Wherever you go, there you are


Looking back at my short work history, I can say that I was pretty darn lucky. During high school almost all of my friends and classmates held various jobs in town. Particularly, My best friends were working at all too familiar outlets, such as the local Stop and Shop, delivering pizzas at the Domino’s in the center of town, or making sandwiches at Quizno’s and Bruegger’s at the strip mall that hosted them both.

My first work experience came in high school, and was very enjoyable as I was working at my good friend’s lawn service, J and P Landscaping. Not only did the benefits of working with good friends allow me to enjoy the time I spent on the job, but I was able to be outside for many hours while also developing my customer service skills in a professional setting for the first time. For the first time in my life (at 17), I was responsible for handling scheduling duties as well conducting telephone interviews with current clients to ensure our meeting arrangements were still being honored. As my time at the company progressed, my role migrated towards something I felt much more suited for me. I was put on the front lines of customer service by being one of the field representatives who would meet with the client face to face to help explain the process that would be occurring at their establishments for the day. This role gave me the opportunity to “geek out” about the environmental side of the process in the form of explaining which fertilizers would be applied, and why they were beneficial over many of the competitors.

After moving to Burlington and working a forgettable job at a gas station just for the mere focus of having enough money to pay the summers rent and afford concert tickets, I finally landed a Job at the local City Market Cooperative. While the work was crappy (stocking shelves) I was happy enough just to be working at a company so conscious of their impact on the environment and the community. However, I soon tired of the monotonous work and started to question why I was spending all of this time and energy in school just to stock shelves.

Luckily for me, Quitting work at that environmentally conscious company opened the door for me to work at another environmentally conscious entity: but this time, I would be put on the frontlines of the battle to inform youth about the real dangers and severity of climate changes and it’s causes. Vermonters For a Sustainable Population (VSP) was kind enough to give me the opportunity to lead their marketing outreach strategy to those <40. While I was excited at the time of the job offer, I was also nervous of the workload. For the first time in my life, I was put in charge of a project that drew from both my fields of study, and let me tell you: I was nervous. I didn’t know what to expect, I wasn’t sure how big the marketing department was, I didn’t know if I could handle all the workloads, the list goes on.

Luckily, much of my fears were relieved once the job kicked off. My supervisor was very friendly and understanding of the heavy workload, but still encouraged me to push the envelope and see what I really could get done. After various meetings with the board of directors explaining my progress, drafting the companies first every weekly e-mail newsletter, and writing a scientific article that got published on UVM’s website and other Vermont sites, and after a long thoughtful exchange with my old supervisor up at his farm, my interns my internship had come to a close. While I felt accomplished of my work and was ready to prepare for the upcoming semester, I still couldn’t help but to wonder what other similar jobs were out there. My mind raced of the possibilities: from being a market researcher with a green company to policy planning for the state government, and everything in between. Soon, my indecision turned into frustration and I was wondering if I could even find one of these great jobs. Then it hit me all at once: I was only looking for jobs I places I was familiar with. My mind started racing and remembering lessons my father taught me and what my old supervisor had encouraged on the job. I realized that this was no time to be nervous of the future, but rather excited about the new doors that lie ahead.

Taken on a Visit to CSWD’s composting facility when I was working at Vermonters for a Sustainable Population

While I am still in college and still haven’t found that ideal job for the week after I graduate, I realized something incredibly important: I probably am not going to find it by sitting on the internet going through job portals such as monster.com. Rather, I realized that I should be proactively searching this country for what it has to offer and experiencing it with my own eyes, and not going off a description posted on the internet. I hope to explore this beautiful country when I graduate to not only learn more about places I have never seen, but to also see how a student from a school like Champlain who has been well equipped with tools applicable to the Business and Environmental Policy world can make a difference in a place where it might really be needed. Regardless I think it is very important for us who are graduating to keep an open mind as well as a desire to learn and explore more, as if there’s one thing I’ve learned from my elders, it’s that you can’t plan for the best breaks in life.

“Just Remember, Wherever you go, there you are” Buckaroo Banzai

With my colleuges at Burlington Electric Department’s MacNeil Wood Generating Plant (everyone else missed the air chainsaw memo)



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One thought on “Wherever you go, there you are

  1. David McDonough

    Nicely said, AJack. I’m sure you will find a job soon, and It’s great that you want to do something so worthwhile. And I’m glad your dad got you to see Buckaroo Banzai.


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