Blog image

#YPNTALK

How to Fall in Love With Your Job All Over Again

#YPNTalk


 

Do you remember that first day of your current job? Your head probably bounced off the pillow as you got ready to start a new chapter of your professional career. Everything about that first month of work was exciting and new. You may have even been excited to go to those dreaded Monday morning staff meetings (Maybe not, but you get the idea).

Then, without warning, something happened. You can’t quite put your finger on when it started, but, as the years passed, you started to lose some of that energy and passion for your job. You might start to ask yourself, “Is it the weekend yet?,” on Monday mornings.

That is okay though—this happens to almost everyone. It doesn’t mean you have to quit and find a new job to fill that void. It just means you must find that love for your job again! We’ve compiled five tips to help regain passion and enthusiasm in your work.

1. RE-IMAGINE YOUR ROLE’S IMPACT

Rather than focusing on your department, try to think about the broad impact your position has from the customer and company to the community and society.

For example, a janitor at a hospital, who considers his/her roles vital to the patient’s experience at the hospital will gain greater satisfaction from their job than a janitor who sees their job just as a means to a paycheck.

2. KEEP TASKS EXCITING

In any position, you will come across the tedious tasks that you just have to get done. Tasks, such as expense reports and facilitating the monthly department meetings, can get repetitive and boring. When you come across a task like this, ask yourself what you can do to make it more exciting and fun. Can you challenge yourself to get your expense reports done in record time or can you add humor to the facilitation? The whole point of this is to take you off that autopilot mode and stimulate your brain.

3. CHANGE WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL

You can’t change everything, but you can change your own attitude. Make an effort to smile, thank people, and don’t give difficult people power over your emotions. Try to think of one awesome thing that happened during your work day. Often, we let the frustrations of the day-to-day operations cloud the bigger reason why we took the job in the first place. A simple change of attitude will do wonders for how you perceive your job.

4. COMPARE YOUR JOB TO YOUR FAVORITE HOBBY

Many of us are willing to spend hours on our favorite hobbies. We have no problem hitting the links to play a round of golf or go canoeing on a warm summer day. If you were to put the same energy into your job that you put into the time spent on your hobby, your enthusiasm in the office will see a nice increase. Try to see if you can bring some of what you love about your hobby into your job and place of work.

5. FOCUS ON LEARNING

Your professional career is a journey. Each day you go in to work is another step on that journey. Try to leverage your job as an opportunity to grow your professional or personal skills. There is no need to feel limited to your official job description, that is just a starting point. Take advantage of every opportunity presented to make going to work a more meaningful endeavor.

Hidden Gem: Aerial Yoga at Beyond Zen

When you’re getting your “om” on and taking some time for mindful breathing, have you ever wished that you were completely supported in a suspended cocoon? Or to fly through the air like Superman?
 
You’re in luck – Beyond Zen offers Aerial Yoga at their Granger studio. Aerial Yoga combines traditional pilates and yoga poses with the help of a hammock suspended from the ceiling. The use of the hammock allows you to breathe deeper into stretches as you’re fully supported when doing downward facing dog, flying yogi and warrior poses throughout the hour-long class. The practice at Beyond Zen is also highly personalized as there are only five hammocks in the classroom leaving you with one-on-one opportunities with the instructor as she helps you feel comfortable with the hammock and makes sure you’re performing the moves correctly. Read More.
 
So grab some friends and make an evening of it. The schedule and pricing information is available on the Beyond Zen website. 
 
Have you been to Aerial Yoga? We want to see your photos! Tweet or Instagram 
@YPNSouthBend and share your photos using #YPNtalk!

Hidden Gem: Winding Brook Park Christmas Lights

Why walk through a winter wonderland when you can drive? That’s right. You can enjoy bright lights, unique displays, and a beautiful winter night without leaving the warmth of your car. Where is this magical place? Winding Brook Park, located off East Day Road in Mishawaka.

