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First Ascent

First Ascent is a two-year program designed to help you launch your professional career through the power of remote and hybrid work while maximizing work-life balance and building community. Hop on our email list to be the first to know when to apply!

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Exclusive Opportunity for Graduates Entering Remote and Hybrid Careers

Are you ready to find adventure, cultivate meaningful relationships, and prioritize work-life balance while simultaneously advancing your career? The First Ascent community is specifically designed to help you propel your remote or hybrid career in the mountains of West Virginia through Community, Purpose, and the Outdoors.

Map of West Virginia with featured First Ascent Communities: Morgantown area, Greater Elkins, Eastern Panhandle, Greenbrier Valley, and Huntington coming soon.

West Virginia University and Marshall University graduates who accept a full-time, remote, remote-first, or hybrid job offer are eligible to apply for a unique two-year program launching summer 2023. Selected participants will live in one of the above featured community and receive access to the following perks:

  • Professional mentorship
  • Success coaching
  • Remote worker certification
  • Entrepreneurship Ecosystem
  • Social trips & activities
  • Coworking space
  • Outdoor gear rentals
  • Outdoor recreation adventures
  • Networking opportunities
  • Community engagement
  • Professional development
  • Orientation experience

Qualified applicants will have graduated from West Virginia University or Marshall University with a bachelor's degree or higher within the past year; this includes 2022 and 2023 graduates.

Need Help Landing Your Dream Job?

Don't go it alone. Your university's Career Services Office(s) can help you accelerate your search for a full-time remote, remote-first, or hybrid career opportunity. Once you've received an offer for employment, you can apply to join the First Ascent community!

  1. Step 1: Schedule an appointment with Career Services.
  2. Step 2: Curate a job search toolkit and resume designed to resonate with your target employers.
  3. Step 3: Leverage your university's powerful employer and alumni networks, personalized career coaching sessions, and interview resources to get one step closer to the job offer you've been waiting for.

Contact Your University's Office of Career Services:

University Office Contact
Marshall University Office of Career Education Cris McDavid, Director
West Virginia University Career Services Center David Durham, Director
West Virginia University College of Business & Economics
Center for Career Development
Sarah Glenn, Director

Once you've accepted your remote, remote-first, or hybrid job offer, you can apply for First Ascent!

Notify Me When the First Ascent Application Opens


Contact the First Ascent Assistant Director:

Jessica R. Stidham, MA

More about the perks:

First Ascent pays dividends.

Close up shot of a young woman smiling while getting splashed by a wave in a raft on the New River Gorge.

Outdoor Recreation

Working in a remote or hybrid environment doesn't mean you have to stay in your living room - get outside with access to free gear rentals and facilitated outdoor excursions with our complementary outdoor recreation package. The mountains are calling. 

Students working at desks in the WVU downtown library.

Coworking Space

Remote and hybrid work is here to stay, and our co-working spaces are the solution to your productivity and time-management challenges. Stop into our community hubs to stay on top of your workload while also building community!

Two students hiking between boulders at Coopers Rock State Forest.

Social Programming

When making the transition into your professional career, a supportive community can make all the difference. To help you feel at home and find your place, join us for a variety of social events and exclusive adventures every month.

An asian man gives a presentation in front of a small crowd.

Professional Development

We've got the tools to help you grow! Set yourself up for success through carefully curated mentorship programs, a remote worker certification, and additional resources designed to support your professional aspirations.

Discover what
west virginia has to offer

Want to Make an Impact?

Make new friends and give back through amazing non-profit organizations. Discover organizations  and volunteer opportunities through your local United Way or the West Virginia Non-Profit Association.

Seek the Great Outdoors?

First Ascent will connect you with existing recreation groups in your area and help you kickstart your own adventures. Opportunities abound with the Hiking Project, WV Tourism, and opportunities more specific to your home community.

Enjoy Like-Minded Professionals?

Check out Generation West Virginia to network through virtual and in-person meet ups for meaningful exchanges of resources and ideas, or check out other local opportunities in your region!

Love a Good Meal?

The West Virginian food scene has something for every palate! Not sure what's for dinner? Explore our state's culinary line up with Candace Lately, a blog highlighting local food culture across the state.  

Be the first to know when the First Ascent application opens!