Employer Advice: Opportunities that Led me to My Career

By Vlada Yaremenko, Business Development Analyst, Economic Development Corporation of Utah /UofU Alumna’19 International/Global Studies  


Vlada is answering 3 questions from CPDC about her college experiences 

Q: What college experiences led you to your current career? 

A: It was a combination of experiences that led me to where I am today. I was fortunate to participate in three Hinckley Internships, a study abroad, a Career Trek, and a Capitol Encounter class during college. I also worked as a career ambassador at the Career and Professional Development Center which gave me a meaningful work experience during college. Like a snowball, all of these experiences have helped me develop important skills leading to the next opportunity and, finally, to my career. 

My first two internships were with non-profits: with the United States National Committee for UN Women Utah Chapter in Salt Lake City; and Maitri India, in New Delhi, India. Both of these internships focused on women’s issues. My third internship was with Young Professional in Foreign Policy in Washington, DC and focused on foreign relations. The Career Trek exposed me to the business world, and Capitol Encounter class taught me how to write a policy and present it on the Hill in DC. 

Following these experiences, I got involved with the planning of the 68th United Nations Civil Society Conference. There I met people from all over the world and from different backgrounds and industries. This is where I found out about the opportunity at the Economic Development Corporation of Utah (EDCUtah) – I was sitting next to EDCUtah’s president and CEO Theresa A. Foxley at an event dinner. It’s true that any conversation might be a job interview whether you know it or not. Now at EDCUtah I get to work with different businesses helping them expand or make Utah their new home. 

Q: How did you find opportunities on and off-campus? 

A: The key to finding opportunities is being resourceful. When I first started college, I was not aware of the opportunities that were available to students. Nevertheless, with the help of advisors and mentors, I discovered the Hinckley Institute, Office for Learning Abroad, and the Career and Professional Development Center.  

From talking to different coordinators at each office, I was able to learn about what opportunities were available and how to apply for them. It took some patience with preparing applications and writing cover letters. In the end, every bit of it was worth it! Lastly, by participating in a local internship with UN Women Utah, I was able to get to know the community better, and understand what other organizations are in the area. This helped me get involved with other organizations and activities off-campus. 

Q: If you could go back, what would you do differently as a college student? 

A: I am satisfied with the way my college experience turned out. Nevertheless, one thing that I wish I did is take more business classes and other skill-based courses such as conflict resolution, negotiation, etc. Business classes would be useful for students in any major as they can provide a better understanding of the world we live in. I interact with businesses on a daily basis. It is valuable to know how this part of the world operates and how we fit into it.  Additionally, other classes such as personal finance or conflict resolution can help manage your own life and wellbeing. It is great to learn more about stocks and investing as well as how to resolve conflicts in a productive manner. 


To discuss available career opportunities, schedule an appointment with a Career Coach (Undergraduate or Graduate) or use our Virtual Career Studio’s live chat to speak with a Career Ambassador, no appointment needed.  

We are all invested in your success and are here to listen, learn, coach, and empower you to help you move forward in your career journey.