Making an Impression for Success with Toronto YP’s

School teaches you the essentials of your profession. But what about those unspoken details one needs to pay attention to when entering into the professional world? What are small things one should know when transitioning to the corporate world? The IEEE Young Professionals Toronto team organized the Professional Development Series to answer just that. The team hosted a series of three workshops to address the challenges that arise when introduced to a new working environment and to educate participants on three matters that play a significant role in the working life that are never taught in university. All three workshops were held at the University of Toronto on consecutive Mondays in September, and successfully gathered 70 people who participated in one or more of the events.

Dressing to ImpressUp until the point where we are finished with school and in the work force, we have not yet faced the necessity of dressing in a specific manner that is considered “appropriate.” In acknowledgement of this fact, the IEEE Young Professionals Toronto team welcomed two personal fashion stylists, Kamilla and Nora, for the first workshop named “Dress to Impress.” The two ladies presented all that a young professional should know about how to dress in a corporate environment in order to project the right image. What is considered to be “business formal?” What is defined as “business casual?” What is appropriate for the business environment and what is an ultimate faux pas? By the end of the evening, not only were our participants style connoisseurs, but they also had the opportunity to network and mingle with each other.

Dining EtiquetteJust a week later the team brought in a tasty buffet dinner for the second session titled “Dining Etiquette!” When in a corporate or even an advanced academic environment, occasions often arise where we’re invited to business dinners or conference lunches, all of which are situations that require eating in public and performing it in style. And what better way is there to learn how to hold your fork and knife properly, than to enjoy a delicious meal while you’re at it? Osman, our guest speaker, was more than happy to show to us how many things indeed we did not know about the dining status quo. By the end of the evening, the participants were well fed and enlightened on the best practices of public dining and also got to know a few more things about their fellow diners as they had to share with everyone one thing they learned about the people sitting at the same table.

Networking 101And last but not least, the team offered participants a networking 101 with plenty of tips and tricks on how to effectively expand your network and build significant and lasting human relationships on a personal and professional level. Our amazing guest speaker, David, addressed networking as both an art and a science, and shared some great insight and advice on how to make the most of our relationships with people. His enthusiasm about people and on how interesting we all are was a true inspiration for everyone and motivated us to keep meeting more. And of course, at the end of the presentation, the participants had the opportunity to do just that.

Overall, the Professional Development Series was a success. The IEEE Young Professionals Toronto team received great feedback and comments from participants encouraging us to continue the good work by organizing more useful events in the future as well as giving us excellent food for thought on event ideas that would be of interest to them. We’re all very excited with this success and look forward to having everybody back for bigger and better events to come. Stay tuned!

For a full set of photos from Professional Development Series, check out the Facebook albums here: Part 1 – Dress to Impress, Part 2 – Dining Etiquette, and Part 3 – How To Network Like A Boss. You can also view the follow-up video here.

R8 YP at the Students and Young Professionals Congress in Krakow

In August, IEEE Region 8 Students and Young Professionals Congress took place in Krakow, Poland, bringing together over 300 volunteers from student branches and Young Professionals Affinity Groups for four days of presentations, workshops and fun activities.R8 SYP Congress Workshop

As part of this event, the Region 8 Young Professionals subcommittee organized two different workshops. The first workshop was entitled “IEEE Student Afterlife – Young Professionals: recognize your leadership gene,” where participants had a chance to share what they seek to gain from IEEE, learn about the benefits of the various Young Professionals programs, and discuss what makes a good leader. For the first activity, each participant was asked to write three things they expect or need from the IEEE in the course of their volunteering. In the next 20 minutes, participants shared over 60 unique ideas on what benefits motivate volunteers and how to improve benefits in the near future. The main part of the workshop was an open discussion about what skills and traits a successful leader should have and how young professionals can develop them.

