If I’d have been asked where I would start my career a couple of years ago, I wouldn’t have predicted Lansing.I wanted to go off to a big city like many public relations folks do. But that was before I met my mentor. While interning in Lansing, my boss morphed into an incredible mentor. But she went beyond simply mentoring me as a PR professional; she personally introduced me to Lansing. Through this mentor-turned-ambassador, I got to see the close-knit community, affordable living, job opportunities and entertainment side of Lansing. I found that as a young professional, these attracted me to this unsuspecting city.
With time, I also learned the impact individuals can have in Lansing. One person can easily make waves, and that’s something unique. While building my network, I’ve realized community members are willing to help one another toward success. In Lansing, I have the ability to make a difference. I’m enthusiastic and proud to call Lansing home.
Hannah Leibinger, Account Strategist at Piper & Gold Public Relations
Lansing, Michigan. Asking someone exactly why they live here will yield a myriad of responses: "I came here for college and, well...I just stayed," "I enjoy the peaceful quaintness," and "I can bike and walk anywhere I need to go." I, too, have similar reasons for why I came here, but the sense of community and the warm embrace of its collective culture is what made me call Lansing home. The hashtag "#lovelansing" represents the people of Lansing as much as it represents the city itself. The passion and love people have for Lansing is contagious. If you want to make a positive impact in your community, the support you get here is unmatched.
I have been lucky to find three wonderful communities in Lansing: an incredibly robust creative collective; a well-established Muslim population; and a world class clinical research community at Michigan State University. From the silhouette of Lansing’s hallmark smokestacks to the Brenke Fish Ladder and all the neighborhoods, our capital city has allowed me the opportunity to thrive and continue to develop my sense of self, for which I am thankful. Lansing, Michigan is where I hang my hat and that is something that makes me very proud indeed.
Khalid Ibrahim, epidemiologist at Michigan State University and the owner/lead photographer at Eat Pomegranate Photography
Why I chose to stay in Lansing: This is a question I get asked often, as many of my fellow MSU grads packed up all of those years ago were headed off to big cities around the country: Washington D.C., Chicago, Austin. They were moving out of state and here I was looking to put down some roots in the city I now call home- Lansing.
To me, there is no better place to be at this time in my life than Lansing. I am a young professional with big ideas. While I hold down a 9-5 in the policy world, I consider myself to be a community activist. First and foremost, I am a social justice advocate in all that I do, and hope to make my community as equitable, sustainable and fun as possible. Lansing gives me the opportunity to do just that!
Lansing is the type of community where if you have an idea, the stage is set to go for it! Sure, we may not have the food truck scene, biking infrastructure or environmentally sound policy that cities like, say, San Francisco have, but if you are interested in seeing those things happen, Lansing gives you the opportunity to become a part of that process. Rather than just supporting the ideals that I love, I get to be on committees and have a say in making them actually happen. It feels amazing.
Not to mention, the community of people in Lansing are truly one of a kind.
I am lucky to call Lansing home and hope to encourage others to put down some roots and join the movement of young professionals making a home in this city of endless possibilities and unlimited potential.
Shannon Nobles, Outreach Specialist, Michigan League for Public Policy
Settling down in Lansing seemed like a logical choice for me after graduating from law school at Michigan State. I grew up here and I already had a good job at a local firm. However, I quickly realized that most of my friends from high school and law school were gone, and I didn't really know anyone aside from a few work colleagues. It quickly became apparent that I either needed to make Lansing my own or pick-up and move elsewhere. Once I started to get involved, the decision was easy. I was shocked to see how much was already going on in Lansing that had completely flown beneath my radar and how many other young professionals actually lived here. Given that the area is the seat of state government, home to a Big Ten university, and the headquarters for a number of major businesses, I now realize that this shouldn't have been surprising. However, I still remain impressed by how easy it was for a young person to get involved in the community at a very high level.
Lansing is a great place to live, work, and play. For me, it strikes a perfect balance between life in a small town and life in the big city. The cost of living is low, and the quality of life is high. My monthly mortgage payment is lower than many of my friends pay to rent a studio apartment in a big city. Yet we still have access to fantastic entertainment, from Michigan State athletics and Broadway shows at the Wharton Center to the countless festivals and concerts downtown and in Old Town. And when it's time to work, there are positions available with world-class employers in virtually every industry, with realistic opportunities for advancement. Sure, it may be a little easier to find a job in a big city, but in Lansing you can start a career. As President of Grand River Connection and a member of the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce Board, I am invested in helping Lansing attract and retain talented young workers by helping them to see Lansing as I now do.
I may have landed here by default, but I'm certainly glad that I stayed.
Brian Gallagher is an Employee Benefits Attorney with Fraser Trebilcock Davis & Dunlap, P.C. Brian is also President of Grand River Connection and serves on the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.