Since 1962, every December Winding Brook Park residents have been encouraged to decorate their houses with beautiful light displays that brightens hearts of all ages. After driving through the entryway, you will immediately be filled with holiday spirit. Due to its popularity (more than 20,000 people pass through every season!), the traffic is slow but that just gives you extra time to take in the magic. You’ll see everything from classic white lights illuminating a warm glow to a giant display of Santa and his reindeer on a roof. The lights will officially be up on Saturday, December 9 until Christmas evening.

Are you planning on driving through the Christmas lights at Winding Brook? We want to see your photos! Tweet or Instagram @YPNSouthBend and share your photos using #YPNtalk!

Five New Year's Resolutions for Young Professionals in 2018

Every year it’s the same. At some point between stuffing yourself with Thanksgiving dinner and opening holiday gifts, you plan your annual New Year’s resolutions. If you’re one of the 41 percent of Americans who usually make them, then you probably know there are few things in life as frustratingly elusive as following through on a New Year’s resolution.

For the young professional, we’ve devised five resolutions to help you become a better professional and a better citizen in 2018 – and even included some tips to make following through a little easier.

 

volunteer 

Are you looking to boost your mental and physical well being in 2018? Those who volunteer have lower rates of depression and lower mortality rates according the Corporation for National and Community Service. Beyond your own personal health, sharing your time and talents helps to strengthen your community and potentially transform lives. For a list of some local volunteer opportunities visit the YPN Volunteer page.

TIP: Put it on your calendar. Don't wait for a free hour or two to magically appear in your schedule, plan it out. When you treat your resolution as an appointment, you're more likely to follow through.

SAVE MONEY

It’s never too soon to start taking your finances seriously. You should be saving 10 to 15 percent of your income for retirement according to many financial experts. If that sounds out of reach, try taking smaller steps like committing to taking full advantage of your employer’s 401(k) match or paying off specific debts that have been hanging over your head. Canceling subscriptions and setting aside that money for savings is another less painful way to save more in 2018.

TIP: A little goes a long way. Don’t stress if you can’t set aside as much time or resources as you’d originally hoped. Something is better than nothing. 

 

RECYCLE

For a resolution that’s sure to make you and the planet happier for years to come, try recycling. When you reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills, you’re not only conserving valuable natural resources, but you’re also helping to prevent pollution and sustaining the environment for future generations. For St. Joseph County residents, a mandated curbside recycling program has made it easier than ever to pick up the habit. Visit the St. Joseph County Solid Waste Management website for more details.

TIP: Make SMART goals. When you’re creating your resolutions it’s crucial to make specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound goals.

 

LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE

Whether you’re looking to get an advantage on your resume or simply want to know a few catchphrases for your next trip abroad, learning a new language is an enriching experience. Acquiring another language builds up brain power, improving your memory and increasing your attention span. Some research even indicated that bilingualism can delay the effects of Alzheimer’s for years.  These days there are many digital tools to make learning a new language not only simple, but fun too. Duolingo, a free, fun and science-based language-learning tool is a great place to start.  

TIP: It’s a marathon, not a sprint. When working to achieve your resolution, remember that making lasting changes takes time. Don’t beat yourself up when you don’t immediately reach the finish line. 

 

LAND YOUR DREAM JOB

Struggling in what appears to be a dead-end position? There’s nothing like a new year to spark a job search. Commit to finding a company with a culture that aligns with your lifestyle and don’t settle for less. Take small steps like updating your resume, beefing up your presence on LinkedIn and reconnecting with friends in the industry for a start. When your career gives you energy instead of draining you, you’ll know you’ve found the right fit.

TIP: Use the buddy system. The best way to hold yourself accountable to meeting your resolutions is to share your goals. The support of family and friends when you’re trying something new is crucial. 

'Tis the Season: What to Do in Our Winter Wonderland

From finding the perfect tree to decorate and wrapping presents for loved ones, there is so much do each holiday season. When the calendar flips from November to December, it can be hard to find a spare moment to relax, but make sure you pencil in some of these fun holiday-themed events. 

 

Santa Claus is Coming to Town 

 

He sees you when you’re sleeping and knows when you’re awake … that’s probably because he seems to be everywhere in the South Bend Region at once! Grab a camera and take your kids, pets or friends to one of the many Santas in the area for the perfect Christmas photos.