R8 SYP Workshop Team PresentingThe second workshop was more group-work oriented, and was called “IEEEApp – Concept development.” As the name suggests, participants were divided into groups and had the better part of one hour to develop an idea for an IEEE mobile application before presenting their concept to the other groups. From event calendars and speakers database to networking and games, participants delivered truly impressive ideas. At the end of the workshop participants voted to select two winning groups, who received Young Professionals materials.

Overall, the visibility of Young Professionals in the SYP Congress has increased in comparison to previous years, and the workshops sparked many interesting ideas upon which all our volunteers can act with fresh motivation. The R8 YP Subcommittee trusts that all the participants in this year’s SYP Congress had an amazing time, and we look forward to playing an even greater role in the next Congress.

Article contributed by Flavia Dinca, Region 8 Young Professionals Subcommittee member

Spring STEP in Hyderabad

IEEE Young Professionals Hyderabad, in association with the IEEE Student Branch at Vignana Bharathi Institute of Technology (VBIT), conducted their first STEP of the year in March.

The STEP (Student Transition andSTEP in Hyderabad March 2014 Elevation Partnership) program assists student members as they graduate and transition to higher levels of IEEE membership. This session of STEP featured career development talks from the industry leaders, with an emphasis on the benefits of IEEE and the benefits of volunteering.

STEP in Hyderabad March 2014The event was held in the campus auditorium and attracted around 165 participants, making it one of the largest STEP events held in Hyderabad. A majority of the audience (around 90 people) were not IEEE members, offering a ripe opportunity to encourage students to join IEEE.

The event began with a welcome and opening remarks by Preeti Kovvali (IEEE YP Hyderabad Chair) and Sowmya Mekala (IEEE YP Hyderabad Secretary).

This was followed by a presentation from Mr. Aditya Rao of Oracle India on “The power of volunteering and how it makes you a leader.” Mr. Aditya served as Chair of the IEEE Computer Society chapter in Hyderabad Section and is now a part of that chapter’s Membership Development Committee. During his talk, he discussed the importance of volunteering and how a volunteer can enhance his or her career by being part of a professional organization like IEEE. Using examples from his personal experience, he emphasized how volunteering helps a person become a professional and a leader.

STEP in Hyderabad March 2014The second presentation, from Mr. Hari Prasad Devarapalli of Tata Consultancy Services’ Business Systems and Cybernetics Center, was titled “Professionalism.” Mr. Prasad, shared thoughts from his extensive industry and volunteering experience as one of the senior members of the IEEE Hyderabad. He underscored the tremendous, daily effort required for a person to develop and sustain a professional bearing. He also highlighted the advantages of being professional in the workplace, including being in sync with the goals of the company and enhancing one’s ability to set and reach personal goals.

STEP in Hyderabad March 2014Following the presentations, the program transitioned to networking and social activities. Participants were divided into teams and given tasks to be completed in a stipulated time. The students received this quite well, and it turned out to be the highlight of the event.

At the conclusion of the program, we recognized volunteers from the IEEE Hyderabad section to thank them for their outstanding contributions to the section and the IEEE R10 Congress conducted last year.

We are grateful to the volunteersSTEP in Hyderabad March 2014 from the student branch for helping us organize such a wonderful and fruitful event. We would also like to thank Elie Rosen from the IEEE YP STEP team, who has encouraged and supported us in organizing this event. Finally, we would like to thank Ms. Mounika Molagara for her exemplary leadership as the VBIT Student Branch Chair.

STEP in Hyderabad March 2014

Article contributed by Preeti Kovvali, IEEE Hyderabad Section Young Professionals Chair

More photos from the event are posted on Facebook.

IEEE Electron Devices Society Announces 2014 Graduate Student Fellowship Winners

The IEEE Electron Devices Society is pleased to announce its 2014 Student Fellowship winners!

