This semester, I attended an InfoTech networking event. It took place on October 17th, from 5:30 to 7:30 at the Resurgence Brewing Company.

For this event, we were given our own space/room in the side of the building where they have the huge kegerators. It was a really interesting and beautiful set-up. When you first walk in, you have to be signed in by name and company. So, I gave them my last name and they handed me a name tag that said “Tessa Jermy, Ronco.” Then, they handed me a drink ticket and asked if I wanted to by a raffle ticket to help raise funds to stop human trafficking (there was a company that was InfoTech’s sponsor for this event – and part of the deal was to highlight this cause).

I was one of the first to arrive, so naturally I found a seat along the wall that allows a view of the door. As people walked through the door I realized they were from many different companies. M&T Bank, Blue Cross Blue Shield, LACyber, Ronco, Rich Products, the list goes on. So about 40 people ended up coming to this event, across all different companies (I can’t remember the name but a company from Canada even came) came together to talk and network.

I tried to meet with at least one person per company. Quite a few people were on the Board of InfoTech which is really interesting, because they are some of the big names of Buffalo that I would’ve otherwise been unable to meet. Take Peter Cimino, he is the Chief Technology Officer and is currently working for the Buffalo Niagara Association of Realtors. Hearing his story and how he got to where he is was a really great experience. I even received one of his business cards! Another person I talked to was Mike Grimaldi, and he actually works for BlueCross BlueShield, which in my opinion, is one of the biggest companies in Buffalo NY, so that conversation was both intimidating and enlightening.

I benefited for sure because I got to hear everyone’s stories of how they got to where they are today. I also benefited because I was able to get a real feel for networking and the expanse of what is out there. It got me out of my comfort zone, and that is usually where people can shine the best.

So, overall I would rate this experience maybe an 8.5 out of 10, docking points due to the crowdedness and no real flow of the room (it was more of a rhombus shape) bringing it to a 9/10, and because I was so very nervous bringing it to an 8.5/10!