How this Birmingham medical worker made new connections through YPBirmingham


Julia Ryczak, a medical technologist and member of YPBirmingham. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

Making new friendships in an unfamiliar city can be challenging, especially if your job has you working hours when most people your age are out mingling. Just ask Julia Ryczak, a medical technologist working in Birmingham. Luckily for Julia, being a member of YPBirmingham has given her the opportunity to forge lasting connections in The Magic City.

We spoke with Julia to learn more about her time as a member of YPBirmingham.

From Baltimore to Birmingham: Meet Julia Ryczak

Julia Ryczak at a YPBirmingham event at Axel Row in Avondale. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, Julia Ryczak moved to Birmingham after graduating from Auburn University. With her degree in Medical Technology, Julia was quickly offered a job as a medical technologist at Grandview Medical Center. As a lab tech at Grandview, Julia initially faced barriers when it came to getting involved in the local community.

“At the time, I was working seven days on and then seven days off. During my off days I’d travel to see friends and family, but I realized I wasn’t really making new friends or getting involved in the community here in Birmingham. To make matters worse, I also worked evening shift, which made it harder to go out and meet new people.”

Julia Ryczak

That’s when she heard about YPBirmingham.

“I kept seeing someone I knew post about about their involvement in YPBirmingham. I decided it was time for me to meet new people, visit new bars and restaurants in the city and really create a new network of friends here in Birmingham.”

Julia Ryczak

Learn more about YPBirmingham at their next social event or click here to become a member today!

Julia joined YPBirmingham in 2017

YPBirmingham socials often include food & drink from local restaurants and bars—in this case, YPBirmingham members got to eat from the Cantina on Wheels food truck. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

Right off the bat, Julia made new friends and connections at YPBirmingham’s monthly social events.

“My coworkers at the hospital were in their 50s and 60s, so they weren’t going out after work for drinks. Plus, the hospital didn’t host holiday parties or happy hours. YPBirmingham’s social events really filled that void in my life and gave me the chance to put myself out there and make new friends.”

Julia Ryczak

In addition to making new connections, YPBirmingham gave Julia a reason to explore Birmingham more so than she ever would have on her own.

“I have a Google Doc list of all the Birmingham restaurants I want to try, but my favorite restaurant has to be El Barrio. I ate at El Barrio a lot during the pandemic! Another restaurant I love is Eats on Highland, since everyone there is so friendly.

YPBirmingham has hosted a lot of their monthly socials at Birmingham bars, and I particularly love The Roof at the Redmont Hotel and Carrigan’s Public House—although you can’t go wrong with a dive bar like Mojo Pub!”

Julia Ryczak

Make new connections and friendships in The Magic City—click here to learn more about becoming a member of YPBirmingham.

Looking to make new connections in The Magic City? You need to try YPBirmingham! (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

So, what are the best parts about being involved with YPBirmingham? For Julia, it has to be the Christmas parties.

“We had a Christmas cocktail party one year at the Thomas Jefferson Tower—everyone was dressed up and dancing! Another year, we hosted the Christmas party at Highland Golf Course with photo booth, food and music. It all connects back to how my job doesn’t host Christmas parties, so being able to get dressed up and go to one is truly fun and special to me!”

Julia Ryczak

Get Out and Get Social with YPBirmingham

A band performing at a recent YPBirmingham social, hosted at Axel Row in Avondale. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

“If you want to make new connections in The Magic City, give YPBirmingham a chance. Truly put yourself out there at two or three socials and network. I know it’s hard to get out of your comfort zone, but it’s worth it. These people at YPBirmingham really love this city, and they’re very active in their community through other memberships and Junior Boards. YPBirmingham is the perfect opportunity to meet a new group of people that you enjoy spending time with!”

Learn more about what YPBirmingham is all about at their next social event:

  • What: YPBirmingham June Social
  • Where: The Goose in Avondale, 4100 4th Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35222
  • When: Wednesday, June 22, 2022 from 5:30PM to 8:30PM

Interested in learning more about YPBirmingham? Click here to learn more about becoming a member today!

Sponsored by:

Nathan Watson
Nathan Watson

Senior Content Producer + Photographer

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