New Year, New Adventure!

by Susan Mathieson

After three years loving the southern life, this Philly girl has finally returned home! It is surreal to think I am writing this from my parents house, where I am no longer just visiting for the holidays. In the fall of 2014, I got a phone call from a few good friends from my undergraduate days letting me know that our alma mater was going to have a position opening. As a new professional, I heard “don’t leave a job after a year” more times than I can count, so I was hesitant about even thinking about the opportunity. I was still less than six months into my first post-grad role, how could I even entertain the thought of leaving. But after some soul searching and calling every friend, family member and mentor I had – I decided to apply and see where it led. The opportunity to move closer to family, work at your alma mater in your functional area doesn’t come everyday.

For a few months, I didn’t hear anything and admittedly gave up hope. Then one cold day in January as I was on a bus to Indianapolis, I got a call inviting me to come to campus. Two weeks later, I was in PA interviewing for my dream position and celebrating my birthday with my entire family. Even though the ground was covered in snow and I almost froze to death, being on the campus where I had four amazing and life changing years, was an incredible feeling.

I can’t say that this was an easy decision to make, Alabama had in all ways become my home. I was at an institution where the students and staff became my family, found the most amazing man and truly loved everything that Huntsville had to offer. But when weighing my options, nothing could outweigh working for my alma mater and being at home with my family. While I miss UAH dearly, there hasn’t been a day that has gone by that I feel as if I made the wrong decision.

For those of you reading this, don’t feel that you are tied to an institution or role because of the industry norms. You have to do what is best for you personally and professionally and this sometimes means leaving a position sooner than you originally anticipated. While it meant losing a member of her staff, my supervisor supported me fully and encouraged me to make the best decision for me. I can’t thank her enough for that.

Now after many years, I have found myself adjusting to the northeast and the differences between living outside of Philadelphia and living in Georgia/Alabama. Let me tell you – there are quite a few!

Student Affairs - the First Years

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1 comment :

  1. I saw you were heading back to the cold land! congratulations on your position and being close to home. I've been away from home for almost 6 years now and I would jump at the opportunity to be closer to home! good luck!


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