Ursula Olender

Internship & Career Advisor

Director, Career Advising and Employer Relations

 work(802) 443-5107
 Adirondack House 201
 Finance, Business and Entrepreneurship


My advising philosophy:

In order to guide you toward your definition of personal and career success, I work to understand what inspires you and makes you tick.  I care deeply about students and demonstrate this through deep listening, personal integrity, and action.  I have been heavily influenced by a few approached to career advising, including Carl Jung’s Personality Type Theory, Martin Seligman’s Positive Psychology, and John Krumboltz’s Happenstance Learning Theory which emphasizes exploration, learning, action, and satisfying real world outcomes.

Come see me if... 

you are interested in careers in finance or other business-related internships, jobs, or careers.  I am also interested in meeting you to hear feedback regarding career advising, resources, and programs.

How did you get to Midd, Ursula? 

My life’s work has been supporting liberal arts students who are in pursuit of their goals and dreams.  After completing a B.A. in psychology at Greenville College (IL) and M.Ed. in counseling at Springfield College (MA) I held positions in career services at Champlain College and Dartmouth College and directed career centers at Colgate University and Amherst College.  After several years away from Vermont, I joined Middlebury College in March 2016.

What's the most rewarding aspect of your role at Middlebury? 

I feel extremely privileged to be able to guide students through conversations about who they want to “be” and what they want to “do”.

What is one crossroad or misstep you faced in your professional career, and how do you reflect on it now?

Early in my career I struggled with building a life outside of work.  I’ve learned that it is important to invest in personal and professional relationships, join and volunteer for community groups, and develop outlets that are separate from work.

Wisdom you want all Middlebury students to know, in six words or less:

Share your ideas and take risks.

An anonymous donor is paying for all your expenses to live abroad for a year. You must leave immediately, and packing is not an option. Where do you go, and why?

I have a dear uncle who lives part-time on the south central Pacific coast of Costa Rica in Ojochal.  The weather, tropical biodiversity, language, beaches, availability of fresh fruit (I love limes and starfruit), and time spent with a loved one make it super appealing. 

Your alter ego spends her day as...

a dog trainer.  I have two "field-bred" dogs, an English Setter and an English Springer Spaniel who love me unconditionally and keep me busy.  I’d love to learn more about training dogs for agility competition and field trials.