Hiring Spotlight – Blake Bergeron
October 23, 2020
Blake Bergeron joined Yale University in October 2019 as a temporary employee. In April, he was hired in a regular position at the Parent Gifts department as a Program Coordinator.
Tell us about your job search?
As a member of New Haven Works, I was grateful to see how closely the organization collaborated with the New Haven Hiring Initiative to support my job search. Through my conversations with my New Haven Works job coach, Shannon Finan, I learned precisely how to customize my resume and cover letters to demonstrate why I was a good match for various positions at Yale.
At a certain point, I was asked whether I would consider a temporary position at Yale. I was skeptical at first but came to understand that a temporary position would provide me with an excellent opportunity to demonstrate my professional skillset, build my resume, and pursue permanent work at Yale.
Tell us more about your current role?
I am grateful to have had the opportunity to join the Parent Gifts team, first on a temporary, and now on a permanent basis. I am thankful to my manager Margot Diamond for helping me understand the collaborative structures of the Office of Development and helping me get through challenging projects for which I am still building new skills. I also had a great mentor in Gladys Almodovar, who taught me to use the at-first-intimidating, but ultimately user-friendly Blackbaud fundraising platform.
As a program coordinator with Parent Gifts, I have been able to leverage and build on my skills as a writer, preparing proposals, correspondence, and a variety of other materials. I have also become much more comfortable with tools I once found intimidating, such as Microsoft Excel. All in all, I feel like I am becoming more “well-rounded” as a professional, alternating between tasks that use different sides of my brain. One moment I might find myself writing about arts programming, the next building data queries and manipulating complex spreadsheets.
What are your tips for success?
Drink coffee (or tea), stay in close contact with your advocates at the New Haven Hiring Initiative, and remain open to opportunities that you might not normally consider. Also, hang in there! There is a place for your talents, whether at Yale or elsewhere.
What is your message to other job seekers?
First, I encourage other job seekers to closely study and consistently apply the suggestions you receive for customizing your resume and cover letters. Once I learned how Yale typically screens these materials and began revising them accordingly, I noticed my success rate increase considerably.
I also urge other job seekers to consider a temporary position at Yale, should the opportunity arise. Even if a particular temporary assignment doesn’t yield a permanent role, it will provide you with competencies that can be translated across departments and units at Yale, such as using Workday and other platforms on which the university relies.