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The DSM Fellowship Program Works to Attract, Develop and Retain Diverse Young Professionals.

DSM Fellowship Program

March 1, 2019

Fourteen companies in Greater Des Moines (DSM) have chosen to invest in their young professionals through sponsoring a select number of them to in the DSM Fellowship Program. This two-year program operates with the primary goals of attracting, developing and retaining diverse young professionals in the metro area and focuses on the participant’s personal and professional growth.

Diverse Viewpoints and Perspectives

Throughout the program, we fellows are given the opportunity to immerse ourselves within a group of diverse young professionals with various backgrounds to collaborate on several projects and initiatives. By being a part of a group of twenty-four individuals that come from differing backgrounds, we have the unique opportunity to share and hear the opinions and insights of those that may not have otherwise had representation in these settings. Through the sharing of our various experiences and insights, we all benefit, as it enables the practice of having an open mindset. It also displays the importance of hearing other viewpoints and perspectives, which is vital for a community and its future.

Getting Involved

We are also encouraged to get involved both internally throughout our organizations as well as externally in the DSM community.

Internally, we have the opportunity to tour each of the fourteen companies sponsoring the program and meet the respective leadership teams of each in an informal setting. This has proven to be a great advantage of the Fellowship Program, we are able to gain insight that other young professionals do not typically have the advantage of receiving.

Externally, we engage with the community through service activities, nonprofit projects and conversations with various business and political leaders. We are also presented with networking opportunities through many Greater Des Moines Partnership sponsored events that provide us with additional exposure in the early onset of our careers.

Professional Development Opportunities

In furthering our professional development skillset, we have access to several courses and respective resources.

At the conclusion of this two-year program, we will have completed the following courses:

  • Self-Knowledge & Self-Awareness
  • How to Speak Your Way to Success
  • Professional Presence
  • Championing Innovation and Leading Change
  • Active Leadership & Mentorship
  • How to Achieve Winning Outcomes
  • Global Proficiency
  • Business Acumen
  • The Art of Delegation

These courses offer training programs and coaching services, as well as provide us with the skills development for us to be as effective and efficient in our workplaces as possible.

Friends and Colleagues to Last a Lifetime

Gaining lasting connections with the contacts we have and will continue to build throughout the two years has proven to be another great perk of this program.

The relationships we fellows have with each other, with the mentors and leaders of our companies, as well as with the other various individuals we have been introduced to, have all proven to be extremely beneficial. Continuing to grow our circles this early in our careers will only help to set us up for the bigger and better opportunities that will come our way.

I think it’s safe to say the DSM Fellowship Program’s primary goals of attracting, developing and retaining diverse young professionals are being achieved, because they are continuing to support young professionals. Thanks to the Fellowship Program, the Des Moines metro will have no problem keeping us around!

Young Professionals Connection (YPC) aims to attract and retain young professionals in Greater Des Moines (DSM) by connecting emerging leaders to each other and to the community through social, civic, charitable and professional development endeavors. Learn how you can get involved.

Daianera Whitaker

Daianera Whitaker is from Cedar Falls and attended the University of Northern Iowa where she obtained her degree in financial management and business economics. During her time at UNI, she was a member of the UNI Track & Field Program as a sprinter. Daianera current works at Farm Bureau Financial Group as a life business analyst. In addition to her work, she is the Girls Sprints Coach at Urbandale High School and is a member of the Iowa Women's Foundation Des Moines Advisory Group and the UNI Young Alumni Advisory Board.