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My Experience with Seize the City

Young Professionals in DSM USA Seize the City

July 28, 2017

This summer I was given the special opportunity to experience Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. I discovered the Greater Des Moines Partnership through my internship program at Principal Financial Group. Coming to DSM has been one of the best decisions I have made as a young professional. I’ve not only grown my business acumen and job experience, but along the way met great friends, discovered delicious food and created memories for a lifetime.

As an intern at Principal, they provided a multitude of opportunities, one in particular being the Seize the City Series put on by the Greater Des Moines Partnership.

About Seize the City

Seize the City events brought together interns from companies all throughout the city. Different DSM-based companies host each event and provide a panel of successful business professionals for Q and A sessions. Each event was focused around a central business topic, for example one being “Personal Branding.” With the members on the panels rotating weekly, each panel offered new perspectives and developmental opportunities. I would recommend this to anyone interning in DSM because of the ability to network with seasoned business professionals.

I got involved with the Seize the City program because I believe in the vision and values that Seize the City stands for. Seize the City created a space for young up-and-coming business professionals to grow and build up the region of DSM. By harnessing this young talent and empowering the interns, it’s inevitable that they will give back to the region. They can provide fresh perspectives and bring new energy to the table.

Maximize Career Growth in DSM

One of the things that I will take with me and pass down is something one of the panel members said that resonated with me. It was at the Nationwide campus where the main idea around the panel discussion was building transferable skills to maximize career growth. The associate vice president of sales-direct distribution, Gregory Holman, spoke about doing the things that are uncomfortable in life and challenging yourself. There are things in life where you might be scared to take that next step because you might be unsure of the outcomes or your abilities but Mr. Holman spoke about how those are the opportunities one should always take. This idea resonated with me the most because before coming to DSM, I had two days to decide whether or not I wanted to come visit this city and apply for an internship that I might not even get. I decided to jump on a bus and visit a new city with a company I had never even heard of until a counselor at my college brought it up. Looking back, I was unsure at the time if I should leave and even try because I was that person who wasn’t sure of his abilities and was scared to take that next step in his life. I realize now that because I did take that next step, I ended up in a great city — with a great internship — and with a new perspective to challenge myself like Mr. Holman said. I know now to be a successful young business professional I must continue to be comfortable with the uncomfortable.

Interested in learning more about the Seize the City intern series? Looking for an internship in Greater Des Moines (DSM)? Or trying to find intern housing while in DSM for an internship? The Greater Des Moines Partnership has you covered.

Erick Gonzalez

Born and raised in Wisconsin, Erick Gonzalez is currently a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and majoring in Human Resources with an entrepreneurship certificate.