Moving out and moving up – check out three organizations in Birmingham helping young professionals connect in the city.

young professionals
Movers, shakers and everything in-between, Birmingham is growing and it’s time to get your foot in the door. Photo via Dustin Massey Studios for Creative Mornings.

You moved the tassel from right to left and your resume template is so perfectly crafted from that it mimics Photoshop work, and now it’s time to enter the world of the young professional.

With any luck you’ve found yourself starting a career in Birmingham, but moving to a city where everyone seems to know everyone is intimidating. Here is a sneak peek into three organizations who can help you make waves.

1. Birmingham Urban League Young Professionals

What is it?

Founded in 1910, the National Urban League’s mission is to empower communities and change lives throughout the United States. The Birmingham chapter formed a subset group called the Birmingham Urban League Young Professionals in 2005 to educate a new generation on advocacy. The chapter specifically focuses on education, jobs and justice.

Why should you love it?

“We talk about getting to the table, but what do you do once you’re at the table?”

Tenika Huffman, President of BULYP
BULYP is a networking group for young professionals
Tenika suggests looking at the national website and researching who founded BULYP before joining. See the mission and see if it ties to your personal mission and core values. Photo via Tenika Huffman for BULYP.

Besides having a successful president who is passionate for change and eager to help you succeed, the league connects you with a wide range of individuals.  Since it’s a national chapter you’ll network with people from all different areas of the country. Despite how large the national league is, Tenika says the longer you’re a part of the league, the more it feels like a family.

How is it impacting Birmingham?

Members of the organization enact real policy change not only in Birmingham, but also at a national level. Many currently serve in legislature positions.

“It’s helping people discover what gift they have to contribute to society and that in turn makes society better.”

Tenika Huffman
young professionals networking
Local President and CEO William Barnes with Congresswoman Sewell and members during an annual NUL Legislative Policy Conference. Photo via Tenika Huffman for BULYP.

Tenika’s advice for young professionals

I would encourage young professionals that as society is changing discover who you are from the inside out and stay true to that, because life is going to forever change around you. Be transparent with yourself even in your flaws, because your flaws are beautiful.” 

Tenika Huffman

Follow BULYP on social!

2. Creative Mornings Birmingham

Creative Mornings is a networking event for young professionals in Birmingham
The casual atmosphere surrounding Creative Mornings relieves the pressure usually tied to networking events. Photo via Dustin Massey Studios for Creative Mornings.

What is it?

Creative Mornings is a breakfast series that meets monthly in 200 different cities around the globe to discuss the same one-word theme. Rather than a networking event, Birmingham host Madison Benjamin describes it as relationship building event.

Why should you love it?

The purpose of the event is to showcase every industry in Birmingham, whether it’s outwardly creative or not. From Regions Bank to freelance photographers, there’s creativity in every business.

Creative Mornings is a networking group for young professionals
The diversity of businesses at Creative Mornings helps you connect with people you may not normally have the opportunity to speak to. Photo via Dustin Massey Studios for Creative Mornings.

“It’s more meaningful relationships, less transactional…and adding value as you create those relationships”

Madison Benjamin, Birmingham Host for Creative Mornings

What should you know before going?

Creative Mornings takes away the intimidation factor of stuffy networking events. Everyone can come as they are whether you decide to wear a suit or your workout clothes, no one is excluded. 

Madison’s advice for young professionals:

“Don’t let their title intimidate you and just focus on building that relationship and just talking to them like every other person …everyone is the same at the end the day.”

Madison Benjamin

Follow Creative Mornings on social!

3. Young Professionals of the Birmingham Public Library

Birmingham Public Library Young Professionals
Email to find out more information and let the team know if you’re interested in joining. Photo via Haley Herfurth for BPLYP.

What is it?

BPLYP advocates for the Birmingham Public Library and its parent organization, the Friends Foundation of the Birmingham Public Library, which supports the BPL through advocacy, outreach and fundraising. Its current co-chairs are Haley Herfurth and Joi Travis

How is it impacting Birmingham? 

The BPL goes beyond books, and reaches its arms into the community by providing adult literacy programs, notary services and you can even apply for a passport here.

I grew up going to the public library in my hometown in North Alabama. My mother would let me check out as many books as I could carry. I’ve loved libraries all my life. All of our members have similar stories about why they are passionate about the place of public libraries in our communities.

Haley Herfurth, co-chair of the Young Professionals of the Birmingham Public Library

What should you know before going?

This is an organization built from the ground up, and its members should be prepared to continue that growth. Haley emphasizes you to come to meetings with fresh ideas and a willingness to work.

Haley’s advice for young professionals:

Find a way to reinvest in your community. Birmingham is a wonderful city and it’s growing so quickly, and it’s providing so many people new opportunities. Once you get something good from Birmingham, you should give something good back to Birmingham, whether that’s through volunteering your time with or donating to organizations you care about, like the Friends Foundation.”

Haley Herfurth

Follow BPLYP on social!

Did we miss anything? Let us know about your experiences with these organizations by tagging us @bhamnow !

Irene Richardson
Irene Richardson
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