From April 19 to 21, Downtown Indianapolis was abuzz with the U.S. Department of State’s Career Connections conference, co-hosted by The International Center and Global Ties U.S. The three-day event brought together 30 alumni from 14 U.S. Exchange Programs in over 20 countries, connecting them with some of central Indiana’s leading figures in business, government, and non-profit industries.
Career Connections kicked off with an open house at The International Center’s offices, where participants were warmly welcomed with refreshments and the chance to catch up with old friends and make new connections. The next stop was a networking reception at Regions Tower, where attendees had the opportunity to mingle with influential figures in the region while being serenaded by award-winning violinist Kyle Dillingham.
The Conference’s formal program began at the Eiteljorg Museum, where Kobi Wright, Chief Legal Officer and Business Operations Director at the Indiana Convention Center & Lucas Oil Stadium, shared his inspiring story of volunteering in the Peace Corps and transitioning to a successful legal career. Noel Paul, Founder & CEO of Tiger Careers, presented the CASE Approach to career development, which left the attendees feeling empowered and motivated. The day culminated with a Career Conversations panel, featuring executives from Peace Corps, Keter Environmental Services, Mitch Daniels Leadership Foundation, Purdue Extension and the NCAA.
Following the Indianapolis Cultural Trail throughout Downtown, participants visited the Indiana Statehouse, where they had the opportunity to meet with several representatives from Federal and State Government bodies for a meet-and-greet before taking a behind-the-scenes tour of the building. They also stopped by Gainbridge Fieldhouse, where they heard from Dr. Alison Barber, President & COO of the Indiana Fever, and got to play basketball on the same court where the pros play.
On the second day, the group returned to the Eiteljorg for Career Exploration Roundtables, where State Department alumni working for local and regional government, non-profits, higher education, and the private sector shared their experiences and insights. The alumni also participated in workshops on resume reviews, elevator pitch presentations, grant writing and headshots. Dr. Chuck Dietzen, the founder of Timmy Global Health, gave a rousing presentation on the impact of global healthcare and philanthropy, inspiring everyone in the room to make a difference. Finally, Dr. Kristie Johnson, Vice President of Martin University, closed the event with a plenary on her journey through Asia as Peace Corps Volunteer and Fulbright Scholar, leaving everyone feeling motivated and inspired.
Overall, the U.S. Department of State’s Career Connections Conference was an incredible opportunity for the 30 alumni from U.S. Exchange Programs to connect, learn and grow. With engaging speakers, insightful discussions and plenty of opportunities for networking and career development, this event was a huge success and a testament to the power of collaboration and community.