Wednesday, September 26, 2012

So...what are your plans on October 23rd?

Seriously. What are your plans on October 23rd?

Well, perhaps I should start out by asking you a few questions:

1. Are you are Young Professional between the ages of 21-40?
2. Do you enjoy networking with other Young Professionals in your community?
3. Would you like to learn from some of Traverse City's leaders?
4. Do you enjoy having your head shot taken....for free?
5. Would you like to spend a day doing all of these things at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa?

If you answered "Yes!" to at least two of those questions, then you should look into signing up to attend this year's Traverse City Young Professionals Conference at the Grant Traverse Resort and Spa. And yes...this event is on October 23rd (how observant of you!).

Why am I pushing this event on the blog, you ask? Well, there are quite a few reasons. I believe that it is actually an event that will be worth your time to attend. There are some spectacular speakers lined up and the topics they are speaking about are extremely relevant to Young Professionals and their current interests. There is also a phenomenal keynote speaker, Organized Audrey, who will be able to give you the tips and tricks you need to finally clear out your inbox, organize your files, and avoid sending irritating emails (Admit've probably CC'd far too many people at some point. It's okay, we've all been there). I'm also promoting this event because I'm one of the coordinators for it.

...but that does not mean that I am shamelessly self-promoting. I bring up the fact that I'm assisting in the coordination since because of that, I know how excited all of the speakers are to be involved. I am the one who receives phone calls and emails from speakers and speed networkers and such telling me that they are honored to have been invited because they believe that Young Professionals is an outstanding organization and that Traverse City's YPs are just such impressive individuals. I also know all of the topics for the round table discussions, break out sessions and other speeches, so I know that they are actually topics that I cannot wait to hear about.

As a YP - especially one who is on the lower end of the age spectrum - I can tell you that the topics of discussions and speeches are exactly what I would like to learn about. The topics span from business etiquette to learning how to keep the workplace green and even a discussion on ways to exercise while at your desk.

So basically what I'm saying is- this is such a wonderful opportunity- one that is right in the Grand Traverse area! Do yourself a favor and sign up to attend right here. You will not want to miss this- invite your friends, spread the word, and hopefully I'll see you there!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Dear Graduate...

Dear graduates,

I hope you had a wonderful summer! I'm sure your post-grad summer life was just the best- no school work or exams to worry about, plenty of time to see your friends and hit up the beach, etc. However, now it is fall...and reality is setting in.

You need to find a career. You need to settle down in a city where you will actually have an opportunity to grow in your career path, but also where you can be among like-minded younger individuals. You are ready to leave your college-lifestyle behind, but still want to move somewhere that has a variety of culture and delicious (but still affordable) meals. You need somewhere near the beach, near a decent mall, and with housing options available at a decent price.

Well, let me explain something to you: I understand. I've been in your shoes...I just found my way a little sooner than most. I too was worried that I would end up living somewhere that could not offer me a chance to grow in my career path (or a career path that I enjoyed at all). I had no idea how to find housing anywhere that didn't offer a plethora of apartments or whether or not I would meet people my age who were, like me, working to achieve there goals.

Then I ended up in Traverse City. From one graduate to another, this is where you want to be. You may be saying to yourself "What?! Traverse City? A small city in Northern way. I want to go to Chicago or somewhere that will actually have career options."

Well graduate, Traverse City is thriving. There are so many different career paths available and an abundance of things to do, delicious (and yes...even affordable) meals to enjoy, nightlife, beaches, ski resorts and wineries...and it is all constantly improving and growing. Every day I hear about a new event space opening or a restaurant or microbrewery headed my way. Not only that, we have jobs available for you. Not just jobs that pay the bills...a whole variety of job options that actually represent the career choice you're interested in.

Do me a favor. Take the time to head over to the Traverse City Chamber website. Check out the Job Portal. Shoot- even ask me some questions! I would be more than happy to provide answers to your questions or address your concerns. Just know that Traverse City is a wonderful place to head to after graduation.

You won't regret it. Believe me- I sure didn't.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Traverse City Pride

People who live in Traverse City really love living in Traverse City. In fact, people who live in Michigan really  love living in Michigan. Not just in a "I live in a great place! We have a beach nearby and a lot of cute shops- it's lovely!" kind of way...more of a scream it from the mountain tops kind of way.

And I think that is just awesome.

Living in one really showed off their hometown. Naturally there were University of Florida and Florida State University shirts everywhere, but other than those and the occasional Disney World shirt...there were no other displays of State Pride.

After living in Traverse City for a little over seven months, I've noticed that Michiganders are proud of where they live. They display their Michigan love on their shirts, their hats, their cars...the list is never ending. Living in a state where the residents are absolutely infatuated with their place of living is so uplifting! It makes me even happier to have moved here when I realize that so many people want to represent Michigan.

Traverse City is an excellent example of this State/City declaration of love. There are literally stores selling "TC Love" shirts...and they're thriving! Where as in Florida, tourists were the only ones to purchase these types of shirts, Traverse City residents want them in every color. It's a change, but it's a wonderful one.

If you've lived in Traverse City for a while, you may not even notice the public displays of affection that the residents show for their city. However, if you spent an hour people-watching on Front Street, I'm betting you would notice a lot of Michigan and Traverse City love represented on what people are wearing.

I'm also betting that, like it does me, it will make you feel even more glad that you live somewhere to be proud of!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012's Fall?!

This time last year I was starting classes at University of Florida while working 40 hours a week at a local Fitness Center. Now, I'm smack-dab in the middle of Wedding Season and actually starting to see a few leaves turn...which never happened in Florida. Our leaves are green all year long. All. Year. Round.

Honestly, the only reason that I ever knew it was "Fall" in Florida was because football season started and Starbucks started selling Pumpkin Spice flavored coffee. Being in an area where the temperatures start dropping and trees turn a different color is so exciting and new for me! I know that fall is literally JUST beginning, but these sort of new experiences make me appreciate living here even more so.

As I mentioned, Fall also means that Wedding Season is in full swing. As I'm sure you realized, Traverse City is the perfect location for a destination wedding. Who wouldn't want a Northern Michigan wedding? We have so many wineries and event spaces to offer, numerous hotels and resorts, and a plethora of fabulous local restaurant options for Rehearsal Dinners.

While I may not have my own wedding approaching anytime in my near future, there is just something about weddings that makes me so thankful that planning and executing them is a part of my job. I can tell you from experience that pulling off a perfect wedding and receiving a "thank you" hug from a stunning bride once the reception has concluded is definitely one of the best feelings in the world. It's one of the reasons I love what I do- making people happy is one of the most fulfilling things in life...and it's a part of my job.

So to sum up what I'm trying to say here is that while I may be extremely busy and seeing all of my younger friends going back to school and enjoying some Gator Football, it is absolutely a "good busy."
To me, the start of Fall in Traverse City represents only great things: new experiences, a fulfilling career, and a confirmation that change is a good thing.