How to start a YP group

By Lawrence Boyd,2014-07-09 14:00
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How to start a YP group ...

    How to Start and Maintain a Young Professional (YP) group - Summary

    I. Reasons why to start a YP group

    a. Networking

    b. To help Young Professionals build a community of peers under the

    guidance of AIChE social networking c. Career building

    d. Leadership Development

    e. Mentoring

    f. Provide input to your local section about the needs of young professionals,

    increase relevancy of topics and events

    II. Help from Local Section

    a. - find out where the local section is in your area

    b. Work in conjunction with section

    i. From a committee to establish a YP group

    1. Does not have to be under 35 at first, but eventually should


    2. Should meet on a standard basis to discuss current status of

    YP attend local section committee meetings and talk to

    section coordinators

    3. Work in cooperation with the local section leadership and

    let them decide how involved to be in the YP group

    whether they want to be very involved or mostly hands-off

    III. Committee

    a. Members

    i. 4 to 5 people on startup committee, as few as 2 can plan a few

    events per year

    ii. Establish jobs/roles for each person

    iii. Example of Specific Jobs note these are suggestions. If a

    section‟s population is small, one or two people could do several of

    these jobs.

    1. Chair/Co-chair answers to local section leadership and

    oversees the health of the YP group. Co-chair is the

    Chair‟s backup in case the Chair is unavailable or unable to

    fulfill his/her duties.

    2. Social Events Coordinator plans social events like Happy

    Hours, field trips, etc. The coordinator can delegate these

    events to others and make sure that those events get the

    resources they require

    3. Technical Events Coordinator plans events that are

    technical in nature like speakers on engineering topics as

    well as organizing training seminars or hours for local YP

    members. They may delegate these events to others and

    make sure that they get the resources they require.

    4. Outreach events coordinator plans events for outreach to

    college students, K-12 students and the local community to

    spread knowledge of AIChE and chemical engineering.

    Should work closely with marketing.

    5. Advertising/Marketing manages how events are

    advertised to members and non-members via website or

    email. Advertising consists of website, emails, newsletters

    and other methods to reach current members and those

    already on your mailing list. Marketing includes contacting

    companies, other technical societies and local colleges to

    promote participation in YP.

    6. Treasurer (if working with a budget) makes sure any

    costs associated with events are within their budget or how

    much to charge for certain (usually large) events. Treasurer

    also should be responsible for grant applications,

    reimbursements and submitting an annual budget to the

    local section.

    7. College Liaison to keep in contact with local universities

    and update the YP group on changes in student chapter


    8. National Liaison- keep up to date with national events and

    requests, bring opportunities to local yp group (e.g.

    conferences, seminars, open volunteer positions, resources)

    b. Start establishing a contact list

    i. Advertise at local section meetings try to recruit current section


    ii. Talk with younger co-workers and try to get one to be a contact/rep

    at each local company who will share YP news and upcoming


    iii. Try to set up a meeting with mid-level managers in local

    companies/corporations to explain the benefits of AIChE so they

    will let you contact their YP/new hires

    iv. Advertise at non AIChE meetings (ex. ASME)

    v. Visit local colleges

    c. Build a budget

    i. Determine what your current available budget is and what events

    you would like to complete within the timeframe of your budget.

    Keep in mind that many events can be completed with little to no


    ii. Allocate money to go toward “recruiting events”, possibly get this

    money from local section or corporate fundraising

    iii. See whether events can be sponsored by grants offered by AIChE.

    iv. In some communities, discounts are given to non-profit societies

    for using their facilities. Also look into local industry about

    donating space or volunteers.

    v. For some large, extravagant events consider charging a very

    nominal fee. Or run a few events where non-local section

    members must pay.

    d. Develop event schedules

    i. Space events evenly throughout year

    1. Initially, plan 2-4 YP events a year (maybe one each

    quarter). Initially, the number of events held is not as

    important as their success. If the events that you run leave

    people with a positive impression, that is what will be

    passed along to their peers and will result in greater

    numbers for your next event

    ii. Suggested Events Many YP groups rotate through these

    1. Social events

    2. Technical events

    3. Half social half technical events

    4. Speaking to Student Chapters

    5. Events with other groups

    6. Volunteer events

    iii. Specific Examples of events that have succeeded caveat, what

    works for one section might not work or even be feasible for

    another. Figure out what your members are interested in and cater

    to their interests.

