By Bernice Radle:
So... what happens when you get offered your dream job somewhere that's not Buffalo? What do you do? Do you leave? Stay?
As a young, emerging professional in the sustainable green building industry and fresh out of college, I have many opportunities knocking every day. I am active in several Buffalo organizations including Campaign for Greater Buffalo and WNYSEA. For those who know don't me, I am all about Buffalo, all day, everyday and I am lucky to be able to work in my field in the city that I love.
Then it happened... the decision that every fresh, enthusiastic graduate faces: I was offered my dream job... in New York City.
All of a sudden, everything came to a halt. I was faced with the decision of working on bigger green building projects in NYC or staying here in Buffalo, still doing what I love but on a much smaller scale. I questioned if Buffalo could lead me towards the success I wanted. I questioned what the success I wanted was. I questioned how either NYC or Buffalo was going to help me get towards my idea of success. Confusing, huh? Yeah, my stomach ached for weeks.
What was I to do? Everyone I looked to for advice said one thing: Follow your gut.
So, the final decision came down to a two factors: Family and Success.
My vision of success is making an impact, provoking change, having amazing relationships and living somewhere I love and respect. I realized that Buffalo needs me way more than NYC and that my time is better spent in a city that will embrace my energy, ideas and love. In Buffalo you can do anything you want to do if you put your heart into it.
Where else can I live cheap, hang with the family, help preserve and 'green' buildings and have something fun to do every night of the week? How could I run away from all of this opportunity?
Well, I couldn't... I knew in my gut that Buffalo was the answer.
Yes, I am staying but let's talk about the more important, bigger picture.
This is the decision making process that every student faces when they graduate. They may or may not be attached to Buffalo as much as I am. But they could be. Everyone wants to feel attached to something, somewhere.
The real questions to ask are: How do we tap into that decision making process? How can we retain as many of the 105,000 students that come to Buffalo for a higher education as possible? How can we reach out to let them know about all the incredible things that are happening in this city and let them know that they can be a part of the change?
These are all questions that we should be asking ourselves because the more people that stay, the more successful Buffalo will be. I realize there are many organizations attempting this but I am curious to hear opinions on what is missing or what more can be done.
What are your thoughts?