New IEEE YP Affinity Group in the Region 3 Miami Section: Reflections, Plans and Ideas
June 19, 2021
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IEEE Young Professionals is a global group of people who want to develop their professional profile, expand their global network, connect with peers locally, and give back to their communities. You must be a member of IEEE to join the IEEE Young Professionals group. The group’s offerings are incredibly diverse, as it includes everyone from new university graduates to seasoned professionals and entrepreneurs.

Typically, IEEE Regions, Sections, or Geographic Councils have non-technical subunits called an “affinity group,”. IEEE has four affinity groups: Young Professionals (YP), Women in Engineering (WIE), Consultants Network (CN), and Life Member (LM). Affinity groups serve as a local gateway to the valuable services available from IEEE. Guest speakers, workshops, seminars, and social events are examples of affinity group events. These events offer participants invaluable opportunities to network on a local level, allowing them to advance personally and professionally. A petition with a specific business plan, including a mission and goals, scheduled meetings, events for the first six months, and at least 6 IEEE Graduate Student Members or higher-grade signatures are required to form an affinity group. The Geographic parent Executive Committee must approve the completed petition. After the Regional Director and IEEE organizational parent have authorized the establishment of the Affinity Group, it will be considered active. The Member and Geographic Activities Board, the IEEE organizational parent, and the geographic parent will be notified by the IEEE Member and Geographic Activities Managing Director.

A YP affinity group in a section will allow graduate students and Young Professionals to be a part of the global group and explore all of the available resources. This realization worked as a driving force and motivated Miss Naznin Akhter, a graduate student at Florida International University, to submit a petition for forming the YP affinity group in Region 3 Miami section. Although her initial business plan to feature the YP events in Miami was rejected on 24 August 2020, she never gave up on forming the YP affinity group. She started coordinating with the Region 3 YP coordinator and submitted the updated business plan with his guidance. Her second petition got approved, and she received the formal congratulation letter on 29 October 2020.

Despite the pandemic crisis, this Miami YP team has been successful in achieving its goal of organizing two events per semester, starting from January 2021. So far, they have organized events on Entrepreneurship, Career guidelines from Young Professionals, online social networking, and fun game events via the SpatialChat platform, etc.  They are looking forward to arranging more enthusiastic events like a Town Hall meeting, Resume or career-building workshop, Mental health awareness session for graduate students, Panel discussion with the Miami based Industry Professionals, and more. The team firmly believes that these activities will benefit the graduate students in the Miami section and help them towards a smooth transition from students to Young Professionals. At times, a small piece of information learnt through networking can play a significant role in job hunting and landing a dream job. Having a Young Professional group can always come in handy to serve that purpose.

Article Contribution:

Miss Naznin Akter is currently serving as the Founding Chair of IEEE YP (as well as Chair of WIE) at the Miami section and actively working on getting more volunteers on board. Her vision and goal as a graduate student and also the chair of the YP affinity group is to highlight and address the needs of the graduate students, fulfil those needs by organizing knowledge build-up sessions, career pathways discussion forum, guideline and directions for entrepreneurship and build a strong force of fresh graduates who will be able to shine in the professional world ahead of them.

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