The winners of the PhD fellowship are:
Peng Huang – Peking University (Beijing, China)
Amit Trivedi – Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia, USA)
Sam Vaziri – KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Kista, Sweden)

The winners of the Masters fellowship are:
Yexin Deng – Purdue University (Indiana, USA)
Siu Sik Lam – The University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong, China)

The PhD fellowship winners will be honored on December 14, 2014 at the IEEE Electron Devices Society Board of Governors awards ceremony in San Francisco, CA, USA. The award consists of a plaque and a check for US $5,000 to each student. The Masters fellowship winners will receive a plaque and a check for US $2,000 each. This award is presented annually to promote, recognize and support PhD- and Masters-level study and research within the IEEE EDS field of interest. For more information, please visit the EDS website.

Article contributed by Kellie Gilbert, CAP, IEEE EDS Committee Administrator

Multi-Day STEP Event in Rio De Janeiro

The IEEE Rio de Janeiro Young Professionals organized a 2-day STEP program in December of 2013. The event was held in the amphitheater of the Department of Electrical Engineering at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. Open to all undergraduate senior students including non-IEEE members, the main objective of the event was to inform students about the various career paths they could choose after graduation.

First-day panelists at the IEEE STEP event in Rio de Janeiro

First-day panelists at the IEEE STEP event in Rio de Janeiro

The event was organized as panel sessions, with each panelist given 15 to 20 minutes to talk about his or her professional journey. After the speeches completed, the event became an open forum where students could ask questions.

On the first day of the event, three young entrepreneurs were invited to discuss  their careers and their reasons for choosing those careers. The main discussion point was “why and how did you become an entrepreneur?” The panelists  also discussed the challenges they faced in their careers. The following speakers were invited: Ms. Andressa Sivolella, owner of the Twist Company; Mr. Ricardo Clemente, patron of the Intelie Company; and Dr. Mamour Sop Ndiaye, owner of Africa Arte.

Second-day panelists at the IEEE STEP event in Rio de Janeiro

Second-day panelists at the IEEE STEP event in Rio de Janeiro

On the second day, the session comprised four young researchers, two from the GE Global Research Centre in Brazil and two from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). All of them discussed their careers in detail and highlighted the differences between academia and industry. The second-day panelists were: Dr. Debora Reis from the GE Global Research Centre, Dr. Rodrigo Salim from the GE Global Research Centre, Dr. Guilherme Rolim from UFRJ, and Dr. Robson Dias from UFRJ.

Overall, the event was a success and we are looking forward to organizing our next STEP event.

Article contributed by Robson Dias, IEEE Rio de Janeiro Section Young Professionals Chair

2015 IEEE Young Professionals Chairperson Announced

Mario Milicevic was recently selected as the incoming Chairperson for the 2015 IEEE MGA Young Professionals Global Strategy & Operations Committee.

Mario Milicevic, 2015 IEEE Young Professionals Chairperson

Mario Milicevic, 2015 IEEE Young Professionals Chairperson

Mario currently serves as the Vice Chair of Member Products & Services on the MGA Young Professionals Committee, where he leads a international team of volunteers to deliver high-impact products & services to IEEE Young Professional members worldwide. As part of his portfolio, Mario has re-vitalized the monthly Young Professionals webinar series and initiated the promotion of online IEEE career-focused services including Mentor Centre and ResumeLab.

Currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Toronto, Mario’s research focuses on the design and development of integrated circuit implementations of Low-Density Parity-Check decoders for today’s emerging wireless and wireline communication technologies.

The Young Professionals program has undergone a major transformation since its re-branding from GOLD (Graduates of the Last Decade). Mario says: “Get ready for a bigger and better membership experience!”

Need Help With An Event? Region 8 Has the Answer

In order to increase collaboration within the region and help Affinity Groups organize new and exciting events, the Region 8 Young Professionals subcommittee is launching a new program called the Event Exchange Program across the region (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa).

The concept of the program is simple: Affinity Groups send the Region 8 Young Professionals subcommittee information about the events they have organized, and this information is then published at http://yp.ieeer8.org. Submissions typically include the title of the event, a short abstract, aims, main challenges and how they were overcome, outcomes, and suggested improvements, but they can differ depending on the nature of the event. While the amount of information and materials provided are decided by the members submitting them, the more content is shared, the more useful the program will be. Any publicity materials or other content used for the event can also be submitted.

