By Sarah Tuff Dunn
Russell Hirschorn has plenty of talking points on his résumé—meat-packer at B. Rosen, webmaster at Bedbathstore.com, and systems analyst at Hess Corporation—before his current seven-year stint at Polaris Management, which provides management and technology consulting services to life sciences companies. But there’s one that really stuck with recruiters since he graduated from UVM in 2009: sticker collecting.
“To this day, I’m still well known for that,” says Hirschorn of the hobby. “It was a great differentiator in interviews that made it more of a friendly discussion than an interrogation.”
Photo by Mark Turnauckas/Flickr
A Long Island native, Hirschorn studied management information systems at UVM upon realizing the long-term career options in a rapidly expanding industry. “Every company has some kind of technology component,” he says. “Whether it be internal systems or technology products, every organization is a potential job opportunity.”
Here, Hirschorn shares tips on how to turn hobbies, and hard-earned education, into potential job opportunities.
Tell us about your career stepping-stones at Bedbathstore.com and Hess.
Bedbathstore.com was an after-school and weekend job doing odd tasks—inventory, website management, filling orders, and so on. Nothing exciting. This experience, coupled with working with my dad in the meatpacking business (waking up at 3 a.m. to fill veal and lamb orders and pack livers) pushed me to do well at school by knowing what I definitely didn’t want to do. I met a Hess contact at a UVM networking event and prepared a lot, which included learning as much as I could about the company before the interview. I was honest and well spoken, sent handwritten thank-you cards on personalized stationary to everyone I met, and ended up with an opportunity that really kick-started my career.
Read the full interview on the UVM Outreach Blog.