Alumni Tale: Jessica Arber ’06

What did you study at UNH?

SociologyCollege of Liberal Arts

What were you doing 1 year out of college?

I moved to Boston after graduating in 2006 and started working as a personal trainer at a neighborhood gym. I found myself taking on the role of a confidant, and almost a therapist for some of my clients. This was a part of the job I hadn’t expected, and one that I’ve found truly rewarding. I believe that the sociology and psychology courses I took at the University of New Hampshire helped me to understand and connect with my clients in a deeper way.

What were you doing 5 years out of college?

Although I started out working with individual personal training clients, I later found that there was a demand for creative fitness and wellness programs for employers around Boston. I found a couple of great groups who were willing to let me put together wellness programs for them, and I experimented with some different program formats. In 2012 I started my own company, The Active Workplace, to try to energize the corporate wellness world.

What are you doing now?

The Active Workplace now provides fitness classes, yoga, Zumba, spinning, personal training, onsite and online wellness programs, and fitness center management for employers and other organizations in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Seattle, Washington. With over 15 part-time employees, The Active Workplace is currently looking to hire more fabulous and talented group exercise instructors.

I live outside Boston with my husband, our 4-month old daughter, and our rambunctious Goldendoodle.

How do you feel your time at UNH has had an impact on where you are today?

The University of New Hampshire provides the type of well-rounded education that I think is crucial for entrepreneurship. As a start-up company in the fitness space, the challenges facing us are diverse and vary by the hour. I may be writing marketing copy in the morning, putting together a fitness program in the afternoon, and working through a tax compliance issue in the evening. I am fortunate that UNH taught me how to think strategically, work hard, and to approach problems with patience and creativity.

Why do you believe in UNH?

Ultimately I believe that an organization will be most successful if it fosters a culture that encourages its people to support and connect with each other. That was the type of environment I found at UNH, and it is the same type of spirit I try to bring to my corporate clients.