Thursday, June 8, 2017

Post-Grad Pondering : My First "Real" Job!

Hi all! I know it's been a while...but for those of you who are still with me, welcome back to Stories of St. Mike's: Alumni Edition!

If you were reading along through the last semester, you probably know I've been in the throes of the job search process since Easter: slaving over my LinkedIn profile, resume, and cover letters, applying to one position after the next, reaching out to alumni and other connections at companies I was interested in, juggling phone calls, e-mails, meetings, and more. As any recent grad knows, this is pretty much a full time job in itself, likely in addition to crawling back to your old summer gig to replenish your bank account.

Well...(drumroll please)...I'm here to tell you that after two months and 22 job applications, I have officially accepted a job offer! 

Having loved writing for as long as I can remember, I am so grateful for the opportunity to now write for a living. I will be a Junior Copywriter for a healthcare staffing company, writing blog posts for their site, copy for social media posts, and more!

On top of that, it offers an exciting, fast-paced environment, the chance to build my adaptability to different styles and audiences, and an easy thirty-minute commute!

I am so excited (and nervous, of course!) to start in just under a week-and-a-half, and I can't wait to see what this next chapter of my life brings!

On to the real world!

Let's Connect!
Instagram: @claire_cavanaugh
Twitter: @CavanaughClaire

Monday, May 15, 2017

Post-Grad Pondering : Graduation

Hello all!

I'm writing to you from my first day as a graduate from St. Michael's College. Yesterday was a blur of emotions, a whirlwind of goodbyes, and an overall surreal experience. It flew by in what didn't seem like enough time to let things truly sink in. (Will any amount of time be enough, really??) And while no photo can fully capture that, I wanted to give you a quick glimpse of my graduation.

A quick "holy crap we're graduating" selfie on our walk to the library for the official class picture before procession. 

Me and my roommate of three years, Marissa! If you've read my post about the highlights of my St. Mike's experience, you know I met Marissa on POW, one of the college's summer orientation weekends. She's since become not only my roommate, but my closest friend at St. Mike's. Love you, Marissa! 

St. Mike's, thank you for everything. Vermont, we'll be back soon.

Until next time!

Let's Connect!
Instagram: @claire_cavanaugh
Twitter: @CavanaughClaire

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

What-to-Know Wednesday : Thank You

Well, here we are...I just completed my last final this morning, and can now officially say I am done with college!

As you may already know, this will be my very last What-to-Know Wednesday at St. Mike's! I'm going to do my best to post a few photos this Sunday after graduation, but I can't make any promises I'll be able to do it in time to make it an official "Sum-It-Up Sunday."

Nevertheless, I want to thank you ALL for reading along these past four years, and most of all, I want to thank St. Michael's College for providing the best college experience I could have asked for. It's been an incredible ride, and one I'll never forget or take for granted. I could say so much more, but I think my feelings have been pretty adequately summed up over my last couple weeks of posts (and my last four years of posts, for that matter!).

Of course, my journey as a student at St. Mike's now transitions into my journey as an alum! In this way, I will continue being an ambassador for the college in all ways I can. I would love to hear from any of you, prospective students or current ones, and do my best to answer any of your questions or provide you with any sort of advice or assistance you may be seeking! My e-mail listed below will remain active, so feel free to reach out with that.

As for what you can expect from this blog going forward, I would love to continue posting every now and then about post-grad life and my experiences as a St. Mike's alum, so keep an eye out!

I love you all! Thank you, thank you, thank you.


Let's Connect!
Instagram: @claire_cavanaugh
Twitter: @CavanaughClaire

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Sum-It-Up Sunday : Week #16

Hello all! It was a wonderful last few days of classes this week at SMC! And with only a few more left of finals, us seniors are getting closer and closer to the big day by the second. I have to keep reminding myself that these are going to be some of our last memories of college, and I'm still struggling to let that sink in!

Here are a few snapshots from my week...

This Tuesday, the Founders Society held its annual End of Year Celebration! It was a wonderful evening of presenting awards to individuals who had made exceptional contributions to Founders this year, celebrating with my fellow exiting coordinators, and welcoming the individuals who will be replacing us next year! It was an incredible year doing an incredible job with an incredible group of people, and I don't plan on forgetting it any time soon! Thank you for everything, Founders!

A burger at Vermont Pub & Brewery on Wednesday night to celebrate our last day of classes ever at St. Mike's! 

