Beginning as a college student and now as a young professional, I have found that building a strong network is one of the most important things you can do to bolster your success. It is integral to have connections within your office, your industry, and across different fields, too. Thus, when I left my first job and started in a completely new role as a water resource engineer earlier this year, I knew that I would need to spend some time to rebuild my network. Thankfully, I was lucky enough to be surrounded by some incredible colleagues and knew that I already had a great start to my new web of people within the world of water. On top of that, I already had a couple of friends working in the industry that I could use as resources.
While I did have a great start already, I knew it would be essential to grow my network beyond my company and friends. This was something I struggled to do at my previous job, mostly due to the shift away from networking events in the midst of the pandemic, and I made it a personal intention to ensure that I developed connections outside of my immediate sphere. Moreover, the importance of having access to a large and diverse network would only compound with my transition to working remotely on the opposite side of the state. Luckily, I didn’t have to look too far …
I was immediately directed to the Colorado Water Congress POND (Professional, Outreach, Networking, and Development) Committee by a friend who was already involved and knew I had found what I was looking for. The committee is free and open to water professionals of any age and experience level and fosters connections for members across Colorado. The group holds monthly meetings and emphasizes career advancement, professional growth, leadership development, and mentorship opportunities. Furthermore, the group prioritizes hosting and sponsoring exciting events for its members including professional sports games, brewery gatherings, and ski days featuring lectures from water professionals.
One of the first POND events I had the pleasure of attending was the POND Beach Day at Arapahoe Basin. For those unfamiliar, the beach is the epicenter of spring skiing in Colorado and POND sponsored the event – complete with a jort-wearing grill master, beverages, and chairlift rides spent getting to know other water professionals in the state.
I am incredibly thankful I found POND, especially before I transitioned to working remotely. I look forward to continuing to expand my network and taking part in events across the state. If you are a water professional and looking to do the same, sign up for CWC POND at https://www.cowatercongress.org/pond.html, and attend an upcoming POND event:
July 6 – POND Member Meeting at noon
August 23-25 – CWC Annual Conference
Or contact Stephen Foster to learn more.
Jonah is a water resources engineer working for Wright Water Engineers. Living and working remotely in Grand Junction, he has a passion for water in the West and is eager to help provide solutions for the challenges we all face. He attended Colorado School of Mines and graduated in 2019 with a B.S. in Civil Engineering.