Julia Simons ’19, Business

Learning to Lead

Julia Simons

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 says. “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 says.

Another beneficial real-world opportunity for Julia as an NVU 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 NVU’s 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 at NVU.

A Life-Changing Job on Campus

One of the most valuable parts of her time at NVU 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 says.

“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 says. “You have to be the professional you were hired to be to keep the floor safe.”

Julia took advantage of NVU’s 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 at NVU, particularly enjoyed the city’s rich music scene.

A Supportive Community

NVU’s 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 says. And the small classes made it easy to know the other students in her courses.

“There’s a lot of academic support and mental health help on campus for free. That’s one of the big reasons I chose NVU-Johnson,” Julia says. “The people at NVU are just so nice and welcoming and willing to help you.”