IEEE Young professionals (YPs) now are unstoppable. And so is their growth. In fact, today’s young professionals do not envision their growth through the usual path anymore. They no longer believe in staying wholly dependent on their institutions or organizations to create career paths for them. No. Instead, YPs want to grow, lead, and give back to their community.
IEEE working professionals and visionaries Abdur Rehman from Seattle, Anna Revolinsky from Portland, and Sean Garrity from Vancouver knew this. It was through their chance encounter on a bus-ride to a local event in New Orleans, Louisiana (Future Leaders Forum 2016) that the IEEE Pacific Northwest (PNW) Young Professional Conference —- first of its kind —- was created.
On July 22nd, 2017, over 50 IEEE members who are students or young professionals came to Red Lion Hotel in Bellevue, Washington to meet and join the grandest convergence of fellow YPs. Attendees consisted of YPs across Canada, Washington, Oregon, and California who were from industries like software development and R/D, engineering and design, project and program management, technology businesses development, web development, and database engineering. This remarkable range gave YPs the best opportunity to engage with a lot of great people—- some of which are directly part of the same industry, and some who are not, yet still add rich, vital vibe omnipresent in the IEEE-sphere. Unsurprisingly, effective networking came top in what attendees liked best, as indicated in a post-event survey.
In keeping the vision of creating global leaders, YPs were taken to full course programs, starting with “Leveraging IEEE & Membership Training” by Joe Decuir, University of Washington professor and rock band bassist. This was followed by a lively Q/A session with Jay Dave and Vineet Kulkarni who are both managers at Amazon. It was a highly anticipated open Q/A session on fostering and growing both good and challenging employee-manager relationships. Subject on negotiation tactics was also presented by Sean Garrity, a marketer now a consulting power generation engineer who dreams to save the world through the power of communication and negotiation.
Project Managers Valerie Barber and Aaron Drake delivered an excellent presentation on contemporary project management focusing on its attributes and best practices of which was followed by a highly interactive open discussion. The respected mentor of technical staff and veteran multi-disciplinary engineer Evelyn Hirt concluded the sessions by presenting her take on “The Value of Mentorship: Giving and Receiving” which explored the long term viability of mentoring.
The IEEE Pacific Northwest Young Professional Conference is slated to rotate annually across Seattle, Vancouver BC, and Portland to continue the mission of organizing events that encourage active networking and engagement among its IEEE PNW YP members. The 2018 PNW YP conference is scheduled to take place in Vancouver, BC.