On February 28, I attended the annual “Griff Fair” in Science Hall. While I have been to networking events similar to this one before and have awkwardly approached tables in groups with my friends to ask questions, this time I got to experience both sides of networking, as for a portion of the time I joined Rich Products at their table to offer a student perspective of the event. Even though I knew many of the students coming up to our table to talk, when they saw me in “uniform” and knew I was there to answer questions and offer a real perspective, they had great questions to ask me. I also felt I had a sense of confidence coming in to the event knowing I was approaching things from both sides, so I was more talkative than I normally am at networking events. I think this helped me realize that in the future, networking might be easier because identifying yourself with a company and talking about what you do is a lot easier (and feels more credible) than walking up to someone and saying what you hope to be doing in five years.
A few of the employers at tables next to ours came and spoke to me during the event and so once I was free from my duties at the table, I immediately had people to go talk to that knew something about me. While this helped me feel more confident and gave me people I could immediately talk to (although, some of them did come to originally ask me about opportunities in my company, clearly trying to leave theirs, so it was a little strange talking to them about opportunities in their company afterwards), I forgot to bring my resume which was a huge drawback!
Luckily, I can pretty much recite my resume by memory and a few of the tables said they preferred digital copies anyways,so it was an easy remedy. All in all, I think this event gave me a great opportunity to see things from both sides of networking and I learned how to be a better “networker” in each scenario.