Finally had the chance to sit down with the guys from Manchester Young Professionals! Like most of the interviews I’ve done, I can always find similarities in the situation i’m in, with the people i’m interviewing. This has never been truer than with these two. (Andrew and Rich)
Two of the nicest, down to earth, hard working lads you will meet in Manchester, along with the help of a few key individuals and some amazing sponsors/partners, they have turned something from nothing into the largest network of young professionals in Manchester.
For those that aren’t familiar with the series, I’ve decided to do a take on ‘Humans of New York’ but for people who call Manchester home.
People of MCR will try and tell the story of this incredible city and all the people who contribute to it being the fastest growing city in Europe.
So how does this work? I will get each person to tell me their story in their own words of how they got to where they are today. I will share that story along with some photos for context.
Each person featured will then be asked the same question – Why Manchester?
Andrew Bennie is an Investment Director at Brooks Macdonald. Rich Tyrrell is a Manager in the Sales and Marketing team over at Kelloggs.
It all started back in the Ribble Valley when they were younger. They wanted to build a network that wasn’t a corporate subscription based model, which would make it more inclusive to everyone from any professional industry.
Back in May 2013 they launched their first event for MYP with only around 20 people attending. This was pretty much made up of people they knew. Eventually they grew it slowly to 4 events a year with their 4th event being held at Manchester house.
They couldn’t believe the reception for it and the rapid growth of the city really helped. They managed to create something new and fresh by not being the stereotypical networking event being held in dingy pubs, they made it open to all industries not just accountants and lawyers, ensuring the events were held in locations around the city that people wanted to try.
They definitely credit the reception they got and the help they’ve had from professional bodies based in the city, as well as the sponsors and partners they work with to put on the events.
You don’t become a member to MYP, it’s a community of people. The events aren’t just having a few drinks, there are Social events like networking over breakfast in Alberts Schloss as well as Educational talks from people at Manchester Business School, Health and Well Being events where you can do yoga, or get a high five after a workout and a smoothie at Barry’s Bootcamp. You never know, they may one day introduce dating events… There has already been the first MYP engagement from two people who met at an event and now they’re getting married!
In 2017 they both decided to take MYP more seriously, leading to a re-brand this year. They even started doing the weekly round up from everything that’s happened in the week on their Instagram Stories. This is a genius piece of Friday afternoon content. It’s worth following them just for all the different avenues that they are branching out into through this. Suggesting books that are worth a read and sharing their favourite news stories that impact you from the week that’s been.
The key thing from MYP in the future isn’t just its core of connecting people, it’s about how can they help young people in Manchester develop themselves. From 2016, MYP has tried to focus on supporting charities like Forever Manchester, Beachwood and Mind Manchester raising thousands in the process.
When asked why Manchester? The lads talked about the atmosphere and what the city represents “Manchester just jumps out as the best place to be, it’s that connection through the city that we both love about it. We definitely want to give back to that community in the future” “To think how far Manchester has come, even in the last few years, if you looked around us, you could be sat right now in any major city in the world, but we’re not, we’re sat in Spinningfields in Manchester, which used to be nothing. How good is that?”
It’s so true. Everyone knows everyone in Manchester and it’s not in a bad way at all. There are 580,000 people that live in Manchester with another 180,000 commuting in and out for work every day. It’s the second highest ranked city in the UK after London and I don’t even need to explain why.
I can’t wait to work with these two lads in the future. I keep meeting people through this blog where I just think, this is someone that you need to work with, keep around in your network, support and have a pint with along the way to share ideas and creativity. These two are the epitome of this and why I love Manchester. Make sure you follow Manchester Young Professionals on social media @mcryoungprofessionals .