As a first-time conference attendee, #SHRM17 blogger, and representing the SHRM Young Professionals Advisory Council (YPAC), I have spent a solid portion of this year’s conference with many different hats – an engaged attendee, an event planner, a den mother (no one should walk alone on Bourbon Street!), and a source of support for my fellow YPAC cohorts. While these responsibilities have left me stretched a little thin, you might be wondering what keeps going - besides COPIUS amounts of caffeine and Blogger Lounge goodies? The reason why, for me, comes in seeing near fireworks of enthusiasm from our young professionals who are bursting to the seams with ideas, creativity, and untapped innovation. YPAC has been honored to be a support to these attendees, but many have asked us, scratching their heads, what the heck is the YPAC?
YPAC is SHRM’s Young Professionals (YP) Advisory Council who, when we’re not supporting YPs at #SHRM17, volunteer our time in working to advance the HR profession for the coming generation of HR leaders. The YPAC is comprised of a team of 15 SHRM professional members under age 30 who split our focus among three concentrations: social media, YP engagement, and YP membership. Our teams spend the year collaborating on projects and initiatives within our concentrations, and, while at #SHRM17, have the immense reward of getting direct face-to-face time to connect with the YPs we aim to support. Wondering why else you should think about YPAC?
To Give Back
Jessica Gofforth, current YPAC member and a SHRM Top 30 Professionals Under 30 Award recipient, has taken full advantage of the opportunity to give back: “YPAC has been a way for me to give back to other HR YPs on a national level and be a voice for those up and coming emerging HR leaders. The Networking opportunities that have come from this group have been fantastic. It's inspiring to have a group of like-minded, people focused individuals around to brainstorm with, or even exchange GIFs. The leadership opportunities and community outreach that has come from being a part of the membership team last year and Social Media squad this year have been great to help with my personal and professional development as well!”
Current YPAC member, Stevie Sprague, PHR, is building relationships that stretch beyond the early career period: “The SHRM YPAC has been instrumental in meeting other professionals who are early in their HR career. Through SHRM I have made friends that will last a lifetime.” Former YPAC member, Dan Cross, jumped at the incredible opportunity to network across the nation: “I started my career in Washington D.C. then Richmond, VA then Wilmington, DE then San Francisco, CA then Wilmington, DE again. With all of those moves in just 5 years, one constant remained - local SHRM chapters and many SHRM connections over social media. The personal and professional relationships kept me sane throughout my many relocations. When I first found out about SHRM YPAC, I was pumped to be able to give back to other young professionals and keep them sane through the transition from college to career.”
To Grow as Leaders
Erica Davis, PHR, SHRM-CP, leapt at leadership: “When I came across the YPAC page on the SHRM website, I knew I wanted to apply immediately. Why? I was at a place in my career where I was ready to apply my HR skills in a way that would also allow me to grow and learn from my peers. The YPAC has allowed me the opportunity to build a nationwide network of fellow HR young professionals that I can collaborate with, get to know, and ultimately learn from.”
Are you ready to make the plunge and apply for YPAC? If you are a SHRM Professional Member under 30 with a passion for brainstorming, advocacy, and volunteerism, keep an eye out for an email from SHRM in August opening up applications! Questions? YPAC members are just a click away and are happy to answer your questions!