Entrepreneurship in A Great Place by A Great Lake
My favorite part of my summer internship has been the ability to explore and discover the city of Milwaukee. Although my FIS office is in the northern suburbs, Milwaukee is very accessible with a car and I’ve been able to discover cafes and shops around various neighborhoods—the city is known as the “big city of small neighborhoods”. Milwaukee is truly a well-kept secret; there’s always something fun to do here, and the activities are inclusive for all ages—Brewery tours, the world’s largest music festival, professional sports teams in newly built stadiums, heritage festivals every weekend, and local artists’ galleries galore. I have eaten cheese curds at least once a week since I got here and I’d say that’s a leading metric of a fabulous Wisconsin summer. I will be driving back home next week and I have to say that, while I’ve been active, there’s still so much more left to see and do (and eat).
I might have had a different experience 10 or 20 years ago. Over $3 billion has been invested into the city in the past decade, and a lot of that has gone into improving housing options. Many corporations have opened offices here, and there are multiple startup networks and co-working spaces. This summer, I have been able to witness firsthand the hopes for the Midwest of the future—and connect political and business narratives about entrepreneurship everywhere to the growth and enthusiasm I see around me. Babson’s Centennial commencement speaker, AOL Founder Steve Case, has launched Rise of the Rest which highlights entrepreneurship in up-and-coming cities. Similarly, 2020 Presidential candidate Andrew Yang has discussed the importance of supporting innovation in order to help former industrial cities flourish again. Yang’s organization Venture for America supports fellows to help them lead the effort to create jobs in cities like Baltimore, Pittsburg, Cleveland and Detroit. Continued innovation and investment will allow Milwaukee to grow and become a leader and destination in the Midwest. After completing my internship in Milwaukee this summer, I would encourage my peers to consider adding lesser-known cities to their job searches.