By Dr. Matthew Jasica and Alyse Huffman
What does it mean to be a leader? That question is at the heart of the Young Professionals Congress 2019 (YPC19).
YPC19 is a one-day event, organized by the ANS Young Members Group (YMG) and the North American Young Generation in Nuclear (NAYGN). It occurs biannually the day before the start of the ANS Winter Meeting in Washington, DC. Sessions focus on a wide range of topics that may be of special interest to students and other young professionals. YPC19 takes place on Saturday, November 16.
This year’s YPC19 is going to see a stronger emphasis on professional development. The focus of the day’s sessions will be on the topics that do not usually get as much attention at other ANS meetings but are crucial for being able to step up as the next generation of leaders.
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world,” is a mantra that many of us grew up hearing. Our keynote address on Crucial Conversations, given by motivational speaker Ms. Candace Bertotti, is directed towards being that change in the workplace—specifically focusing on high-stakes conversations where emotions and opinions can be strong. Additional leadership discussions and workshops will explore what it means to be a trailblazer in the workplace, the community, the world of policymaking, as well as how to learn to adapt from mistakes to improve team dynamics. The day will also offer ways to learn to navigate the professional landscape, including breaking into a career in the fast-paced realm of startups and managing career transitions while maintaining work-life balance.
YPC19 will also feature sessions educating attendees about contemporary topics and the state of the industry. Ideas such as big data analytics, machine learning, and additive manufacturing are shaping numerous technical fields, but how are they leaving their

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