Downtown South Bend
Santa returns to the Gridiron in downtown South Bend on Friday, December 1 for the tree lighting ceremony! Festivities begin around 5:00 p.m. with Santa arriving around 6:30 p.m. to light the tree. Make sure to stick around for the fireworks afterwards and remember to look for Santa in the little red and white house next to the South Bend Chocolate Café. Even better, he’ll be there on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays throughout December. Don’t forget to bring your camera to take as many photos as you’d like with Santa. Kids will receive a candy cane and an “I Believe” sticker from the big man himself, which gets them a complimentary chocolate bar inside the Café and discounts at 16 downtown businesses. You’ll also meet Rudolph and the Grinch at South Bend Chocolate!

University Park Mall
Jolly old Saint Nicholas is at University Park Mall through December 24, with a special private Santa event for children and young adults with special needs on Sunday, December 3. Bring your favorite four-legged friend to meet Santa on Pet Night from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 10. 

Mishawaka
Meet Santa while enjoying a cup of hot cocoa, watching a free screening of the movie Elf, ice skating and creating holiday crafts at Mishawaka Winterfest on Saturday, December 9 from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. He’ll return for the Battell Community Center’s Holiday Fun Night 
on December 23 at 5:30 p.m. Stick around for a free screening of The Polar Express at 7:00 p.m.

 

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!

 

If you’re more into conifers and lights this holiday season, there are a number of tree lighting events and Christmas lights trails for you to get into the holiday spirit. South Bend is celebrating First Fridays with Downtown for the Holidays on Friday, December 1 – in addition to the parade and Santa’s Arrival the tree at Jon R. Hunt Plaza will be lit for the first time. If you miss the tree lighting on Friday, you’ll have another chance to see one at University Park Mall on Saturday, December 2! It’s hosting its first ever tree lighting from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Head out to Elkhart’s Wellfield Botanical Gardens to see the Winter Holiday Lights now through December 30. The ½ mile Promenade Pathway is aglow with professional light displays that accentuate the natural beauty of Wellfield. Hot Chocolate is complimentary and crackling fire pits stationed around the Garden trails will keep you warm and toasty. 

Layer on the scarves and gloves for the Historic Holiday Walking Tour in downtown South Bend on Sunday, December 3 to see some of South Bend’s oldest homes and businesses. Many will have holiday decorations including the Copshaholm, the Oliver Mansion, which has 38 decorated rooms, and ten Christmas trees throughout the house. They’re offering tours on Sundays, December 3 and 10 and reservations are recommended.

You can also catch holiday floats and walking units on Michigan Street at Downtown South Bend’s Holiday Light Parade on Friday, December 8 at 7:00 p.m.

 

All We Want For Christmas Is You (To Attend Some Holiday Shows)


Once you’ve shared your Christmas list with Santa and trekked through the cold to see Christmas lights, you’ll probably be ready to relax in some warmth. Instead of listening to holiday tunes on the radio at your house, head on out to some of South Bend’s local venues to hear some holiday classics live!

One of the big three boy bands from the late 90s and early 2000s, 98°, is back with a Christmas album and is touring the country this holiday season. You can catch them at The Lerner Theater in Elkhart on Wednesday, December 13.

If you’re looking for more of a classic theater going experience, the perennial holiday movie A Christmas Story has been adapted to the stage and runs from December 1 to 23 at the South Bend Civic Theater. The Nutcracker Ballet comes to the Morris Performing Arts Center December 9 - 10 Chorus. And South Bend’s favorite holiday musical tradition returns December 16 - 17 when the South Bend Symphony Orchestra performs Home for the Holidays

 

Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!


And finally, what’s better than a snowball fight to get you into the holiday mood? Kids of all ages are invited to take part in a friendly community snowball fight on the Gridiron on Saturday, December 23 at 2:00 p.m. If there’s no snow on the ground, fake snowballs will be provided to keep the fun going. 


