Mixing with millennials

By Montana Robertson

(July 12, 2018—COLUMBIA, Md.) It may be an age-old saying, but it still rings true for young professionals today: “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”

The Young Professionals Network, commonly known as YPN, was a program started by the Howard County Chamber of Commerce a little more than 10 years ago to help younger professionals gain opportunities to broaden their circle and spheres of influence. The mission of YPN is to promote leadership, innovation, networking and business development in the community.

Creating these opportunities for young professionals to get connected and engaged has been the key component to YPN’s success according to Howard County Chamber’s YPN Chair Matt Anderson.

Anderson reflected on his and his peers experience getting into the professional world 10 years ago.

“We realized how daunting it can be for someone just getting started in a professional networking environment, to just show up and dive into an event,” he said. “YPN provides the younger talent pipeline in Maryland the opportunity to interact with their peers in a more comfortable atmosphere and to start fostering long-term relationships—it’s been quite fruitful for everyone.”

Anderson applauded YPN members’ successes over the years. Individuals have gotten involved in community outreach, politics, and even starting and growing their own businesses.

“To see previous YPN participants become these leaders—that’s been incredibly rewarding,” he said. “I’d like to think that YPN has an impact with that.”

Opportunities and events range from bi-monthly networking events, to quarterly professional development seminars, and even meet and greets with elected officials.

Anderson offered advice to maintaining the interest of this generation, “Once you have [their interest] you have to keep them engaged.”

For the full calendar of networking events, click here.

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