You’re a young professional woman who just earned her degree. But times are tough, everyone is sending our resumes, and jobs are scarcer than feathers in a cuckoo clock. You need to separate yourself from the pack, make yourself more employable, be more than an “also ran.”
If you’re eager to break into or advance in the utilities industry, you might want to join the Women’s International Network of Utility Professionals (WiNUP). Formed in January 1999, WiNUP’s roots go way back to an organization that sprang out of the Electrical Women's Round Table, a group with a long history of providing growth and development to those in the electric industry and allied fields.
WiNUP offers a number of critcaly important benefits to aspiring young professionals, but perhaps its greatest strengths lie in networking in the energy industry, in sharing knowledge and expertise, and in providing advice and encouragement in this beleagured job market. Mentoring career development programs are conducted within chapters and, by special request, with members in other chapters to foster personal development.
Scholarships are available annually to members and nonmembers pursuing graduate study in an energy-industry related field. The Julia Kiene Scholarship, a $2,000 grant, is specifically designed to encourage young members to pursue careers in the utilities industry. The Lyle Mamer Fellowship and Louisan Mamer Scholarship, each offer a $1,000 grant. Applications are available online and are reviewed annually. The deadline for WiNUP fellowships is March 31.
Recognition through awards and grants include Chapter Achievement and Newsletter awards as well as POWER and OAK awards, which recognize outstanding individual members. There’s also a members-only grant to support continuing education. A new Past Presidents’ grant even helps members with costs to attend the annual conference. For more details on these awards and grants, visit WiNUP.org.
WiNUP’s annual conference is hosted by a local chapter and provides extensive networking and educational opportunities for members and non-members at a reasonable cost. This year, the 2012 WiNUP Conference is scheduled for October 8-10, 2012 at the Embassy Suites Columbus Airport, Columbus, Ohio. The theme this year will be “E4 All: Energy, Environment, Economy, Education.”
To join WiNUP, just complete a membership application and pay the required dues—just $22 for students. Annual Chapter dues vary from $4 to $20. WiNUP has multiple chapters and most are based in the eastern half of the US. But there’s also a "Members-at-Large" chapter for WINUP family members who do not reside within a chapter area.
As a WINUP member, you’ll have access to exclusive benefits, including a monthly Member's Bulletin, an information-packed quarterly Connections Newsletter, and the Members Only section of their web site. This section features many links to leadership rosters, award application information, programs and career development opportunities, plus a membership directory listing the names of all our WiNUP members.
So go forth and network. Join WINUP, then learn and connect with utilities industry professionals who may just be able to get you an interview—and a job.