Hire This Grad
"Hire" Education: A Look Back at Featured Grads

With Champlain’s graduation only days away (eek!) I wanted to take a look back on all the soon-to-be grads that I’ve featured  over the past few months. These grads rocked it then and they’re still rocking it now, even as the semester and their college careers come to an end. Scoop these grads up if you’re looking to hire, otherwise keep track of them…they’re all bound for great things! They are:

Brooke Zambroski
Brooke Zambroski, the cool-headed and clever grad who knows the balance between the big-picture and the “nitty-grittys.” Graduating with degrees in both graphic design and marketing, she’s looking for a sweet job incorporating her love of branding and design.

Ryan FitzpatrickRyan Fitzpatrick, the energetic and outgoing grad who strives to make people happy one smile and drink at a time. Ryan’s ideal job would incorporate his love of food and his obsession with sports, and he hopes to one day open his own sports bar.

Jackie Cooper

Jackie Cooper, the natural born leader who thrives in a fast-paced environment. Jackie is looking for a job that will challenge her and put her marketing skills such as SEO, social media, and analytics to the test.

Caitlin O'Connor

Caitlin O’Connor, the dynamic go-getter who wants to continue her work in promotions and event and experiential marketing.

Corey Grenier

Corey Grenier, the social media ninja who knows how to get down to business. This grad is looking to use her social media and marketing skills to empower women and girls across the globe.

Caila BurkeCaila Burke, a dedicated marketing grad who knows the true meaning of hustle. She’s in search of an event or grassroots/buzz marketing position in the action sports and youth culture markets.

Amanda JonesAmanda Jones, the organized and persnickety leader with an eye for small details. As a double major in marketing and graphic design, Amanda wants to use both of these skill sets in a funky and fresh work environment.

E-mail them, Tweet them, Facebook them or call them, just don’t forget them! These grads have accomplished many, many great things over their college careers at Champlain College, and the world can only wait in anticipation to see the wonderful things they’ll do on the other side of the higher education fence. Good luck, grads, and congratulations!

Want to be featured? If you’re a soon to be or recent grad and want to be featured, e-mail Nichole at nicholemagoon[at]gmail[dot]com.

No Guts, No Glory. The Guts and Glory of Hire This Grad.

Guts and Glory
    It all started during one of my early morning routines. I stood there, brushing my teeth with my brain mulling the assignment for Marketing Management in my head. Create a personal brand—it was simple, yet so hard. What am I about? What do I stand for? What could I write about all semester that people would be interested in and would add some kind of value? I had no possible idea.
    Then, like a 2x4 to the face, it hit me—#hirethisgrad. It had started as a simple hash tag last year for graduating seniors. It was a stretch, but I could run with it.  It added value, it was interesting, and it truly encompassed my love for helping others. I wasn’t sure how far it could go. This was the first class where it wasn’t just a plan, or an idea…it was something we had to conjure up AND implement. It had the opportunity for great success, but also great failure.
    At first I was a bit hesitant. Were people going to do this? Would people read it? Would it actually help others get a job? But, no guts, no glory. So, I jumped right into it.
    I set a few goals:
    I would develop a blog. I would write up a blog post for each student and post one every week, get quotes/testimonials from teachers for each student, and I would blog about any press a student received.
    I would create a twitter to add to the blog.  I would tweet about posts made in the blog, participate in #ff and list off students in the class for #ff, follow industry leaders, use a hashtag, post relevant links about the job market and RT industry leaders.
    Last, but not least, I would hopefully meet some personal goals set for myself through Hire This Grad. I would demonstrate my passion for helping others and non-profit work through Hire This Grad’s development. I would also build my own personal website to showcase who I was and my strengths as a graphic designer and marketers, and Hire This Grad would link to these.  Finally, I would work on perfecting my own personal brand. Who am I? What are my strengths? What are my goals? What personal attributes define me? I wanted to finish with a clear understanding of who I am, my brand, and how my brand will contribute to the success of a company as an employee.
So, how would I measure whether or not this personal brand was successful? This way:
    100 relevant followers, ones that add value. They should include marketing professionals or influential members of an industry related to a passion of a graduating senior.
    Many RT’s by relevant followers
    Followers would be actively engaged with RTs, responses and comments.
    Analytics would show active and constant traffic to the blog
    Atleast one student received a job offer or someone in the industry passes along their name/blog link to someone looking to hire. And, as I quoted in my original Plan For Success in January, “Heck, I think I’d be happy if some employer even said they read the blog and read about a job candidate on there.”
Plus, maybe get a job myself. Who knew?

