Where Will Your Job Search Take You?

The staff of Career & Leadership Development helps UW-Whitewater students and alumni with all aspects of their job search, including talking about where a graduate wishes to live for their first destination after college. As a place to live, Wisconsin is the clear first choice for UW-Whitewater graduates (approximately 87%), and our graduates contribute significantly to our state economy and our communities. This isn’t surprising – Wisconsin is a wonderful place to live.

If you’ve spent your whole life living in one place, it may be scary to contemplate moving to another part of the state or country. Fear of the unknown may mean that some of us stay where we’re most comfortable, and limit our life choices as a result.

I find it fascinating to talk with our international students – all have taken a leap of faith to experience life in the United States and our campus community. I’m also intrigued by the stories our students share about their study abroad experiences. They are often life changing. Decisions about our career are ultimately decisions about our lives, and where we want or need to live is an important aspect of our development as professionals.

Move to NYC

I’d like to provide you with some things to consider while contemplating the location of your first job. I talked with one of my colleagues, Melissa Grosso, Leadership Advisor in Career & Leadership Development. Melissa has experienced several significant moves in her life, and I trust her opinion and advice on the matter of relocating. Here are Melissa’s top three tips for those of you thinking about making a move to an unfamiliar place after graduation:

  1. Some graduates follow the job to the place, others pick the place and then find a job. If you prefer the latter (picking the place first), then know what you want, and research the region and communities to see which best align with your needs. I’m not a big city person. I like visiting, I just don’t want to live there. Knowing this, I may not be happy moving to New York City. Population, region of the country, climate, and culture all may have an impact on your happiness. Make sure you know what you want.
  2. If possible, make a visit to check out the area. This allows you to gain a fairly good feel of the place – much like choosing a college. Most of us have experienced the move to college, and what we see on paper and what we feel when we’re on campus may vary.
  3. Don’t get stuck on the details. There are many things to consider when making a move, lots of logistical tasks to manage and sort through. It can seem overwhelming to focus on all of these details early in the process. Rather, focus on the big picture and let things fall into place as you progress through the move.

Make sure to visit with a staff member in Career & Leadership Development for all of your career needs. We have various tools to help you identify job openings in various locations, and are willing to listen and help you sort through your options.

Photo by Jennine Jacob.

From the Archives: Soar with a Major in Health, Human Performance and Recreation Major

This post was originally posted on January 25, 2010 by Ellen Hatfield. 

The Winter Olympics are just a few short weeks away (the Opening Ceremony is February 12th!). All eyes from around the world will be on Vancouver, British Columbia, in Canada. I thought it would be fitting to explore career paths in the field of sports and recreation.

On the UW-Whitewater campus, the department of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Coaching has a major (Health, Human Performance and Recreation) for those individuals who don’t necessarily want to teach physical education. With this major, students can choose from several different pathways for their career development. Fields include exercise science, health behavior science, sports management, coaching, and athletic training to name a few. The field is quite competitive, and if you open yourself up to the potential of pursuing different career paths within the sports and recreation fields, you’ll probably have greater success of establishing yourself professionally.

In exercise science there are a variety of areas to look at including: physical fitness, athletic training, physical or occupational therapies, education, business, or sports medicine. Sports managment areas include: amateur athletics, facilities and event management, professional teams and leagues, sports merchandising, and leisure and fitness. Also check out athletics & sport and recreation & leisure studies from University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

Employers in the sports and recreation fields are as varied as the areas of focus. Employers include: colleges and universities, national/state governing bodies, International Olympic Committee (IOC), training centers, YMCA, sports camps, stadiums, golf courses, city parks and recreation departments, professional teams, health clinics, retirement centers, resorts, rehabilitation centers, hospitals, and health clubs and fitness centers, to name just a few.

As I said before, the field of sports and recreation is competitive. You have to prepare yourself to work hard. There are some things you can do while you are still college. Join professional organizations, often there are student rates that get you all or most of the same benefits as the professionals. Get involved with athletic teams, intramurals, or other recreation programs on campus. Do one or more internships. Professional teams and leagues will often have internship opportunties in multiple areas.

Other resources online to check out:

Whatever career path you decide to choose to coordinate with your Health, Human Performance and Recreation major, do what interests you and find the career that you love.

To all, enjoy watching the Olympics in February as athletes follow their dreams and compete on snow and ice!

Photo by: t a k k  (http://www.flickr.com/photos/abphoto/ / CC BY 2.0)