On May 11-12, Binnie was well represented at ACEC-BC’s inaugural Young Professionals Conference, Leading From Where You Are. Sixty-two people from consulting engineering firms around BC’s Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, and Prince George attended. The conference was held at the Terminal City Club in Vancouver. Binnie was proud to have keen young staff in attendance, and to be a gold sponsor of the event.

The Young Professionals (YPs) are a group of employees with under 10 years of industry experience. The conference is designed to foster learning at the YP level to help develop the necessary skills for advancement throughout the first 10 years of consulting.

According to the ACEC-BC website, The Leading From Where You Are conference emphasized “non-technical skills, such as business development, team building, communications, and networking.” Keynote speakers, Ralph Kison and Brian Conlin, discussed leadership, and how to take a leading role regardless of your position in the company or project team. Talks ranged from addressing personality profiles, to emotional intelligence, building successful teams, communicating clearly, and business development.

Binnie’s involvement in the conference was extensive. Project Manager, David Marchand, P.Eng., was the ACEC-BC Conference Planning Committee Treasurer and acted as a panel discussion moderator. Binnie Principal and staff manager of many of Binnie’s Young Professionals, Scott Campbell, participated in a panel discussion about how to set yourself up for success. Division Manager, Richard Bush, attended as a senior advisor. Binnie YP Chair, Adam Stubbs, also attended.

Binnie YPs report they were excited to connect with other people at the same stage in their careers. They felt “inspired to participate more within Binnie and the industry.” YP and Assistant Project Manager, Rebeka, noted:

It was great to be surrounded by likeminded, motivated young professionals. One of my favourite moments was working as a team to determine the six most important qualities of a leader; everyone has a different perspective on what makes a great leader and this led to captivating discussions.

Binnie YP and Civil Engineer in Training, Paul, agreed, stating:

We were able to meet and connect with many other people in a similar stage of their careers. One of the important differences [between leaders and managers] discussed was that a leader not only delegates work, but also inspires employees or others to complete the work at a high level.

The differences are important to note, as many of us don’t have managerial roles or responsibilities yet, but we have opportunities to take on leadership roles. This could involve stepping up to more tasks, taking responsibility for your work, creating a comfortable and supportive work atmosphere for your colleagues, being proactive on projects, and much more.

Division Manager, Richard Bush, is another mentor of Young Professionals at Binnie; he attended on opening day.

I was proud to see all the young professionals from Binnie at the event! Inspirational.

Other event sponsors included: McElhanney Consulting (Platinum); COWI, KWL (Gold); and Associated Engineering, CH2M, Stantec, AMR Consulting, Aplin Martin, Masters of Engineering Leadership – UBC, Kison Consulting PSP Canada, (Silver); and Hatch Mott MacDonald (Bronze).

The ACEC-BC Young Professionals intend to hold a subsequent conference in 2018.