Introduction to the Guide
Young Professionals Volunteer(s) for an IEEE Society/Council
- Who is a Society/Council Young Professionals Chair/rep/liaison?
- What is the role of a Young Professionals volunteer in their Society?
- What are the key responsibilities of a Young Professionals volunteer?
- How to Integrate within Society and IEEE OUs?
Organizational Structure for Young Professionals Program
- Organizational structure of IEEE Young Professionals Committee
- Young Professionals Committee for each Society/Council
- Society Chapters and Regional Coordinators
Young Professionals Activities
- Where to look for the activities (resources)
- Who to talk to for suggestions on activities
- Venue for Events
Best Practices and Success Stories
This wiki is initially created by IEEE Young Professionals Leadership VP in 2019 and incorporates suggestions from the Society/Council YP reps, Technical Activities Staff and Young Professionals Committee Members. It is open to updates and addition of best practices from all YPs.
Introduction to the Guide
This document provides basic guidelines for IEEE Societies/Councils about IEEE Young Professionals volunteers. This document should be considered a starting point for IEEE Young Professionals volunteers in Societies/Councils. However, there is always more information available outside this document. For Societies/Councils, this document can serve as a point of reference about the requirements and expectations of a Young Professionals program in a Society.
Please note that when the word Society is used in this document it actually applies to and includes both Societies and Councils.
The IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) is a professional organization, which provides the latest technical knowledge for its members through conferences, journals, workshops, and continued education, for the advancement of technology for humanity. With more than 400,000 members in more than 160 countries, IEEE is the world’s largest technical professional society.
IEEE has a dual complementary regional and technical structure, based on geographic distribution and technical focus. You can read more about IEEE’s organizational structure on the official website. IEEE Young Professionals program exists to specifically serve young members who are spread across different regional and technical units of IEEE.
Any IEEE member who has graduated from their first degree of education in the past 15 years is automatically included to be a part of the IEEE Young Professionals, free of charge.
Other IEEE members can also opt-in to get involved with IEEE Young Professionals. Members of this community are interested in elevating their professional image, expanding their global network, connecting with peers locally and giving back to the community.
Young Professionals Volunteer(s) for an IEEE Society/Council
IEEE Young Professionals membership is divided across both geographical regions and technical Societies/Councils. To serve the needs of their young professional members, each OU across IEEE recruits young professional volunteers.
Different keywords are used to define roles of young professional volunteers across different IEEE organizational units (OUs). IEEE Societies/Councils have complete autonomy on defining these roles and responsibilities of such roles. The following text can provide some helpful context to define these roles.
1. Who is a Society/Council Young Professionals Chair/Representative/Liaison?
A Young Professionals Representative is a representative of all graduate student members and early career professional members of the society. The Young Professionals Representative also serves as a Liaison to various IEEE OUs to serve the needs of the members. This includes serving as a liaison to the Global IEEE Young Professionals Committee. For more details on this, please read Section 4a. The same representative may serve as a Chair of a committee of other Young Professionals volunteers in the same Society. The roles, composition, and responsibilities of this committee are defined by each Society’s governing body.
2. What is the role of a Young Professionals volunteer in their Society?
- A Young Professionals volunteer represents the next generation of leadership among the Society/Council volunteers. Young Professional reps are volunteers who can learn and interact with all activities for their respective Societies/Councils with the expectation of learning how to lead those activities in the future. In addition, these volunteers represent a bridge between Society/Council leadership and new incoming volunteers/members.
- A Young Professionals volunteer can engage in activities specifically for Young Professionals in Society/Council technical areas. The volunteer can make sure that activities such as conferences, workshops, webinars, publications, etc. are relevant for the young members.
- In addition to engaging existing young members of the society, the Young Professionals volunteer can encourage young people who are active in a Society/Council’s technical subject to join their respective Society/Council.
- The Young Professionals Society/Council Representative/Liaison supports the vitality of Young Professionals members in their society, through organizing activities, communicating with membership and leadership towards the vision of the society.
