With roughly 80% of recent grads saying they’d relocate for a job, there’s often talk of moving to larger coastal cities like New York and San Francisco that are chock-full of prospects. Hey, being in a huge city instantly means better opportunities, right?
Not so fast. It turns out that there are many smaller Midwestern cities out there that recent grads often overlook, and they can actually offer even more opportunities than their coastal counterparts. Why is working in one of these cities an amazing option professionally as well as personally? We talked to three entry-level Business Analysts from McKinsey about why they love their respective Midwestern locations.
1. You Work With a Smaller, Tight-Knit Team
“It is great working in a smaller Midwest office because everyone in the office knows you by name and you get to be known as a person by everyone. Furthermore, it is really cool getting to live in a place that has a thriving business community but does not feel overwhelming. And within that business community here in Minnesota, it represents a diverse cross-section of various industries: agriculture, retail, healthcare, and defense that are really cool to learn about!” – Hahn, Business Analyst, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Working in huge offices can feel intimidating, and you may not be able to form close bonds with your co-workers in the same way that you do in a smaller office. When you work with a tight-knit group of people, you’re opening yourself up to more responsibilities, more mentorship, and more challenges.
2. You Can Better Impact the City
“Working in Cleveland has been incredible. I love the close-knit community of young people in Cleveland. I believe working in a small city enables recent grads to have an outsized impact in their city. This means getting involved with nonprofit organizations, community organizations, and political organizations. Unlike a big city, you can take on larger roles in these organizations.” – Chris, Business Analyst, Cleveland, Ohio
In larger metropolitan areas, it’s easy to feel like a tiny fish in a gigantic pond. If you’re someone who wants to explore other professional opportunities in a city like some of the ones Chris mentioned, it can be difficult to find your place.
One of the great perks of working in a smaller city is not only getting to work with a close team, but also being embraced in a city’s other communities, too. If you’re someone interested in becoming active in other sectors (like community service or politics), there’s no better place to get your start than in a small city.
And here’s a bonus: Midwesterners are known for being really friendly!
3. You Have a Lot of Places to Explore
“I absolutely love living and working in Denver. The city has everything you could possibly want as a young professional: Great sports teams, a fantastic restaurant scene, and unique neighborhoods with plenty of local businesses. On top of the typical city offerings, Denver offers its own unique flair, from breathtaking views at every turn, to the countless craft breweries and cafes and a one-of-a-kind concert venue, Red Rocks Amphitheater. Finally, when you do choose to leave the city, the Rocky Mountains are a weekend playground unlike any other. I hike and bike in the summer, and in the winter it’s the top place for skiing and snowboarding. You just can’t find this kind of full package on either coast!” – Cecilia, Business Analyst, Denver, Colorado
Think New York or San Francisco are the only cities with lots to do after work and on the weekends? Think again! Cities like Denver, Cleveland, Detroit, and Minneapolis have plenty to offer. And hey, skiing and snowboarding on the weekends in Denver? Count us in.
And another important point to keep in mind: Cost of living is cheaper in a lot of these places, which means more money to spend on cool experiences!
Go on weekend Colorado hikes like Cecilia or become part of Cleveland’s nonprofit scene like Chris by applying to McKinsey’s open positions.