NeW has hosted several events over the past month that cater to students and young professionals. We followed up the national conference with our Speed Networking and Happy Hour event on Wednesday, July 10 at Edgar Bar & Kitchen. We had a sizable group of women that allowed for everyone to get to know a bit about each other. The purpose for hosting this event was to give a few of our NeW alumnae the opportunity to offer advice to young professionals, and to provide an environment for practicing networking. We divided the group into two equal lines, so that every participant had a partner. After three minutes of conversation, one line rotated. Everyone was able to speak to each other and practice their “elevator pitch” only for the allotted amount of time. In a professional environment, you may only have a few moments to converse with someone and share what you want them to know about you. This exercise helped improve those skills.Thanks to everyone who came out and participated in our speed networking event!
On Monday, July 15, NeW co-hosted an event with Americas Future Foundation on using professional etiquette for career advancement. We heard from Paul Teller, Kristen Soltis Anderson, Peter Redpath, and Karin Agness. Each contributor shared a lot of great advice; Paul Teller recommended using alumnae connections when job searching. He also suggested that you ought to have a short pitch prepared that describes who you are and what interests you. This gives the other person a frame of reference for how they might be helpful.
Kristen Soltis Anderson spoke second, and asserted that the number of business cards you end up with at the end of an event is not a measure of success. You ought to focus on connecting well with a few, and following up later. Additionally, she advised that you not always try to network up, but network among your fellow inters or colleagues.
Peter Redpath shared many tips for success, but emphasized the importance of staying connected in DC with other conservatives, libertarians, or people with similar interests. He recommended creating a “linked in” account and using similar social media sites for career advancement. He discussed the proper etiquette for job searching, and mentioned that you should always thank the employer for his or her time, even if you did not get the job. Oftentimes their first choice might not accept the position, and you could be their second choice. He also recommended not falling into the stereotype of a “millenial.” While millenials have good qualities, they can also be impatient, overly reliant on technology, and feel the need to share everything on social media.
Karin Agness wrapped up the event by discussing workplace etiquette. She encouraged attendees to be mindful of how you present yourself. You don’t know how the work you do now might affect your future, so work hard on all your projects regardless of where you are in your career. She also suggested creating basic business cards. Behave appropriately at cocktail parties or work-related events that involve alcohol. Finally, she encouraged attendees to dress professionally.
All four speakers are successful professionals, and I am so thankful I got to listen to their advice. NeW has provided many opportunities to connect with other young professionals in the greater DC area and is constantly offering advice and opportunities for career advancement.