3. What are the key responsibilities of a Young Professionals volunteer?
- Young Professionals volunteers appointed by Societies/Councils can serve as the liaison between the Society/Council and IEEE Young Professionals committee. As a liaison, the volunteer can learn about global and strategic goals. As a liaison, the volunteer must regularly communicate with the global IEEE Young Professionals committee using appropriate channels. Society/Council reps are expected to attend the annual Face-to-Face meeting of IEEE Young Professionals. More about this in section 4a.
- The Young Professionals volunteers are expected to keep the governing body of the Society/Council updated about regular activities organized for young professionals. This can be done via regular reports. The volunteer can present the report to the Society/Council’s governing board and provide insights for future activities and concerns. The Society/Council are encouraged to invite the rep to attend at least one face to face meeting to give this presentation. In addition, the volunteer can also learn about other relevant activities organized by the Society/Council, and provide young professionals information about those activities. An example of this is inclusion in organization of the flagship conference(s) of the Society/Council, as the volunteer can contribute to attract young member towards the conference(s).
- The Young Professionals volunteer should organize activities which provide benefit to younger members such as graduate students and Young Professionals. A few examples of such activities are regular workshops, meet-ups, engagement at conferences, industry tours, etc. These activities can be organized using funds provided by the Society/Council or using extra funds requested from other resources. More details about the activities in Section 5.
- The Young Professionals volunteer can provide inputs to the strategic goals of the Society/Council. Such interaction can help the Society/Council in the organization of long-term activities and the formulation of strategy which will remain relevant in future. The reps can also include inputs on Society/Council bylaws and guidelines, and ensure that the needs of Young Professionals are included as part of these documents.
- The Young Professionals volunteer should try to build a team with other Young Professionals volunteers of the Society/Council. A team can be helpful in organizing activities and keeping them very diverse. Also, it helps in training future volunteers and building a proper succession plan for the Society/Council.
- For all activities, the Young Professionals volunteer can request the essential resources from the Society/Council governing body. Obtaining such funding requires proper and relevant communication including a business plan highlighting the benefits and anticipated outcomes of the planned activities. An introduction to relevant Society/Council leaders and staff will help the rep to understand how to best prepare the business plan. Also, the volunteer can also prepare and request a budget for activities during the year. The budget must include “costs and benefits”: all relevant expenses for the activities – eg. funding for the activities, marketing, travel, communication regarding all the events and relevant meetings such as conferences, workshops, Society/Council’s governing board meetings, IEEE Young Professionals Face-to Face-meetings, etc. IEEE budgets are processed during the year preceding the application, so these requests must be submitted early.
4. How to Integrate within Society and IEEE OUs?
Once the Society/Council appoints a Young Professionals volunteer, there are a few important tasks, which can help in operating Young Professionals activities.
- The volunteer should make sure that the Society/Council governing body recognizes the rep as the Young Professionals leader in the Society/Council. Request the Society/Council leadership and Society/Council staff to add the rep to the email roster as well as the Society/Council’s official website to have appropriate communication opportunities.
- The volunteer may need assistance from additional volunteers. It is recommended that the rep create a Young Professionals Committee and recruit additional members based on expertise, performance, and diversity. When the committee is formed, it should be approved and recognized by the Society/Council’s governing body. The committee should be included in the Society/Council roster and website as well.
- The volunteer should work very closely with the Society/Council leadership. Try to attend all the important Society/Council meetings. If your presence is required, the travel should be funded by the Society/Council and the rep should attend the meeting. Attendance at leadership meetings enables the rep to understand the Society/Council business and to meet relevant leaders in the Society/Council. The rep should regularly provide updates to your Society/Council leadership regarding upcoming activities and ideas for young professionals.
- It is important for the young professionals to actively volunteer in order to stay in contact with different volunteers inside and outside their Society/Council. This includes the IEEE Global Young Professionals Committee, IEEE Technical Activities Board (TAB)’s Young Professionals Representative, staff members in IEEE Technical Activities, student volunteers of the Society/Council, IEEE Young Professionals Regional volunteers, IEEE Young Professionals volunteers at other Societies/Councils and any other relevant volunteers.
