Professional networking all year long.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… a time for joy, hope and the anticipation of getting together with friends and longtime acquaintances. Think I’m talking about the holidays? Wrong. I’m actually referring to IMS. OK, I may be stretching it and next year’s event in Phoenix may seem a long way off as winter settles upon us, but nonetheless I encourage everyone to think of the warm spirit of IMS and Phoenix in May (oh Yeah!) and consider how we can extend the spirit of staying connected throughout the year.

As the largest gathering of microwave engineers and business professionals, IMS is by extension, one of the leading networking events of the year. But like many of you, I need to connect with people outside my network all year long. And so, online communities such as the IEEE IMS Linked-in group have become an invaluable tool for me to share and access important technical information with people from outside my list of contacts. The IMS Linked-in group is one source I use to inform and stay informed with fellow members. Since IMS comes but once a year, the Linked-in community helps me extend IMS networking opportunities beyond the event and synch up my activities with industry trends.

The first step in benefitting from the IMS Linked-in community is to join. Currently, there are about 1,000 active members. By joining, you become part of the conversation. Active members are tied into a vibrant community at large and, in turn, gain a reputation as industry influencers and persons of interest. I use Linked-in groups to post information to various communities and send direct messages to their members. And I appreciate and respond to people who reach out to me through social media as well.

While I belong to a dozen Linked-in groups, give or take, the IMS group is one that helps me stay in touch with some very special microwave people, those who are extremely engaged in the IEEE, MTT-S Chapters and IMS planning. As an active member in the IMS online community, I cultivate my own hotline to some influential engineers and managers. In exchange, I make myself available to anyone who can benefit from what I have to offer. In this season of giving, think about how much your professional connections enrich your work experience and take advantage of the online communities that will help you not only stay connected to the people you enjoy seeing once a year, but expand your network to a wider circle of very interesting microwave professionals.

Join the IMS Linked-in community today if you’ve not already done so. And look for me and the activity I support on Linked-in (and Twitter) and I will to do the same for you. Enjoy your Holidays and I’ll be looking for you online.

David Vye
Business Development at ANSYS (past editor at Microwave Journal).

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