For more holiday fun, check out Visit South Bend Mishawaka's calendar of events.

Things that Go Bump in the Night: Imposter Syndrome and How to Fight It

It’s the time of year when ghosts and ghouls are everywhere to be found, when witches fly by the moon and Hocus Pocus is playing on repeat on the Freeform channel, so we’re here to tell you about one of the scariest things that you may come across in your career: Imposter Syndrome.

Think of imposter syndrome like a vampire – it vants to suck your self-confidence replacing it with self-doubt. It’s the monster sitting on your shoulder telling you that everything you know is wrong and you’re in way over your head … and it’s fairly common with as many as 70% of high-achievers reporting that they’ve felt this way before.

To be able to help banish these negative thoughts, it helps to understand what really is happening with Imposter Syndrome. It’s not a newly made up diagnosis that was created just for millennials, it’s actually been around since 1978 when two researchers at Georgia State University coined the term in an academic paper when studying high-achieving women. It being 2017, though, we understand that this isn’t just a phenomenon affecting women and we can all suffer from it.  But how can we shove that monster back into the closet like we will all the other Halloween decorations next week? Here are five tips to help beat that baddie back: 

REALIZE THAT EVERYONE FEELS IT 

 

As we said above, while it was originally believed that imposter syndrome only affects high achieving females, we’re here to tell you that it doesn’t and that it’s nearly ubiquitous in the work force. Take comfort in the fact that your boss has probably felt imposter syndrome before, as has the person who sits next to you, and the person down the hall. Knowing that you aren’t alone can help you speak up for reassurance from your boss that you’re doing what you need to do.

 

FIND FRIENDS

 

Having a strong support system that knows you and knows your work will only help in the long run. Oftentimes Imposter Syndrome strikes because we fear that we aren’t as qualified to do a task and friends and mentors can help put into perspective that even if something is a reach, we are perfectly capable of handling it based on our successful track record.

 

FAKE IT TIL YOU MAKE IT


Halloween is a time to put on costumes and act like someone else for a night, and that’s good practice when dealing with Imposter Syndrome too. How would you act in that meeting if you felt confident that you know what you’re doing and deserve to be in that room? Go into that meeting and do that.

 

OWN YOUR MISTAKES


Work is busy and there’s always something to do and even a person who is overly attentive to every detail will make a mistake. If you’re suffering from imposter syndrome, it’s easy to make every mistake into a mountain when in reality it’s probably much closer to a molehill. Own it and apologize and work to make sure that it never happens again – in time, it’s likely that you’ll be the only one who will remember that incident in the office. Don’t let one mistake kill your confidence, and don’t give into the idea that that mistake will define your career.

 

RECOGNIZE THAT YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW


If you’re suffering from imposter syndrome because you’ve recently gotten a promotion or taken on a new role, be up front with your supervisor or a mentor about what you’re most concerned with. Ask them for advice about situations or seek out personal development courses online, in the community or through your Human Resources departments. Bonus points if you’re open with your team and ask for their help in clarifying something you don’t understand fully – it will help build good will with them and foster more of a team environment rather than a solely one-way street between a boss and employee.

Five Ways to Better Your LinkedIn Profile

 

PROFESSIONALS HAVE BEEN UTILIZING LINKEDIN AS MORE THAN JUST AN ONLINE PROFESSIONAL 

profile, but rather to share relevant information in their industry for some time now, but it’s probably the social network that you think of the least when deciding where to post updates about your life. The rolodex network can be useful for more than just finding your next job, it’s a great place for professional growth and improving your online presence. Just remember, that you get out what you put into your LinkedIn profile; therefore, it is important to approach LinkedIn strategically. Here are five things you can do today to create a stellar LinkedIn profile.

Go Back to the Basics

Whether or not you are seeking a new job or career change, people are still looking at your profile. Therefore, it is important to keep it updated. Take time to update your current and past job descriptions, update your headline, check for any grammatical errors and update your profile photo. Sometimes, going back to basics is all you need to refresh your online presence.

