Young Professionals: ComSoc’s Future
This month’s column is a report by the Chair of our Young Professional (YP) Committee, Shashank Gaur, discussing our efforts on YP since the beginning of 2020.
Vincent Chan, ComSoc President
The IEEE Communication Society (ComSoc) has more than 29,000 members, including people from different geographic locations and different technical areas. ComSoc serves its member by creating various volunteer groups to work on a specific demographic (location, technology, and career goals). Some of our members graduated with their first university degree (usually a four-year bachelor program) within the last 15 years, as I did. Such members are categorized as Young Professionals by IEEE across all technical areas. ComSoc provides specific activities for these members through the ComSoc Young Professionals volunteer team.
Since 2020, ComSoc Young Professionals are engaged in the following significant activities that are organized by different volunteers.
Events: Our core activity is engaging Young Professionals at ComSoc’s leading conferences, such as ICC, GLOBECOM, INFOCOM, etc. Each year we organize a comprehensive set of events for students, post-doctoral researchers, early career faculties, industry researchers, and practitioners. In the past, we planned these activities in partnership with local IEEE student groups in the cities where the conference was hosted. Since COVID, we have kept these activities virtual, but free and accessible for everyone interested. Some of our successful sessions have been fireside chats where ComSoc leaders come together to have an open discussion with the audience through interactive Q&A. This year we hosted similar activities again at ICC 2021.
Webinars: In 2021, we have started to organize regular virtual events to accommodate a diverse audience. We understand that not everyone can be available during the same conference due to time commitments. Hence, we are bringing our excellent speakers to these virtual events every month on different topics. Imran S Ansari and Marco Giordani are leading efforts to identify these fantastic speakers and topics. This year we have already hosted talks on hot topics such as “Non-Terrestrial Networks” by Michele Zorzi of the University of Padova, and “Communication in the 6G Era” by Preben Mogensen of Nokia Bell Labs. Many more presentations are planned. Please follow us on social media or subscribe to the newsletter on our website to stay updated on upcoming sessions.
Blog: The ComSoc YP Blog is organized by Shashi Raj Pandey, a Ph.D. student at Kyung Hee University. Our intention for the blog is to document valuable materials relevant to young professionals. While it is equally challenging to conquer all avenues of our objectives, we try to balance sharing key research directions, progress made, future challenges in communication networks, and the underlying “thought process” to develop a solution. We have worked to simplify the content submission process by enlisting sufficient information in advance. We would like to host an open platform where YPs openly share their “untold” academic/personal challenges during an early career as personal narratives and failure/success stories. We are also working to reach out to diverse contributors. We plan to have content at conferences related to applying for grants/funding, mini-tutorials on recent progress made in the field, and mentorship. If you are interested in highlighting your work through our blog, please reach out to us at yp.comsoc.org/blog/submission.
Awards: ComSoc Young Professionals have maintained a successful awards program since 2016. Our 2021 awards program received approximately 50 nominations from various Young Professionals, from both academia and industry. We hope to provide more opportunities to highlight the rising stars of our community, who are working hard in multiple areas. We will continue with our awards program, and at the same time, we will be examining new awards or categories to make sure our awards represent all of our members.
Social Media: Our social media activities are led by John Benedict Boggala and Manuel Lopez Morales, a Ph.D. student at University Carlos III in Madrid. We have created a LinkedIn page inside Comsoc’s main page. We now have accounts on social networks: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Slack, and Instagram. Social media is intended as an outlet for all Comsoc YP things by offering the opportunity to collaborate with other activities and engaging our members across the board. The aim is to keep our followers aware of activities in Comsoc YP. Members can directly participate if they find some content that can be of interest to be published on the social networks. For future plans, we aim to keeping things engaging and maybe think of new ways to interact with our followers.
The IEEE ComSoc Young Professionals team includes members from various demographics such as students, academia, industry, etc. We have 15+ members contributing to different projects on their own time. We consider ComSoc YP as a front door for anyone interested in volunteering in ComSoc. Working through our team, a member can experience what volunteering is all about without making any considerable time commitments. We allow everyone to contribute in whatever shape or form they can.
Of course, all of these activities would not be possible without the unconditional support from ComSoc leadership and staff. Our special thanks to Vincent Chan, Ricardo Veiga, Nei Kato, Trish Jaraicie, Cindy Tiritilli and Bruce Worthman.