Forging a Career: A Transitional Tale

By Woods-Scott, Urrikka B. | Aging Today, November/December 2010 | Go to article overview
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Forging a Career: A Transitional Tale


Woods-Scott, Urrikka B., Aging Today


In this current economic climate, new college graduates are facing a hard job market with dismal prospects to begin that ideal career. The dismal rate of unemployment in this recession has affected workers of all ages, but it has particularly impacted new college graduates and older mature workers the most.

According to an article in the October 19, 2009, issue ?? Bloomberg BusinessWeek, college graduates ages 22 to 27 have fared worse than their older educated peers, ages 28 to 50, during the downturn. The article describes them as "The Lost Generation," where tomorrow's would-be star employees are on the sidelines, deprived of experience and losing motivation.

For those who are lost, I freely share my compass on finding a career. When I graduated with my Bachelor of Science degree in gerontology with a focus in long-term-care administration from the University of South Florida (USF) in 2005, 1 had career aspirations to become a professional in the field of aging. I didn't know what specific area to pursue, how to begin the search and, most importantly, who to know to get there. I'm grateful for the many advisers, mentors, guides, colleagues, friends and family members who have supported my career path.

In the summer of 2006, after a year of graduate studies at USF, I had a lifechanging opportunity to intern for AARP's Office of Diversity & Inclusion, led by Dr. Percil Stanford in the national Washington, D.C., office. That event took me outside of my native Florida and placed me in the arena where national aging social policy begins.

CREATING OPPORTUNITIES

As an intern, I helped plan and coordinate the 2006 Diversity and Aging in the 21st Century Summit. The summit brought together scholars and thinkers who are raising and addressing the necessary urgent questions about aging in a more diverse society as we move into the 21st century.

I became an entrepreneur after this experience and created UBW Senior Solutions Consulting in late 2006. In 2007, as a consultant to AARP, I planned, coordinated and managed the Diversity & Aging Fellows Program for the 2007 AARP Diversity & Aging Conference in Los Angeles, Calif.

During my internship, I was fortunate to meet other young professionals in the field of aging who were also in the midst of career transition. Together we formed the Tomorrow's Leaders in Aging (TLA) group. Our mission is to cultivate, support and sustain tomorrow's leaders in the field of aging by providing networking and learning opportunities for new professionals living in the Washington, D.

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