Get Involved with the Corridor

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Today’s post covers a topic that is near & dear to my heart. I know that to some of you, volunteering can come with loaded expectations and worries, but I can assure you that it is not as scary as it sounds. Actually, it’s quite the opposite; it’s very rewarding. I served at many places throughout my college years, which gave me the experience and confidence I needed to be successful in other parts of life. Helping someone else out is a feeling that can’t be replaced. Not to mention, serving others has really taken off over the last few years. So, not only would you be helping others out, you’d be cool, too. ;)

Need more convincing? We have 3 opportunities for you to get involved here at the Corridor. I think you’ll find them all extremely valuable and worthy of gathering additional information. Check them out.

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1. Okoboji Entrepreneurial Institute Week

There’s no doubt about it, OEI is our biggest event at the Iowa Lakes Corridor. Although it seems silly to explain what it entails once again, I want to make sure you’re aware of all the activities that take place throughout the week. Each day, the students participate in a business-like simulation with their fellow group members. The afternoons are packed with business visits, service projects and pitch-offs…which brings me to the night events (this is where you come in). At night, students are escorted off to a fabulous home with spectacular food, hosted by an OEI volunteer. The host welcomes us into their home with open arms and will give a short speech about how they got to where they are today. We’ve had some wonderful hosts over the years and can’t wait for many more to come. If you’d be interested in having the 32 enthusiastic college students over for a night, please contact me at aguessford@lakescorridor.com at any time.

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But WAIT! Don’t push “send” just yet. We have some more OEI opportunities that you may be interested in. Remember how I said the students get escorted off to each of these events? Well, we are always looking for drivers to transport groups to their final destination. This is a chance to get to know the students on a personal level and for them to network with you throughout the week. Lastly, the students travel from all over the state to attend this “week of weddings.” We have found that the students gain most experience from being around and learning from other entrepreneurs. What better way to exemplify how hard an entrepreneur works than to have the students stay with these accomplished people? That’s right; we seek individuals/families to host a few students for the week so their experience is one to remember. We truly appreciate the folks that share their guest bedrooms each summer to provide a “home away from home” for the participants. Please contact the Corridor if you’re interested!

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2. Become a Corridor Mentor

There are a few places to get involved this way. We have many clients that visit our office to work with Brian Dalziel, our Senior Vice President, about the feasibility of starting a company. Brian is very knowledgeable when it comes to start-up companies, but sometimes it’s nice to have those of you who have specialized in one specific area be a mentor of sorts to one of our clients. Whether it be financial or marketing advice that is sought, any and all information helps our entrepreneurs out greatly. Brian will recommend his clients talk to you so they can receive details on a more focused area of work.

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The second way to be a mentor is through our Spousal Network program. When a family moves to the area, much of the fear is that their spouse will not be able to find job or have a place for their children to go. It’s our job to settle their worries. What we ask our helpers to do is be like a tour guide for a designated area. If the family wants to see churches and schools, we’d like you to take them around to different churches and schools. Employers: this is a great opportunity for you to fill any positions that are open within your company. If you let us know, we’d be happy to post job descriptions on our Job Center Page!

3. Junior Achievement

JA is a program that I have been involved with during my short time at the Corridor, and I’m so glad I decided to give it a try. There are many classrooms throughout the area that have agreed to the implementation of the program. To make JA successful, we need volunteers. That’s where you come in! The commitment is minimal, you get to help our youth learn about entrepreneurship & you have a chance to share your success stories with many children; what’s not to like about it? :) I was a second grade volunteer in September/October and couldn’t have been happier with my experience. For more information on my time with JA, click here. If this program sounds fun, please contact Brian Dalziel (bdalziel@lakescorridor.com) or myself (aguessford@lakescorridor.com). You can also call us at 712.264.3474.

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I hope this has prompted you to seek additional information and give it a try. The Iowa Lakes Corridor needs people throughout various times of the year; if you’re unable to help in the summer, we’ll gladly take you in the fall or winter. Please don’t hesitate to get a hold of anyone at the our office for more details.

Hope to hear from you soon!

Check out the rest of our blog here!

- Alexa Guessford

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Category: Blog