By participating in this program, members will help other Young Professional Affinity Groups around Region 8, create a closer sense of community, and offer the ability to engage with YP members from all over Region 8. It is not just a great opportunity for individual Affinity Groups to show the world the great events they organize, but also to help other Affinity Groups while obtaining new ideas for innovative activities they can run themselves. Affinity Groups who submit event materials will receive Region 8 Young Professionals t-shirts as a token of our subcommittee’s gratitude.

We hope the Event Exchange Program will prove to be a valuable and useful tool for all Young Professional Affinity Groups in Region 8, and we look forward to achieving this goal with your help.

Contributed by Flavia Dinca, Region 8 Young Professionals Subcommittee Member

2014 IEEE YP Affinity Group Hall of Fame Awards Announced

We are pleased to announce this year’s winners of the IEEE Young Professionals Affinity Group Hall of Fame Award! Entries were evaluated based on their 2013 activities. A very competitive contest this year, the judges commented that it’s never an easy choice to choose from all of our great affinity groups worldwide.
This year the two inductees into the Hall of Fame are Santa Clara Valley (Region 6) and Croatia (Region 8). If you didn’t win this year, we highly encourage you to apply again next year. We will be providing feedback on your applications to help you plan for greater success in 2015!

The 2014 IEEE Young Professionals Committee

Mixing it up in Toronto

IEEE YP's mixing it up in TorontoMore than 150 early-career professionals from a broad range of industries turned out to raise a glass and make new connections at Toronto IEEE Young Professionals’ latest networking social on May 6, 2014. The event at The Three Brewers microbrewery was co-hosted with IEEE Women in Engineering and scheduled to coincide with the Canadian Conference on Electrical & Computer Engineering at nearby Ryerson University.

The goal of the event was to introduce conference attendees to the local IEEE Toronto community, and bring together students and early-career professionals in a broad range of industries, including engineering, science, business, marketing, arts and media. The venue was packed all night.

“Speaking with young professionals at our events is always an invigorating experience,” said Mario Milicevic, chair of IEEE Young Professionals Toronto. “In just a couple of hours, I can have an in-depth discussion about CAD tool design for electrical engineers, the state of the economy and political trends, MBA opportunities in Canada and abroad, the challenge of selling men’s pants, interactive virtual gaming platforms, implantable bio-devices, and of course, IEEE volunteer opportunities.”

Click here for the full gallery of photos from the event.

Toronto IEEE Young Professionals is coordinating a professional development series of events for September, featuring workshops on dressing for success, dining etiquette and networking skills. Look out for a half-day mini-conference on entrepreneurship slated for Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014 at Hart House at the University of Toronto to bring together technical innovators and early-career professionals through keynote talks, workshops, panels and networking.

Post contributed by Marit Mitchell, IEEE YP Toronto Senior Communications Officer

YP Webinars Now On YouTube, Google Hangouts

We’ve seen lots of webinar activity recently, but here’s an exciting piece of news about all our webinars. The Young Professionals Webinar Series will now be hosted on the Google Hangouts platform, with live broadcasts streamed directly to YouTube and IEEE.tv. Webinars are archived as YouTube videos for future on-demand viewing, and will be available on the new IEEE Young Professionals YouTube channel.

Please take a look at our first Google Hangouts webinar “Out with the GOLD and in with Young Professionals” on our Young Professionals IEEE.tv page: https://ieeetv.ieee.org/live_event/yp_live

The video that is embedded on our Young Professionals IEEE.tv page is also available on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-am9waY3MWQ

Our new IEEE Young Professionals YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCN1IB9Qq9UIp3lV3SHPfTYg/

We look forward to hosting many more engaging webinars for Young Professionals!

Post contributed by Mario Milicevic, Vice Chair of the IEEE YP Member Products & Services Committee