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Crafting Careers: The Wichita Advantage for Business Professionals

By Emily Younger Barnwell 

Wichita isn’t just a city; it’s a haven for professional development and advancements, according to Luke Stenzel, a former track athlete turned business manager.

The All-American Emporia State University sprinter and his fiancé Nora moved to the ICT from Overland Park, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City in 2023.

Nora accepted a position in Wichita State University’s Physician Associate (PA) program. Stenzel, a business services manager at BHC + Savoy, transferred from the engineering consulting and surveying firm’s Overland Park location to its new and growing office in downtown Wichita.

“Wichita gave both Nora and me opportunities we would not have had in Kansas City. We were both able to grow in our professional lives from the opportunity Wichita presented us,” explained Stenzel.

Stenzel, 27, took on an elevated role at BHC + Savoy, going from a business services lead to a business services manager. His days involve juggling business development and marketing initiatives while maintaining and improving the day-to-day operation of the Wichita office.

Meanwhile, Nora is excelling in the WSU PA program after having worked for several years in orthopedics and sports medicine at the University of Kansas Health System in Overland Park.

Wichita’s Welcome

While nothing about Wichita surprised the couple per se, Stenzel said he and Nora were blown away by the community’s generosity.

“I can’t say enough how welcoming everyone has been to me personally and to BHC + Savoy as a company. There’s always someone willing to lend a hand to help you find your way,” Stenzel emphasized.

It seems the pair have found their way – the self-proclaimed foodies have made it their mission to try as many local spots as possible. The Monarch and River City Brewery have quickly become two of their favorites, but that’s not all.

“I didn’t realize downtown Wichita had so many awesome craft breweries. Nortons, Central Standard, and Hopping Gnome are some of our go-to happy hour and weekend hangout spots especially when we can be outside,” Stenzel said.

It’s not just about work and play; Wichita’s practical perks won the couple over too. Stenzel raves about the short commute times and easy access to Wichita’s Arkansas River.

“The 10-minute commute to almost anywhere in the city from downtown is a welcome change from the Kansas City traffic I am used to,” he said. “I am a runner so being able to enjoy the river walk for miles on a run is amazing.”

Advice to Others

To skeptics eyeing Wichita, Stenzel has some advice: “Come experience the community for yourself, and you will quickly realize there is more to the area than the perception you might have. There is plenty to do, the cost of living makes the barrier to entry low, and the people in the community make you want to stay.”

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