How I helped start a Young Members' Group
Michael Cortis (29), a Research Associate from Durham University, recently helped set up the Institution’s Northern Counties Young Members’ Group. Here he discusses how he established the Group and the benefits of getting involved.
I became involved with setting up our Young Members' Group because I’m always keen to promote engineering careers, disseminate ideas to structural and civil engineering students, and develop good networking opportunities between academics and industry professionals.
Most importantly, I would like to see more young structural engineers engage with the Institution at an early stage of their career - to widen their future opportunities and grow their understanding about the importance of interdisciplinary environments.
With the help of a former Young Members’ Group member we’ve managed to get some graduates and students together to formulate the Group Committee, and started planning our calendar of events for next year.
Our most important task is engaging students and graduates from the North East, through events that encourage attendance by both Institution members and non-members –we’ll do this by providing social, career and technical events, plus site visits. We’ll also visit universities to help potential engineers make the career choices that are right for them. Graduates can give really invaluable insights to students in this area –it really helps to get advice from a professional who was in your position only a few years ago.
Running a Young Members' Group can be tough to organise - it is a great challenge for both students and graduates to dedicate their spare time to engage within the group. Still it’s really worthwhile, because we’re providing an invaluable network for engineers at the early stages of their careers, providing great opportunities to have fun, while enhancing engineering knowledge. I’d recommend getting involved in Young Members' Groups wherever you are in the world. It’s a great way to make new friends and give something back to our Institution.