Ashley graduated from Vermont State University (formerly known as Vermont Tech) in 2013 with her Associate in Civil and Environmental Engineering. When looking for schools, Vermont Tech was on her radar because of the high placement rate (learn more about Vermont Tech ranking #1 for return on investment) and she wanted to stay local.
During her time at Vermont State – Randolph Center campus, Ashley enjoyed her classes and noted that one of her favorites is the environmental and hydraulics classes, stating, “These classes have helped me the most in my work history.” She also used Career Services to help set up an internship through Pike Industries, explaining, “The internship at Pike Industries provided a good foundation of materials that helped in my second-year classes and my work history as well.” When she completed her degree, Ashley noted that the process from being a student to an employee was ‘seamless.’ She went on to say, “VTC has a very rigid program that ingrains individuals to be very independent, organized, and manage time-sensitive projects. These strengths are needed to be a successful employee.”
After graduating, Ashley started her first employment opportunity and shared that it took time to figure out what about her degree she liked the most and wanted to work in. Starting in construction, she shared that she found she liked working more in the environmental aspect, which has led her to her current position, working for the state, as an AOT Manager IV for the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) (Read more about VTrans partnership with VTSU).
Her responsibilities include overseeing the drawbridge operations and maintenance in North Hero-Grand Isle. She also is a point for emergency recovery on state and town routes within the Northwest region of the state and manages and assesses the conditions of state roadway assets within the northern part of the state. Her favorite part of the job she shared is, “being the conduit for individuals to help get them the answers that they need. I also enjoy being a part of the recovery to help get the state and municipalities back up on their feet.” Ashley further stated, “The work that I do for the state is linked to my degree. My degree and the knowledge that I had learned from the program have helped me get to where I am now.”
Her advice to potential and current students of Vermont State is, “Take your time, there will be many opportunities. Never settle and also make sure you look at the benefits and retirement, not just the starting pay!”