I set pretty high standards for myself. I hoped I had the guts to do it…and there would be glory that followed it. 

The Guts
    Now, with Hire This Grad approaching it’s 4 month birthday, I can’t believe I’ve not only achieved most of the goals I set, but I’ve exceeded most of them as well. It’s almost surreal to me.
191 Twitter Followers, including:
   Propeller Media Works
    Spring Above Marketing
    New Grad Life in San Diego, CA
    Brewing A Better Life through Green Mountain Coffee Roasters
    Vermont Tourism
    Chris Brogan, president of New Marketing Labs & New York Times best selling author
    My Web Grocer
    Magic Hat
    Shay Totten, columnist for the Seven Days
    Commerce Generation
    Shel Israel, author of Twitterville
While I don’t know the exact number of RTs ( is there something out there that will tell me?) I know that many people have RTed the posts about each student, and most of the followers are those passionate about or in the field of marketing.  I consistently used the #hirethisgrad hashtag that many others picked up on and used.

Now, a little look at the “guts” of the Hire This Grad website:

977 visits from 48 countries/territories

825 visits in 40 out of 50 states

After the initial spike of me changing the layout around, there was atleast one visit every day, whether I tweeted or not.  Most of the spikes were around Fridays when I posted a featured grad. The second annotation reflects the business card I handed out at the job fair and there was a large spike of visitors the next three days. 

Overall, the analytics show constant and active traffic from day 1. Success!

    The last measurement for success? At least one person received a job offer from the site. Initially, I really only included this because, hey, it IS the POINT of the site, right? But, I didn’t really think that it would happen. I thought it would be nice, but not realistic.
    I’m happy to report that one student, Corey Grenier(@rosiemarketer) was contacted by a business in Vermont and asked to interview for a job because they found her on Hire This Grad. While it was not a job she was interested in, she was able to refer the opening to someone else who interviewed and was hired for the job. I’ll consider that a GREAT success, congrats Justine!

The Glory
    In addition to the goals I had set for myself, I also encountered some other fantastic opportunities that I would have never imagined. First, I made a connection with Lynne Guey from Campus Tweet and did a skype interview with her and the rest of the class based on Hire This Grad. Second, I made a great connection with Caleb Wolfe from Jobs In VT who liked the idea of Hire This Grad and helped me connect with Chris Carrigan, Vice President of Business Development at the Vermont Chamber of Commerce. With his help along with Caleb Wolfe, I will be developing a business plan and discussing potential financial backing to turn Hire This Grad into a state wide website/non-profit.

Lastly, I met my personal goals through the development of Hire This Grad and the personal branding assignment.  I’ve gotten closer to developing an understanding of who I am as a person and as an employee. I’m driven and dedicated, and I truly, truly enjoy helping others. My goals are to make something of myself in this world, to help others and to make a difference. I’ve developed a great deal of confidence in myself, in my skills and knowledge, and my ability to do something gutsy, such as starting my own business. A year ago I would have believed that there was no way I could do such a thing. My drive, my dedication, my heart, and my passions define who I am, and I’m so proud of that. I still have a ways to go on my quest for self discovery and definition, but I’ve made great strides because of this project.

I would have never seen this happening in a million years when starting this, but I’m beyond excited to see where it will go. Now it’s just a matter of getting up the guts to pursue this!

Now, I just need to work on the whole “getting a job myself” goal ( yes, shameless plug!:)) SO….Hire This Grad!


“To lead the people, walk behind them.” – Lao Tzu

Name: Jackie Cooper
Major: Marketing/Advertising
Hometown: Wilbraham, MA
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jacquelinecooper
Twitter: @jcooper225
Blog: www.jcooper225.tumblr.com

The Brief:
Does your organization need an organized employee who gets work done and has a fine eye for detail? A reliable person who is willing to go above and beyond what is expected of her? Then Jackie Cooper is the girl for you. Jackie thrives in a fast paced environment and is able to adapt quickly under a variety of situations and customer needs, helping her develop excellent customer service skills.

