Looking for a Post-Grad Destination? Up-and-Coming Cities Make Great Options for Business Students

Where do you see yourself living in the next 10 years? It’s a question that college students have probably been asked too many times to count. Though the most popular answer for Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management students may be New York City, there are many other interesting cities with a lot to offer a new graduate. These three up-and-coming locations have startups and established companies alike. Which one could be your next destination?


While many business students may think of Nashville, Tennessee, as a tourist attraction for country music fans, there is so much more to this city. Nashville is a hub for the healthcare, banking and transportation industries, as well as entertainment. It is the home of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, the Nashville Opera and the Nashville Ballet. The Country Music Awards (CMA) Music Festival also brings thousands of people to the city every year.

Sam McArthur ’20 moved to Nashville immediately after graduation to work at Amazon and says it was a perfect fit for him. “I wanted to move to a place that had big city perks but also allowed me the freedom to drive anywhere or head off into nature if I desired,” he says. “We have a little bit of everything here for any appetite or interest. The city is a rapidly growing melting pot with a hint of southern hospitality and a rich history.”

“Amazon is expanding rapidly here, especially in the realm of supply chain, and we are in the process of constructing a big, beautiful Operations Center of Excellence,” adds McArthur, who majored in business management and supply chain operations at Whitman.

In addition to Amazon, many major companies are also located here, including Lyft, Eventbrite, Postmates, FedEx, HCA Healthcare and Community Health Systems. However, Nashville is also becoming a destination for startups, like Emma, an email marketing software company; Built, a FinTech company in the construction industry; and Jump Crew, a sales and marketing firm that works with B2B companies.

A 2020 Wall Street Journal report indicates that there’s nowhere to go but up for Nashville, with job growth at 2.2%, wage growth at 3.0%, and unemployment low at 2.6%.


The home to many young professionals looking to develop their careers in a lively Texas city, Austin was nicknamed the “Silicon Hills” in the ‘90s for its robust job market that includes many technology and business opportunities. Austin is also a popular destination for music and culture, as it is known as The Live Music Capital of the World and is home to the annual South by Southwest festival.

Lucas Krupkin ’20 (WHIT/NEW) works at Facebook in Austin and was drawn by the quickly growing and youthful city with a lot to offer a recent graduate. “You have summer weather year-round, and most people who move to Austin are young, which makes it all the more fun. Austin has made the transition from being a town to a city. Major companies have moved their headquarters here, and it is the capital of one of the most important states,” he says. “I’ve never heard someone say a bad thing about the place. I joke with my friends that the city of Austin has a great marketing and PR team!”

There are many major companies located in Austin. Whole Foods is headquartered in this city, and Dell Inc. headquarters is in the nearby suburb of Round Rock. Others include IBM, Apple, Accenture, 3M, Kendra Scott, Visa and Vrbo.

Startups also thrive in Austin, like Sana Benefits, a company that’s reimagining the conversation around health insurance; Bungalo, a real estate company; and Crave Retail, a firm that aims to combine e-commerce and brick-and-mortar retail.

Austin’s popularity doesn’t appear to be slowing down, with job growth at 2.3% in 2020, wage growth at 5.0%, and unemployment down to 2.7%, according to the Wall Street Journal.


Denver has diverse economy and a location that makes it a convenient distribution center for the western half of the U.S. Its location just east of the Rocky Mountains makes it a prime spot for mining and energy companies, and it is also home to many technology and telecommunication firms.

“Denver is a great city for living a balanced professional life,” shares Catherine Lattier ’19 MBA, who works at Deloitte. “Everyone works hard but also really appreciates the exciting outdoors and social scene that surrounds us here. The opportunities to get involved with a variety of unique, successful startups, as well as industry giants is rapidly expanding, leading to more and more professionals flocking to this great city.”

There is no shortage of opportunities for Whitman students in Denver. Financial standouts U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo have branches here, and there are also large mining and energy companies like Halliburton and Newmont Mining, as well as well-known corporations like IBM, Comcast, Lockheed Martin and United Airlines.

As for startups, there is an array of innovative companies to choose from. For example, SonderMind, created in 2017, is a firm that matches its customers with therapists based on a person’s location, insurance and specific needs. So far, the company has raised millions of dollars and is quickly growing. Another new addition to the marketplace is Catalyze, a startup focused on making businesses more sustainable by working to transform them from being fossil-fuel consumers into renewable energy power plants.

Denver’s job growth in 2020 was 1.7%, wage growth was 4.8%, and the city had a low unemployment rate of 3.0%.

So while the Big Apple certainly has its draw, Whitman students shouldn’t count out these and other major cities that offer great options for businesses students, as well as a chance to experience unique and interesting people, places and experiences.

Learn more about where our students have found jobs and internships from the Whitman Career Center.

Mallory Carlson
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