From Impulse and Internship to Choosing Indy

An impulse college choice and a chance internship with an alternative weekly newspaper have earned Indianapolis’ workforce two more creative class millennials in Liz and Mitch Greene! Since young professionals choose where they want to live first and then consider career options, strong industry communities — like Indy’s tech scene — and gripping cultural amenities are essential components in the competition for talent.

Born and raised in St. Louis, Liz Greene didn’t step on Indiana soil until she was 18. As an only child, Liz was ready to get away from the nest — but not too far. She mapped a  variety of schools within a four to five hour radius of St. Louis, but only toured one before making a decision. She was drawn to and made her decision to become a Butler bulldog on impulse.

When a New City Feels Like Home

“This feels right. This is where I’m going,” she thought. Her parents were peeved, though, about her choosing the small university so quickly and without touring others. Liz reasoned that she liked the small size of Butler next to the big city feel of Indianapolis.

During her summers, Liz went back to St. Louis to life-guard at the community pool. There, she met her future husband, Mitch, who was in grad school working toward his J.D. degree at the time. The two made long distance work, and once Liz graduated she made the big move to Houston to be with Mitch, but not before working as a summer intern at Nuvo Newsweekly.

It was the internship at Nuvo that pushed Liz to venture farther off campus. She explored cultural districts like Fountain Square; sampled all of the art, beer, wine and food festivals; watched movies outdoors at the Indianapolis Museum of Art; and attended her first Indy Pride Parade!

Houston, we have a problem.

Liz and Mitch enjoyed Texas. They both had good jobs and good friends. They projected staying there for about seven years, but they became too restless after three.

The city was swallowing them. Their jobs were good, but not great, and Liz missed the Midwestern hospitality. They looked at moving to Chicago, Kansas City, and Indianapolis.

Why not go home to St. Louis?

“It just didn’t seem like an option,” Liz said.  “Mitch and I both grew up in St. Louis and we’d seen all the sights. We wanted to make our own memories in our own city, just like our parents did before us.”

Indy’s Preceding Reputation

The Greenes began the search for careers in their favorite cities, but Liz was already biased to the city she fell in love with as a college student at Butler.

“Even before I got back to Indy, I was hearing about all of the amazing startups and networking opportunities through the tech community,” Liz said.

She had leads in Chicago, and some interviews around Texas, but once she discovered Lesson.ly, a learning software startup in Indianapolis, she pursued it relentlessly.

Liz hadn’t even toured Lesson.ly, but through word-of-mouth and talking with Conner Burt, head of relationships, she was excited to experience the culture. She started as a sales development representative within a week of first inquiring about the position.

Living in Indy. Working at Lesson.ly.

Lesson.ly provides learning software to companies like Modcloth, Lyft, and Birchbox. Lessons built with the software help employees know what, why, and how to do their jobs more efficiently.

Liz expresses her love of being surrounded by genuine people who work together to reach one common goal. She says when she talks with customers, they’re instantly seeing the value of the software and training models. Prior to joining Lesson.ly, Liz always felt like work was dictating her life, but that doesn’t happen now.

What does Liz love most about living and working in Indianapolis?

She loves having the seasons back. She loves the central location that makes it possible to easily travel to Michigan, St. Louis, Kansas City, or Louisville. She is close enough to family that she can see them on a regular basis now. It was so hard being 16 hours apart, but four hours isn’t so bad.

“I have found that the people in Indy are so nice,” Liz said. “Being part of a supportive, innovative community is so important to me, and I have that in Indianapolis.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Joshua Hall is editor of techpoint.org. He writes about Indiana tech companies, jobs, people & events. @joshua2349