Dinner Friday night at Folino's Pizza in Shelburne! TIP: sometimes you have to look beyond the Burlington hot spots to find the best places, and this is one of those places! You will not regret ordering the Firecracker Shrimp pizza! 

Happy Derby Day! It's never a bad time to get dressed up and celebrate the end of the year with your peers!

Alright friends. I can't believe I've finally gotten to this particular sign-off - but be sure to stay tuned for my last What-to-Know Wednesday on the 10th!

Let's Connect!
Instagram: @claire_cavanaugh
Twitter: @CavanaughClaire

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

What-to-Know Wednesday : Why St. Mike's? Highlights From 4 Years at My Dream School

Greetings from the last day of classes this year, and for graduating seniors like me, our last day of classes ever!

Through my last four years as a student ambassador for St. Michael's College, I've learned that most every prospective student and parent want to know the same thing: what made you choose St. Mike's?

It's a really good question. What attracts students to a school is crucial to their decision process. However, I'd argue it be asked a little differently to prompt a much more valuable answer. As a fourth year student ambassador and soon-to-be St. Mike's graduate, I'd revise the question: what made your college experience truly worthwhile beyond your initial choice to go there?

Today, I'll be going over not what made me choose St. Mike's, but rather what made my overall St. Mike's experience. Don't get me wrong, the things that make us initially choose a school are important, and they're a fun story to tell. But as long as we change and grow as individuals, our values change with us. Expectations aren't guaranteed to be met, or to adapt along with us for that matter. No matter our perceptions of the school as we navigate the application and acceptance processes, no matter how many shirts we buy from the campus store on a prospective visit, the experiences a school actually brings us through our time there are the true indications of what make it our dream school. After four years, St. Mike's is still mine. What will you do to make it yours?


For those of you who don't yet know, POW is one of our summer orientation weekend options for incoming First Years. While you aren't by any means required to attend one, I'd highly recommend taking the chance to meet some of your peers in advance, interact with current students (who will be leading the trip), and take a sort of "practice run" before move-in weekend (which can be a lot to handle all at once when it comes to meeting people).

While I can't guarantee you'll have the same experience, my POW would build deep connections that carried through my upcoming St. Mike's career. I met my would-be boyfriend of almost four years (and yes, we're still together!), and the girl who would turn out to be my roommate from sophomore year on and my closest friend at St. Mike's!

Media Studies, Journalism & Digital Arts

I'm lucky to have had a major that makes this list. It brought an experience I know I wouldn't have had in any other major or at any other school. Read more about my MJD experience here.

Founders Society

The reason you're reading this blog post right now is because I've been a Social Ambassador for the Founders Society, St. Mike's' student ambassador organization, since my first year!

From running my own blog about student life at St. Mike's, to participating in Knight Chats, to helping kick off our student life Instagram and Snapchat accounts, to eventually being promoted to the student leader of the Social Ambassador program as one of four Founders Society coordinators, Founders couldn't have been a better way to get involved on campus over my last four years at St. Mike's.


The summer before my junior year, I spent two weeks on a media-focused study tour to China! Along with a group of my Media Studies, Journalism & Digital Arts peers and two MJD professors, I leapt outside my comfort zone, explored the media culture of a country so vastly different from ours, and traveled to places most Americans will never see.

FUN FACT: We climbed a section of the Great Wall that was otherwise closed to the public. We were pretty much the only ones out there, until eventually, a group of two or three girls showed up behind us. We'd come upon very few Americans over the course of the trip, if any. Surprised and excited to finally run into some, we eagerly exchanged greetings with the girls. We'd never met before, but to my shock, it didn't take much small talk to discover we were from not only the same state, but the SAME TOWN back in the US! Here I was on the Great Freaking Wall of China, meeting someone for the first time whose home was mere minutes from mine.

On a trip that taught me just how wide this world is, the world got pretty darn small again that particular day at one of its seven wonders.

My Book

Yes, I wrote a book! I've made the executive decision that I've already talked too much about it on this blog, and in general for that matter. Want to know more? Take a scroll through my last couple weeks of posts and you'll find plenty!

What will be the highlights of your St. Mike's experience? Be sure to stay tuned for the next Sum-It-Up Sunday on the 7th!

Let's Connect!
Instagram: @claire_cavanaugh
Twitter: @CavanaughClaire

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Sum-It-Up Sunday : Week #15

Hello all! It's been another wonderful week here at St. Mike's.