Personalize your URL

When you set up your profile, the url will read, “LinkedIn.com” followed by random numbers and letters. However, this can be changed to have your first and last name after the slash. Not only will this look better for cosmetic purposes on your business cards and email signature, but it makes it easier for people to find your profile. To change your URL simply navigate to your profile, go to “edit contact and personal info,” click on the pencil icon and look for the option to change your URL.

Give and Ask for Recommendations

If you have worked with someone who positively impacted your company or a co-worker who led a project, let them know you appreciate them by giving them a recommendation on LinkedIn. Also, if you successfully completed a project, implemented a new program at your company, or are seeking a new job, ask a past or current colleague for a recommendation. Remember to click “allow on my profile” because if you don’t, LinkedIn won’t allow others to see it.

Share Relevant Content

Gone are the days when people used LinkedIn just to have a professional online presence. Still, many people don’t share anything. LinkedIn is a great opportunity to share updates happening in your industry, exciting news for your company or a community event. This is a great way to start a dialogue with your connections and make new connections. As always make sure your content is relevant – keep the cat photos for your personal social media profiles.

Follow Relevant Influencers

LinkedIn allows people all over the world to connect – this includes the opportunity to follow key influencers within your field of work. Want to learn more from your favorite economic development blogger? Have a nonprofit you want to partner with? You can follow them on LinkedIn to receive additional information from them, ask questions and comment on their posts.

There are countless features you can use to better your online professional presence, but start with these five tips and you’re on your way to improving your LinkedIn profile.

Hidden Gem: La Rosita

After a delicious meal, there is nothing better than ice cream with friends and family for dessert. Just beyond downtown South Bend sits a family-owned ice cream parlor on Western Avenue that will have your taste buds doing backflips. In 2002, Paleteria y Neveria La Rosita opened its doors and people have fallen in love with their delicious, homemade ice cream and other unique dessert items that you must try when you stop in.

La Rosita serves up 32 flavors of ice cream and 22 flavors of paletas, or Mexican ice pops. Some of the top-selling ice cream flavors include Mexican chocolate, coupling the spice of cinnamon with the sweetness of chocolate, and Gansito which tastes like strawberry shortcake melted with chocolate chip ice cream. Surprisingly, La Rosita’s most popular item on the menu is not ice cream at all. It is corn, topped with mayo, cheese, butter and chili powder, and served in a cup or on a stick. According to owner Juan Cervera, one in every two customers who walks through the door will order this Mexican snack. The mayo, cheese and butter compliment the corn’s sweetness while the chili powder adds just enough spiciness to give your taste buds a whirl.

From ice cream and paletas to fruit drinks and corn in a cup, La Rosita provides a menu that will cater to everyone. This ice cream parlor is always full of hungry guests, but don’t worry — there are plenty of sweet treats for everyone.


Let us know what you think! Tag @YPNSouthBend or use #YPNtalk and share your thoughts on La Rosita!

Hidden Gem: Bowl of Pho

Tired of the same ol’ same ol’? Can’t stomach the thought of another burger and fries for dinner? If you’re feeling adventurous – or just looking for something a little different than Italian, Mexican or American cuisine – why not try Vietnamese! Bowl of Pho (pronounced “Fuh”) is located right off Grape Road in Mishawaka near Fresh Thyme, Home Goods and DSW.

They offer a wide range of Vietnamese fare, though they’re known for their various Pho dishes which is a form of noodle soup with various vegetables and protein. A perfect dish to enjoy when you’re in need of a quick warm up or relief from a cold – Bowl of Pho offers large portions at great prices and is great for a quick lunch away from the office or dinner with the family. For more on Bowl of Pho check out their menu.

Let us know what you think! Tag @YPNSouthBend or use #YPNtalk and share your thoughts on Bowl of Pho!

The Game Plan of the Office

The old saying goes, “Age ain’t nothing but a number,” but in the professional world, your age can define how people perceive you as an employee. Your work ethic, behaviors in the workplace, and overall perception as an employee can be dictated by just finding out when you were born. Since it’s football season, though, let’s take a different look at how the different generations interact with each other in an office setting.

