Connecting across Electronic Systems
Young Professionals Groups hitting their their stride
Connecting with colleagues makes work feel more like a community. These connections can be especially important when you are new to a company or to the workforce in general. With this in mind, the Young Professionals Group – part of the Generations Employee Resource Group – aims to foster connections across Electronic Systems through professional development, networking, and socializing.
“The goal is to help new professionals who are just getting into the workforce get acclimated, get to know one another, have a support system, and then also help them network within the company,” said Katie Koumarianos, supplier relationship manager and leader of the Austin YP chapter.
While “young” is in the name, Koumarianos says employees of all ages are encouraged to join. “I think it’s critical to also have more seasoned employees engaged. This allows the Young Professionals network to have more mentors – people who have been in the workforce a lot longer and can share their experiences,” said Koumarianos.
The Young Professionals Group started with a pilot program in Wayne, New Jersey, back in 2017 under Lopa Nath, a project manager. Since then, more sites across the country have started chapters.
“It has been amazing that other sites have seen the value in a group like this,” said Nath. “We looked at who was attending the events, and saw that there were people from different sites, global grades, and functions, so the networking access there was extremely beneficial too.”
Nath can speak first-hand about the power of networking in the group. A connection made at a YP event helped her land her current position. Nath was first a software engineer, and now works in project management.
While most events are local or regional, the COVID-19 pandemic has created an opportunity for more virtual connections across all chapters. “It is certainly an added challenge, but it also opens up opportunities too,” said Glen Carnahan, president of the Young Professionals Group in New Hampshire. “We’ve been able to share some initiatives and virtual events at our various sites to connect people within different regions of ES.”
While the pre-pandemic events included activities like in-person networking, speed mentoring, and sports leagues, the YP teams have been adjusting to a high percentage of their membership still working from home.
“In New Jersey, we’ve had a couple of social events that are on Zoom. We’ll have trivia nights and video game tournaments, and we ask that everyone try to have their video on so that we can still talk to each other and see each other,” said Nath.
By Michaela Macdonald, Communications, Hudson, New Hampshire