COVID-19 Update: Northeast Indiana employers can access regional COVID-19 resources here.

Why Live and Work in Fort Wayne? Visitor Explains Region’s Attractive Qualities

October 23rd, 2017

Job Opportunties, Quality of Life Make Fort Wayne a Great Place to Relocate

As a college student studying actuarial science at the University of Illinois, I tend to think of Chicago and New York City as the best places to find a job and start a career due to the abundance of entertainment and opportunities within the insurance field. Aside from Chicago and NYC, I would probably look at some of the other major American cities, such as San Francisco, and Hartford, the insurance capital of the world. But if you asked me to search for a job in Fort Wayne, I will simply laugh and say, “Sure. I’ll go knock on a random farmhouse and harvest corn in the middle of nowhere, Indiana. That works!”

Fort Wayne

After going on the Regional Partnership’s inbound trip to Fort Wayne, I feel that I can go back in time and laugh at myself because my assumptions about Fort Wayne were simply nonsense.

I did not see farmhouses or corn in Fort Wayne. Instead, I uncovered a city filled with an abundance of opportunities, recreational amenities and a passionate, welcoming community (not to mention the low cost of living, too).

Fort Wayne is filled with more than 30 insurance companies comprised of pretty much any type of insurance you can think of: life, health, property and casualty, reinsurers and consultancies. However, what strikes me as interesting is that there are also firms that provide services to very unconventional businesses, such as churches, events, NASCAR, and even celebrities.

Furthermore, as a college student looking to create a significant impact fresh out of college, you may need to work at a firm that is open to trying out different approaches. Most firms in Fort Wayne are open to trying out new ideas and innovations.

Ash Brokerage, with their recent launch of JourneyGuide, a spin-off company which created a tool to help people plan their retirement income, is a great example of such a firm open to innovation. That openness to innovation makes Fort Wayne a great place to start a career.

Now, you may be thinking, “Fort Wayne is filled with opportunities I am looking for, great! But still, Fort Wayne is in the middle of nowhere and there is not much going on within the city.” It is true that Fort Wayne does not possess as many recreational amenities as Chicago or NYC. However, I would say that there are enough things going on within the city that will keep you entertained, especially if you are working a 9-to-5 job and studying for actuarial exams at the same time.

I found biking around the city and its well-maintained parks to be enjoyable. Also, if you’re a baseball fan, Fort Wayne has its own baseball team, the TinCaps, and they have a great stadium, too. However, what I enjoy most would be spending my night at the local pubs, such as The Golden, The Hoppy Gnome and the Deck. These pubs possess good ambience and serve quality food and drinks at an affordable price (talking about college student’s budget). That low cost of living with higher quality of life is another reason on why Fort Wayne is a great place to start a career.

The job opportunities, recreational amenities and low cost of living are some of the reasons why Fort Wayne is a great place to start your career after college.

However, you may think again, “I will be leaving most of my friends if I move to Fort Wayne as they will probably stay in Chicago.”

In the end, the major selling point which convinced me that Fort Wayne is a great place to start is the people.

There are a couple of organizations comprised of young professionals within Fort Wayne which exist to create a welcoming community and develop your leadership skills, such as the Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana (YLNI) and the Emerging Leaders Alliance (ELA).

The members of these organizations whom I met were accommodating and they seemed passionate to develop the city. Also, the members mentioned that their organizations frequently have guest visits and mentorship from executives in local companies. In fact, the speakers for all the company presentations that I attended in Fort Wayne were, at least, vice presidents in their respective firms. Now that is an opportunity to network!

Where else would you be able to have conversations and learn from upper management of multiple Fourtune 500 companies?

That passionate community, which has the passion to develop each other and has the support of upper management within the city, makes Fort Wayne a great avenue for both personal and career growth which makes Fort Wayne a great place to build a career.

After going on the field trip to Fort Wayne, I am convinced that Fort Wayne has the potential to grow exponentially. It’s a great city for up and coming young professionals to live in. The job opportunities, recreational amenities, low cost of living and passionate community are among some of the many reasons on why I think Fort Wayne is a great place to build a career.

However, I was only convinced of the amazing features that Fort Wayne has to offer after I went on a trip to Fort Wayne. With that said, I would highly encourage you to check the city out for yourself. Perhaps, your trip to Fort Wayne will open you to explore the abundance of opportunities that Fort Wayne has to offer and perhaps, taking that leap of faith to be a part of this great community will be your ticket to success in the future.