- The volunteer can also ask the Society/Council leadership or staff to provide access to a database of the Society/Council members (such as TBL Analytics), which can help in gathering relevant information for future activities or plans. Also, vTools (eNotice announcements) can help in marketing and communicating the Society/Council’s activities to relevant OUs and members. The volunteer can learn how to use these tools at the following website: https://sites.ieee.org/vtools/
Organizational Structure for Young Professionals Program
A Young Professionals volunteer requires knowledge about the structure of the various relevant committees and OUs in his or her Society/Council and IEEE.
1. Organizational structure of IEEE Young Professionals Committee
The IEEE Young Professionals committee is a committee of IEEE, which has been assigned for administrative purposes to the MGA Board. This does not mean that the committee is not important or relevant to Societies/Councils. On the contrary, the linkage is especially strong with Societies/Councils. One OU, however, must administer the committee, and the value of the Young Professionals spans the full IEEE membership.
All Society/Council volunteers are integral part of the IEEE Young Professionals Committee
The descriptions of the committee roles are provided in the MGA Operations Manual are available here.
- As a Society/Council liaison to the committee, the volunteer is part of the IEEE Young Professionals Committee. Society/Council reps will be invited for one face-to-face meeting of the committee every year (travel to be covered by each Society/Council). At this meeting, the volunteers have opportunities to connect with other young professionals across IEEE. This includes the committee leadership, other Society/Council volunteers, Regional volunteers, Young Professionals representatives for IEEE Major Boards such TAB, EAB, SA and IEEE USA. This is an annual event where volunteers exchange ideas and learn about resources provided by the committee. In addition, the volunteer learns and contributes to the global and strategic goals of the IEEE Young Professionals program. IEEE expects to see value from the Young Professionals committee, so the action plans formed at the meeting are critical.
2. Young Professionals Committee for each Society/Council
Every Society/Council can and should have their own Young Professionals Committee. Below are some basic guidelines, which can help in building such committees.
- The Society/Council serves members all over the world, so there is a need to build a committee of members across the globe.
- The committee requires volunteers to be responsible for various tasks. Following are some examples of the type of roles a Society/Council committee might have
- Regional Volunteers
- Marketing and Communications
- Partnerships and Sponsorships
- Event organization
- The committee, via the Society/Council rep, should keep in touch with the Young Professionals Affinity Groups regarding the locations of upcoming activities. For the contact information, check latest rosters on rosters.ieee.org and contact regional Young Professionals coordinators directly for any help needed.
- The rep must identify and build successor(s) in the committee, and be sure to train potential successor(s) in the committee. The rep should also share all appropriate documents, guides, and communications with the committee, and ensure that the Society/Council President and President-Elect sees the value provided by the committee and knows the contributions of the committee members, as these leaders usually make the appointments of the incoming Society/Council rep.
3. Society Chapters and Regional Coordinators
- Every Society/Council has Chapters in IEEE Sections. The rep can stay touch with the chapters to organize activities. The contact information for the chapters can be obtained at rosters.ieee.org
- Society/Council reps also need to keep in touch with Regional Young Professionals Coordinators (10) for events in their Regions. The Regional reps can usually provide any volunteer help needed.
- Society/Council reps should collaborate with the Regional and Section/Chapter events as much as possible. For example, Student and Young Professionals Congresses are regular events which are organized across the Regions.
Young Professional Activities
Young Professionals activities are specific to each Society/Council and each Region. This section contains various resources and examples, which can help volunteers to plan activities for the Societies/Councils.
1. Where to look for the activities (resources)
- Manuals and Event Guides – At this webpage, volunteers can find manuals for various event ideas such as technical workshops, meetups, industry tours, etc. These guides can be helpful in planning and organizing various events. There are also guides for marketing and social media activities.