Because of her willingness to exceed expectations, she has taken initiative for two of her past employers, including Six Flags New England & Hall Communications, and developed and implemented successful social media campaigns. Not only did she develop the campaigns, but she also stressed the importance of social media and created a plan to help each employer continue the campaigns after her time there. In addition, she’s used her networking skills to increase attendance at the events she promotes for Hall Communications.

And, her promptness and awareness of deadlines has paid off for her work at Brandthropology, as they are now giving her more responsibility and trusting her with more projects. She currently maintains the company’s social media pages.

In addition to her work at Brandthropology and Hall Communications, Jackie has also worked with:
Boarding for Breast Cancer (B4BC)
Stowe Area Association
Able Paint & Glass
Vermont State Employees Credit Union (VSECU)
Champlain College Publishing Initiative (CCPI)
Back Country Magazine

Jackie chose marketing because she saw it as an outlet for her creativity. She enjoys being in challenging situations and figuring out creative solutions to achieve the best results, and marketing allows her to do that. She also enjoys the constant changes in technology and understands the importance of staying up to date and continuous learning. To keep up to date with the changes in marketing, Jackie is currently reading The Boss of You by Lauren Backon. She just finished Marketing in the Groundswell by Charlene Li and plans to read Everything a Woman needs to Start, Run, and Maintain Her Own Business by Emira Mears.

If it’s not already obvious, Jackie is passionate about learning. She’s used that passion to start a blog that ties together the things she’s learned through her school, internship and everyday life experiences. She believes in the importance of staying current and learning about new technologies and tools.  In her free time, she enjoys snowboarding, adventuring, good friends, good food, Western Massachusetts, penguins, snowflakes, theme parks, and strong coffee.

If you need a detail oriented, outgoing, passionate, and driven employee who thrives in a fast paced environment and will rise above and beyond what’s expected of her, then you should Hire This Grad!

The Interview:
Sum yourself up in 140 characters or less:
soon to be #campchamp #marketing grad. seeking a job to challenge me further in #marketing - skills: #socialmedia #analytics #SEO #promotions

What does success mean to you?
Success is happiness. Keeping this short and sweet because my definition of success is still being added to.

What do you consider your biggest success?
 I believe one of my biggest successes thus far in my professional career was making the transition from being an intern to a paid part-time employee. I started interning for Hall Communications (the Buzz, WIZN, KOOL, WOKO, WJOY) in September of ‘08, they hired me in January of ‘09 and I have been doing promotions with them ever since. I also took the initiative to create a social media presence through the use of a Facebook fan page for the Buzz, which has successfully been gaining fans since it was started.

What is something you’ve learned from your mistakes?
That I can’t dwell on them, you just have to keep on living and learn from them. Sounds cliché but I believe mistakes do happen for a reason – to keep you learning, growing and experiencing.

Describe your ideal working environment:
 My ideal working environment would be an office surrounded with fun, bubbly, hardworking, motivated, positive people with big windows looking onto a snow capped mountain. I enjoy fast paced atmospheres with a lot going on as much as I enjoy quite personal space and dogs casually walking around. I think it’s really all about the people you’re surrounded by that make the environment what it is – positive vibes are contagious.

You have a million dollars. What do you do with it?
I would ensure my parents are comfortable for the rest of their lives because they deserve it.

How do they get the cream filling inside a Twinkie?
 Ever see that owl that tries to figure out how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop, he definitely has something to do with it.

If a newspaper wrote an article about your leadership style, what would the headline be?
“To lead the people, walk behind them.” – Lao Tzu


Dr. Elaine Young, Marketing Professor and Assistant Dean of the Business Division at Champlain College:

“I have had the pleasure of watching Jackie grow and mature over the past four years — from first year student to senior — and have found her to be an energetic, passionate young woman who is incredibly successful at whatever she does. Her first internship translated into a part time job with the organization and in her current internship she is excelling. She is not afraid to take risks and is continually learning. She, along with another student, started up the Boarding for Breast Cancer chapter on campus for a class project and has continued to support the organization as a student ambassador ever since. She is strong in many areas of marketing, including promotions, events and social media marketing and would be an asset to any company or firm looking for a well-rounded, dedicated self-starter who can hit the ground running.”

