As an incoming second year Special Event Management Student, it’s extremely important for me to grow my network as it will play a pivotal role in the process of achieving my dream job. I took the liberty of attending a few of networking events during my first year of post-secondary school; however, none of them were as amazing as the August Networking Night located at The Bottom Line in the downtown core of Toronto. With a turn out of 55 people, I have had the blessing of meeting and connecting with several incredible women from various industries, without feeling nervous or intimidated whatsoever. This is a huge improvement for myself as I am notorious for being wildly nervous or intimidated at networking events.
I believe the reason behind my nervousness and intimidation disappearing was the relaxed, yet professional setting that was organized by the YWiB team. Tonight’s choice of venue was a beautiful sports bar that was the perfect of blend of classy and casual. The bar tops consisted of black granite that gave the venue a stylish look, meanwhile the wooden tables and comfy red seating created a laid-back ambience. To top it all off, there was simple decor present that consisted of chalk signs reading “#YWiBTO,” giving the event a warm and welcoming touch.
Aside from networking, the event also included activities to break the ice among all the attendees. The agenda consisted of the following: 30 minutes of mingling, 30 minutes of an icebreaker, 1 hour of networking, 30 minutes of a second icebreaker, and 30 minutes of last minute networking. The three hours flew by in a matter of seconds; but I did end up with two memories that are my personal favourites from the night.
My first memory includes talking to professionals that already work in the industry that I want to work in as an Event Specialist, the corporate sector. Despite the fact that they are working in positions that are not related to events, it was eye-opening to learn about a number of companies, their company cultures and their company philanthropic activities. Likewise, I believe this information will come in very useful when searching for companies to apply for in the near future.
My second memory is listening to the attendees’ pitches during the second icebreaker called “What’s Your Pitch?” The objective of the icebreaker is to share something about yourself and what you want to achieve from the networking event within 20 seconds. This is an important skill to master because there are certain situations in life where you’ll only be given 1 minute to explain a topic or answer a question. For instance, you’re in an elevator with the HR of the company that you’re applying for, and you only have 1 minute to answer their question of who you are and why you’re there. Nonetheless, it was absolutely amazing to the attendees present their pitches with such enthusiasm and energy!
All in all, it was incredibly beautiful to see women from different walks of life empowering and uplifting each other by sharing ideas and industry knowledge. I am so proud to be a part of YWiB Toronto because it is such a positive and inspiring community. Also, as a person who is new to Toronto, I am happy to call this community my home away from home. I am beyond excited for the September’s STEM Q&A Panel that’s taking place on September 13, 2018! I have no doubt that it will be just as amazing as this month’s event.
In case you missed August’s Networking Night, here are the icebreaker questions:
What do you have in common with the person on your left?
Tell us about yourself and what do you hope to gain from tonight’s event?
Written by; Eilleen Faraon