- Past events – At this webpage, volunteers can find past events organized for young professionals across the globe. This webpage aims to serve as an easy way for volunteers to get new ideas for events and topics, as well as to familiarize themselves with the work of other Societies/Councils. See any interesting events reported? Reach out to the specific Affinity Group to find out more about how they organized the event, and what impact it had on their local community.
- The volunteers can organize events at flagship conferences of the society. For example, a flagship conference of the Society/Council can have a theme, so the Young Professionals rep can plan to have a technical panel in line with the conference theme.
- The volunteers can organize exclusive Young Professionals events at conferences for local graduate student members and young professionals who are not attending the entire conference. Plan with conference organizers to make sure you can accommodate outside guests.
- Look at examples of other Societies/Councils and other IEEE OUs. You can read some of the best practices mentioned at the end of this document. However, each Society has different demographics and the activities will be different accordingly.
2. Who to talk to for suggestions on activities
- For more information and ideas, reach out to IEEE Young Professionals Committee via email or Facebook.
- Contact: yp.ieee.org/contact-us
- Email: email@example.com
- Facebook: facebook.com/ieeeyp
- Reach out to Society/Council leadership to engage activities with ongoing Society/Council activities. Reach out to Young Professional representatives from other societies. Also, if the Society has staff, keep the staff aware of all initiatives and activities so that everyone will have a better understanding of Society/Council activities.
To organize activities and events, there are certain resources available across the organization. This section provides basic guidelines on how to use those resources.
While looking for funding for your event/activity, keep in mind that the event/activity should be an IEEE event, but also very much relevant to young professionals in general – this maximizes the exposure and funding opportunities.
IEEE Young Professionals Program Funding Opportunities
IEEE Young Professionals program provides funding for the different type of event throughout a year. You can find more details below about each program and apply for this funding at this webpage.
- Student Elevation (STEP): This program was specifically designed to bring together students and Young Professionals, aiming to introduce members who will soon graduate to what Young Professionals do, and how they can get involved in their local Affinity Group. STEP events have to be organized by IEEE Young Professionals Affinity Groups in collaboration with one or more local Student Branches, and events can take any form you like, from lectures to interactive workshops, or networking sessions. In order to boost your event’s popularity, think in terms of what can help soon-to-graduate student’s transition more easily to a professional career. The maximum funding available is $500 per Young Professionals Affinity Group per year.
- Signature Events: An initiative started in 2015, the Signature Events program focuses on growing the presence of Young Professionals at large-scale and large-impact tech and non-tech events around the world. The goal is to increase the visibility of IEEE and Young Professionals to a larger audience, and up to now signature events were held at CES, SXSE and Web Summit. To organize such an event, THINK BIG! For some ideas on the nature of past Signature Events, check out one of the example in this video.
- Meet-up Events: Meet-ups are organized by Young Professionals to engage members and volunteers living in the same geographic location (typically within the same Section) or from the same technical area. The main focus is providing networking opportunities, where members can expand their personal and professional networks, but meet-ups can also take the form of short technical talks as well (or, even better, why not organize a short tech presentation followed by a networking session?). Meet-ups can take place in conjunction with conferences or technical congresses, where you can reach out to a larger number of members, and help local Young Professionals connect with conference attendees. For a better idea regarding past meet-ups, check the IEEE Young Professionals Facebook page, where there are several photo albums from such events held in 2016. You can get up to $1,500 funding per meet-up event.
- Seed Funding: Seed funding is a new funding initiative for 2017, aiming to enable Young Professionals Affinity Groups to organize an event or implement a new program that has a significant impact or provides a real benefit to Young Professionals in their Section. The events or programs can be either technical or non-technical in nature and can take any form, i.e. technology bootcamps. With seed funding, anything goes, but do keep in mind that collaboration or partnership with other IEEE organizational units, industry or academia is highly encouraged, and the event/program should address specific needs of local IEEE members. Available funding is limited at $750 per event per Young Professionals Affinity Group.
- While applying for these programs make sure to understand clear differences between the programs and contact firstname.lastname@example.org for clarifications on the eligibility criteria.
