The Young Professional
My name is Miles Fidino and I am a typical young professional. A little over a year ago I graduated from Colorado Mesa University, go Mavericks, with my Bachelor of Business Association. I began my professional career with a bang by moving my entire life halfway across the country to Portland, after accepting a great post-grad job offer (thanks Portland Internetworks). I rise early every day, am extremely eager to learn, pursue many different passions in my free time and have a daily, rigorous workout regimen.
This is what I consider the “typical” young professional. Someone who is younger, obviously; but more than that someone who has the need/will/drive to grow and perform better every day through self-education and career development. When I moved here I knew very few people; having left my entire network back in Colorado, I had to quickly integrate into my new environment. This didn’t worry me, however, from my first week here, I realized Portland has a very welcoming professional community. Utilizing this amazing community has helped me thrive as a young professional in a new city, and in large part due to the many associations in the area.
Utilizing Associations as a Young Professional
A large part of what I do for the team involves coordinating and attending networking events. Doug Westervelt, my boss, CEO, and benevolent overlord never misses a teaching opportunity; early on he sent me out to join several associations on behalf of the team, to learn and to help me develop professionally. The specific associations I am a part of, should you wish to attend their events or engage with them in the future are these:
- Portland Business Alliance (PBA)
- PBA’s Emerging Professionals of Portland (EPOP)
- (Offshoot of PBA designed specifically for young professionals)
- Central Eastside Industrial Council (CEIC)
These associations vary in their objectives but they all have one thing in common: promoting connections. These associations are affordable to join and the benefits are priceless. It’s no revelation that a strong network can lead to opportunities. Though something I have discovered is that an opportunity may present itself far down the road, and in ways you weren’t predicting.
This is a lesson in patience, something I am constantly working on. You never know what starting a relationship today could do for you in the future. Take for instance my relationship with my former business professor, Dr. Stan Heister. 6 years ago he was teaching me business basics in Management 101, cut to today, I spoke in front of his class at Portland State about the importance of fostering your network. It’s no coincidence I am now writing an article on that same topic.
This is a subject I have a deep affinity for. I believe what makes your career, above all else, is the level of engagement you have with your community. Young professionals have a chance to engage early in their careers, to grow their network fast, and to become a well-known face in the community from the start. That is what I intend to do. I cannot advocate for professional associations enough, I could list the benefits at length but getting out and experiencing them for yourselves is part of the fun.
How to Find and Join Business Associations?
When you start looking for associations you want to find the ones that will benefit you the most. Here are a few ways to ensure you find groups that are worth my time:
- Ask your mentor – My CEO, Doug Westervelt is very engaged with the Portland community. He, like many mentors, have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to outreach and ways to get involved. Your mentor will know of groups that you can join to get active in your area.
- Head to your local business journal’s website – They are always highlighting events, mixers, and social opportunities that you could be capitalizing on.
- Contact me – I may be new to this, but I am still a resource that is willing to connect. Reach out: firstname.lastname@example.org