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UT Tyler Alumnus Miles Zeorlin

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Academics, Campus Involvement Prepare Zeorlin for Job Overseas
August 4, 2017

Miles Zeorlin embraced every opportunity to pursue his academic and extracurricular interests at The University of Texas at Tyler.

UT Tyler’s Global Awareness Through Education initiative attracted him to the university as a freshman in 2011. He was accepted into the inaugural cohort of GATE, which immersed him in the cultures of the world as part of his freshman-sophomore studies. The experience culminated in a five-week travel-study trip to Japan – his dream destination.

Zeorlin on Bike

Miles Zeorlin

His UT Tyler experiences made him the ideal candidate for a position in leadership and outdoor education at Hokkaido International School in Japan.

An avid outdoorsman with plans to work internationally in the outdoor industry, Zeorlin graduated in fall 2016 with a bachelor of science degree in mass communications. He said GATE, the UT Tyler Outdoor Adventures Program, leadership roles in student government and cross country, and many other university experiences in and out of the classroom helped prepare him for his new job.

New Role in Japan

The Tyler resident is returning to Japan this fall to begin employment in dormitory administration and outdoor education at Hokkaido International School, a private, English-speaking boarding school for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.

Located in Sapporo, on Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido, the school is surrounded by national parks, ancient forests, natural hot springs, smoking volcanoes and snow-capped peaks. The students are offered a variety of opportunities to experience the outdoors as part of their curriculum.

“They have a really big outdoor education program and I’ll be assisting with that,’’ said Zeorlin, who fills his spare time with outdoor activities, from running, biking and hiking to mountain climbing, snow skiing and water sports.

“We’ll be taking students night skiing and snowboarding twice a week, in addition to several other outdoor trips throughout the semester. The head of their school told me about a winter camping trip he took with the students. They went backpacking in the mountains and built snow caves and igloos to stay in overnight,’’ he said. “They get tons and tons of snow there, which will be different for me but I’m looking forward to it.’’

As a UT Tyler student, Zeorlin was involved in the recreational sports department’s Outdoor Adventures Program, participating in sporting events each semester, attending a statewide outdoor activities leadership conference and traveling to Maine and Boston to go white water rafting, sea kayaking, mountain climbing and more in the summer.

He learned about the job opening at Hokkaido International School through an online search of employment opportunities.

“I knew I wanted to work in the outdoor industry in some facet and was looking for international opportunities related to that,’’ said Zeorlin, who is primarily interested in a career in outdoor industry marketing.

He said the new job will give him firsthand experience in international outdoor sporting and show he is capable of living and working abroad. He also is looking into attending graduate school at an English-speaking university in Hokkaido.

Zeorlin has wanted to return to Japan ever since the GATE trip. “Everyone in GATE loved Japan, but I think I was the only person who wasn’t ready to come home,’’ he said with a laugh.  

“GATE was a huge draw in my coming to UT Tyler,’’ he added. “I was able to travel abroad; and Japan was a place I always wanted to visit, because the culture is incredibly different than ours.’’

Building His Resume

Minoring in political science, Zeorlin also participated in UT Tyler’s award-winning Model United Nations Program, learning about the international system and assuming the role of Model UN diplomat. “I was able to represent the nation of Israel at a Model UN conference in Atlanta, Georgia,’’ he said.

In the UT Tyler Student Government Association, he served as senator for the College of Arts and Sciences -- after being challenged to get involved.

“I was complaining about something on social media and someone reached out to me and said, ‘If you really don’t like what’s going on, why don’t you do something about it.’ So I got involved in student government and really liked it. I was representing about 1,000 students, which was pretty cool; and being in student government helps with articulation of thought, argumentation and public speaking.’’

Zeorlin also joined the cross country and track teams, winning the 1,500-meter American Southwest Conference Championship in 2015 and serving as a leader to younger teammates in his senior year.

UT Tyler has tons of opportunities for students to get involved, pursue their interests and take on leadership roles,’’ he said. “I don’t think as many opportunities would have been accessible to me had I attended one of the larger universities.’’

Zeorlin advises university students to take advantage of opportunities available to them on campus.

“Find something you’re really passionate about and get involved in activities to build yourself in that area,’’ he said. “Building your resume is really about building yourself.’'

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