Jonathan Wilson, Interactive Brandthropologist, Brandthropology:

“I had the pleasure of working with Jackie during her time as an intern at Brandthropology, a marketing firm in Burlington, Vermont. During her tenure, I have served as the interactive Strategist, stewarding the ideation, creation, and evaluation of our client’s online presences. I worked closely with Jackie on a number of projects and found her to be one of the stronger interns we have had here at Brandthropology. Jackie became an important part of stewarding the online campaign for a hospital client’s recruitment efforts. Jackie was in charge of creating, copywriting, providing imagery and evaluating CPC campaigns using Facebook and Indeed. On each site, Jackie created multivariate ads and evaluated the efficacy of each, optimizing them to maximize the client’s media spend. Jackie then used Google Analytics to track each campaign, as well as traffic from other sources, and made recommendations to fine-tune our various online media buys. As a result, our client’s jobs got filled, they saved money because they didn’t have to hire freelancers, and upper management was happy. Jackie also volunteered to do extra work beyond the normal scope of her required workload, including overseeing and adding value to our company Twitter and Facebook page. Her tenacity outside of her required internship hours resulted in a 300% increase in the number of followers to our company Twitter and Facebook pages. I highly recommend Jackie. She has a great energy and I know that given the proper guidance, she will learn quickly and become a valuable asset to your company.”

Where’s the Grad to Hire?

No, this isn’t an error. There are still plenty of upcoming grads out there looking to be hired! But, this week for Champlain is Spring Break, and in honor of that this creator is doing things a bit different.

Instead of featuring a grad, I wanted to talk about the importance of taking a break.  As the saying goes, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”  Up until this week, these grads have been working tirelessly to not only complete their homework and other scholarly duties, but also prepare to hit the workforce and enter the real world in just a few months. So, when Spring Break hits, many take the opportunity to travel, rest, and just relax for a few days. 

Sometimes it feels counterproductive to take a break, especially when the impending “to-do” list just seems to be getting longer. But, there are many benefits to taking a break or a vacation. It can be a health rejuvenator for the mind as well as the body and the spirit.  So, why should you take a vacation?

The Wisconsin Medical Journal reported a study that said those who take vacations, especially women, are able to release stress and suffer less from depression.  “Vacations provide a break from everyday stressors,” Cathy McCarty, Ph.D. said. “They allow us time away from work or home and help us release built-up tension.”  Less stress and tension helps students ultimately do better work when they return.

Let’s face it: take a vacation is (or should be!) fun! It gives you time to travel, read, sleep, whatever it is you enjoy doing.  Vacations provide time for you to take some personal time and recharge your happiness. Not only does a vacation put you in more positive mood, but it can also give you a more positive outlook on life. 

By now, most of you probably feel as though you’re scraping the bottom of the creativity bucket.  Vacations can actually promote creativity.  It breaks up the monotony of the daily routine and allows you to reconnect with yourself.  When you take a break from your daily routine and life, it gives you time to refill your bucket of creativity!

Let’s face it: sometimes we all suffer from burnout.  We often feel overworked and under-rested. A vacation allows you to take a break from work, stress, and other worries and to catch up on your rest.  When you take time to relax, you feel rested, recharged, and can be more productive and creative!

Because You Deserve It:
Everyone deserves to take a break. Enjoy it!

Just because these grads are taking a vacation, doesn’t mean they’ve completely abandoned their social media connection. Check out these awesome grads who are blogging about their travels or their vacation:

Joe Gaynor blogs about his snowboarding and skiing adventures from out west over break. Check out his videos!

Kristi Gorton also talks about her mountain adventures over break.

Madison Wood talks about her recent vacation to Miami, FL in her usual fashion blog.

Kathleen Wamser blogs about her recent cruise from Miami to Cozumel, Belize.

Stay tuned, next week we’ll feature a new grad!

The Organized Strategist: Persnickety Leaders Never Overlook the Small Details.

