Thumbs Up for My First Engage Cleveland YP Week

Hi there, I’m Emily Garrett and I’m a newcomer to the financial services industry having been with Skylight for three months.  As a recent graduate from Ohio University, born and raised in Cleveland, I’m psyched about the limitless opportunities that Cleveland has to offer for my professional career so, when I heard through work about the Engage Cleveland’s YP week I thought this sounded like fun.  I could see great potential for networking, which is so important at this stage of my career, and I also wanted to learn more about the development of my city. So I quickly signed up for four events and I am so glad I did. The event gets a huge thumbs up from me!

One of the big events, the Ohio City Development Tour, conveniently kicked off in Skylight’s penthouse where I work so I was able to head upstairs and join in.  It was a relaxed, informal event with people standing around talking over a beer, so it was easy to strike up conversations and I got a chance to meet a good mix of young people from marketers to engineers. The view from the Skylight penthouse was a great talking point and I got to casually drop in that I’m lucky to enjoy these views every day!  In the presentation, we got to learn about plans and investment for Ohio City and the rising power of Cleveland.  It was exciting to hear about the continued revitalization of our neighborhood and about their plans to utilize the empty spaces and disused parking lots.  Also about their ambitious plans for a Waterfront park which will be amazing as it will allow people to access the water from downtown.  I came away feeling very upbeat about my hometown and optimistic about its future knowing what’s being done to attract people to our city, and to counter what can often be negative perceptions of Cleveland.

Two of the events I attended, “City of Champions” and “Lunch for Leaders”, were particularly inspiring as we learned how Cleveland has propelled itself into a sports city of champions and got to talk to Leaders, like the CEO of the Cleveland Metroparks, and learn how they rose to the top.

All of the events were awesome but the highlight for me was the speed networking event.  It was great fun, really well organized and as we were forced to talk to different people I got to meet 15 people that night and have good contacts to follow up with. I was amazed by how friendly and open everyone was, and when I met them at other events they were quick to come over and say hello.

As a young professional on the cusp of my career, I found the week to be inspirational and engaging.  It leaves me excited and energized for the future of young professionals in Cleveland and I look forward to strengthening the relationships and friendships I’ve made!

Thanks Emily for sharing with us.