Networking events are nightmares for me. I attended Griff Fair on March 15th in Science Hall. This was the first networking event I have ever attended, and I was definitely not mentally prepared for it. I am a naturally introverted person, so putting myself out there and talking to people from different companies was extremely difficult for me. As I made my way from table to table, I found myself hovering fairly far away from the tables, instead of actually going up and handing the recruiters at the tables my résumé and striking up a conversation. I was really looking forward to talking to not-for-profit organizations like Ten Lives Club, along with well-known corporations like M&T Bank and Goldberg Segalla LLP. I tried to strike up conversations, but all I could muster was a nervous smile and a beet red face.
Let’s just say, my first attempt at a networking event was a bust, and it has taken a while for me to work up the courage to go to another one. I am currently signed up for Jobsapalooza at Buffalo Riverworks this upcoming Tuesday, and I’m excited to redeem myself there. This time, I know what I’m getting myself into, and have prepared speaking points so first interactions aren’t so awkward. I’m proud of myself for finally being able to overcome this obstacle, even though the idea of talking to strangers about such a huge step in my life is still terrifying to me. I am glad that I had the experience of my first ever networking event, even though it was really a failure. It taught me what to expect, and reflecting on it, and preparing more for the next one has given me more confidence to speak up and actually have good interactions with the companies at this next event!