The Grant County Economic Growth Council will host its fourth Connect Series event this week in Marion. Organizers say the program will feature networking opportunities and presentations from Indiana entrepreneurs.

October 17, 2013

News Release

Marion, Ind. — Nationally renowned entrepreneurs and business professionals Nick Carter, Daniel Herndon and Jacob Schpok are coming to the Ivy Tech Conference Center (Marion) on Thursday, Oct. 24, 6-8 pm to speak at the fourth bi-annual Connect Series networking event. The Grant County Economic Growth Council initiative connects local college students and professionals, offers professional development opportunities, and promotes Grant County.

Author-enterprenuers Carter and Herndon were both recognized last year in Indianapolis Business Journal's “Forty Under 40” for their professional successes. These young business minds will come together with Schpok, executive director of the Indiana Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, in a talk back session to inspire students in their business ventures as well as facilitate networking between the students and local professionals in attendance.

“Networking is the lifeblood of every professional and aspiring professional,” said GCEGC Marketing and Communications Director Courtney Smear, “The Connect Series is a great resource for college students because it provides them invaluable opportunities to not only learn from seasoned professionals but also to refine the networking skills they will use throughout the course of their careers.”

Indiana Wesleyan University's Career Development Coordinator Caitlin Finch sees this kind of networking as “one of the best ways to effectively approach the job search process. If the statistics are true–that 80% of all jobs are found through networking–then it becomes imperative that college students learn the art of networking in efforts to continue to build a professional contact list and eventually land a job.”

Free pizza and an interactive networking game create a comfortable, fun environment for students to connect with professionals and for those professionals to meet the up-and-coming local talent.

“Last year's Connect Series was an exciting opportunity to 'talk shop' with other students and area professionals,” said IWU public relations major Franki Reynolds (sr). “I loved having conversations with people who were just as excited about growing their network and the speakers had great things to say.”

The Connect Series additionally provides an opportunity for the Grant County Young Professionals Network (GCYPN) to “serve its mission of bringing together young, high energy individuals for the purpose of collaboration, conversation, and networking to promote leadership in Grant County,” according to Executive Director Cory Matchette. “The nationally renowned guest speakers allow young professionals exposure to entrepreneurs with a wide array of experiences while strengthening their professional network.”

Source: Grant County Economic Growth Council

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