    1. Happy Hour at centrally located bar after work. Both YPs

    and students from local universities were invited.

    2. Technical event for YPs held in conjuncture with local

    section monthly meeting

    3. A YP seminar held during a weekend with complimentary

    social hour afterwards to those who registered for the event.

    4. A social hour put together by another engineering society

    in which the YP group was asked if they wanted to co-

    sponsor and advertise.

    5. Sending YP volunteers to a local Science Fair to judge or

    host a booth.

    6. Don‟t let this list of examples limit ideas. Please feel free

    to think outside the box and do something „untraditional‟

    IV. Advertise

    a. Local section meetings

    i. Some young people usually show up to these when no YP is


    ii. When attending local section meetings be sure to make YP reps are


    iii. At the meeting, have YP reps interact with any young engineers,

    retrieving their contact info and advertising upcoming YP events.

    iv. Giving goodie bags to new young engineers with the YP groups

    upcoming events and (if one is established) link to website

    b. Work

    i. At local section meetings, make the more experienced engineers

    (sometimes managers) aware of the local YP group, convince them

    of the benefits of having a local YP group, and have them

    encourage their young engineers to participate.

    ii. Some companies have YP groups within themselves when a

    company has organized YP groups it makes advertising local

    section YP events easier and more effective. Other than company

    groups, the local YP group has to depend upon the contact list

    from the local section which may not have as many YP contacts as

    the local companies.

    iii. Encourage members to advertise at their offices and bring a friend

    to aiche events

    c. Facebook / Myspace

    i. Setup Facebook group be sure to maintain it and utilize it.

    d. Make web page an example of a good design for a webpage is the YP-

    STS group website:

    i. Automated calendar for future events

    ii. For each event utilize some kind of reservation system (Evite, etc

    or your own system)

    iii. Pictures of past events

    iv. Contact emails for YP leadership easy to find and visible

    v. Establish stable webmaster who can post meeting/event notices

    e. Local Universities

    i. AIChE Meetings

    ii. Establish contact with local Student Chapter Leadership. Contact

    info can be found online at

    iii. Send representatives to nearest Student Regional Conference held

    in different regions across the United States during March-April.

    V. Events

    a. Advertise events well in advance and in multiple forms

    i. Facebook Events

    ii. Web Page

    iii. E-vite / Email most important (move to top), with good timing

    (2+ weeks, 1 or less weeks, day before reminder)

    iv. Work / Post fliers in break room

    b. Have sign in sheet on day of event

    i. Name

    ii. Email

    iii. Company

    iv. How did you hear about YP

    v. Permission to post photos online

    vi. Are they a member of the Local Section? c. Identify who is a member/officer (name tag, shirts)

    d. Talk and find out what each attendee is looking for

    i. Job?

    ii. Resume building?

    iii. Getting involved?

e. Be able to give opportunities for him/her to get involved or opportunities

    to find a job

    f. Identify Metrics for Success.

    i. Increases the local section membership can be seen when

    monitoring membership numbers from month to month

    ii. Number of participants benefited from the content of the event (if

    it was a technical event) can be identified via surveys

    iii. Number of people who felt the event benefited their social network

    (like finding a job or using their contacts to find information, etc)

    via survey perhaps given annually of the general membership

    iv. The number of attendants for volunteer functions sign up sheets

    will document this. Monitor numbers with a spreadsheet and share

    results with local section

    VI. Post Events

    a. Follow up with attendee

    i. Email

    ii. Ask to join Facebook group

    b. Invite / re-invite to next meeting or event

    c. Committee members should talk to each other about who they met and

    their views on the events

    i. Make sure each member knows about each attendee a bit

    VII. Other ideas to keep in mind

    a. Keep full Local Section involved with YP section

    i. Don‟t break them off completely

    ii. Take advantage of their resources

    iii. Report to the local section leadership once a month or quarter

    b. Stay on top of scheduling events, keep people posted

    i. Try not to schedule events at the last minute

    c. Young Professional Advisory Board (YPAB)

    i. Works with the National AIChE staff for activities that cover the

    entire United States.

