Chair, Lydia Amaraque
I’ve always been an active contributor to my local engineering community; at university I was student rep for my course for two years, and within a few months of starting as a graduate at my company, I had volunteered to be on the graduate forum. I barely gave it a second thought when an opportunity came up within the IMechE for getting involved in something new. At that time, it was as part of the Manufacturing Industries Division, where we were given the brief to come up with a manufacturing themed event which could one day rival Formula Student. I just saw this as a project rather than a stepping stone. From being involved in this, I became the YM representative on the MID, and reversely MID rep on the Young Member’s Board.
When I ran for Chair elect, my manifesto was about empowerment. I believe that all Young Members have great ideas to make things happen. I wanted to be their cheerleader and their project manager to enable them to get on with the things they really want to be doing in encouraging young people into engineering, promoting engineering and the institution to their peers, and developing themselves. The key themes for my year are Communication, Ownership, and Recruitment. With people having a better understanding of where we are and where we’re going, they can decide to join us on the journey to share the load, and that enthusiasm rubs off to those around them, bringing them along with us. I want every Young Member to know their opinion is valued, heard and magnified within the YMB, and through the right channels to drive the strategic direction of the Institution.
In all of my involvement with the YMB, I have been able to see the value of my membership a lot clearer. Not only have I developed networking skills, I have become more confident in sharing my professional opinion, and developed my project management, meeting facilitation and presentation skills. This year will be my biggest opportunity to develop my leadership skills. All of these will stand me in better stead in my actual job. These were not the reasons I joined, but I have seen the value in them.
I would actively encourage any Young Member to get involved. There are rolling vacancies for Board membership, and I believe we achieve a lot from our volunteers, as their passion and enthusiasm is invaluable.