I’m still coming off the high that was EMC weekend, a sign that it was a great weekend full of positive people and lasting memories. I hope everyone enjoyed themselves and like me, are going through all their pictures reliving the fun times.
Most if not all of my social media apps have been busy with new friends adding me and hitting me up. At any given moment during the weekend, you could see people pulling out their smart phones to get each other’s contact information. This was especially true during our Young Professional’s networking mixer.
One of the main aims of our Young Professional networking mixer is to connect all of us from different walks of life, professions and streams of education. No matter which stage we’re at in our professional careers, having a strong network of like-minded people is beneficial.
Our favorite game to play at the mixer is the ice breaker matrix where on a sheet we’ve created a table with nine boxes. In each box is a task to find someone in the room with that specific qualification. One of the boxes for example may have asked for you to find someone who owns their own business or volunteered in the same field you are in. Our goal was to not only get everyone out of their seats but to also get people connecting and learning more about each other.
As one of our speakers, Dr. Kebire Ahmed noted, “it’s more than just who you know but who knows YOU.”
Networking is more than just getting a bunch of email addresses and phone numbers at an event. It requires follow up and ensuring that people remember who you are. That first impression is important but how you handle the next few interactions is just as vital to transform a contact into a potential employer, mentor, friend, etc. The possibilities are endless.
So take the initiative and send that first email to whomever you got email addresses from, and say hi and that it was great meeting them.
Don’t hesitate to send that text message to whomever you got phone numbers from letting them know you enjoyed connecting with him and hope to hear from them again.
We were all there that weekend with the same intention – to make lasting connections so don’t doubt yourself and reach out to those you’ve met and build connections so help enhance your network and experience at the convention each year.
Hoping you all had a great time at the convention and met new friends. May He bring us all back together next year in peace!