Young Professionals – discussion

(led by Carmen Cejudo – ASHRAE)
How to get Young Professionals involved with your local Engineering Society, and special events they coordinate.


Has no YP group, but interested in starting one.  They introduced a young professional rate for attending meetings to encourage attendance.  They provide discounted membership rate.


The University Chapters are their own entity.  No YP group in the Professional Chapter.   Pair up Mentors with Student Chapter members.


Has a YMF (Young Members Forum) group that is growing.  Under 35 years age restriction.  YMF group has own governing structure with 1 year terms.  Their focus is on happy hours.  Younger members don’t think they can be part of committees – have worked to have them also serve on chapter committees.  Have leadership positions including Social Director.  Have 16 committees; encouraging the committee chairs to attend YMF events to get YMF members engaged in committees.  “Older” Board members of the SEAW attending YMF happy hours.


No formal YMF network – have so far mostly focused on college levels.  Offers “bridge loans” for college students to move from Student Chapter to Prof.  Chapter.  After Tour meetings including happy hours.


Has a local YEA group for young professionals, and also a national group – under 35, with independent governing structure and budget.  Have 6-8 local technical programs, followed by networking/happy hour.  YEA group at national level provides Conferences and Training.  New YEA members get discounted rate for first 3 years of membership.  Has a Chair locally for the YEA group.  They try to have engaging and fun events to get YPs involved.  Tours have been very popular.  Local chapter sponsors food/drink – funded by paid Table Top displays from industry at Chapter meetings.  Society sponsors YEA members at Regional and National Conferences.


Called Emerging Professionals, and it has been growing.  It has been around for approximately 3yrs., events are open to all members.  Relies on committed volunteers.  They hold social & technical meetings & tours for their young professionals group.  Poker night was successful and proceeds benefited their scholarship fund.


Have a separate leadership committee for the YP group.  YP group has its own governing structure & own budget.  Have a strong core team of about 20 members.  The YP group runs several educational programs & contests, including the Popsicle Stick Bridge Building competition.  Also have their own Student Chapter Liaisons – this really helps.  Works closely with “mature” members.  Young Professionals group sustains the society.  Provides opportunities for younger members to be leaders within the organization.  Fun events such as sustainability tours, happy hours, Mariners games, & Technical Tours.  ASCE offers free membership for students, dues ramp up from 1st year on.  Communicate membership benefits to YPs to encourage them to join and get involved


Have a dedicated YP coordinator that sits on the Executive Committee.  Local leaders provide event setup, separate events centered on happy hours.  Provide a $100/month budget for YP happy hours.  Nationally have YP magazine & events, very strong & organized at the National level.  Helps to share lessons.


No YP group at local level.  National does provide student to professional transition rate on annual dues.  Have distinguished Young Engineer awards.  Lots of energy comes from new members


No local YP group, but would like to form one.  Have a very active National YP group, that runs several events at the annual Conferences.  Have had success having happy hour chapter meetings with the U.W. Student Chapter.  Recent ISE graduates tend to attend the happy hour events more than regular events.  Lots of local students from U.W. will come to the Student chapter events but won’t come to the Prof. Chapter meetings (or help run the Professional Chapter).


No specific organization for YP’s.  First two years dues relief from full professional dues.  Young professionals are the “Lifeblood” of officers.  See trend where activity drops off mid-career (families) and may re-energize later on.


Have a YP group (21-34) that are active with happy hours, & networking events.  Have a Rising Leaders Forum track at their annual Technical Symposium with specific speakers for YP’s.  Holds a “Speed Mentoring” event that is very popular, and helps build YPs network


No local young professionals group.   Tried to pilot a mentoring program – pairing YPs with more senior engineers, but had very low participation.  SPE is part of YEPPS (Young Engineering Professionals – Puget Sound) – hold an annual event with themed presentations at the Pyramid Brewery (Seattle near the Stadium), trying to revitalize YEPPS, annual event.


No organized YP group (locally or nationally).  Hosted an early career forum in 2009 at Seattle Center.  Some luck in attracting YPs to be officers.  National group not very good about communicating when a new member joins or moves to the region.  National Eclipse Internship program, training in NYC and sponsorship to National Conference.


Networking at beginning of meeting has become popular with young professionals looking for jobs.  Many new YPs recently joined – a good opportunity for networking at every meeting.  Have a Mentoring program, on a request basis.  Have reduced Membership rate for YPs.  Get new member lists of engineers just out of college.


No local YP group.  But a National program does exist.  State focused on mentoring after EIT towards PE.

Young Professionals Session – some open discussion notes

  • Work with Student members to transition to professional chapter – note reduced member rate if applicable
  • Too many social events may turn off older members
  • Keep learning – bake in enough Technical content
  • Networking is very important
  • Be open, don’t control the YP group.  Provide autonomy and separate budget as appropriate.
  • Learn to listen, wait to speak
  • Move through the engagement gap (loss of interest/time when starting a family)
  • Have topics more relevant to broader membership
  • Have council subsidize LinkedIn professional account for YPs – need to look into logistics and cost/benefit
  • Provide main value/benefits of membership
  • YPs are looking for opportunities.  Provide background on how your Board works and encourage them to participate.

Best practices for starting a new YP group:

  • Get recent grads that have passion.
  • Have mixed meetings (happy hour/technical topic).
  • Need to have their own autonomy (leadership/budget).
  • Need to be open to new ways.
  • Community service events are good.
  • Have topics that are more relevant to YP’s.
  • Networking is valuable as part of the meetings.
  • YP’s are looking for opportunities – leadership.