Speed Dating is not typically an event where you expect to meet for professional reasons, but for this event it was. That was the twist. It was a networking event that allowed students to meet professionals to make connections and seek advice. The event was held by AWMC, a communication studies club on campus, on November 16. The professionals that were invited were mostly alumni of Canisius. It was great to meet so many alumni and see the opportunities that had opened up for them after graduation. They ranged in professions from marketing, HR, journalism and more. Some had graduated long ago from Canisius and others were just starting their professional careers. This was extremely helpful in that the people who have been in their profession longer could give us great futuristic advice while the newer graduates gave some great near future advice.
The overall event was so beneficial and was a great experience. It was sort of an eye opener. Not only did I receive some really great advice, but I also realized some things. The event started off with a social phase where we could mingle and munch on some snacks. In this period I felt that I should go introduce myself to some of the professionals, but I wasn’t sure how to. That was when I realized, it did not seem like anyone really knew how to. Instead we spoke among friends and opened up a little bit and got rid of some of the nerves. From there we went into introductions. I always get nervous when we get asked what we want to do after we graduate because I do not exactly know yet. As all of the students spoke, ranging from some underclassmen to seniors, I realized that the majority did not completely know what they wanted to do and even though graduation was approaching. Listening to the other students was even a great experience.
When we got into the actual speed dating portion, it went by quickly. We had partnered up with another student and had three minutes to speak with each professional. Though it didn’t seem like a lot of time, it was plenty to get some great tips. For instance, you don’t have to wait until you graduate to start applying for jobs. The March before graduation is when you should start getting applications in. Also, not to stress if you don’t get called back right away for a job that you applied for, especially for corporations. They are likely receiving hundreds of applications for that position and have to get through all of them so it may take some time. Not all advice was exactly job based. One professional advised to live and experience a new place for a while. He had said that moving away and learning new things and ways of living could really be beneficial for any young person. I really found that piece of advice intriguing and have taken it into consideration, where before I may not have.
Overall, I went into the event a little nervous and not sure what to expect. I came out of the event feeling really satisfied and excited about the new bits of information I learned. It was great to learn about the professions and see all of the different occupational areas that are available with a Communication Studies degree. The most important lesson I think I learned is how important it is to make connections. This event has led me to making a new connection and has even opened up a Spring internship opportunity for me. Now I look forward to going to these networking events and seeing the opportunities and connections that can bloom from them.