    1. Spring and Fall Meetings attend committee meetings

    representing YP interests

    2. Student National Conference

    3. Student Regional Conferences

    4. New Horizons Program Training program held during the

    Spring Meeting geared toward YPs.

    ii. Hold monthly teleconferences to discuss national volunteer

    opportunities they are usually announced to all local section

    leaders and student chapter presidents

    iii. The teleconferences also allows different local YP groups to

    communicate and share ideas with each other

    How to Start and Maintain a Young Professional

    Group in a Local Section

    Presented by AIChE‟s Young Professional Advisory Board

    Original Authors: Brian Daly & Daniel Shiosaki

    AIChE Staff: Lowell Aplebaum

    Many local AIChE sections are composed of members from ages as young as 18 to members who have spent over 30 years in engineering. These sections provide

    professionals the opportunity to network, stay up-to-date with industry, advise/mentor,

    and socialize. However, most of these local sections have a limited number of younger

    professionals under the age of 35. Many young professionals do not think to join AIChE

    after graduating college. This may be due to several reasons.

    ? Lack of time

    ? No knowledge that a local AIChE section exists

    ? Disinterested

    ? “What can AIChE do for me?”

    ? Relevance of AIChE to their current job

    ? View that AIChE is for researchers or upper level managers

    The last few points are probably the biggest turnoff for young professionals at most sections. In college, AIChE was utilized for career fairs, resume building,

    workshops, and networking to help find a job or receive a letter of recommendation for

    graduate school. Once this is achieved, a lot of students don‟t know what else AIChE

    can offer them. The truth is, AIChE can continue to offer these same benefits and then


    ? Networking

    ? Job opportunities

    ? Staying up-to-date with industry

    ? Resume building

    ? Advising

    ? Help build a network of peers under the guise of AIChE

    Having a young professional group can help a local section appeal to a younger crowd.

    A group focused on professionals under 35 can help appeal to the fresh graduates and the

    younger side of the industry. It can also help younger professionals become more versed

    in today‟s technology and hence help them be better prepared for their job.

    This document should not be taken as a stringent step-by-step manual.

    Depending on where the local section is located or what major industries exist in the area,

    some of the ideas here may need to be changed. This document should be used more like

    a “back-pocket” guide. Keep this guide in mind when starting up a Young Professionals

    group, but don‟t limit any ideas because they are not listed in this guide.

     Before starting up a Young Professionals (YP) group, locate the local AIChE

    section and speak with them. The YP section is meant to work in tandem with the local

    AIChE section, so any ideas should go though them first. Most likely, the local section

    will also be the main source of capital for the YP group. A nearby local section can be

    found at Once a local section is found, speak with them about

    the interest in starting up a YP group to work in conjunction with the local section. Tell

    them about some of the benefits that could be reaped not only for any young professional

    that decides to join, but also for the local section.

    ? Increase membership for ages 35 and under

    ? Networking

    ? Increase technological know-how of professionals at a younger age

    ? Job opportunities

    It is also up to the local section to decide how involved it wants to get with a young

    professionals group.

    If they deem the idea beneficial, the next step would be to establish a committee to help organize the YP group. If possible members of this committee should be under

    the age of 35, but this should not be a strict limitation. The committee should consist of

    at least 4 people and jobs should be established for each person. A sample job list is

    given below along with a description.

    ? Head of Committee: keep committee organized, schedule monthly meetings,

    provide meeting locations, itemize discussions at the meetings, provide help with

    other committee member‟s responsibilities

? Committee Treasurer: establish and organize a budget (budget discussed later)

    more times than not this position is optional, as it‟s very simple task and the chair

    could do it easily. About the only time a treasurer would be needed is if there are

    a lot of events and reimbursement occurring with the YP section.

    ? Committee Outreach: find ways to reach out to young professionals

    ? Committee Secretary: take notes at each meeting, historian also optional, can be

    assigned at each meeting

    Other positions that could be placed under those four could be the following:

    ? Webmaster if the local YP group decides to run its own website or interacts

    with the webmaster of the local section to post up events or news.

    ? Event Planner this person could coordinate (not necessarily plan) both technical

    and social meetings specifically aimed at the young professionals in the local

    section. This position is not so optional, and it‟s really critical to have someone to

    plan events however it can be run easily by two people.

    ? National Liaison it is suggested that there be a liaison between the local young

    professional group and YPAB in case there are any needs YPAB can assist with.

    ? College Liaison in the case that there are several universities in the local section,

    it would be wise to assign a person to handle any interaction between the YP

    group and the student chapter.

    Meetings should be held consistently. The frequency often depends on how active the

    local section or the YP section is. Whether it is once a month (very active) to once every

    six months (inactive) it is recommended that a schedule be kept to in order to sustain

    some stability. At the meetings discuss the progress of the YP group establishment as

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