- These programs have an annual budget which is allocated for application on first-come, first-serve basis. Hence, make sure you apply for the event funding well in advance. If the funding for the specific program runs out, your event may not get the funding.
Your Society/Council might also be able to provide funding for Young Professionals activities. Here are few ideas to ask for funding.
- Prepare a plan of your activities for the whole year and ask Society/Council leadership to allocate an annual budget for young professionals. This must be done well in advance. Usually, Societies/Councils prepare a budget for next year by May of the current year, so spring is the best time to ask for an annual funding included in the Society budget. Your Society/Council leadership or staff may familiarize you with the budget schedule.
- Societies/Councils have budget allocated for various types of activities such as speakers programs, competitions, events at conferences, etc. Try to use those resources to get support for your events. Most Societies/Councils require a business plan outlining benefits of any funding provided, so prepare ahead.
- Partnerships with IEEE OUs for partial funding for your events
- You can reach out to local geographic units to support events. For example, if you are hosting an event in Santa Clara, reach out to both the Santa Clara Section and IEEE Region 6 to support the event in some way.
- Your Society may have Chapters or Joint Society Chapters in various locations. If your event is being held in one of those locations, reach out to those Chapters.
- IEEE has various Affinity Groups (AGs) in each IEEE Section which serve specific member demographics such as Women In Engineering, Life Members, etc. Also, there are Young Professionals Affinity Groups in many Sections. These AGs may be able to help your event in some way, even if that’s a small contribution.
- You may also reach out to IEEE Student Branches and Chapters in the local geographic areas of the event being organized to see if there can be any partnerships.
- The IEEE roster (rosters.ieee.org) has all contact details relevant to geographical units.
IEEE Regional Young Professionals Committee
Each IEEE Region has coordinators/committees for the IEEE Young Professionals program. The Regions allocate funding and other resources for these committees and Societies/Councils can always partner with that as well.
IEEE Humanitarian Activities
IEEE Humanitarian Activities is another good resource for funding if your event has some humanitarian aspect. Here are some of the resources they have available:
- HAC Events: Check more info about HAC event at this link.
- SIGHT: SIGHTs are groups across the globe which can partner in the local geographical area of your event. More info at https://sight.ieee.org
You can try to look for funding from industries related to your Society/Council areas. Industries usually want to attract young engineers for a different purpose and your event might be an attractive channel for them. Some ideas to gain funding from Industries are as follows:
- Provide them exhibitor and branding opportunities in your events so that they can market their activities and opportunities.
- Industry site visit: Take your members to various industry sites to increase corporation and provide better engagement opportunities.
- Collaborate with other senior volunteer leaders in your Society to get industry contacts and create partnerships with relevant industries.
2. Venue for Events
For your event, you will require a venue and here are some examples:
- On-Site Conference Venue: If your event is being held alongside a conference, it might be less expensive to host an event in the same venue as the conference. To arrange this, communicate with the conference chair and Society/Council staff, if the Society/Council has staff, well in advance to reserve the venue. Remember: some conferences might not allow external visitors who are not registered for the conference to enter the venue. Make sure to clarify these details including other important information such as availability of food and beverages, access to conference tracks, and other conference events.
- Off-Site Venue: If the conference venue does not fit to your event, you may look into some off-site venues to attract both conference attendees and local audience. Some ideas are bars, incubator spaces, company spaces, more informal venues, etc. This may allow you to get into partnership with the host space and attract a different audience. This also allows to come up with event ideas which are less formal and more networking based, such as speed mentoring, drinks with experts, etc. Keep in mind that venues above costs of $5,000 require an official approval from Society/Council staff.
- If you are looking for cheaper or free of cost venues, university campuses in the local geographic area might be available. For this, you can collaborate with Student Branches in the university and local Section to gain the access to venues.
To organize events, you will need to use various tools at various stages. Some of the examples of these tools are as follows:
- You may want to look at the membership database for members in the local area of your event or for local members of your Society/Council. Gain the access from your Society/Council staff or ask for the relevant information. It will help you to target a specific audience and prepare a better event.
