Young Professionals of the Chippewa Valley

Shopping and Wrapping Event held last year for underprivileged families. (2009)

Step Outside University Doorstep with Young Professionals

By Michael Blank, Lisa Jordahl, John Luoma, and Rachel Radtke

Professors...classmates...homework...job hunting. For College of Business students, these aspects make up the entirety of our lives. And, don't forget the looming, ever-present pressure of finding a job immediately after college.

Most of us have no idea about what is going on right outside the “doorstep” of the University. The Young Professionals (YP), run by the Chamber of Commerce, is one way to get involved with the community and potentially contact someone for your future employment.

Young Professionals is a group for 21- to 39-year-old students and professionals that hosts events with three focuses: community involvement, professional development, and social networking. Its basic aim is to retain young professionals in the Eau Claire area and enable them to participate in their community.

According to Katy Kiley, Special Projects Director for the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce, “If they do leave, at least they have a sense of ways to get involved.”

One or two events are held each month. On November 18, for example, the YP is going to the Leinie Lodge for beer samples, appetizers, and a presentation. This event caters especially to new members.

Other events include cooking in the Eau Claire or Chippewa Falls soup kitchen, learning dinner etiquette at UW-Eau Claire or golfing at an annual outing. Each Young Professional pays a yearly fee and attends as many events as he or she desires.

“Being a YP member allows you to interact with so many people that are in all areas of work within our community,” said Libby Corning, a UWEC student and member of YP since 2009. Local businesses, including RCU, Wipfli, and Luther Hospital, attend and sponsor many of the events. The membership fee for full-time students is $15 per year. About 20 UW-Eau Claire students are members, and the YP is always trying to get more students involved.

For more information, join the Young Professionals Facebook page. You can also visit the Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce website to learn more about the Young Professionals here. Contact Katy Kiley at with questions or for more information.

Michael Blank Lisa Jordahl John Luoma Rachel Radtke

From left to right: Michael Blank is a senior marketing major from New Berlin, WI; Lisa Jordahl is a senior marketing major from Stillwater, MN; John Luoma is a senior accounting/information systems major from Park Falls, WI; and Rachel Radtke is a senior accounting major from Eau Claire, WI. They wrote this article for their BCOM Advanced Writing class.

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