Emerging Professionals of Massachusetts Meeting

** This month’s EPMA meeting will now be hosted virtually in response to the increasing spread of the novel coronavirus/COVID-19. A Google Hangouts invite will be sent through the EPMA newsletter and to registered attendees on Eventbrite. **

EMERGING PROFESSIONALS OF MASSACHUSETTS (EPMA)

The EPMA Committee is a great venue for becoming more engaged with green building community and forming meaningful connections with colleagues across the industry. Our monthly meetings are open to anyone interested in becoming more involved.

MEETING AGENDAS TYPICALLY INCLUDE: The meeting starts with a 45 minute discussion with the committee leaders regarding planning for upcoming EPMA events and USGBC MA Chapter updates. All are welcome to this portion of the meeting as we look for volunteers to help plan events. Please join us at 6:45pm for the presentation and networking. Below is the breakdown of the meeting agenda:

  • 6:00-6:40pm: Committee Meeting
  • 6:40-6:45pm: Break/Introductions
  • 6:45-7:20pm: Presentation
  • 7:20-7:30pm: Networking

THIS MONTH’S FEATURE PRESENTATION:

Stay tuned for an update on the presentation!a

A BIT MORE ABOUT EPMA:

Chairs: Lindsey MachamerJasmine Abdollahi

The Emerging Professionals of Massachusetts (EPMA) Committee is a community of ascending professionals across the green building industry and allied fields that provides professional support, development and advocacy tools through active networking, monthly programming and community events. To learn more about EPMA, join the mailing list by following this link (select the Emerging Professionals e-mail list), visit our EPMA facebook group page (USGBC Emerging Professionals – MA) or send an email to [email protected].

EPMA Events Include:

  • Building Tours
  • Sustainable Bike Tour
  • Networking Nights
  • Neighborhood Clean-Ups
  • Student Programming

Check out our calendar for the latest schedule!

Emerging Professionals of Massachusetts Meeting

Emerging Professionals of Massachusetts Meeting

EMERGING PROFESSIONALS OF MASSACHUSETTS (EPMA)

The EPMA Committee is a great venue for becoming more engaged with green building community and forming meaningful connections with colleagues across the industry. Our monthly meetings are open to anyone interested in becoming more involved.

MEETING AGENDAS TYPICALLY INCLUDE: The meeting starts with a 45 minute discussion with the committee leaders regarding planning for upcoming EPMA events and USGBC MA Chapter updates. All are welcome to this portion of the meeting as we look for volunteers to help plan events. Please join us at 6:45pm for the presentation and networking. Below is the breakdown of the meeting agenda:

  • 6:00-6:40pm: Committee Meeting
  • 6:40-6:45pm: Break/Introductions
  • 6:45-7:20pm: Presentation
  • 7:20-7:30pm: Networking

THIS MONTH’S FEATURE PRESENTATION:

Stay tuned for an update on the presentation!a

A BIT MORE ABOUT EPMA:

Chairs: Lindsey MachamerJasmine Abdollahi

The Emerging Professionals of Massachusetts (EPMA) Committee is a community of ascending professionals across the green building industry and allied fields that provides professional support, development and advocacy tools through active networking, monthly programming and community events. To learn more about EPMA, join the mailing list by following this link (select the Emerging Professionals e-mail list), visit our EPMA facebook group page (USGBC Emerging Professionals – MA) or send an email to [email protected].

EPMA Events Include:

  • Building Tours
  • Sustainable Bike Tour
  • Networking Nights
  • Neighborhood Clean-Ups
  • Student Programming

Check out our calendar for the latest schedule!

Emerging Professionals of Massachusetts Meeting

Emerging Professionals of Massachusetts Meeting

EMERGING PROFESSIONALS OF MASSACHUSETTS (EPMA)

The EPMA Committee is a great venue for becoming more engaged with green building community and forming meaningful connections with colleagues across the industry. Our monthly meetings are open to anyone interested in becoming more involved.

MEETING AGENDAS TYPICALLY INCLUDE: The meeting starts with a 45 minute discussion with the committee leaders regarding planning for upcoming EPMA events and USGBC MA Chapter updates. All are welcome to this portion of the meeting as we look for volunteers to help plan events. Please join us at 6:45pm for the presentation and networking. Below is the breakdown of the meeting agenda:

  • 6:00-6:40pm: Committee Meeting
  • 6:40-6:45pm: Break/Introductions
  • 6:45-7:20pm: Presentation
  • 7:20-7:30pm: Networking

THIS MONTH’S FEATURE PRESENTATION:

Stay tuned for an update on the presentation!a

A BIT MORE ABOUT EPMA:

Chairs: Lindsey MachamerJasmine Abdollahi

The Emerging Professionals of Massachusetts (EPMA) Committee is a community of ascending professionals across the green building industry and allied fields that provides professional support, development and advocacy tools through active networking, monthly programming and community events. To learn more about EPMA, join the mailing list by following this link (select the Emerging Professionals e-mail list), visit our EPMA facebook group page (USGBC Emerging Professionals – MA) or send an email to [email protected].