This Wednesday, the Media Studies, Journalism & Digital Arts department held its annual symposium to showcase this year's senior seminar projects! Us MJD seniors got dressed up and hit the Roy Room armed with posters, handouts, and more to present the fruits of our last six months of labor and celebrate the finalization of our MJD careers! It was wonderful speaking with the individuals who approached my table to ask about my project and sharing the excitement with my fellow MJD seniors. 

#KeepVermontWeird at Church Street's newly renovated Ben & Jerry's scoop shop! We enjoyed our ice cream and a warm night in Burlington. 

Stay tuned for the next What-to-Know Wednesday on the 3rd and be sure to keep an eye out on Snapchat this coming week (@smcknights), where you can catch a week in the life of a Knight from yours truly! 

Let's Connect!
Instagram: @claire_cavanaugh
Twitter: @CavanaughClaire

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

What-to-Know Wednesday : Off Campus Favorites

Hey all! I know I've done a few posts like this in the past. But in light of my impending graduation in just 18 days (!!!), I'm feeling nostalgic lately about some of my favorite things and places in VT - many of which I'll be visiting for the last time very soon, and some of which I've already said goodbye to...for now, that is. Incoming First Years, take note!

The Outdoors

Smuggler's Notch

If you've been reading along on Stories of St. Mike's, you know you can find me here almost every winter weekend! Even if SMC didn't offer a $65 season pass (!), I think Smugg's would still be my mountain of choice. A wide variety of trails, an easily navigable size, gorgeous views, and a great group of people made Smugg's a fast favorite from the beginning!

Camel's Hump

It's no leisurely stroll through the woods, but Camel's Hump has been one of our favorite hikes for a reason. You just can't beat that view! Bring lots of water, lots of snacks, and all of your motivation - you'll be rewarded at the top!

Nebraska Notch

While we only hiked the Nebraska Notch trail twice, we wish we'd found this gem earlier! You don't get that incredible mountaintop view that Camel's Hump offers, but if you take the trail to Taylor Lodge, you'll come to this cute little cabin! Take a lunch break and be sure to sign your name in the book. This beautiful hike offers a lot of visual variety, and still provides a workout without the intensity and elevation gain of Camel's Hump.

Mt. Philo

If you still want a workout and a view but aren't looking to make a day out of it, opt for Philo! This quickie hike offers substantial elevation gain in only a twenty minute trip up. But believe me, you'll want to stay at the top for a little while! Take in the views of beautiful Vermont farmland below, lounge at a picnic table, and I'd recommend taking the Devil's Chair route back down!

The Food

Our House Bistro

Anyone who knows me knows this is my spot. Amazing food, drink, a fun atmosphere, and great people have made Our House our favorite restaurant in the area. And of course, it doesn't hurt that it's only a few minutes from campus! Get one of their many incredible specialty mac and cheeses (their Cheeseburger Mac is pictured above!), and be sure to start with an order of fried pickles. You'll thank me later!

Al's French Fries

You can't beat a quick trip to Al's for a burger, fries, and a shake! (Can you tell I'm not counting any calories up here? But hey, by now you know we hike.) This fun, old school diner-themed spot is locals-approved, so that should tell you everything you need to know. Get there - you won't regret it!

The Juicebox

If you're looking for something a little on the healthier side, look no further than The Juicebox! Just off of Church Street and a little more reasonably priced than other similar places in the area, this is our go-to spot for smoothies, acai bowls, and a whole bunch of other good-for-you treats.

Poorhouse Pies

Nothing says "Vermont" quite like this adorable self-service pie stand in Underhill, VT! Drive right up, pick your pie from a variety of weekly flavors (Raspberry pictured above!), and leave your money in their designated box! Use their provided throw-away silverware and plates to have a slice right then and there, or take it straight home to enjoy later. Either way, Poorhouse Pies is an absolute must visit! (Fun fact: it's been featured in a PBS documentary! Check it out!)


Church Street & the Waterfront

These two go without saying! Just get often as possible!

Shelburne Orchards

Shelburne Orchards have been one of my very favorite off campus spots for a while! Pick some apples, grab a bag of doughnuts and a cup of hot cider, and enjoy the fun, classic atmosphere! And don't forget to make a pie later, too.

Magic Hat Artifactory

***This one is 21+. If you're of age, the Magic Hat Artifactory is a fun, unique spot for free samples and a cool tour!

What will be your favorite spots? Thanks for reading, and be sure to stay tuned for the next Sum-It-Up Sunday on the 30th!

Let's Connect!
Instagram: @claire_cavanaugh
Twitter: @CavanaughClaire