To motivate young minds of today’s generation and provide them a networking platform, IEEE Young Professionals Region 2 hosts a networking session annually as a part of IEEE Region 2 Student Activities Conference. As such, the purpose of the event is to provide an opportunity for recruiters, young industry professionals, and students to interact with each other in a relaxed environment. Around 300 students from various engineering universities across mid-Atlantic attend this conference every year for a professionally rewarding experience as they can look for employment opportunities beyond the boundary of their engineering colleges. Further, there is also a fantastic opportunity to establish connections with other engineering graduates whose interests match and who encounter same career hurdles to build positive energy for encouragement and empowerment.
This year, the event was held during 7.00 PM -9.00 PM on April 6th, 2018 at the Residence Inn Pittsburgh/University Medical Center, the sponsored hotel for the IEEE Region 2 Student Activities Conference. There were 169 people in attendance at the event. Out of them, 148 were IEEE student members, 10 were IEEE members, and 11 were non-members. Based on this year’s registration statistics, the top two reasons for attending this session were ‘“To network with industry professionals’” and ‘“To seek future employment opportunities’. One-third of the professional attendees were members of the local IEEE executive committee or the Pittsburgh Section Young Professional affinity group. Through these resources, students could ask direct questions about IEEE Young Professionals and stay involved with IEEE after graduation. A diversity of experiences and perspectives boost up their morale to stand firm and strive hard to succeed.
To promote this event among the students and the young professionals, the organizing team has advertised it in the main conference program which was made available to attendees before the conference, and in the printed booklet handed out at conference registration. There was also a verbal mention of the event to everyone at conference registration desk. Marketing has been done in the most effective way possible to keep the information still fresh in the conference attendees’ minds. Organizing on Friday evening at a travel/rest slot, when there was no other major conference event scheduled, has increased the attendees to this networking session.
The feedback on this networking event was positive and encouraging. One comment read, “Thank you for getting speakers with a variety of industry and educational backgrounds – it made the event much more rounded because attendees were able to hear about experiences and get advice from people with differing perspectives.” Upon such a positive resonance among students and industry professionals, the IEEE Region 2 Young Professionals team are sure to bring many more events of this kind in the coming years.