It was great meeting other individuals who were new in their GIS career. Getting to learn about what their goals and interests were (as related to GIS) helped expose me to aspects of the industry and most importantly develop professional connections. The atmosphere of the evening social (during the International User's Conference) made it a very relaxed experience.
Had a blast at the YPN event at UC 2018! It's a great opportunity to broaden your network. I met lots of other professionals who were relatable and had similar career goals.
YPN events are always my favorite part of Esri conferences. There are always great opportunities to hear from visionaries and leaders in the field with decades and decades of experience, but then having dedicated moments to spend conversing with my peers in YPN is invaluable. GIS is such a small field, getting to know other young professionals early has really helped me grow as a GIS professional.
My most favorite memory is the very first YPN in 2015, I was able to ask Jack a question and ESRI got a picture of it. This is when my button obsession began! I still keep in contact with many of the GIS pros whom I met that year.
My favorite YPN memory (so far) has to be going to FedGIS 2019 and attending my first event, a night at the bowling alley in DC. I ended up striking up a conversation with Caroline, who encouraged me to be confident and apply for a job at Esri. Now, I work at Esri and I’m so glad I went to the event and got to know Caroline and a bunch of other amazing Esri employees, student assistants and other YPN members. You never know where one event may take you!