How to Start and Maintain a Young Professional (YP) group - Summary
I. Reasons why to start a YP group
b. To help Young Professionals build a community of peers under the
guidance of AIChE – social networking c. Career building –
d. Leadership Development
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. www.aiche.org/sections - 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
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
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
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
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‟
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
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: http://yp.sts-aiche.org/
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.
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
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
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
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
? “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
? Job opportunities
? Staying up-to-date with industry
? Resume building
? 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 www.aiche.org/sections. 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
? 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
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