The discussions for most of today focused on quality of life in Iowa. Through those discussions I discovered that my top three criteria for quality of life are low cost of living, many attractions, and an occupation that pays well. These will obviously change as I get older and start a family because I will include good schools with the other criterion. Something I wish that Des Moines had for attractions is professional sports. While they have AAA baseball and the NBDL, they are still far from the MLB or NBA. However, I am much more concerned about finding a good job, so if I have the opportunity to have a good occupation in Iowa, I will stay regardless of the specific attractions.
Something I took away from today was that every path for every person is different, and that I need to pursue something that I can take pride in. Brent Willett claimed that college degrees and majors/minors are not limiting. He said that those just teach us how to think, and we can apply that in a lot of different fields outside of our college degrees. Finally, Jay Byers gave us the advice to make a hobby our occupation in order to find something that we can take pride in and enjoy doing for a large part of our lives.
I also had the chance to speak with Ellen Gaucher of Wellmark, Inc. She, as well as Jim Swift of Holmes Murphy & Associates, Inc., talked about the importance of having a mentor to help with major decisions regarding job choices. One of the top qualities I would desire in a mentor is having an individual as a mentor challenge me instead of simply telling me what to do. I feel like one who will challenge me will make me become a better professional because I will have worked hard to figure things out with simple guidance. I would also be looking for one who can relate to me through previous experiences or current interests so that they would be easy for me to talk to and connect with. Lastly, I would want a mentor who has a strong desire to help me succeed rather than have one who shows little interest in my progress. Although I think it will be difficult to find a mentor, I believe it would be extremely helpful for me to do while I am still in college so that my mentor could help prepare me for after graduation and help me in my search for jobs or internships.