On Thursday evening I nervously wandered my way into M.J. O’Connor’s Bar for my first networking event. I couldn’t find a friend to accompany me, so I went solo. I’d say this was for the better in the end, as I didn’t have anyone to hide behind.
I wouldn’t say that my jitters and I were off to a fantastic start when I arrived. Now to some, my whimpering may sound silly and juvenile, but I was nervous! The first gathering of people I saw included 4 or 5 tall men who would probably have nothing to do with me, except perhaps mistake me for their intern. Yet here I was. There was no turning back now and I took a deep breath and smiled.
After I shook hands with the men, I stood there feeling like I was shrinking and hoped I would make it 5 minutes before fading into the background. They spoke of mergers and CEO’s and I thought to myself “oh boy”. Yet after a few minutes and some women joined the group, I was at ease. These older business suits were actually interested in hearing what I do and were able to give me valuable feedback on my questions regarding careers. We talked about the difference between marketing departments in companies and agencies, the era of the blog and the rise of social media. By the end of the evening, I had met interesting people, exchanged business cards and set up a possible informational interview. Sweet! My work here is done. Until the next event…which I am rather excited about now.