In an internship at Stowe Resort her senior year, business major Julia Simons ’19 learned quickly how to work on a team overseeing other employees. As a student and someone new to the resort, she had to gain the trust of the valets and other coworkers in her department.
Her position as guest services coordinator “helped a lot because part of my role was to give instructions,” she said. “I was an intern just starting, and all the guys I worked with had been there for years. It was hard to earn their respect, but I was able to do it really fast … My coworkers just needed to get to know and trust me.”
Skills to Stand Out in Her Career
During the internship, coordinating duties for up to 20 coworkers at a time, Julia built solid leadership and communication skills to prepare for her career. “It definitely helped with future jobs. If I end up being a supervisor or manager in a fast-paced environment one day, I have the skills to handle the stress,” she said.
Another beneficial real-world opportunity for Julia as a student was helping Business and Economics Department Chair Jim Black connect with local companies about job opportunities in Lamoille County to address unemployment. She attended meetings with economic development officials and created an efficient way to organize data in Excel.
Julia, now a customer service specialist at Union Bank in Morrisville, finished the business program with a portfolio of hands-on experiences and skills to start her career. She pursued a management concentration in the program and also earned a bachelor’s degree in music.
A Life-Changing Job on Campus
One of the most valuable parts of her time on campus was working as a resident assistant (R.A.) in a campus residence hall. She coordinated activities and events for students and was a mentor. “That helped me build relationships and learn how to be more connected … I became a better version of myself than I was before I started working in residence life,” Julia said.
“The goal of being an R.A. is to create an environment on your floor where people feel safe and are comfortable talking with one another,” she said. “You have to be the professional you were hired to be to keep the floor safe.”
Julia took advantage of the many community service and travel opportunities and went to New Orleans as part of a seminar for first-year students. The group helped a resident rebuild his hurricane-damaged home. Julia, who also earned a bachelor’s degree in music, particularly enjoyed the city’s rich music scene.
A Supportive Community
Academic support services — tutoring, study tips, and other guidance — helped Julia succeed in college. “Professors take time out of their day and help you one-on-one if you need it,” she said. And the small classes made it easy to know the other students in her courses.