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Miller: Utilize Iowan resources after graduation

BY GUEST COLUMN | MAY 08, 2013 5:00 AM

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You’re about to cross a major milestone in your life that not only is a great accomplishment but also now has earned you credibility in the “real world.”

Congratulations.

I can’t tell you how great I felt when I was able to tell people I am a college graduate of the University of Iowa. You’ll be able to share that experience in a few short days.

When I graduated, I moved to Southern California, landed a job at a tech company, and hoped to start living the dream. I was still accustomed to Iowa City’s cost of living and, of course, the inexpensive nightlife. I soon found out that buying the new luxury car and beachfront house wasn’t in my near future.

I received an email for a job in Iowa City and almost disregarded it because I wasn’t planning a return. After a bit of research, I learned that companies actually paid more in Iowa City because of the low unemployment rate.  Plus, the cost of living was lower.

Long story short, I came back to Iowa City because Iowa enabled me to live that lifestyle.

The low cost of living, access to international airports, low unemployment rate, and a culture dedicated to helping others made my decision an easy one. Those qualities of Iowa progressed me into a great job at a large company and then helped me transition into my software start-up, TelePharm.

Now that I have been in Iowa City for the past two years, I can tell you firsthand it was the best decision I have made in my post-college career. You won’t find other places full of people wanting to help the young and ambitious. Returning to Iowa, I did not have a strong professional network, but it came within a few months. I was able to build my network by reaching out to area professionals and telling them of my ambition to build my company and better my life.  They all responded with enthusiasm and an open door to their network to help me realize my goal.

There is something happening in the state of Iowa. People are committing to building and fostering an entrepreneur culture.  Because of this fostering initiative, the young professional community is cultivating and growing. You’ll find countless publications boasting Iowa’s unique culture districts and commitment to entrepreneurship, like the co-lab or the John Pappajohn Center.

The saying, “You don’t miss it until you don’t have it,” holds true when it comes to Iowa. Any Hawkeye will quickly realize this while traveling during the football season and watching an Iowa football game at an “Iowa Bar.” You’ll find the most passionate fans not only for the Hawkeyes but also for Iowa. They’ll tell you how the best years of their lives were in Iowa City and how they miss it.

I chose not to miss Iowa but to utilize the resources that Iowa offers. Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt Gov. Kim Reynolds attended my ribbon-cutting to launch TelePharm. The Iowa Economic Development Authority granted the Iowa Demonstration Fund to help start TelePharm. Those in the state Legislature have accepted my meeting requests, listened, and took action with my goal of saving rural pharmacies.

I’m looking forward to the benefits Iowa offers as my life transitions into the next stage with the excellence in education, extraordinary health care, and safe neighborhoods. As my business and family grow, Iowa has something to offer for each stage.

As you’re planning and searching for your new beginning, consider the lifestyle and opportunities that Iowa offers.

Roby Miller
Founder and president of TelePharm and alumnus of the University of Iowa


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