AmCham Belgium’s Young Professionals Committee (YPC) is a group of high potential and highly motivated individuals who work together towards building their personal and professional networks and developing career skills. Our YPC is committed to stimulating and optimizing the dialogue between the younger professionals (~20-35 years old) and the international business community in Belgium.
Following the 2019 Committee leadership elections, the leadership team of the Young Professionals Committee was partly renewed with two new Vice-Chairs, Kurt Beullens of BNP Paribas Fortis and Amédée de Radzitzky of Whyte Corporate Affairs, and a new Chair, Astrid Ruts of Cargill, who previously served as Vice-Chair. In 2020, the new leadership team together with Committee members will keep building on the valuable activities and programs that are already a tradition within the YPC, while introducing new initiatives to address the needs of AmCham Belgium’s young professionals network.
Based on what YPC members value most, three aspirations have been identified: (1) to actively contribute to the long-term future of AmCham Belgium, (2) to foster the professional and personal development of young professionals, and (3) to provide young professionals with networking opportunities. These three streams each call for specific actions but should also be considered as transversal with the YPC striving to reflect them in all its activities.
CONTRIBUTING TO AMCHAM BELGIUM
First of all, the YPC will work on supporting the Chamber’s overall activities. In terms of actions, this translates into building a diverse and engaged Committee by attracting motivated, high potential young professionals from different backgrounds and representing different member companies. Furthermore, beyond membership and the network opportunities, the YPC aims to contribute more actively to events and initiatives organized by the Chamber and its other Committees. The Committee believes it can bring a fresher perspective and can humbly share new ideas. For instance, the YPC very much welcomes joint Committee meetings where different AmCham Belgium volunteers share ideas and expertise. While events have been postponed for the time being, our Committee meetings still take place online, and we are supportive of AmCham’s initiatives to keep members connected during these challenging times.
One of the most valued initiatives of the Committee is the support it provides to young professionals in their personal and professional development. The YPC will therefore continue to organize its “Young Professionals @ Noon” luncheons – once we are able to resume in-person events, of course. This successful event format allows young professionals to meet today’s leaders and learn from their experiences. The Committee will also organize other events serving the same purpose, such as soft skills trainings. To adapt to the current situation, we are also looking into ways in which we could offer such training sessions online.
An important reason why many members have joined the Committee is for its mentorship program. The program has been recently re-designed to ensure a structured approach and lead to valuable experiences for both mentors and mentees. Now that the hard work is over, it is time to re-launch it!
Last but not least, the Committee wants to remain a quality networking platform for young professionals. Its success lies partly in its social activities, such as last year’s golf initiation. This year, as soon as the COVID-19 crisis is behind us, the Committee will keep working on fun activities and will consider organizing company visits.
The YPC also has the tradition to organize at least one large event per year. This year, the Committee plans to review the format of its popular “Young Professionals VIP Speaker Reception”. The objective of the newly imagined event will be to bring together today and tomorrow’s leaders and have an inter-generational debate on a societal topic. Indeed, the Committee believes that both groups could certainly profit from an exchange of views. Furthermore, while YPC events are usually for a relatively young audience, this event will have the ambition to be more inclusive. The event also aims to reflect the three aspirations the Committee has drawn for 2020, making it a true highlight of the year for the YPC.
Our young professionals are always looking for new members to contribute to the diversity of the Committee and exchange ideas. During the COVID-19 outbreak, we have moved our Committee meetings online, and we are working hard to make sure that we are ready to deliver on our priorities once we’re back to normal.
About the author
Amédée is a consultant in public affairs and corporate communication at Whyte Corporate Affairs. He is specialized in public affairs, stakeholder management and government relations at federal, regional and local level. He is Vice-Chair of AmCham Belgium’s Young Professionals Committee (YPC) and liaison of the YPC to the Communications Committee.