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Embracing Your Local Community

Throughout my work for Indium Corporation, I’ve had the pleasure of networking with a diverse group of people who have learned to stand out for the right reasons. To obtain their success, they had to not only become a leader in their industry, but use their knowledge and abilities to embrace the community.

One of these people was Sim Covington, Jr., the Director of Career Services at SUNY Polytechnic Institute. We were discussing the opportunities that college students have on their campuses to kick start their careers, when he brought up the importance of gaining experience through local programs and organizations.

Locally, he is an alumnus of Leadership Mohawk Valley, an organization that works to develop business leaders within the Utica community. After a discussion on facing competition for a future career, he emphasized that the need for experience in philanthropy is just as important as experience in your field.

There are numerous organizations and networks dedicated to a large variety of interests, giving college students the chance to stand out and grow their passions. Here are some of my recommendations, especially for students interested in future business and accounting careers:

·         Rotary: An international organization that connects more than 1.2 million business activists and volunteers, they are dedicating to service projects that fight disease and interact with unique cultures, with several chapters in the Utica area alone.

·         City Council: College students have the opportunity to support local politicians that share their beliefs, who are always excited to teach the necessities of understanding politics, while gaining assistance in their political campaigns.

·         Future Business Leaders of America - Phi Beta Lambda: With more than 200,000 members across the United States, meeting and connecting with a chapter on your college campus can be a fun and engaging opportunity that helps you get involved at the same time.

·         Toastmasters International: If you’re looking for assistance in building your public speaking abilities, there are several Toastmasters chapters within the Utica area, dedicated to developing this crucial skill through peer-to-peer feedback.

This is the pathway to differentiating yourself from the competition, developing your soft skills, and giving back to the local community. And if some of these options aren’t available for you, think about starting a chapter yourself. Building a chapter as a founder can be a life-changing experience, which can prove to employers that you have what it takes to not just be a manager, but a leader.