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BCS Nottingham & Derby Branch

YPG - ProNetworking

Continuous Connection for Future Benefits

"Network unto others as you would have others network unto you" – Scott Allen, professional networking guru.

BCS Nottingham & Derby YPG have held semi-formal "introduction to networking" events in both Nottingham and Derby for young professionals in the area. Reports on previous events can be found below. If you would like more events like this, please contact one of the committee or contact us.

Past events:  Nottm 07  Derby 07  Nottm 06

Report: Nottingham ProNetworking 2007 – Britannia Hotel, Thursday 29th November

Nottingham & Derby YPG Rep Clinton Walker opened the event, welcoming everyone and apologised for the other YPG Committee members who couldn’t make it to the event. He then gave a presentation on networking, the benefits and attributes of an excellent networker.

After the presentation attendees were put in to groups to participate in number switching networking. This got all attendees ‘glued’ to their respective groups for quite a while without wanting to switch, which is the sign of effective and interesting networking as a result of valuable and intriguing information sharing.

Following on from the energetic networking session, it was time for fueling the stomach of the attendees. Buffet was served and even then Clinton had to beg the attendees to eat the food that was provided. After succumbing to Clinton’s plea the attendees were enjoying the buffet soon after, they were still networking for a while before restarting the panel discussion, and even then, they loaded their plates with food to their tables after Clinton’s plea for them to start the ensuing passionate views of the panelist and the audience.

After a filling meal the panel discussion was hosted by Clinton who started the proceedings with a list of predefined questions for the panelists which also invites the audience to share their views. The panel was made up of attendees from various backgrounds, they were:

  • Matt Aldridge – Security Consultant at Senior Internet
  • Colin MacKellar – Oracle DBA at Siemens Energy Services
  • Azar Hussain – Principal Consultant at Computer People
  • Frank Santoro – Senior Customer Solutions Architect at Fujitsu

A few of the key points raised from the heated discussions ranged from issues IT Professionals face within the East Midlands, the divide between graduates and the self-made IT professionals, contracting and outsourcing both in recruitment & IT services. All of these areas were explored to the tenth degree!

Another important point of discussion was that of recruitment in the region and the different perceptions of recruitment requirements between the structured HR process in organisations and recruitment agencies. Experienced consultants from Computer People provided invaluable insight into the do’s and don’ts of the application process, CVs, and what employers are looking for.

The event was brought to a closed at 9:00pm after a few key announcements regarding future events for the YPG and the main BCS branch. However, the session was so informative and passionate that even when the event finished at 9pm attendees were still in discussion and networking until around 9:25pm. All attendees were encouraged to check the branch web-site, YPG on Facebook, and continue to support the local YPG/BCS with events and initiatives.

To download Clinton's slides from this event, click here (548kB PowerPoint presentation)

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Report: Derby ProNetworking 2007 – Stuart Hotel, Thursday 1st February

Derby’s "IT crowd", representing a diverse range of industries, met for ProNetworking for the first time on Thursday 1st February at the Stuart Hotel. Organised by the newly-formed YPG Owners’ Club, the event was attended by participants from the Rail, Financial Services, Recruitment, Project Management, IT Services and Academic arenas and gathered together those at the start of their careers and those who had progressed further in the IT profession.

BCS Nottingham & Derby YPG Rep Vicky Sadler opened the event, welcoming everyone and providing an overview of the growing opportunities to interact with the BCS over the coming months as part of the 50th anniversary of the BCS. Also recommended to attendees were the new social events being hosted by the YPG Owners' Club twice-a-month. These extra chances to connect with other IT professionals were welcomed by attendees, many of whom expressed how difficult it had been previously to meet others working in the IT community.

photograph of derby "speed-networking"

There was a competitive element to the Introduction to Networking which aims to give all attendees a chance to explore hints and tips for making business contacts: the Networking exercise required the formation of a circle of pairs which rotated to allow several face-to-face networking conversations to take place and Vicky, who hails from Derby, was delighted to discover that Derby IT professionals appear to have the edge on their Nottingham equivalents when it comes to getting into a Networking circle! Once networking, those taking part exchanged ideas, information about upcoming events, opportunities and make useful business contacts as well as passing on business cards.

Another brimming buffet was on offer after the networking exercise, so that the skills of eating whilst making contacts could be practised. The Derby crowd equalled their Nottingham counterparts in leaving far too much food left over but again there is plenty of time for practice!

Clinton Walker hosted the Derby panel discussion on the IT Profession. Our panellists were Lee Cutts, an IT/QA Manager with Rogers Leask; Ian Sykes, a Project Manager with Siemens Communications; Zachary Naylor, a Senior Development Manager with Network Rail; and Edward Pickering, a Project Manager with IBM who is also an active member of the YPG Owners’ Club.

photograph of derby panel discussion

Topics raised by the panelists ranged from the varied routes into IT to the maturing patterns of activity of those companies who have outsourced their IT. Discussion also turned to the East Midlands as a case for IT professionals and there were clear contrasts of opinion as to whether the employment market was indeed buoyant for those in IT. The central location of cities such as Derby and Nottingham was highlighted as a key benefit for both employers and those willing to take on a commute to larger cities nearby.

Networking continued after a brief wrap up. All attendees were encouraged to check the branch web-site regularly for future events, to consider joining the YPG Owners’ Club or indeed the main Branch Committee, and to keep in touch to continue networking. Feedback from attendees reflected the informative and fun session that had been enjoyed by all.

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Report: Nottingham ProNetworking 2006 – BioCity, Thursday 16th November

More than 20 young professionals from the Nottingham & Derby area met together at BioCity in Nottingham on Thursday November 16th to take part in a ProNetworking session organised by the BCS Nottingham & Derby Young Professionals Group. The participants covered a wide range of experience levels, from those who were still students to some with senior technical and managerial roles, and represented a number of companies from the area together with a proportion of independent individual IT consultants and contractors.

photograph of attendees "speed-networking"

The event opened with an introduction by BCS Nottingham & Derby Branch Chairman Peter Eldridge who expressed his hopes that the event would provide the first of many networking opportunities for young professionals in the area. Vicky Sadler, BCS YPG Co-ordinator for Nottingham & Derby, then give a brief introduction to networking; why it's important and how to do it. This was followed by a short "speed-networking" session in which the participants were arranged in two concentric (if rather square!) circles and asked to spend 5 minutes talking to their opposite number, after which everyone moved on to spend 5 minutes talking to the next person, and so on.

Following a quick re-cap by Vicky, the buffet was opened so that everyone was able to continue practising their networking skills while enjoying the fantastic spread of food and drinks that had been provided. In fact, the participants were so eager to continue networking (and eating) that the restart had to be delayed!

After the participants had eaten their fill, Clinton Walker hosted the second session which consisted of a panel discussion on IT careers with questions being put to Simon Tonks, Head of IT at Porterbrook, Thananchai Puntha, a PC support analyst at Computerland, Colin Swift, a Software Developer at AES Medical, and Matthew Cunliffe, an IT contractor specialising in testing. Due to the delayed start only four questions were taken, however the candidate's answers and the ensuing discussions amongst all the attendees were very useful and enlightening.

Rob Gilliam then wrapped up the evening with a quick presentation on the BCS branch and YPG events planned for 2007 and, after clearing up, the hosts joined some of the participants in continuing their networking efforts at a local hostelry.

To download Vicky's slides from this event, click here (27kB PowerPoint presentation)

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