Alumni move on beyond Ohio’s wide green pastures

Abby Fisher

Credit: Steve Schirra

“I don’t know of anyone who has lived in the same city all their life,” Mike Sorohan, a 1981 graduate of Kent State, said.

Sorohan moved out of Ohio after graduation and never looked back. A native of Cleveland, Sorohan has lived in the Washington D.C. area for more than 20 years.

Sorohan spent a nine-month internship in Pennsylvania during his college years. It had been his first experience living outside the state. Since then, he always had a desire to live outside Ohio.

“After I graduated, I did interviews for jobs in Cleveland and Columbus. I sent out dozens of resumes,” Sorohan said, “but there weren’t any jobs in Ohio.”

After his job hunt yielded unsuccessful results, Sorohan packed up and moved to Harrisburg, Pa. He landed a job there three weeks later working for the Pennsylvania Democrats.

“My goal was to become a press secretary in Washington,” he said.

Matthew Butts, director of alumni relations at Kent State, said that of Kent State’s more than 160,000 registered alumni, nearly 105,000 still live in Ohio.

Likewise, Julie Stieber, an associate director at Career Services in the Michael Schwartz Center, said many of the students who come into the center for career counseling look for jobs available in the state.

“Many students want to stay in the area. Their goal is to get an internship in the region. It makes for a good stepping stone,” Stieber said.

Sorohan believes one of the reasons some people don’t stay in the same place after they graduate is because society is “more mobile than it used to be.”

“The Internet also makes it possible for people to work anywhere,” Sorohan said. “My family is all spread out. The country has become a big community.”

Sorohan still has family in the Cleveland area and enjoys coming back to Ohio.

“When I was visiting last, I looked at a community directory and spotted only one guy who still lives in the same place.”

Contact features reporter Abby Fisher at [email protected].