Flashback: IEEE Young Professionals Leadership Meeting, Costa Rica
May 17, 2017
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IEEE Young Professionals Face-to-Face Meeting Gets Hands-On

This year’s IEEE Young Professionals face-to-face meeting took place between 31st March and 2nd of April, in San Jose, Costa Rica. A total of 29 members attended the meeting, including the IEEE Young Professionals Executive Committee, six Young Professionals Regional Coordinators, three Young Professionals Society Representatives, IEEE President and CEO Karen Bartleson, the MELCC Chair Ed Palacio, as well as IEEE staff members and local Section representatives. In just three days, the participants managed to produce outstanding deliverables, and the overall outcome of the meeting was extremely positive.

The meeting was off with a dynamic start, by taking a look at the current achievements and challenges faced by Regions and Societies, in addition to their plans for 2017. Each volunteer representing either a Region or a Society gave a short presentation, and participants got the chance to exchange ideas and receive support for their actions. While the morning saw all participants getting to know each other and interact, the afternoon had a different approach to kick-starting the hands-on part of the meeting. Divided into two groups, one consisting of Regional volunteers and the second of Society volunteers, attendees tackled the task of defining guidebooks for Young Professionals Regional Coordinators and Young Professionals Society Representatives. The guidebooks aim to provide high-level information, recommendations and advice for volunteers in the respective positions and improve knowledge dissemination.

The second day of the meeting was no less intense, consisting of two [proactive?] workshops. During the morning workshop, the two teams from the previous day got busy with writing up the guidebooks and delivering a draft version that will be edited by the IEEE Young Professionals Executive Committee. The two guidebooks will be published by the end of July. The second workshop focused to involving the volunteers in the IEEE Young Professionals Business Plan, specifically by looking at the Loyalty and Recognition Program. The participants were divided into five teams, each of them examining a specific target group, and they had to create journey maps to illustrate possible approaches to the Loyalty and Recognition Program. Through this exercise, several plausible implementation methods for the program in question have been identified, and the Executive Committee will proceed with in-depth examination.

The third and final day was dedicated to making decisions and defining where the Young Professionals stand. Two motions were passed with unanimous support: one motion resolves to work together with Regional Directors to develop succession strategies for their Regional Young Professionals Coordinators, in order to ensure smooth and successful transitions between Coordinators; while the other motion determined to start a joint effort with the Young Professionals TAB Representatives to examine the needs and challenges Young Professionals Society Representatives face regarding their positions. Finally, a statement of support was endorsed by all present members towards IEEE President and CEO Karen Bartleson, acknowledging the need to understand Young Professionals’ opinion of IEEE Collabratec™, and to undertake the task of creating a survey to fulfill this need.

Overall, this year’s IEEE Young Professionals face-to-face meeting, although limited in terms of participants, was a resounding success. With two guidebooks under way, a more concrete picture regarding one of the Business Plan projects, and two motions passed with universal support, Young Professionals have demonstrated just how much can be achieved in 3 days with a dedicated and cohesive team. The IEEE Young Professionals Executive Committee is extremely grateful to all the attendees, their hard work and exciting outlook on life.

Article contributed by Flavia Dinca, Vice Chair, IEEE Young Professionals

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