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Sponsored feature: presented by the Toronto Region Board of Trade
Three years ago, Chris Dunne moved to Toronto from St. John’s, Newfoundland and had to build his professional network from the ground up. Back home, Dunne worked in business development at an agency called Prime Example. But he had few connections in Toronto, so he hit the ground running to start meeting people.
In the past, Dunne had volunteered for the St. John’s Region Board of Trade and found the experience invaluable. When he moved to Toronto, he immediately volunteered for the Toronto Region Board of Trade. He learned about the Board’s Young Professionals Network (YPN) and joined it. He’s since developed meaningful connections and expanded his network in the advertising world, meeting everyone from digital marketing experts to people from video production firms.
“I’ve met people from almost every industry – professional services, law, not-for-profit, consumer packaged goods, retail and food and beverage,” he says.
The Board’s YPN offers a series of workshops and networking events for emerging leaders in every industry and sector under 40 from all sectors to advance professionally by building relationships and developing skills at events and workshops. Whether learning about the development of transportation with Uber’s CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, discussing the future of Toronto with urban planner-turned-mayoral candidate Jennifer Keesmat or mentorship networking with local business figures, the YPN offers exclusive access to a wide-array of professionals.
The relationships Dunne formed through YPN helped him land his current job as a business development manager at Toronto-based creative consulting agency Elemental Inc.
“Keeping in-touch with people I meet at YPN networking events, has led to opportunities down the road when either they, or someone they knew, needed marketing services,” he explains.
“YPN was definitely instrumental in helping me establish my network,” he continues. “It’s a great place to meet people from all walks of life, all different industries and all different career paths. A lot of the time, networking events that you do go to are industry-specific so you’re always hanging out with people from your own industry.”
For budding professionals, it’s important to network with peers from a variety of industries in order to create new business opportunities, and expand horizons. It’s easy to miss out on major opportunities for career growth and networking when only attending industry-specific events and workshops.
The YPN has not only opened up new doors for Dunne’s career growth, but also enabled him to create more than one type of relationship in Toronto. “Some of the first people I met were through the Board and those people introduced me to other people that become friends, acquaintances and clients,” says Dunne.
YPN’s career advancement program is designed to connect Toronto’s emerging professionals and assist them in becoming the city’s future leaders in their respective fields. Community and mentorship are at the program’s core. Events and workshops allow today’s business leaders to give back. Feeling connected to your city and its people is important in working together towards a brighter future for everyone.