Earlier this year, Autodesk’s Young Professionals Network (YPN) employee resource group (ERG) held its first in-person event in Bangalore, India, after two full years of virtual-only collaboration. As the Chapter Events Lead for YPN, I had the honor of facilitating the event. More than 25 Autodeskers attended in person, with another 65 watching virtually. It was such a valuable experience for YPN members that we decided to turn it into a series!
What exactly is this event series, you ask? It’s called “Let’s Talk,” and it was created to provide opportunities for Autodesk’s young professionals to hear from and connect with Autodesk leaders. While our main audience is YPN members based in India, any Autodesker across the globe is welcome to attend.
Each event is typically organized and facilitated by YPN’s APAC site lead, along with a supporting team of young professionals who moderate the panel. Panelists are those in leadership positions or who have immense experience with the subject at hand. Attendees come prepared to learn and ask questions – it’s kind of like having a casual conversation about career growth, opportunities, the panelists’ field of expertise, and what’s in store for young professionals in various organizations throughout Autodesk.
We focus on a different topic each time and provide an opportunity for Q&A. So far, we’ve heard from leaders about customer success and how Autodesk is a platform company, and we’ve been able to learn more about the strategic intent of different organizations throughout Autodesk. Having this live interaction between the audience and leadership helps Autodeskers feel more connected to decision-makers and feel the relevance of their work.
“Let’s Talk” helps build community and promote a deeper sense of belonging for young professionals in APAC (and beyond!), providing more learning and development opportunities for our ERG members. We want to increase interactions between young professionals and leadership, so they can directly ask questions and understand leaders’ perspectives on various topics. And by having active YPN members moderate the events, they’re able to showcase their soft skills and increase their visibility.
There has already been a lot of interest in this series. We are now seeing more than 40 in-person and 100+ virtual attendees, which shows that Autodeskers are seeking opportunities to learn and cultivate a deeper sense of belonging through events like this.
As things are slowly getting back to normal after a long time, people are much more engaged in on-site events and show a lot of enthusiasm. Here’s what one “Let’s Talk” attendee had to say about the series:
If I had to sum up the key learnings from the “Let’s Talk” series so far, two main themes come to mind:
- Alignment: Even though our individual organizations may be different from one another, every organization throughout the company is strategically aligned to Autodesk’s goals.
- Culture is key: Every employee resource group at Autodesk aims to connect different Autodeskers through our culture, which is centered around diversity and inclusion.
“Let’s Talk” is one of the many ways YPN enables early and mid-career professionals to become future Autodesk leaders. I’m looking forward to building on the success we’ve already had with this series and hope to see even more YPN members at the next event!
Learn more about Autodesk’s employee resource groups here.