Within the office Baby Boomers (1946-1964), Generation X (1965-1976) and Millennials (1977-1995) have been working together for years now. But right when everyone seems to be settling into their roles in the office the first members of Generation Z (1996-present) are getting ready to join the fun as interns and as full-time employees when the Class of 2018 graduates in May.

No need to worry, the office isn’t going to implode, but to make this office setting of four different generations work it must play to their strengths similar to how a football team must play to the strengths of each one of its players in order to win a game.

The Baby Boomers have experienced so much.

For years, this generation has been extremely hardworking and motivated by perks and their positions. They are career-focused and goal-oriented. They have so much knowledge to teach the younger generations. On the football field, the baby boomers would be the head coach. As talented as the players are, if it weren’t for a head coach’s scheme and play calls, the team would be lost. Employees should look up to the Baby Boomers to give them motivation, leadership and positive feedback on projects and tasks. They’ve seen a lot and have a lot of great experience.

Generation X-ers are like the quarterback on the field.

Those who are part of Generation X are said to be the most effective managers compared to any other generation. Gen X-ers can adapt to any situation, excel when it comes to problem solving and can collaborate with the best of them. None of these things would be possible without knowing how each member of their team works and utilizing that knowledge to effectively manage, just like a quarterback does with his offence. Without the quarterback you can’t run an offense effectively and he or she must make split-second decisions that can ultimately win or lose the game for the team.

If Gen X is the quarterback, who are the Millennials?

The Millennials are like the first-round draft pick running back.They’re talented, quick and can be a literal “game-changer,” but there is a tremendous amount of pressure on them to perform at a high-level and live up to (or break away from) the hype. Millennials are some of the most tech-savvy employees in the office. Their ability to use social media to market an organization is unparalleled and they want their work to have a purpose just like a rookie running back wants to contribute to a team instead of just warming the bench all season. They want to show their talents and when they aren’t given the opportunity to do so may not practice as hard as they possibly can. IF this happens in the workforce, those smartphones might get turned on and take precedence over doing actual work. If Millennials feel their work matters, though, and they are set upon the right path by coaches and QBs that want to help them learn (mentors) their talent will show and they do indeed live up to the hype.

So, the hungry, talented running back called Millennials are juking out defenders, running upfield and scoring touchdowns. Meanwhile, the head coach Boomers are calling plays and the Gen X quarterback is reading the defense and making the right passes at the right time. That sounds like an effective team already, but there are some promising new players – 2.52 billion of them, actually – who are nearing the end of their college years and ready to go pro.

We have been scouting Generation Z for a while to see what kind of teammate they will be. Looking at that scouting report, you’ll notice they have a digital preoccupation that outstrips Millennials. They’ve grown up with a smartphone in one hand and a Fidget Spinner in the other. Despite this preoccupation, they are a generation that cares about face-to-face interaction and creating communities. They’re like a rookie linebacker – very talented, but rough around the edges. The need constructive feedback on their work, room to develop their skills and support, not derision (which the first-round draft pick Millennials have seen a lot of). If they receive that Generation Z can be that final piece to the puzzle that makes up a championship caliber team.

On a football team, no position is more important than another. Everyone has to do their job effectively for the common good of the team. The same is true in an office – no generation is more important than another and when they work together it helps businesses succeed. Each generation has strengths but each has its fair share of weaknesses, but through effective communication you can see how everyone’s skills complement each other just like a winning football team.

A Place for Talent

SEE THE VISION. TAKE ACTION. VENTURE BOLDLY. THAT'S HOW PROGRESS HAPPENS.

Cities across the country are competing with one another to attract talent. With availability of talent/workforce the number one consideration site selectors and businesses look at when relocating to a new community, retaining and attracting talent are critical to our region’s success.

While it would be nice to simply flip a switch to make talent stay here, it takes focus and effort not only by the Chamber but also from businesses and our cities to create an environment attractive to young talent.

YPN

The Chamber began to lay the groundwork to create a more favorable environment for young professionals (YPs) to become better connected when it started the Young Professionals Network (YPN) South Bend 12 years ago. Millennials are a key target group in talent development, and YPN provides the perfect vehicle for YPs to develop, connect and become empowered.

