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Making Strategic Career Moves to Find Your Unicorn Job – with Heather O’Leary-Agosta

How do you find your unicorn job? Heather O’Leary-Agosta argues that rather than getting caught up in titles, it’s more important to consider what you love about your current role and make decisions that facilitate more of THAT. Though she was hesitant to make a career move that seemed like a step back, Heather focused on the quality of her work and the impact she made on the students she served, and that led to an ideal role that fits her passion and education.

Heather found her unicorn job as Resident Services Manager at Showa Boston Institute for Language and Culture, a study abroad campus for a university based in Tokyo. In her role, Heather supports the international students who comprise 100% of the student population, familiarizing them with American culture, creating a culturally-sensitive environment, and working with facilities and food services to meet student expectations. Prior to Showa, Heather served as Property Manager for the YWCA in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and General Manager of two residence halls at MassArt for COCM.

Today, Heather joins Tara to reminisce about their time together at MassArt, sharing her responsibilities with COCM and the value in helping plan new construction on campus. Heather describes the deep support and diverse perspectives she valued at COCM and explains how she fostered lasting connections with colleagues who continue to be resources. Listen in for Heather’s advice around making strategic career moves and learn how her passion for supporting international students led to her current role at Showa.

Topics Covered

  • Heather’s responsibilities working for COCM at MassArt
  • The value in being involved in planning new construction
  • The support + diverse perspectives Heather valued at COCM
  • Heather’s career transition to property managing a YWCA
  • How working with international students led Heather to Showa
  • Heather’s role as Resident Services Manager at Showa Boston
  • Heather’s advice around making strategic career moves
  • Heather’s appreciation for lasting connections from COCM

Connect with Heather

Showa Boston
Heather on LinkedIn

Connect with Tara

Student Housing Matters
Student Housing Matters on Facebook
Student Housing Matters on Twitter
Capstone On-Campus Management
Tara on LinkedIn


Leigh Anne is the Director of Creative and Brand Marketing at COCM. In her role, she supports the development and implementation of the annual corporate marketing plan. She is responsible for overall brand strategy, content marketing, social media, video production, COCM’s website, marketing materials design and production, as well as serving as our liaison for COCM's sponsorships.