Everyone has a network of friends and family. A ‘professional network’ is similar to your network of friends, but it refers to people and organizations that you deal with professionally—colleagues, clients, business partners, suppliers, counterparts, contacts, alumni, etc. Many times, your network of friends and your professional network can overlap: your colleagues can become your friends and your friends can become your colleagues. In the case of my husband and I, my colleague became my family!
There are moments in our careers when we feel that having a large professional network would be beneficial, for example when we are looking for a new job, searching for clients or trying to meet a particular person. At these times, we want to expand our professional network to maximize our chance of success. A good way to expand your professional network is to join professional clubs, associations and networks. WBFN is a great place to start. WBFN offers a network of contacts that can provide both support and opportunities.
Membership in a professional group is one of the many opportunities offered by WBFN’s Career and Volunteering Program (C&V). C&V Professional Groups offer an excellent platform from which members can create a supportive, collaborative network among themselves, and also reach out to external people and organizations.
Professional Groups are led by proactive volunteers and rely on collaborative, creative participants to function effectively. Professional Groups allow WBFN members to build a lasting network with other members from similar industries. Members support each other through the job-seeking and career development process by sharing experiences and suggesting relevant resources and opportunities. Groups also take on capacity-building projects that support C&V and other WBFN programs.
The C&V Program also offers bi-weekly career and volunteering-related events. All WBFN, IMFFA and IDBFA members are welcome to join us at our events (see the calendar on the back cover). For more information about C&V, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
All WBFN, IDBFA and IMFFA members are welcome to get involved with C&V’s Professional Groups. Here’s a brief description of our current Groups:
Banking, Finance & Business
The Banking, Finance and Business Professional Group (BF&B) was created six months ago by WBFN and IDBFA members. The Group started with three members and grew rapidly to seven active members. The main objectives of the BF&B Group are to: identify business opportunities, find jobs, exchange experiences, get involved, support other members in achieving their objectives, identify programs and certifications, and, most importantly, have fun and be active. One of the main achievements of the group is its relationship with Bankers without Borders (BwB), an external non-profit organization. We invited BwB to present their institution and volunteer opportunities to the C&V program and received a very positive response from C&V participants.
We are very pleased that five members of the group have found jobs and are actively working and volunteering and some members are planning to start businesses in DC.
We are actively looking for new members. To get involved, please contact Francisco Gonzalez-Cos at email@example.com.
by Francisco Gonzalez-Cos
The Healthcare Professional Group will provide enrichment opportunities for WBFN members in the health industry. The Healthcare Group consists of people whose professional and/or educational background lies in a healthcare area. Members support each other in their career management and professional development. Our group is built on the belief that it’s always valuable to share experiences and create a network with other members from the same industry. We have developed two informational PowerPoint presentations: “The Healthcare Market in DC area” (by Matt Dong Uk Cho) and “US Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE®) for International Medical Graduates (IMG)”, which explains how to obtain a license to practice medicine in the USA (by Gulira Alieva).
We are actively seeking new members. To get involved, please contact Gulira Alieva at firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Gulira Alieva
The Environmental Professional Group (EPG) was created in August by WBFN members with varied backgrounds. However, all participants had one common interest: the environment.
Our mission is to establish a cultural and professional network that converges and welcomes all environmental professionals and professionals from related areas, as well as people who are simply interested in this topic. We aim to support our members by providing opportunities to enhance their professional network, broaden their industry knowledge, share experiences and stimulate intellect, and volunteer to assist with local environmental activities (like river clean-up and other community volunteering work).
If you are interested, please do not hesitate to contact Sandra Prescod-Dairymple at email@example.com.
by Ida Scarpino
We are a group open to job seekers in international development or a related field. Our main goals are to get to know and support one another and exchange experiences. We share information on upcoming events, job websites, and job opportunities and trainings in a friendly environment with the aim of landing a job. We have developed resources and presented at C&V events on topics including gender mainstreaming in public policy, women’s entrepreneurship, teaching as a form of women’s empowerment, and health. We have started identifying and are preparing to contact related organizations to connect them to the C&V Group. Many of our members have found jobs. Our meetings are held on the first Monday of the month. To get involved, email the coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
by El Batoule Alaoui
Social Media, Marketing and IT
The Social Media, Marketing and IT Professional Group was created in January to capitalize on shared interests. Social media uses different types of IT infrastructure, and marketing increasingly happens via social media.
One member suggested an online service where WBFN members could interact and exchange skills. Thanks to WBFN’s close links with WBG departments, we are using the Bank’s internal collaboration platform to develop this service, which has been named the WBFN Knowledge Exchange. A test site is ready and the next step is to test it by registering a few users who can simulate activity in order to evaluate and improve user-friendliness.
New members are welcome to join this group to help with the current project, suggest other projects, or find career and volunteering opportunities in the DC area. To get involved, please contact Pedro Saa Salleras at email@example.com.
by Simo Malinen