While YPN can’t singularly retain and attract talent, it’s one of the tools in the toolbox that creates a culture appealing to young people. Using events as its main platform, YPN offers its attendees abundant networking opportunities to meet their peers and gives them additional personal and professional connections.

In 2016, YPN presented 26 events with a total of 1,969 attendees and has 1,700 contacts on its email list. Events provide education and information, but the greatest benefit to YPs is building relationships with peers. Events are purposely held at different venues throughout the region to immerse YPs in their community so they get to know it better. YPs learn about new restaurants and attractions, hear from elected leaders and corporate CEOs.

Jennifer Speary, external sales specialist for Venue ND taps into YPN, using it as a resource to make personal and professional connections and referrals. “I like to stay engaged in what is happening in the cities of South Bend and Mishawaka, keeping up with news, events, projects, new businesses and other activities. The more I know about South Bend and Mishawaka, the better resource I can be to my clients here at the University of Notre Dame when scheduling activities for them outside campus,” said Speary.

INTERN South Bend Region

In the fall of 2013, the Chamber launched INTERN South Bend Region (SBR), a program to increase the quantity and quality of experiential learning in the South Bend Region. Connecting businesses to the next generation of talent is the key objective. The program provides students with real-world experiences, introduces employers to enthusiastic young people and engages interns with our community and each other.

The Chamber continues to partner with enFocus, the state and regional colleges and employers to increase the pool of post-secondary internship opportunities. Employers are encouraged to post their internships on the state portal, IndianaINTERN.net.

An added component to INTERN SBR is the Summer Community Engagement Program, which provides opportunities for interns to network, learn and explore the good things going on in the South Bend Region. Summer interns participate in weekly challenges that expose them to the community while also making great connections with fellow interns.

In 2016, 154 interns representing 36 employers participated in the summer series. In a survey of last year’s summer interns, 100% of the respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the program positively influenced their perception of the area, and 79% indicated that they would accept a position from their summer employer.

"SOUTH BEND IS INCREASINGLY A VIBRANT AND INCLUSIVE COMMUNITY FOR IT'S YOUNG PROFESSIONALS."
-MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG

Quality of Place

Our cities and businesses play an integral role, particularly with quality of place considerations, in creating an environment attractive for young talent.

“South Bend is increasingly a vibrant and inclusive community for its young professionals. The Smart Streets initiative, a recently completed project that attracted over $90 million in private investment, has redesigned the downtown streetscape to be more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly,” said South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

“Several new downtown apartment projects have already opened, and every month more shops, restaurants and food trucks are popping up to serve those who live and work downtown. Our place-making processes involve continuous community engagement, so residents can directly affect their neighborhoods,” he said.

With a workforce where 65% are under the age of 40, tech company KINETIC IT Solutions has had to work on creating a culture of ownership in the company to retain talent. According to Jim Peterson, owner of KINETIC, giving employees ownership in their area of expertise creates pride in their work and continues to build a strong corporate culture.

“The other side of working hard and taking ownership is having fun at and after work. It’s our opinion that enjoying your work and team is critical to having a great company,” said Peterson.

“The South Bend Region has made changes in the last 10 years that have grown the options to have fun with your team and with your friends. With great restaurants, engagement with YPN, and focus on retaining our local talent, we believe that our YPs see our area as a place to stay for their careers. For several decades, many YPs would look to larger markets to start their careers both for employment and social opportunities. The growth in our community has given professionals across all generations the ability to grow their careers while also having fun things to do after work. As our community continues to build opportunities for our YPs, we will see their numbers increase in our local businesses.”

Fall Into Service

 

As summer begins to wind down, you may be thinking, “How can I spend my time now?” Well, you’re in luck because the South Bend Region has many nonprofit organizations that could benefit from your time and talent. Giving back has surprising benefits for you too. Volunteering diversifies your experiences, provides networking opportunities and allows you to have fun all while supporting your favorite cause. Not sure of where to start? We’ve found a number of ways you can give back this fall.

