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Two Drake Students win jobs in 'Four Hire' Competition

March 3, 2006

CONTACT: Amanda Steward, (515) 286-4947, asteward@desmoinesmetro.com;
Lisa Lacher, (515) 271-3119, lisa.lacher@drake.edu


Drake University students Brenna Gannon and Benton Hendrix were among the four winning candidates to hear the welcome words "You’re hired!" at the Four Hire! competition news conference held today at Capital Square in downtown Des Moines.


Gannon, a senior from Ankeny majoring in international business and marketing, was hired by Principal Financial Group as an assistant communications consultant.


Hendrix, a senior from Wray, Colo., majoring in management and marketing, was hired as a farm underwriting trainee by Allied Insurance — A Nationwide Company.


The other winners were Tarek Fahmy, a senior majoring in business management at the University of Northern Iowa, who was hired by Wells Fargo Financial as an outbound sales specialist; and Amanda Morrow, a senior majoring in public relations and journalism at Grand View College, who was hired by the Des Moines Register as RAGBRAI merchandise coordinator.
The Four Hire! Program is a new annual competition designed by the Greater Des Moines Partnership's Young Professionals Connection to retain Iowa college graduates for job opportunities in the Des Moines metro area.


"This program has allowed me to meet and network with other dedicated young professionals," Gannon said. "I am very excited to accept a position with the Principal Financial Group, and look forward to beginning a career filled with wonderful opportunities at a great company."


Hendrix described the Four Hire! competition as "a life-changing and exciting opportunity." He added that "Within months of coming to Des Moines from my hometown in Colorado, I knew I wanted to call Iowa home. Now, after the Four Hire! process I am even more confident that this is the ideal place to live, work and raise a family."


The four winning candidates were selected from applications and three-minute videos submitted by students from around the state. Twelve candidates began the competition by participating in an interview process with each of the four companies on Jan. 13. The candidates were then narrowed to eight based on their performance in the first group challenge on Feb. 10, which involved developing a marketing plan to attract potential residents to the Des Moines area. The candidates then faced an individual challenge on Feb. 24 when they were asked to devise plans to address the potential needs of the new Des Moines Central Library. The four winning candidates were chosen by the four hiring companies based on each candidate’s performance completing these tasks.

A television crew from Mediacom Communications followed the job candidates throughout the challenge. As broadcast sponsor, Mediacom is producing a series of programs documenting the entire Four Hire! competition. The first Four Hire! segment will air statewide on the Connections Channel on Wednesday, March 8 at 9 p.m.; Thursday, March 9, at 9:30 p.m. and Friday, March 10, at 6:30 p.m. Check local listings or http://www.connections22.com/ for additional show times.


For more information about the Four Hire! competition, visit http://www.fourhiredm.com/.