I never planned on staying in Connecticut for long. If all had gone according to my high school plan, the Constitution State would have served as merely a stepping stone from my home state of New Hampshire to the hectic city of New York. However, after four years of undergrad at UConn and my current time working as a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Hartford, I have learned that plans by their nature are subject to change. I never accounted for the relationships, personal and professional, that I would build throughout my time here and how they would serve as an awakening to the many opportunities Connecticut has to offer a young professional.
Coming from Nashua, New Hampshire, to the larger city of Hartford, I found it incredibly surprising to discover a tightly-knit community lies under the surface. Faculty at the University of Hartford shower their students with internship openings through connections from their impressive professional networks. One such connection gave me the opportunity to work at the public relations firm McDowell Jewett Communications this summer. I have been on the job for only three weeks and I have met lobbyists, business owners, and Connecticut's Attorney General. All of these new faces (I am working on committing them all to memory) plainly wear a welcoming earnestness to teach a new graduate about the intricacies of their respective fields. The plentiful relationships cultivated by those around me serve as a model to shape my own burgeoning professional career and network.
As important as relationships are in Hartford, so is the city's accessibility. Real estate website, Trulia, and the job postings site, Indeed, have labeled Hartford as a "sweet spot" for college grads. The actuarial field remains one of the most lucrative career paths for college grads, and the Insurance Capital of the world will always have use for its actuaries. Pratt and Whitney, based in East Hartford, announced it will be hiring thousands of workers in the state of Connecticut over the next few years. Hartford is a city filling up with youthful energy. For me, it is fulfilling work to give back to the city that has provided me with amazing career opportunities and relationships that will last a lifetime.
Akash Gejjagaraguppe is currently a graduate student at the University of Hartford studying Communications with a focus in Public Relations. He is also completing an internship this summer with McDowell Jewett Communications.