As an upcoming graduate and young professional looking for employment in Fort Wayne, I am amazed by the amount of pressure put on finding a career – not to mention finding one that I like. But these expectations come with no explanation on what sort of skills I need, advice on how to launch my career in this area successfully, or the kind of person that employers look for when hiring, except that they will look at my degree to see if I am qualified for the position.
Corporations and all other types of businesses are comprised of all types of people. The people who make up Northeast Indiana, in a broad sense, are hard workers, innovative craftsman with a “don’t quit” mentality. The Northeast Indiana area has a regional population of more than 700,000 people with many diverse industry bases ranging from insurance, logistics, automotive, medical, food processing, and more. It is no wonder businesses in this area are looking to hire young professionals and graduates. With a dozen nearby colleges and universities, there are many young professionals and graduates looking to succeed in their careers in the Northeast Indiana region. But how are they to do that? To find out, I went looking for and spoke with seasoned professionals who gave me the secret on how to launch a career in Northeast Indiana.
Justin Clupper, Director of Signature Programs at Greater Fort Wayne, said “The best thing to do is connect with the intent of communication; Begin networking, and building relationships in your specific industry and area.”
This was followed by Ashley Calderon, Director of Career Services at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, who said, “89% of Indiana University-Purdue University students stay in this area. We know that employers are looking for candidates who have leadership skills because this is the number one skill employers are looking for at this time. Students need to be able to communicate effectively – in writing and verbally. This community is very well-connected, and students need to be able to navigate the connection in order to succeed in this area.”
Ryan Krueckeberg, Vice President of the Board of Directors for Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana, said “I would suggest getting involved by utilizing the Leadership Institute by learning workplace leadership skills and community leadership skills. Meeting people, getting to know people, getting to know your community has been the biggest influencer in my career. Building relationships and fostering those relationships and allowing those relationships to lead you to other people. Making a valid effort to continuously educate yourself, whether it is by getting the degree or educating yourself in your community. There’s so many organizations who can foster interests that you didn’t know you had before.”
By learning what it means to be successful in Northeast Indiana when starting a career, I know how to be a better young professional. I can take the relationships I will make by networking with people and the skill sets that I can develop now to any business. Thanks to these seasoned professionals, I finally got the explanation that I was looking for – the secret to launching a career in Northeast Indiana.