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Career snapshots

Haley Marie Keith, 28

Hometown: Elkhart, Indiana

Education: Bachelor’s in History from John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas; MBA from Oklahoma State University

Now: Founder and CEO of MITO Material Solutions

What attracted you back to Indiana after college?
Indianapolis is a growing city with the class of the Northeast and the grit of the Midwest. The state is nicknamed the “Crossroads of America,” and I find that to be the best descriptor. Indiana is a great place to grow a business, raise a family and build success for yourself. I was attracted to the opportunity and culture Indiana offered. 

Why is Indiana a good place to work?
Working here has been exciting. Our company has experienced a lot of growth because of the ability to visit with so many manufacturers and partners and grow our customer pipeline base. Recruiting has been easier because of the quality of life and balance that Indianapolis and its suburbs offer.

What do you like about living here?
I love the variety and culture of Indy and its suburbs. We moved to Westfield and frequent the Carmel Farmers Market, the Monon Trail, the zoo and museums. Everything in this area is accessible, the environment is welcoming and well-maintained and the architecture has a lot of character. I am always amazed at the beauty of the city and its functionality (thank you, Carmel roundabouts). It’s a great place to raise a family and grow professionally. 

Luke Zhang, 28

Hometown: Wenzhou, Zhejiang, China 

Education: Bachelor’s in History from John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas; MBA from Oklahoma State University

Now: Founder and CEO of MITO Material Solutions

Education: Degrees in Computer Science, Mathematics and Software Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology; Master’s degree in Computer Science with specialization in Machine Learning from Georgia Institute of Technology

Now: Senior Data Analyst at Resultant

What attracted you to Indiana?
I came to Indiana to start my undergrad degree at Rose-Hulman in Terre Haute. I not only learned so much from my full-time internship with Resultant (formerly KSMC), but also experienced everything great around Indiana. That got me hooked right away.

Why is Indiana a good place to work?
Hoosier hospitality is a real thing. I’ve met so many great people here who are always willing to teach and help. I wouldn’t be who I am without all the help from different friends, coworkers and mentors. The tech industry is also booming here in Indy. Most people don’t realize that outside of Silicon Valley, Seattle or New York City, Indianapolis is a great option.

What do you like about living here?
Hoosiers are so humble that we don’t talk about all the great things here. Cost of living is insanely great. As an active young adult like me, you can find any activities you want here in Indy. We have the Indy 500, Indianapolis Colts, Indiana Pacers, Indiana Fever, Indianapolis Indians, Indy Eleven, Eagle Creek, White River State Park, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, etc. This list goes on and on.  

Kate Maxwell, 39

Hometown: Denver, Pennsylvania

Education: Bachelor’s in Computer Science from University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown; Master’s in Systems Engineering from George Mason UniversityNow: Chief Technology Officer, Worldwide Defense & Intelligence, Microsoft

Now: Chief Technology Officer, Worldwide Defense & Intelligence, Microsoft

What attracted you to Indiana?
I relocated to Indiana with my previous employer, with the option to choose between a few major metropolitan areas. Indy was at the top of my list for a few reasons: career opportunities, quality of life, quality of school system for my kids, cost of living and community resources. We truly love it here, and I am confident that we made the best decision for both life and career. 

Why has central Indiana been a good place to work?
The tech scene here is amazing, and it is growing by leaps and bounds. Organizations like TechPoint are doing an excellent job of … bringing more tech opportunity and investment to the Indy region. And I was thrilled to discover how welcoming and supportive the local tech community is. They welcomed me with open arms and really helped me get plugged in as a newcomer to the state. That warm, inclusive Hoosier spirit is wonderful, and it helped me adjust during my big life and career move. 

What do you like about living here?
Central Indiana has so much to offer—excellent career opportunities, outstanding schools, wonderful communities, affordable housing, a vibrant sports scene, outdoor adventures aplenty. We love it, and we never get bored! I don’t have to sacrifice my life to have a career in Big Tech; I can find the work/life balance that works for me. And that is the most wonderful thing of all. 

Javon Bell, 31

Hometown: Bloomington/Normal, Illinois

Education: Bachelor’s in Fine Arts from IPFW in Fort Wayne

Now: Runs his own web design and development business, Bellaire Studio LLC 

What attracted you to Indiana?
I moved to Fort Wayne in 2008 right after high school. I wanted a change of scenery from my hometown, and my grandmother suggested that I live with her in Fort Wayne. The low cost of living and the job possibilities I’ve been given are the two primary reasons I’ve chosen to stay here.

How has Fort Wayne been good for your career?
I have met so many great people since I moved to Fort Wayne. The relationships I made have propelled my career, and I cannot thank everyone enough. There are career opportunities for just about any career you are looking for in this city. If you decide to pursue your own route as an entrepreneur, the Fort Wayne community will be highly supportive of your efforts. I’ve been able to carve out my own route in web design, and I now work with companies all across the country from Fort Wayne.

What do you like about where you live?
In Fort Wayne, I’ve formed lasting friendships and ties, as well as raising my daughter. What I like best about Fort Wayne is that it allows you to live comfortably while giving you the resources you need to reach your goals. I’ve experienced life-altering experiences that I’ll treasure for the rest of my life. Indiana has been gracious to me, and I hope to continue to make a great impact and influence.

Kyle Varble, 27

Hometown: Rockport, Indiana

Education: Degree in Operations & Supply Chain Management from Indiana State University; studying for MBA at University of Illinois

Now: Procurement Manager/Helicopter Platforms for Rolls-Royce 

Why did you decide to stay in Indiana? 
I’m a life-long Hoosier. Originally from a small, three-stoplight town in southern Indiana, I especially like the community values and welcoming people present across Indiana.

Why has Indiana been a good place to work?
At Rolls-Royce in Indianapolis, we pioneer the power that matters by manufacturing highly efficient integrated power and propulsion solutions for the aerospace, defense and energy markets. Indy has provided me a great place to start my career, to network with young professionals, and to volunteer within the community. 

What do you like about living here?
Indianapolis is a big city with a small-town feel. I especially like exploring new neighborhoods around Indy, hiking at nearby parks, like Eagle Creek or Fort Harrison, or discovering new breweries and restaurants. Also, we’re known as the “Crossroads of America,” so it’s easy to drive to other Midwest destinations or fly out of one of the best airports in North America. 

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