Moving to Colorado after college

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Moving to Colorado after college

Postby jaypeak88 » Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:12 am

HI all,

Not sure where to put this, so if a mod or admin wants to move it that's ok.

I'm a senior in college in Pennsylvania, studying geology and environmental science. Have lived in Connecticut all my life, and would love to move to Colorado after graduation this May. I've looked a lot for entry level geology/environmental science jobs in Denver and other areas, but the economy is making things tough. If I don't get a job before graduation I'm considering moving out to Denver and looking for jobs till I find one or get into grad school.

My question is, has anyone ever been in this same situation (i.e. wanted to move to Colorado, but not known how to pull it off)? Any suggestions for an aspiring young CO resident, trying to move out west without a concrete plan? I'm just looking to see if anyone has been in this situation before, and if so how you've handled it. I only get out west once or twice a year now, and would love to climb more!

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Re: Moving to Colorado after college

Postby RobertPetrowsky » Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:18 am

I moved out and enrolled in CMC just to get my feet under me. I would look at some of the gas companies in the Grand Junction area or the Forest Service and see if they have any openings in your field. As for moving out and looking for a job the cost of living could be an issue depending where you stay.
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Re: Moving to Colorado after college

Postby George James » Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:23 am

Perhaps Grad School?

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Re: Moving to Colorado after college

Postby fleetmack » Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:29 am

i finished college in may 2001, quit my internship, and moved to CO with no job. slept on a friend from high school's (went to high school in iowa, he had moved here a year prior) couch and started waiting tables. met some friends and got in on a bedroom in a big house. waited tables and snowboarded every day that winter. i got a "real job" in february of 2002 ... still at the same job. so yes, move here, wait tables (GREAT way to meet friends, by the way), and then start looking for a job after you enjoy yourself and ring up a bit more debt. already have college debt I'd assume, what's a little more going to hurt for all the fun you can have?
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Re: Moving to Colorado after college

Postby Cruiser » Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:49 am

Mrs. Cruiser and I moved out to Colorado right after she finished her undergrad (I finished mine a year earlier) from Mississippi. Neither of us had jobs and we had never been to Denver itself. We rented an appartment in Aurora for 6 months over he internet sight unseen. It was easily the best decision we could have made. That was 10 years ago and we've moved all over the metro area and both changed jobs a few times. But we're totally happy here and have no plans to leave.

Good luck! Jump in with both feet and don't look back.
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Re: Moving to Colorado after college

Postby tylermacguire » Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:14 pm

I graduated college, throw all my stuff in my truck, drove to CO and never looked back. Ended up working in a ski shop while renting a pretty crappy condo for a while but, it was totally worth it. Good luck!
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Re: Moving to Colorado after college

Postby peter303 » Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:22 pm

There are four pretty strong grad schools in geology/environmental in the area:
University of Colorado Boulder, Colorado School of Mines Golden, Colorado State University Fort Collins and University of Wyoming Laramie.
If you play your cards right and get into a research program THEY PAY YOU to attend school. Not much, but no more debt.
I recall the normal deadline is February 1st. But sometimes schools consider later apps if there is more research money than bodies.

The oil gas industry is most operations here, but booming with record levels of drilling.
Mining is expected to pick up again due to strong international demand.
Most of the white-collar geology jobs moved to Houston during the consolidations of the 1990s.
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Re: Moving to Colorado after college

Postby kushrocks » Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:39 pm

I moved here after working in Minneapolis for two years after college then moved here with no job. I love Colorado but HATE the Denver area. The rest of this state is magnificant though. I would recommend finding a room to rent. I was able to rent a room in Fort Collins for $400 including all utilites when I frist moved out here. That saved me a ton of money financially while I spent the remainder of my time searching for a job. It took me about 7 months but was worth it. I moved her in the summer and it was a very fun 7 months enjoying all that Colorado has to offer.
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Re: Moving to Colorado after college

Postby Snowgirl » Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:46 pm

As a Connecticut native myself, I was in the same predicament my senior year in college (in Maine). I told my friends I was moving to CO, somehow convinced four of them to join me, packed up my stuff and headed out here. Found a house for all of us on Craigslist day 1 (Arvada), we all got jobs, and three years later we're all still here. I'm pretty sure two of my girlfriends are here permanently (wedding bells?), and I don't have any plans to leave unless grad school brings me elsewhere. I have several friends in grad school for geology/environmental sci/chemistry at CU-Boulder and Mines, and they love it.

My advice? Go for it. We had no idea what the hell we were doing, but it's been a great adventure! As long as you're willing to take the risk, it can be pretty rewarding.
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Re: Moving to Colorado after college

Postby lostinvail » Fri Feb 18, 2011 3:02 pm

Yea...what Fletch said!

Plan minimally, Hope exponentially!And, go with Nike's slogan. I made a similar move from the midwest, with a short stop in the Arizona desert, but eventually found my "home" outside of Vail. Just don't go too crazy over-thinking or over-planning!
Yada-yada-yada, you move to the mountains, climb them, find a job...the sun sets and all is well. And the mountaineers continue the take-over!
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Re: Moving to Colorado after college

Postby Dave B » Fri Feb 18, 2011 4:19 pm

Waiting tables has found me rent and food money in 7 different states now from Florida to Hawaii and Oregon to Colorado.

The job sucks but don't underestimate it's earning potential and amazing schedule.
The mountains - whose summits reach or exceed arbitrary thresholds for elevation and prominence - are calling and I must go.

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Re: Moving to Colorado after college

Postby jaypeak88 » Sat Feb 19, 2011 3:34 pm

Wow, thanks everyone for all of your help. It sounds like lots of people just made the move because they wanted to, even without a plan, and it's worked out well. I really appreciate everyone's feedback!

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