Junior and Mid-Level Professionals from CH2M HILL gathered in Las Vegas for 6th Annual JuMP Conference to grow leadership skills and build CH2M HILL network. One attendee shares her experience and the value she got from attending.

By: Jamie Dorr, CH2M HILL Communications Strategist

Young professionals and members of our firm’s leadership team—kindly referred to as “less young professionals”—recently came together for the 6th Annual JuMP (Junior and Mid-Level Professionals) Conference. For two days, attendees stepped away from our busy schedules at home and work to participate in a boot camp, not to improve our physical fitness by doing countless push-ups, but rather to sharpen our leadership skills, as well as expand our network and improve relationships with other CH2M HILL employees located around the U.S. and Canada by participating in seminars and breakout sessions.

New to JuMP and the firm, I was eager to attend and grateful for the opportunity to learn more about CH2M HILL, how I can add value to the firm, and ways to pave my own career path. My role as a marketing and communications strategist gave me a unique perspective and set me apart from many of my peers who serve in engineering and technical roles as part of project teams. I enjoyed meeting the people behind the projects. In my role, I spend a lot of my day reading and writing internal and external communications to promote CH2M HILL’s projects and the work we partner with our clients on to make our world a better place to live. I learned a lot by talking with other young employees about the cool projects they are involved with and how we’re serving our clients.

In many of the breakout sessions, we discussed what makes for a good leader; what it takes to be a leader; ways to stand out and capitalize on our strengths in order to grow our careers; and so much more. We came to the conclusion that regardless of our role within the firm, it is critical for each of us to demonstrate leadership day-in and day-out on the numerous projects, pursuits, and client interactions. As the future leaders of the firm, the JuMP Conference provides an invaluable opportunity for us to learn from those leading now, as well as build relationships within the firm so that 5—10—15 years from now, we already know how to work with one another. This will hopefully allow us to put our individual personalities and egos aside and make decisions that are best for the company and our clients.

While the leadership sessions opened my aperture and provided new insights on my own leadership style, the most valuable experiences came during our team challenge where we competed in engineering type competitions (egg toss, building structures from pasta, etc.) and the free time we had to network with other JuMPers and senior leaders. The conversations were raw and real. We could ask questions and were given honest answers.

In a time when companies are scaling back to reduce costs, this Conference could have easily been forfeited; however, I am grateful that CH2M HILL recognizes the importance of investing in our firm’s future leaders and providing opportunities for us to grow our network. The opportunity to connect and foster our internal networks makes us better positioned to provide the right solution for our clients now and in the future.

Jamie Dorr works in marketing and communications for CH2M HILL’s Water Business Group. Based in Englewood, CO, she strategizes and manages: social media programs, including the CH2M HILL Access Water blog, Facebook, and Twitter pages; public relations; and internal communications, among other responsibilities. She has a bachelor’s in marketing and a MBA from the University of Denver – Daniels College of Business. She enjoys teaching Group Fitness classes in her free time.