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Posts Tagged ‘networking’

I apologize for the lack of activity in the last month or so, I’ve been swamped with work and school! Although this month is going to be by far my most busiest month, what with working 20 shifts plus 3 big group assignments due – not to mention all those smaller assignments and quizzes here and there that always seem to take their toll when you least expect. Furthermore, the weather in Toronto has been less than stellar this last WEEK and it’s making me lazy and miserable. So what better way to feel productive than to finally get to this blog post that’s been simmering in my head out of the way!

As some of you might know, I’m currently in my last term at school (only 1.5 more months to go to be exact!). With that in mind it’s time to really put my networking activities into high gear while also trying to maintain my GPA. This past Wednesday I got the amazing opportunity to be a volunteer at the Women in Leadership (WIL) Luncheon that was held at the Royal York Hotel downtown. I got this opportunity through a former coworker (yay networking!).

I hate to admit it but this was my first real networking event! It’s shocking, I know, since I’m already 24! Not a few days go by without my regretting not taking advantage of all the networking opportunities that I missed while at McMaster but there’s no use in crying over spilled milk, right? I was very nervous, to put it mildly. I’m a shy person by nature so I was worried about what I was going to say to all these people that I didn’t know. But I took out my trusty book, Networking for People Who Hate Networking, and reviewed some key points such as my 30 second elevator speech and what my goal is going to be for the event (example, I will make 2 new contacts), and that calmed my nerves… a little.

The great thing about volunteering at these kinds of events for those people who are shy is that it gives you something to do while also providing you chance to meet new people, albeit in a more structured environment. This gives you something to focus on instead of simply worrying about what your next conversation topic should be.

I arrived a little late (gotta love Toronto transit) but luckily nothing was started yet. In about 5 minutes we plunged right into assembling the gift bags for the attendees. Surprisingly for a group of girls that didn’t know each other, we organized ourselves rather quickly and were done the job in no time at all! I could already tell that this was going to be a great experience because the energy in the room was full of excitement and interest.

Next I was held responsible for greeting guests and providing their name tags as they entered the room where lunch was to be held. After everyone had arrived all the volunteers had a chance to be part of the luncheon and listen to the wonderful speakers that WIL had lined up. The format of the luncheon resembled a ladies lunch, where all 4 speakers sat on the stage and just discussed topics amongst themselves. Dianne Buckner described it perfectly as “girlfriends having lunch except with 200 people staring at them” (Lol).

The luncheon lasted about 1.5 hours altogether and included a 15 minute question period for the guests, and boy did that pass by quick! The impressive group of women who spoke at the luncheon are Dianne Buckner (CBC host), Kerry Peacock (TD), Kirstine Stewart (CBC), and Jennifer Klotz-Ritter. For more information about WIL and the speakers, you can visit their website. The theme of the luncheon was “That’s What She Said”. How that really related to the topic discussed I’m not completely sure but they were very good topics none the less, such as when they realized they were leaders and what they think makes a good leader. One topic that really rang a cord with me was “what would you tell your 25 year old self if you could”. I will reveal what these notable women in business said during the luncheon in my next post so stay tuned!

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