Manchester Young Professionals Fall Update 2020
w/ Holly Blanchard, Vice Chair, MYP Advisory Council
After graduating from Leadership Greater Manchester in 2018, I wanted to find a way to be more connected to the Greater Manchester community.
LGM increased my confidence to network with others and I found myself wanting to be even more immersed in all that Manchester has to offer. I heard about Manchester Young Professionals but really didn’t know what I needed to do to get more involved or what being involved would “look” like. Those who know me, know I like to keep busy but I’m often asked, “How do you have the ability to constantly take on more? “Between my full-time job and my part-time job, I work 12 hour days. But meeting new people and connecting with others is something I really love, so I knew I needed to stay connected to the Manchester community in additional ways.
I signed up to be on the MYP email list and started keeping tabs on social media. Before long, I learned about the fall fitness series and signed up to take part in two of the sessions – barre class at Barre Life and a yoga class at White Swan Yoga. Attending those classes allowed me to reconnect with a friend I hadn’t seen in a few years. Her brother just so happened to be very involved with Manchester Young Professionals and I expressed to her I wanted to become more engaged.
One thing led to the next and before I knew it I was a new member of the programs committee. It was exciting for me to begin to know the other committee members, who all have such a passion for making Manchester an even greater place for young professionals to work and live. Fast forward another eight months and I was now asked if I would be interested in taking on the role of being an advisory council member. This was exciting to me because it felt like the “real-life”, adult version of serving in a leadership role (outside of something to do with my career) all those years of student council and serving in different leadership capacities in high school and college prepared me well.
We had a great start to 2020 and as an advisory council we were fired up and excited to take on the new year with quite a few new council members and many ideas on how to engage Manchester’s young professionals. But of course, none of us could have anticipated what would unfold just two months later. My full-time role is with Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock and the team I am proud to be a part of hosts major fundraising events. Understandably, things had to change and go virtual for us as they did with so many industries … so that’s exactly what we did with MYP as well – went went virtual. And we did a pretty darn good job of it, if I do say so myself!
One of my favorite quotes is from a book called, The Leader Who Had No Title – “The more time you spend outside your comfort zone, the wider it grows.” In the beginning, change was uncomfortable. It’s hard to think just five months ago I had never even heard of the platform Crowdcast. But from “Together at Home Happy Hours” we conducted through Crowdcast, to MYP member social media “takeovers” we really tried to keep our foot on the gas and provide value for our membership as well as a sense of community. For me, it felt empowering to know we could still connect with our community in unique ways and it was incredibly uplifting during some really tough times.
While uncertainty is still great in many aspects, something I am certain of is that MYP remains connected and committed even more so to our mission. There isn’t a doubt in my mind that we will continue moving forward with our goals as we approach the end of 2020 and look to 2021. And as much as I’m sad to see the summer weather go, I welcome our beautiful fall season in Manchester with open arms — especially since we still have to keep everyone else at least 6 feet away!