1. You can help raise awareness about lending a hand to our homeless neighbors on Tuesday, September 12 from 6:00 – 10:00 a.m. at HOPE Ministries. HOPE Ministries is in need of YPs to assist with set-up and tear-down at their annual partner Pancake Breakfast. If you are unable to volunteer at the Pancake Breakfast, there are always opportunities to volunteer during their regular hours or other special events. For more info or to sign up, contact Jill Gunn or call 574.235.4150.

2. In conjunction with Hunger Action Month, the Food Bank of Northern Indiana is hosting its inaugural Too Good 2 Waste: An Ugly Food Event to Feed Hungry Kids on Thursday, September 28 at the Gillespie Conference & Special Events Center. Assistance will be needed for registration and set-up. In addition, you can volunteer at the Food Bank during the day Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and in the evenings on Wednesdays and Thursdays. To volunteer and learn more about Hunger Action Month, contact Marijo Martinec or call 574.232.9986 ext. 124.

3. You can raise awareness for cancer survivors and victims at the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K Walk on Saturday, October 14 at Beutter Park Riverwalk. The American Cancer Society is in need of volunteers to distribute water, sell t-shirts, register participants and provide a fun experience for all walkers. Register to walk or volunteer by contacting Nicole Van Duyn.

4. Give the gift of life by donating blood at the South Bend Medical Foundation. The Medical Foundation is always seeking opportunities for businesses to hold an onsite blood drive. Their staff makes hosting a blood drive simple – all you do is select the day and provide the donors, and the Medical Foundation takes care of the rest. No time to organize a blood drive? You can still go to any of The Medical Foundation locations to donate as an individual. Can’t donate blood at all? There are opportunities to assist in the office as needed.

Five Ways to Relieve Stress for YPs

 

Stress. It happens to everyone, especially young professionals. Whether you have several projects to complete by the end of the day or have a big presentation to give, stress is a regular occurrence in the professional world. It can make you feel like shutting down and going to bed. The good news is this doesn’t have to be the case! We’ve compiled a list to combat stress in the South Bend region.

1. Sometimes when your mind is going in several different directions, the best thing to do is to take a step back and breathe. What better place to do that than at the Grotto on the University of Notre Dame’s campus. This tranquil spot is nestled behind the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, just beyond the shadow of the Golden Dome. As you walk up to the Grotto, a sense of calmness takes over and the heat from the hundreds of lit candles warms your skin on chilly days and nights. Take time to light a candle of your own and say a prayer, or just rest your mind. The Grotto allows you the opportunity to escape whatever is troubling you.

2. Go for a walk along the St. Joe River. The South Bend River Walk is a great place to stroll and let your mind wander. With the backdrop of downtown South Bend in the distance, you can enjoy scenic views every corner you turn. If you decide to go after the sun sets (which isn’t hard this time of year!), you will be able to see the South Bend River Lights near Seitz Park and the Century Center. The River Lights is an interactive light display turning the river into a living art piece making it a great place for reflection.

3. Looking for something fun to do with friends that will take your mind off of the stresses of work? Look no further than Strikes and Spares Entertainment Center in Mishawaka. Whether you want to go bowling with your friends, play a round of mini golf or even try your hand at the go-karts, there is something for everyone. Need to wet your whistle? Keglers Sports Bar has you covered. 

4. One of the more traditional routes to relieving stress is taking a trip to a day spa. South Bend has two day spas in the area, Hair Crafters Day Spa Salon and Therapeutic Indulgence. With head-to-toe treatment options such as massage therapy, facials, and yoga, your stress levels will deplete to nothing.

5. End your day of relaxation with a meal at the East Bank Emporium Restaurant in downtown South Bend. Taste some traditional American cuisine while taking in the great views that the Emporium has to offer. As one of two South Bend restaurants with a patio along the river, you can take in the views of downtown South Bend and the St. Joe River. The meal options offer a taste of the Midwest. Add a cold beverage and good friends to it and you’re all set for a good, stress free time. Make a reservation today!