Student Affairs

Transitioning from Student Affairs into the Private Sector

Duration: 1 hour
Facilitator: Dr. Aaron Hughey
Price: $50.00

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Some student affairs professionals, for a variety of reasons, eventually reach a point in their careers where they feel the need to move out of the academic realm. They may become disillusioned with the direction of the field, be influenced by family and friends to move in a different direction or be drawn by the allure of more money and an enhanced lifestyle.

Regardless of the reasons, there will always be those who choose to leave the college campus for the private sector. This webinar will explore what motivates some student affairs professionals to make the move to a different occupational environment and how they can use what they have learned while working in higher education to their advantage in the outside job market.

The focus of the webinar will be on concrete strategies that will help those who do decide to leave the field to make the transition to business and industry in a purposeful and efficient manner. Included in the discussion will be how to leverage the competencies and skills they have acquired while working in student affairs to their advantage in the larger job market.

Brief Outline:

  • Why a Student Affairs Professional Would Want to Leave the Field
  • What It Takes to be Successful in Student Affairs
  • What It Takes to be Successful in the Private Sector
  • Transferrable/Universal Skills
  • Marketing Yourself to the Outside World
  • Tips for the Application and Interview Process
  • Pitfalls to Avoid When Applying for a Position in the Private Sector
  • Case Studies from the Proverbial “Real World”

Learning Outcomes:

  • Why some student affairs professionals are leaving the field.
  • How success is defined in student affairs and the private sector.
  • How to use what you have learned in academia in other occupational environments.
  • How to market yourself outside higher education.
  • How to apply to, and interview for, positions in the private sector.
  • How to navigate the challenges you will encounter when you move off campus.
  • How others have made a successful transition to the private sector.

Who Should Attend:

For anyone who is looking to move out of student affairs into the private sector; the focus will be on securing entry- and mid-level positions in business and industry.


Dr. Aaron Hughey is a University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Counseling and Student Affairs at Western Kentucky University, where he oversees the graduate degree program in Student Affairs in Higher Education. Before joining the faculty in 1991, he spent 10 years in progressive administrative positions, including five years as the Associate Director of University Housing at WKU. He was also head of the Department of Counseling and Student Affairs for five years before returning to the faculty full-time in 2008. Dr. Hughey has degrees from the University of Tennessee at Martin, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Western Kentucky University, and Northern Illinois University. He has authored (or co-authored) over 60 refereed publications on a wide range of issues including leadership and student development, standardized testing, diversity, legal issues (including compliance), technology, and educational administration. He regularly presents at national and international conferences and consults extensively with companies and schools. He also provides training and professional development programs on a variety of topics; due to his extensive work in business and industry, successfully transitioning from student affairs into the private sector is one of his specialties.

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