How has being in the network impacted you personally and professionally?
When I was in High School and College, I was pretty active in several different organizations and activities. Once I graduated though, I spent the next several years not really being involved with anything outside of work and it is something I still regret. When I moved to Bismarck three years ago, I knew that a couple of former college classmates were involved in the Bismarck-Mandan Young Professionals Network and I thought that maybe it was time to find something to get involved in. It’s been one of the best decisions I could have made. Being new to the area, I didn’t know many people and the YPN changed that very quickly! I’ve made many friends during my time in the network that I otherwise may have never met had I just stuck to my comfort zone and I’ve had some great, funny and awesome times as a result. I’ve also gotten to meet community leaders, groups from other countries, and countless others contacts with the fantastic programming that the YPN offers its membership.
How can the network add more value to its members?
I’m a big proponent of “value-added” programming within the network. If we can add something to a program/event that you as a member can take with you and use in your personal and professional lives, then I’m all for it. One event that has been a staple of the YPN for several years is the 30-in-30 speed networking event. This has been a very successful event that has had one main focus – adding to your list of professional contacts. This year however, the Professional Development team decided to try and add something more to the event. Since the speed networking involves you giving your “elevator pitch” 20+ times to 20+ people, we thought that bringing in somebody to discuss how to develop and refine your elevator pitch would be a great way to add something to the event that attendees could take home with them and use in their professional lives. I also believe that continuing to find new and engaging programming that only the YPN is providing within the area is crucial. One example where I think we are making strides in that direction is the “Coffee with…” series that started last year. This has been a fantastic (and exclusive) opportunity for YPN members to meet with city and state leaders in a small group setting and is something that you would be hard pressed to find being provided by many (if any) other organizations within the area. Those are the type of events that really show value to our membership. It can be tough to quantify what exactly your membership dues are bringing you each year and coming up unique and new programming can be one way that we can help our members to do that.
Vote for the next Vice President at the Cinco Annual Meeting and Anniversary Celebration on May 4, 2017. RSVP today!