The networking event that I attended as an assignment for this class was also the networking event that I planned for the club that I am a president for. On Thursday, November 16th with the help of the executive board, I planned and executed a speed-networking event put on by the Association of Women and Men in Communications. The event took place at Canisius in an Old Main classroom. We set up the room so that there were three rows with four professionals in each row. The professionals ranged from investigative reporters, to directors of development, to recent graduates. We wanted to make sure we had a wide variety of experience and fields of expertise when choosing the professionals. We provided nametags and light refreshments. First we had the executive board, professionals, and students, introduce themselves. I felt it was important for the students to not only say their name but also what year and what career path they are interested in. This helped professionals pin point potential individuals they should get to know better. When the professionals introduced themselves and their profession, this also helped the students do the same. The main event started and people got to talking. The whole idea of the event was speed networking, similar to speed dating, meaning a little bit of time with each person and then move on. We paired students up in groups of two and gave each group three minutes to talk to each professional. Students had the chance to talk to the professionals and ask them whatever they thought would be helpful. When I went around and speed-networked, my main question was “what advice would you have for me today?” and the conversation usually followed up with “could I have your business card?” Since I was partially running the event I was only able to speak with about eight professionals but I’m okay with that because I was really able to connect and relate to a lot of them. Some really great advice I got was to remember that your first job is just your first job, employers watch everything on social media now and one thing to really make you stand out is to post (positively) about your work place, your career path/interest will change over the years, internship experience is really important, and Buffalo is a small town so you may find connections easier than you thought. The night ended with about fifteen minutes of free time for students to catch up with any professional they wanted to talk to more. All in all, I am really proud of all the work I put into this event and I‘m glad I and so many other students were able to benefit from this networking opportunity.
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