As an undergrad reaching the end of my time as a student, the looming “real world” is rife with possibility as well as confusion. Like many before me, I am not entirely sure of what I want to do following graduation, and even less sure of where I want to do it.
Our generation is backdropped by a unique combination of unprecedented opportunities and practical limitations. We feel pressure to go forth to a new city, or even country, to create change, but are cognizant of the risk involved. For many young professionals facing this contradiction, Indianapolis has the answers.
It is no secret that Indianapolis is a hub for young professionals across the nation. Where else can you find a city with world-renowned culture, a rapidly growing job market, and a reasonably priced cost of living? Employers know it, recent graduates know it, and professional organizations know it: there’s nowhere quite like Indy.
Myself, and 20-somethings like me, understand that our demographic forms a certain culture in Indianapolis, one that benefits from sticking together and learning from one another. Through networking events, newsletters, social events, and volunteer opportunities, organizations like IndyHub remind us why we decided to invest our futures in Indianapolis. Not only are young professionals connecting with each other, but they are also connecting with the city, fostering relationships that incite personal and professional growth. These connections help make Indianapolis feel like home.
IndyVolved is a realization of IndyHub’s goal, and continues to foster connections of those 20- and 30-somethings living in the city. This event is a tangible way for young professionals to establish networking opportunities in real-time. Attendees can connect with over 100 non-profit, community, and professional organizations, such as Young Professionals of Central Indiana and Young Nonprofit Professionals Network. In the past few months, organizations like these have encouraged me to consider Indy to start my post-graduate adventures. Recent college graduates flock to Indianapolis from all over the country to begin the next chapter of their lives. These nation-wide connections make Indiana the Crossroads of America. With the addition of Indy’s first nonstop transatlantic flight from Indianapolis to Europe, our city has become the Crossroads of the World.
As an intern with the Indianapolis Airport Authority, I’ve seen firsthand what the launch of Delta Air Lines’ nonstop service from the Indianapolis International Airport (IND) to Paris means for the community. Now, we are more connected than ever before to international business and culture. As I continue thinking of the company I want to work for and where I want to work – it’s comforting to know Indianapolis companies, such as Eli Lilly and Salesforce, are more connected via air travel to the rest of the world. I can start my career in Indy and travel around the world, absorbing the many sights and cities it has to offer.
This new flight will also benefit study abroad programs at our local college and universities. It’s not just a new nonstop route to Paris, but it’s a direct connection to more than 75 international destinations throughout Europe and the Middle East. And foreign tourists now have a greater incentive to visit Indianapolis during Race Week and around the year, helping to add to our already-record-breaking tourism revenue.
Connectivity is the bridge between the two sides of the contradiction that faces new young professionals. It is connections like these that invite me to call Indianapolis not only my city, but also my home.
Photos provided by Indianapolis Airport Authority.