Submitted by: Pamela B. Jacob, JEVS Human Services, Career Strategies Department

A couple months ago, I walked into my first YPN event and was pleasantly surprised. As an individual who thinks I know most people in this city, I had not known one person in the room and it was fantastic! While yes, on one hand, the idea of not knowing anyone could be overwhelming; I was thoroughly intrigued and challenged to be amidst a whole new collection of people.

As a newer member of the YPN, I have been able to attend events at quality venues such as Lucky Strike and Ladder 15 and be introduced to a new variety of young friendly professionals. With each event, I am continually impressed with the organization of the GPCC staff, contributions by the guest speakers, and the general atmosphere that is presented. Last week, the event at the American Pub at Centre Square was just as enjoyable. I was able to meet an array of remarkable men and women and had the chance to hear the business perspective first hand from Mr. Charles Pizzi, CEO of Tasty Baking Company. Coincidentally, I found out that Mr. Pizzi, the former President and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce was not only influential in launching the esteemed YPN, but often eats one Tastykake per day. As a young professional myself, I found it certainly motivating to hear Mr. Pizzi’s well-rounded, ethical, and goal-oriented approach to taking over such a well known and established organization. Specifically, after hearing the Q&A between Mr. Pizzi and the YPN Board members, I acquired some valuable ideas with regards to business management to take with me in my professional and personal endeavors. In addition, attendees including myself were able to contribute to the McClure Elementary School Toy Drive which certainly helped create some more smiles this holiday season.

In turn, I met some new faces and had the opportunity to put myself in a situation to be able to relate more aptly to my clients. As the Resource Coordinator for the Career Strategies department at JEVS Human Services, I often work with individuals seeking employment or making some type of transition in their careers. Specifically I also co-facilitate a twice weekly Job Search Strategies Group that discusses a range of topics, one of which includes Networking. Therefore, since I often encourage my clients to attend networking events I am glad to be able to share some of my own experiences with networking.

As we know, networking events can be intimidating, especially for those individuals who consider themselves to be more of an introvert. For those of you out there, rest assured that the YPN Board members are there to greet you with a smile and assist you with introductions. Personally, I also find the YPN membership extremely affordable for us up and comers, even considering the current economy. So far, I’m three for three and have already recommended YPN to my friends, colleagues, and clients. As someone who has been fascinated by and worked briefly in the field of law, I am looking forward to starting 2010 by attending the January YPN event with Philadelphia’s new District Attorney, Seth Williams. Hope to see you there!

Click here to see photos from the event.