EPMA Events Include:

  • Building Tours
  • Sustainable Bike Tour
  • Networking Nights
  • Neighborhood Clean-Ups
  • Student Programming

Check out our calendar for the latest schedule!

EPMA Event Recap: The Power of Networking

Written by Kavita Karmarkar

Attendees take notes on their phones while Julie goes over networking tips.
Attendees take notes while Julie goes over networking tips.

On November 21, EPMA organized a fireside chat event–‘The Power of Networking’, as part of EPMA’s ongoing efforts to help young professionals further their careers and learn new skills.  

This roundtable discussion focused on tips and tricks to be better at networking, either for job, business, or personal development. Our guide and coach for the event was Julie Nasser. Julie is the director of business development at Marguiles Perruzzi Architects, an award-winning architecture and interior design firm located in downtown Boston. Julie has more than ten years of experience in business development, A/E/C recruiting, sales, and real estate leasing. Our venue host for the evening was Perkins Eastman. Perkins Eastman, an architecture firm with seventeen interdisciplinary offices around the globe, designs for a sustainable and resilient future, and to enhance the human experience through the built environment.

Julie Nasser laughs and addresses attendees
Julie Nasser addresses attendees

Julie coached the group on a variety of subjects such as developing networking skills, striking up easy conversations at events, finding the correct networking groups, following up after meeting at seminars and conferences, and balancing professional and business development at events. 

One of the common questions shared by the team was dealing with the nervousness of going to an event, especially if you don’t know anyone or do not have a friend to accompany you. Julie guided the group through some common tricks like starting a conversation about everyday things, such as the weather and holiday/summer plans, to break the ice. A casual introduction about yourself, without focusing heavily on your work, can get the conversation flowing as well. Another very important tip is to carry your business cards with you: if you make an acquaintance with someone and get their business card, you can write to them with a few ‘possible follow-up’ topics depending on the conversation. 

Making contacts and building networks should ideally be done throughout your career as you progress, and not only when you are in a job seeking or developing your business. Also, finding the correct networking groups, depending on your interests and field of work, is very important: searching on Google, asking your professors, or connecting with your colleagues and peers will give you an idea of what organizations you should consider joining. Volunteering is one of the ways that you can meet new people and build networks, while contributing in a meaningful way. Volunteering can be especially useful for job seekers and young professionals for events which might be too expensive to get into otherwise. 

Julie discusses networking tips with attendees.
Julie discusses networking tips with attendees.

Another networking tip is determining how and when to follow up after meeting people at events and conferences. Reaching out through LinkedIn and by email are a few of the best ways to make contact after a couple of weeks. You can refer back to the event or conference in the message, and ask the acquaintance if they would like to meet again and discuss a topic, such as the acquaintance’s field of work. It is considered acceptable to reach out one more time if there is no response, usually in a couple of weeks. Generally, when you make a new acquaintance, it’s better not to talk about your job seeking or business development situation directly. Instead, you should get to know more about the work done by your contact. Asking people for ‘informational interviews’ is a good way to better understand people and their work. It can be especially helpful for job seekers to learn more about a company and the work culture. 

The event gave participants a chance to talk about these questions openly and learn from each other’s experiences. At the end of the session, all participants got an opportunity to exchange cards/LinkedIn profiles and make new contacts. 

The entire team at EPMA would like to thank our coach, Julie Nasser, for her words of wisdom and our host, Perkins Eastman for providing venue and refreshments. 

EPMA Presentation Recap: Shifting Company Policy and Culture Towards Sustainability

Written by Michael Orbank

Michael presents at the November 2019 Emerging Professionals of Massachusetts meeting
Michael presents at the November 2019 Emerging Professionals of Massachusetts meeting.

At this past USGBC EPMA meeting, I had the pleasure of discussing the work Commodore Builders is doing to move towards a more sustainable future. Commodore is a growing CM firm, and their rapid growth is continuing to innovate and deliver the best possible product for its clients, while balancing and improving the working life of its employees. Building a sustainable culture is pivotal in expanding successfully and ethically.

Through small sustainable steps, significant progress can be made. A big mistake many companies make is a “shock and awe” campaign which leaves employees and clients dazed and confused with the new changes. Taking small, incremental steps is pivotal in creating lasting change. Small steps Commodore has taken include forming a carbon committee, reviewing areas of improvement, and speaking honestly with both clients and employees about sustainable changes. In the competitive Boston construction market, Commodore has realized that sustainability must be a collaborative effort.

Earlier this year, Commodore introduced changes to their subcontractor contracts, mandating LED’s for temporary lights, and banning idling onsite. It is the hope that we can move to bigger, bolder moves while keeping education a priority to make sure that all involved parties understand why changes are being made and what the impact is. Just this past week, office wide composting was introduced with a focus on personal, hands on training to teach employees what can and cannot be composted. Going forward, Commodore hopes to improve their material sourcing, transition towards zero construction waste, and continue to provide employees with one of the best workplaces in Boston.