From adjusting to life after university to looking for a job, the first 10 years after graduation can be challenging for young professionals. To help recent graduates with this transition, IEEE Graduates of the Last Decade (GOLD) was created in 1996. GOLD includes members from around the world and throughout IEEE societies. IEEE young professionals are automatically added to the GOLD membership community, which has more than 60 000 members, when they graduate from university.
To bring the IEEE GOLD experience to the local level, affinity groups are established around the world, which give young professionals opportunities to network with each other close to home. The GOLD affinity groups, which are local groups within IEEE sections, can be organized by as few as six IEEE members. They hold such events as local social-networking and technical and professional activities aimed at helping their members with their careers.
Starting a GOLD affinity group takes just a few simple steps. First you need to find six members from your section or geographic council interested in organizing GOLD activities. Then a petition must be filled out with each member’s name and signature, the name of your section, and the name of your group’s organizer (who serves as interim chair until the election of a chair at one of your first meetings).
Next, the petition must be submitted to your section’s executive committee for approval and then sent to IEEE Member and Geographic Activities staff at the Operations Center, in Piscataway, N.J. The staff then works with the affinity group organizer to complete the establishment of the group, ensuring that the appropriate IEEE region director and section have no objection to the formation.
What makes a GOLD affinity group successful? Read about the thriving New Zealand North IEEE Gold affinity group in the September issue of IEEE GOLDRush, the online GOLD group publication.