- Cory W. Sharp is an intern architect at FEH Design in Des Moines and the current president of the Young Professionals Connection
"Why are you here?" someone asked me the other day. "Not just as the Business Record's newest blogger covering young professional topics but as a young person living in Des Moines? Didn't you think of going somewhere else?"
It was a good question -- one that I considered a coin toss as I was approaching graduation with an architecture degree from Iowa State and I tried to decide between Des Moines and Denver.
I love Denver for a lot of reasons. I love its weather where the summers are warm but you can still go snowboarding in the mountains. I love the vibrant arts and cultural scene, the polar bears at the Denver Zoo, advanced public transportation system, its variety of restaurants (including lots of great taco places) and that you can be your own person but it's not too far from home.
But "home" is a powerful word.
There's no getting over the fact Des Moines is home. But would it be worth staying home if home limited my options? Fortunately, as Des Moines has changed over the past decade, that's not a trade-off I had to make.
I'm here because Des Moines has so much to offer; I'm not the only young professional to figure that out, of course. Just look at the boom in downtown residential living, our own growing variety of restaurants, arts and cultural options -- to name just a few trends -- to get your answer. But, growing up in Des Moines when there wasn't always all that much to do, those changes have only made me love our city even more as time has gone by.
I'm also here because of the influence my parents and other mentors have had on my professional life. (My dad is a principal at FEH Design, the architectural and engineering firm where I am an associate. My mom owns the Heart of Iowa Market Place in historic Valley Junction.)
One piece of advice they've given me over the years is that you only get out of something what you put into it. I've seen them put plenty of hard work, hours, brainpower and, maybe most importantly, passion, into their careers and community involvement. They've also invested a lot of energy and emotion into our family, too. That's what makes it all work so well at home, too.
Because of their advice -- and help from others -- I got involved in community activities like the Young Professionals Connection even while I was still in college. That involvement has taken me through various leadership roles in the YPC, where I'm serving as president this year.
Those connections have made living and working in Des Moines all the better.
I'm looking forward to writing in the months ahead about a range of topics important to young professionals and, as a result, important to their employers. From how to find your passion and how to be a great employee to getting your voice heard, giving back to the community and more, I've always benefited from great guidance from my parents and mentors, so I look forward to sharing their perspectives and more with others.
And, I'm glad I knew in my heart that I didn't need to leave my future to a coin toss.
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