Our applications are about to open, and we are so excited to see new applicants for our 12th season! This election is my second year coordinating applicants for the YPWA board. I'd love to share more about our process to give potential applicants the context and details needed to apply!
Here's a breakdown of some of the most common questions the board and past applicants have had about joining and our application process.
Board Member Basics
What are some of the benefits of joining the board? Learning and connecting with like-minded people on the board has a significant long-term impact personally and professionally for most current and former members. Here are a few of the key benefits our board has mentioned:
Build leadership development skills
Develop event planning experience
Connect on a deeper level with the local community
Autonomy in officer tasks and event planning
Membership fees covered for years serving and the following year
I leveraged my role initially after being let go from a position I loved but no longer loved me. I gained new experiences and built back my confidence. Former members, feel free to sound off in the comments if you want to share your stories!
Who joins the board? Our past board members have experience working in many different roles and industries, but they all are:
People that make space for others to grow and develop
Someone who wants to connect people, organizations, and businesses
Those that are open to learning and are comfortable with different perspectives
They want to help drive YPWA's mission: To engage and empower Worcester’s young professional women!
What are the eligibility requirements for board positions? We do not have any educational, volunteer, or professional experience requirements to join our board. We do look for applicants that have the following:
Strong attention to detail
Good organization practices
Strong communication skills
We also are a fan of anyone looking to build experience in, or flex experience in:
Using Google Suite services
Connecting with Central MA businesses and community organizers
Each role has its responsibilities, most of which we provide training and resources or connect you with a local contact that can help. Over my tenure, I've leveraged so many former board members, and everyone has been super supportive!
How long are the terms of each board member's appointment? Board members commit to at least two seasons (i.e., May 2023- May 2025). Members can continue as board members following that minimum, with the only caveat that they cannot be in the same office role for over two seasons. After the first season, members may request a different board position, stay in the same place, or apply for President or Vice President positions.
What are board members' responsibilities? We are a unique board as we propel our mission forward and coordinate events
Able to commit to a minimum of ~3- 5 hours a week to board responsibilities
Work cooperatively with other board members
Be an enthusiastic YPWA ambassador in the community
Organize ~2 member events a season, and act as direct support to a minimum of 2 other events
Communicate professionally and promptly when working with current members, prospective members, community members, sponsors, and vendors.
Seek to grow and share leadership experience.
Do I need to be an active YPWA member to apply? No, you don't have to be a YPWA member. We welcome current and prospective members to apply to our board!
What roles are available this season? There are four open positions out of seven board roles. The office tasks and expectations for each open role are here. In addition, we have an excellent simplified description for each on our IG!
Community & Inclusion Director
The member roles that are filled for 23-24 are:
Marketing/ PR Director
What is in the application?
All applicants will initially submit through this Google form.
The application gathers some standard contact and promotional details and some items to cover more significant commitments associated with a board position. The area that shares your personality and experience are also covered.
Share why you are interested in joining the board.
Break down your experience, qualifications, and skills that could benefit you as a board member.
You may rank your preferred open roles in the application but must be available to take on any of these positions. Before completing the application, we recommend reviewing each open office responsibility here.
After submitting your application, the board will be in contact for you to create a video recording elevator pitch on why you should be elected! Current YPWA members will review your video pitch and written takes from your application to cover why you'd be a good fit for the 23-24 board when voting opens in early May.
What are the application and voting start/deadlines?
Application form opens: March 15th
Application closes: April 14th
Applicants begin submitting their video pitch: April 14th
Deadline for video submissions: April 21st
Member voting opens: May 2nd
Voting closes: May 11th
New board members notified: May 12th
New board members announced: The week of May 14th
Who appoints members of the board? First, current YPWA members vote for the members to join the board. Then, the incoming President and Vice President will then select the new board members' office roles.
What happens if I'm not elected? In some elections, we have a limited number of open officer roles. If you aren't selected, contact us! We can discuss your experience and look for other opportunities for you to continue growing and supporting the YPWA organization.
I'm nervous that I don't have enough experience to apply. Imposter syndrome is real. As someone who felt that little devil on your shoulder when applying, it sucks. There are so many approaches to assessing your skills and abilities. I'd recommend reviewing the officer positions in full. I guarantee you will find overlapping or transferable experience/skills. Another big piece to applying being excited and committed to learning and growing is valuable. All board members will attend a board orientation where we all get on the same page with expectations and resources, so you might get some of the help you need before the season starts!
I've never been on a board before. I understand the unknown board experience is a lot to take in! One of the nice things is that you're not alone. We have applicants with experience on a board and many who want that experience. Throughout their tenure, each member can offer insights based on experience and research to improve the board, member experience, and mission. Our board also coordinates an orientation over the summer to help set everyone up for success in the upcoming season. These items include communication expectations, role responsibilities, board meeting preparation, and event planning.
I'm not sure I have the time to commit. A very legit concern! YPWA is a commitment to work for a few hours (3-5) most weeks, possibly a little more on weeks when you might be hosting an event. It also may require some time to get to know the systems and resources for your role. Time management is a big help, as breaking up office tasks, projects, and event planning. We aim to have all our events organized the summer before our season starts, which should allow for more extended preparation and resource gathering. All that to consider, time is precious, and how you want to dedicate your hours depends on what serves you best.
This would be the first time I've hosted a larger event. If you are down to learn and like hosting smaller events, whether to find a good date night restaurant with a partner or a day out for friends, we have the resources to help support you. All of our events have one leading organizer with one supporting board member. Dividing tasks and working through any roadblocks is much easier together! For new board members, we always partner your initial leading event with a returning board member to help guide you with leveraging our directories and planning resources. If you've been fortunate to attend any of our events, you'll notice we leverage local spaces, businesses, and presenters. As a board member, you'll have access to contacts for these resources and information about how our past events have performed. Our events require solid time management (deadlines are our friend, even when one gets missed) and some over-communication throughout the planning process. Leveraging and building on those skills has positively impacted my skills as a board member. The fun, completed events are the bonus Luxardo cherry on top of the planning experience.
I'm not a current YPWA member. I applied for the board after being a member that attended one virtual event. Some of our current board were members for seasons before applying. It became clear I should go for the opportunity rather than worry that I don't have experience being a member. The kinds of events and internal work I've completed as a board member have positively impacted me and aligned with what YPWA members want and need!
What do you think? Did I cover most of the questions that have been circulating? Comment below if you'd like me to address your question!