The purpose behind GBA’s newly launched Young Professionals Group is simple: cultivate an environment where young professionals can develop, grow and thrive by providing networking and professional development opportunities. As the firm continues to see a growing number of college graduates and young professionals join its team, it is important to give them the opportunity to engage, share their voice and make an impact on culture.
According to CNBC, millennials and Gen Z, or those born after 1980, made up 38 percent of the workforce in 2019. By the end of the next decade, these generations will be the majority. This shift means that organizations like GBA not only need to think of these employees as entry- and mid-level talent, but also their soon-to-be leaders.
As a response to this need, GBA’s Young Professionals Group will serve as a resource for a variety of challenges younger employees face in the working world. Topics like creating a professional brand, long-term financial planning and time management will provide young professionals with the skills needed to succeed. These issues are authentic to the needs of young professionals because they were developed by young professionals. The group’s leaders, Danielle Stetzenbach, University Relations and Campus Recruiter, and Zach Sperry, Business Development Manager, are both young professionals at GBA.
“I’ve always been passionate about career development and creating success for your career,” said Stetzenbach. “Working with college students, and being a young professional myself, I wanted to create a community within GBA where those who identify with our purpose can come together for support.”
The launch of the Young Professionals Group took place during COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. In order to keep employees engaged, the group did a spring-break themed virtual kick-off with an introduction on its goals followed by a networking happy hour.
Since its launch, the Young Professionals Group has received positive feedback from employees. In addition to the group’s demographic, those who do not consider themselves young professionals are also excited to see the group thrive. GBA values mentorship, and this group serves as a broader way to do that.
“Millennials and Gen Z are shaping employment culture and I want us to see that this is a really cool opportunity to have a positive impact,” said Sperry. “My hope for creating this group is to provide employees with the opportunities I wish I plugged into right out of the gate as a young professional myself.”
The main goal Stetzenbach and Sperry say they hope members take away from the group is that they play a vital role in how GBA operates. In an organization that’s been around for 50 years, it is important to invest in the future leaders that will guide the firm to 100 years and beyond. By creating the Young Professionals Group, GBA continues to invest in its greatest asset, its team.