Young Professionals Development Programme 2019: Initiation Ceremony

2019, September 27
Young Professionals Development Programme 2019: Initiation Ceremony 27th September 2019

This week marked the anticipated return of the Young Professionals Development Programme hosted by the British Chamber of Commerce for a second year running! This year is promising to build further on last year’s success and YPDP has been fortunate to receive sponsorship and endorsement from ‘the world’s learning company’, Pearson. Charlotte Smith, who is the programme Founder and Director and Co-Chair of the British Chamber Young Professionals Forum, has both enhanced the programme and expanded the opportunity to more eager candidates with the backing of some incredible experts in this year’s mentor team.

On Tuesday night, the Havana Bar in the Grand Millennium Hotel hosted a fantastic evening that initiated the first of eight outstanding events and workshops. The ambient bar was transformed into an enthusiastic stir of 80 fellows, sponsors, alumni, mentors, and ExCo representatives. This was an amazing opportunity for everyone involved to network and share their professional backgrounds, as well as their own motivation to develop and contribute their own perspectives. The expanded programme has allowed for a diverse representation of industries, and cultures and from start to finish the evening was filled with a murmur of high energy and ambitious chatter.

Initiation Ceremony began with inspiring speeches from sponsors and representatives. Steven Lynch (Managing Director of the British Chamber of Commerce) presented how beneficial the programme will be to all participants and emphasised the value of high-quality coaching. He implored participants to take this opportunity to “master both new and old skills that you’re looking to develop.”

Vivian Lv, (VP and Corporate Affairs of Pearson) followed with a speech highlighting the importance of lifelong learning and the rewards that come with it, as according to research they have conducted “lifelong learning is no longer a concept, it is a reality.”

Julian Fisher (Vice Chair of the British Chamber of Commerce and YPDP Entrepreneurship Mentor) proceeded by defining entrepreneurship “as making ideas happen and creating value for other people” which embodies the principles of YPDP. He told a personal story that encapsulated the importance of being surrounded by like-minded individuals and how participants can only move upwards from participating in such a prestigious programme.

The final speech came from Charlotte Smith herself, who expressed her gratitude for all those involved in bringing her vision together. She ended her speech with some direct words of encouragement for the fellows “to use this opportunity to step out of your comfort zones, share your perspectives and build connections that could last a lifetime.”

The speeches were warmly received and signalled the commencement of this rewarding new path for everyone involved. As conversations continued to flow there was an opportunity to hear some of the thoughts expressed by this year’s fellows:


Amy Tripson (Therapeutic Horsemanship and Equine Director) spoke of her excitement of being in a team of driven individuals “YPDP is a wonderful opportunity to meet so many like-minded individuals who are excited about growth and development as well as building relationships and networking”


Collins Mashinge (Head Manager, AFS and Access China) is a great example of the far reach of the programme flying in from Hangzhou to state how he is “looking forward to the explosiveness of young minds dedicated to better themselves.”


Charlie Chen (MBA Candidate at CKGSB) also states his anticipation to learn from the experience with all those involved in the programme “such an incredible cohort of ambitious young professionals along with the support of qualified mentors, I can’t wait to embark on this journey.”


Chris Van Buskirk (Head of Counselling at The Tree, Atlas Education) spoke of his eager anticipation for the next event “I am excited to meet all the other people in the programme that I didn’t get a chance to talk to and better myself through the workshops that are to come!”

The YPDP Initiation Ceremony signified the current enthusiasm of young professionals within China to be proactive in taking strategic steps towards success. The hard-work of many individuals has been concluded. The fire has been lit. The responsibility is now with the fellows: “We have done everything we can to create something of value, the rest is up to you!” – Charlotte Smith, YPDP Founder & Director

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