus areas including Economic Development, Housing, Food Security, the Digital Divide, and Opioid Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery.
Benefits include a living allowance, student loan assistance, relocation assistance, and an end-of-service stipend. To be eligible, you must have a bachelor’s degree or three years of related volunteer/job experience.
Join Anna Philibert (she/her), AmeriCorps VISTA Leader (and also a former Peace Corps volunteer), for this informative session followed by interactive Q&A. Learn about the diverse opportunities and get “insider information” about the application process.