Network forms for Mitchell’s younger leadersThere’s a new career and personal development network — called “The Network” — in Mitchell. The organization is a project of the Mitchell Area Chamber of Commerce.
By: Ross Dolan, The Daily Republic
There’s a new career and personal development network — called “The Network” — in Mitchell.
The organization is a project of the Mitchell Area Chamber of Commerce. Developing a networking group has been a priority of the chamber for several years, said Sonya Moller, director of operations.
The Network will offer opportunities for fun, career education and the chance to network with other young movers in the Mitchell area. Single or married professionals are equally welcome.
The new group will hold a launch event at 7 p.m. Friday at the Highland Conference Center. Tickets — available through the chamber — are $5.
“We feel it’s important to have a group of young professionals be able to network and interact with one another, not only to grow roots in Mitchell, but also to develop their careers or personal lives,” Moller said.
The concept isn’t new.
“Networks have been thriving on the West and East coasts for going on 30 years,” she said. “The chamber just thought this would be a great way to reach another generation and to get younger people more involved.”
Moller said about 25 people have been meeting, organizing and planning for several months. The group consists of a steering committee, as well as social and professional development committees.
From October to June, The Network will offer four signature events designed to offer both professional development and social interaction.
Moller, seeking to keep interest high for the Sept. 9 launch event, declined to give any particulars on the four planned events.
Promotions for The Network have gone high-tech with videos posted on YouTube, Facebook and the Mitchell Area Chamber of Commerce website at www.mitchellchamber.com.
Scott Peper, who works at Mitchell Telecom, helped to produce the video and put it online. He also appears in it with other Mitchell-area young professionals.
“It was a team effort,” said Peper, originally from Aberdeen.
“A group like The Network would have been good when we moved here about six years ago,” he said. “It will be good to get people together on Sept. 9 and tell them about our plans.”
Besides the four events being kept under wraps, other events for socialization and professional development are being planned for the same October-to-June time frame, Moller said.
Socialization events will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month at the businesses of various chamber members, so young professionals can get together and build relationships, Moller said.
Another event will be “Networking for Eight” — monthly luncheons held from noon to 1 p.m. at various chamber member businesses.
“The first eight people to sign up will have lunch with seven other people they may, or may not, know,” Moller said.
While The Network targets “young professionals” who either work or live in the Mitchell area, Moller said, there is no defined age for the group. Similar organizations typically attract members between 21 and 45 years old.
“If someone’s feeling young at heart,” Moller said with a laugh, “we’d love to have them.”
Jill Larson, a member of The Network steering committee who works as sales and events manager at the Highland Conference Center, doesn’t think it’s particularly difficult for young professionals to meet in Mitchell, but The Network offers a new way to connect.
If there’s a trend among today’s young professionals, Larson said, it’s that they use more electronic communication than older generations.
“This is a way to actually get people together and network,” she said. “Basically, it’s a chance to meet other professionals in a fun, social setting.”