- Eventbrite or any online registration tool can be used to register participants to your event. A Google form, Facebook event, and other tool can be used for this as well.
- IEEE Collabratec™ is a tool which provides various communities to target for your event. It can help you target event for such communities and market the activities.
- vTools can help with reporting the events, publicize the event with eNotice, and organize a WebEx, etc.
- IEEE web hosting is available for setting up a website or web presence. You will find tools and materials that will guide you in creating a suitable online presence for Young Professionals in your Region.
- Listserv allows volunteers to request and manage mailing lists. You can use it to set up, for example, a mailing list for all Chapter Chairs in your Society – this will make things so much easier when you have to share information with them, and will ensure no one is accidentally left out. You can also request an email alias for your Society YP team, for example email@example.com.
- IEEE VoLT is the online Volunteer Leadership Training Program. Over the course of several sessions, you will have the opportunity to learn about different aspects of IEEE.
If you don’t have permissions to access any of these tools, reach out to your Society leadership or staff members.
The IEEE Young Professionals program provides an event kit which can be used to market your activities. It must be requested at least 4-6 weeks in advance via the website.
A lot of branding material and guidelines are available online at this webpage. IEEE branding guidelines are also available on the same webpage. These must always be followed so it is important to become familiar with them.
Use social media channels of all the relevant OUs such as your Society/Council channels, IEEE Young Professionals program, Regions, Sections and any other relevant pages. For IEEE Young Professionals program, message the official facebook page to promote your event.
- Targeted Event Mailing List
- Based on a contact list from the membership database, you may send emails to the target audience.
- Ask conference organizers, Section Chairs, and other officers to advertise the event to respective mailing lists
- Society/Council staff may help you to advertise the event to Society/Council members.
- IEEE Young Professionals Newsletter distributed to all IEEE Young Professionals members: Submit event info via contact button on yp.ieee.org
- Society newsletters: Contact Society/Council staff/AdCom
- Region and Section newsletters
- IEEE Young Professionals IMPACT Blog/Website:
Submit via contact button on yp.ieee.org
- Society and Conference website
- Region and Section website
- Local IEEE Young Professionals Affinity Group website
Post Event Reporting
Event Follow up article on IMPACT Blog
To publicize any event with which you have been involved in your Society/Council, get in touch via the contact button on yp.ieee.org
- Take advantage of Society Magazine(s), Society blogs, etc. to report information
- Send info to the Section, via the social media, to share your success
- Follow up with attendees: thank them for attending, tell them about future events, continue to communicate with those members and attendees throughout the year, leading up to future events. Contact the IEEE Young Professionals Committee to organize a survey for your events
Best Practices and Success Stories
- Organizing Successful Events
Society/Council conferences are most suitable venues to start your Young Professionals activities. At the flagship conference(s), you can get help from senior leadership of the Society/Council in organizing your activity. You can also engage with local IEEE volunteers and members of the location for the society.
Some of the successful events across various Societies/Councils include luncheons, networking mixers, panel discussions and reviewer training programs for young professionals. Some articles about such events are linked here below which may help new volunteers to get started.
Securing Funding from IEEE Young Professionals
A proposal for funding from IEEE Young Professionals Committee must have all the necessary details included. For example, if the event includes a panel discussion, the proposal should include names and biographies of the speakers on the panel. More speakers can be added in the future, but a few names should be provided when applying for the funding. Applications for funding for events which have not been fully planned will not be approved.
It is best to provide as much detail as possible in the application. The application form requests a detailed budget, cost and description of advertising materials, and provision of any relevant extra documentation along with URLs to websites or registration portals.
A proper estimated budget should be provided with the intent that it will be very close to actual expenses. A rough estimate of expenses is not sufficient.
It is important to pay attention to the timeline of the submission for application and follow-up material. If you apply too late, your event will not receive funding even if the application has all the details. The same can happen if you do not submit follow up materials within provided deadlines.