That back-to-school feeling always sets in right around this time of year. No matter how many years have passed since graduation, it always feels like it’s time to bust out the new pencils and notebooks for a year of learning. For the Rutland Young Professionals and other young professionals across the state, we’ll mark the start of the academic year with the 5th annual Young Professionals Summit of Vermont on Saturday, Sept. 14.

This day-long, statewide networking and learning summit has been a milestone on my calendar each year since I first attended in 2017. That year, after reading about the upcoming summit in Rutland, I began researching organizations and job openings in the region. I ended up accepting my position as outreach coordinator at Rutland Economic Development Corporation a few days before attending the summit. I began the day without knowing much about Rutland or anyone from the area aside from the REDC team. Some of those connections, which started that day, have carried on and led me to join the Rutland Young Professionals board of directors, marketing committee, and 2019 summit planning committee.

The hardworking planning committee has been shaping the event around what we hear most from our peers about learning and networking gaps. To help attendees get the most out of their experience, there are four super-interesting and engaging tracks to take part in from the start through the end of the day. The areas we’re focusing on are often requested by young professionals in Vermont, and I can’t wait to immerse myself in one of the topic areas for the day. Here are our four awesome tracks to check out at the summit:

The Imposter Syndrome track will cover confidence, saying “no,” and negotiating. What young professional doesn’t need a little confidence boost along the way?

The Leadership track will focus on active listening, striving for your dream job, and tough conversations in the workplace and life. The more leadership training, the better!

A Vermont-state trait — the Involvement track. Our state is full of community activism and a spirit of volunteerism, so this track offers some guidance on how to have your biggest impact, through board of director training to different ways to donate your time and give back.

The Love Your Life track will tackle the work-life balance questions so many young professionals have and work through every day. From maintaining your identity outside of work to finding time for your family and relationships, while also striving for financial success.

The hope this year was to cover a range of pressing issues that young professionals in Vermont are facing in their personal lives, careers and communities. We have an incredibly strong community both in Rutland and on the statewide level, and more opportunities to gather, collaborate, learn, and even celebrate, translate to a better future for our state.

We’ve been told to take advantage of networking opportunities since public school, but it can often be easier said than done. One of the best parts about the annual summit and RYP events is the incredibly low-pressure, fun and organic atmosphere, which just happens to include some casual networking. If you’re looking for an easy entry into networking environments, this summit is it. And, if you needed further encouragement, the affordable summit tickets certainly help. I’m looking forward to going back to school this fall with young professionals around Vermont on Saturday, Sept. 14.

To learn more and to register for the 2019 Young Professionals Summit of Vermont, visit ypsummitvt.com.

Erin Anderson is the outreach coordinator for Rutland Economic Development Corporation, a board member for Rutland Young Professionals, and a member of the 2019 Young Professionals Summit of Vermont planning committee.

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