By Lauren Schwencer
As a young business professional in Knoxville, TN there are countless opportunities to connect with local, business-minded individuals.
The question is where do you start? Professional Associations!
A professional association is typically an organization seeking to further a particular profession, the interests of individuals engaged in that profession, and the public interest. These associations are a great way to connect with individuals in your industry and get ideas, information and resources that will help you throughout your career.
Benefits in joining a professional association:
• Mentoring: Professional organizations have the ability to pare you with someone much more experienced and often times mentoring is the cornerstone of these associations.
• Professional Development: Whether it is via courses, workshops, publications, and information on their website shared only with members- these associations aim to keep members up to date on industry trends.
• Networking: Great opportunity for you to mix and mingle with others in your field.
• Jobs: Many professionals in these association help their members find jobs.
As an Account Manager at M Force Staffing, our focus is on technical placements within the IT and Engineering industries. As a company we’ve been involved with the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce and most recently the Knoxville Chapter of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers.
Knoxville Chamber of Commerce
"Recognized as the 2011 National Chamber of the Year by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives, the Knoxville Chamber is the leading voice for business in Knoxville and beyond. We represent over 2,000 member businesses, providing them with cutting edge products and services designed to help make Knoxville America's Best Business Address®. "
Check out the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce: http://www.knoxvillechamber.com
"The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) is the premier source for manufacturing knowledge, education and networking. Through its many programs, events, magazines, publications and online training division, Tooling U, SME connects manufacturing practitioners to each other, to the latest technologies and to the most up-to-date manufacturing processes. SME has members around the world and is supported by a network of chapters and technical communities."
Check out SME Chapter 107: http://i.sme.org/c107/Home/
Tips to jump-start your involvement:
• Attend meetings and events
• Volunteer and attend professional development opportunities
• View job boards and position announcements from member organizations
• Learn more about careers and educational guidance
• Join discussion lists and online social networking groups
Finally, here are a couple other useful articles on the subject!
Professional Associations Can Help Your Career
Get Involved with Professional Associations
5 Reasons Professional Associations are Worth Joining