Amanda Jones marketing graphic design Champlain College Burlington, Vermont

Name: Amanda Jones
Major: Marketing (Advertising) and Graphic Design
Hometown: Cornish, New Hampshire

Contact Info
Facebook: www.facebook.com/amandajjones
Twitter: www.twitter.com/ajjones87
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/ajjones87
Email: amanda[dot]jones@mymail[dot]champlain[dot]edu

Personal Brand: www.thedesigngutter.wordpress.com
Personal Brand Twitter: www.twitter.com/designgutter

The Brief

If you’re looking for someone who prides herself on her exceptional organization and planning skills and attention to detail, then place Amanda Jones in your radar. As an employee, you can count on her to show up early and stay late when necessary. She gets things done when they need to get done and works to refine and perfect things, making note of every detail.

So why did she choose marketing? For the brands and the passion that people have for them.  She wants to be a part of the process of not just providing a product or service but providing the full emotional and sensory experience.  It seems appropriate, then, that the book she’s currently reading is Obsessive Branding Disorder by Lucas Conley.

Through her college experience, Amanda has been able to apply and refine her marketing skills by working with a long list of clientele through classes, jobs, and internships, including :
UNFPA (“Empowering Play" Though the Emergent Media Center at Champlain College)
Green Mountain Animal Defenders
Able Paint & Glass
Vermont State Employees’ Credit union
Stowe Area Association
Burlington Walk Bike Council
Magic Hat Brewing Company

In her free time, Amanda also shares a passion for horseback riding, cooking, snowshoeing, branding, photography, & Graphic Design.  Amanda also currently hosts a blog and a Twitter for the Design Gutter, a blog to “question [graphic]design and provide supplemental critique to that of a design classroom.”

The Interview

Sum yourself up in 140 characters or less:
Thoughtful, hard working, multi-talented marketer & graphic designer with a passion for brands, good food, strong coffee and horses.

What do you consider your biggest success?
Being a part of the Emergent Media Center’s UN project team and being able to follow and contribute to the project from the start up until its current state. It has given me the opportunity to perform primary research on the ground in South Africa, contribute to a 60+ page research document supporting the game’s proposed themes, frameworks and delivery methods, work on project branding and fundraising, test game episode 1 with students in Saint Lucia, lead a team of students to craft a communications plan for game launch and present findings and plans to a group of individuals at the UNFPA. The project has contributed to my hands on knowledge in marketing and design as well as refining my organization and presentation skills.

What is something you’ve learned from your mistakes?
Measure twice, cut once. Always think things through carefully. Then, when I think I have it down, do it again.

Describe your ideal working environment.
Something funky and fresh that’s open with a lot of natural light.

How do they get the cream filling inside a Twinkie?
They plant row after row of Twinkie trees that they water every day. After cross-pollination occurs throughout the spring and early summer, the Twinkie tree begins to produce its fruit. As the fruit develops and begins to grow, its skin turns a light fluffy yellow to reflect the suns rays and protect the cream filling inside which accumulates during the photosynthesis process.

If a newspaper wrote an article about your leadership style, what would the headline be?
The Organized Strategist: Persnickety Leaders Never Overlook the Small Details.


Elaine Young, Assistant Dean of the Division of Business and Marketing Professor at Champlain College:

"As a double major in Marketing and Graphic Design, Amanda brings a unique perspective to any design project — she thinks like a marketer and understands the importance of understanding the target market and creating a strong call to action, and then she has the skill set to execute her vision. Her design aesthetic is spot on and versatile. She is dedicated, organized and extremely creative. Her balanced skill-set would make her a strong asset to any firm or organization."

Megan Frenzen, Assistant Professor of Marketing at Champlain College:

“Amanda Jones is, without question, one of the most motivated, dedicated and competent graduates in her class. Amanda has repeatedly demonstrated an in-depth understanding of marketing principles and practices, as well as, a willingness to work incredibly hard. Additionally, her natural talent for graphic design and all other creative endeavors is remarkable. You should Hire This Grad, trust me.”

Kara Murphy, Adjunct Professor at Champlain College and owner of KaraMia Design & Marketing:

"Amanda is one of my star students. Her level of creativity is consistently high and her designs stand out. Combine her design talents with her professionalism and she would be an asset to any creative team."