ASCE Chapter Spotlight: San Jose YMF

The San Jose Younger Member Forum is part of the San Jose Branch of ASCE and they belong the San Francisco Section.  The group was formed in 2009 and currently have 25-30 active members.  San Jose YMF has ten officers and chairs and are looking to increase membership in the next several years.

I started my officer involvement with ASCE as a young professional (YMF).  During undergrad I was balancing baseball and school and did not have time to attend ASCE student chapter events or meetings. In 2013 I searched online for a younger professional group to build my network and stumbled upon SJ YMF. When first getting engaged with the group, I didn’t expect or desire to take a leadership position. Fast-forward to the present time. I am now President, helping lead a board that I have truly grown to respect and trust. Our YMF has grown a lot over the last year and I am very excited to see the group push its boundaries into new and exciting opportunities within the local community. One could say I have sipped the ASCE Kool-Aid!

From the opportunity that ASCE SJ YMF provided, I have develop leadership, management and business development skills at a faster pace than I expected or my company can keep up with. I have even developed an interest in policy and politics I would have never imagined back in 2013. I guess you could say ASCE made me.

– Gabriel Alcantar

What does your group do well?

Our San Jose YMF group provides opportunities beyond just a President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer. It allows members to become chairs in organizing sporting events, volunteering opportunities, vamping our social media, and getting involved with students. We encourage our members to be involved through community events at Habitat for Humanity and various STEM programs within K-12. We also gauge their interest through offering Job Site Tours and networking events. In addition, every year we host an annual charity golf tournament with neighboring SF YMF which benefits the ACE Mentoring program. This event requires the involvement of many extra hours from officers during the month of May and June (the start of construction projects for many) and is a crucial source of funding for the following YMF fiscal year. Every year the tournament has been a success with over 100 golfers and 20 sponsors.

When I hear the phrase ASCE Made Me, I think back to the college days and being involved in the ASCE Student Chapter. It’s where I made most of my friends that I still keep in touch with to this day. Continuing my journey in ASCE through YMF has opened opportunities in meeting other young professionals and understanding the variety of sub-disciplines that encompasses Civil Engineering as a whole. Given opportunities to dig deep in the core of ASCE through leadership conferences, networking events, and legislative programs, it has given me more than what my job could offer. It has helped me be part of a great community and it has helped me realize that I made the right choice in choosing Civil Engineering just through the people I meet every day.

– Aziza Amiri

What does your group need help with?

Our group would like to improve our student outreach, specifically to student chapters. While our group had an early foundation built upon a strong student outreach program, the last few years engagement with ASCE student chapters has been challenging. This may be due to key alumni officers transitioning out of YMF, student chapter interest, or our members proximity to schools and Bay Area traffic. Nonetheless, we will continue to encourage of students to be more involved with working young professionals because it gives them great insight for early career expectations and a head start on job opportunities.

Is there anything else you want the ASCE community to know about your group?

As a new professional organization, we have had to work hard to establish ourselves in a crowded space of other great professional engineering groups already established in our region.  This past year we increased number of leadership positions from 5 to 10 and doubled the number of events with the support of our Branch and Section. We foresee tremendous growth in the next few years and are looking forward to reaching more members beyond the city of San Jose and throughout the South Bay.

Follow San Jose YMF on social media

San Jose YMF has active Facebook and LinkedIn pages.  They also have a great website that stays up to date with all of their upcoming events.

PhotoHead Shot Mixer_01.2015

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