Each quarter, a Young Professionals Network member is selected through a nomination process to be featured as one of the up and-coming professionals in the business community. We sat down with the most recent award winner Sara Hand who works as a Communications Coordinator for Cass County Electric Cooperative.
Why did you want to start being involved with the Young Professionals Network?
One of my coworkers suggested it and I just decided to join because I love networking and I love talking to people.
Meeting people is my jam. I just love to hear people’s stories. The first event I went to was a sort of speed dating but for networking opportunities and I loved it.
How often do you attend YPN events?
I try to attend events every chance that I get. After a while, you start to kind of see the
same people so you start to get to know them on a deeper level. I’m actually on the Social Committee and will be joining the Marketing Committee as well.
When did you start working with the social committee?
Shortly after I started. I joined the social committee because I wanted to get to know people more. Now, I’m able to see those people at least once a month on a more personal level.
How has it been helpful to you in addition to building those relationships?
It has definitely helped me gain confidence to go out of my comfort zone. I would say I’ve always been an outgoing person, but I think YPN definitely helps. It helps you train that ability to walk up to someone that you’ve never talked to and just start a conversation. That’s a skill that I feel like everybody can benefit from no matter what you do professionally.
What does it mean to you to win the award?
It did feel pretty special. because I feel like I work hard at my job and I work hard with YPN. I’m honored to be YPN’s is One To Watch.
You’re three years out of college right now, is there anything you wish you would have known at the beginning of your professional career that you know now? I
I wish I would have known to always be open to learning new things. Things are always going to be changing and what you learn in college isn’t necessarily always going to translate over to your real job. If you’re looking at a job description and you’re
not fitting every single bucket, it’s okay. Just apply for the job, even if you don’t think you’re going to get it. Because you never know.
Is there anything else you want our readers to know?
When you find that job that you want, be willing to put in the hard work. Because, at the end of the day, the right person is going to notice your hard work. Maybe your boss right away doesn’t notice, but maybe it’s the CEO or one of the VPs. Just keep working hard. In the end, it’ll pay off and you’ll feel better all the way around.