Round-table networking style proves successful in making professional connections
Megan Orr, Opinions Editor
Capilano University’s Young Women in Business (YWiB) club hosted a speed networking event on campus on Feb. 13. Speed networking, a play off of speed dating, is a more interactive way of making connections. The event featured local professionals from a variety of different industries, such as technology, management, events, fashion and marketing, and provided an opportunity for CapU students to practice valuable networking skills in a more comfortable environment.
YWiB is a network of female leaders with different chapters in cities throughout Canada and in partnership with different post-secondary institutions. According to their website, the purpose of YWiB is to provide people “with events and programs that help you become successful in your career, industries and workplace.” They offer workshops, panels and opportunities for networking, among others.
Angela Jiang and Michelle Zhen, the co-founders of the Capilano University chapter of YWiB, commented in their opening remarks on how the speed networking model was started out of their own intimidation of networking. Referring to themselves as introverts, they were seeking an easier way to make connections without the daunting nature of forced conversations. Additionally, Hassan Merali and Emily Gaudette from the Capilano Board of Governors gave a brief introduction encouraging students to run for the board as they are currently looking for student representatives.
The speed networking event itself was an intimate gathering of mostly women, with approximately 30 people in attendance. With four tables set up, each with two to three business professionals and three to four students, each group was given 15 minutes to converse. YWiB provided an extensive list of potential questions, in the case of conversations lagging. These varied from professional questions, like how you got to your current career, to questions about advice and tips for interviewing.
After the 15 minutes were up, students rotated to the other tables. This allowed for everyone to have the chance to meet each other and speak in a more relaxed fashion. At the end of the evening YWiB had a raffle draw with tea box prizes, as well as a $50 gift card for Burgoo. At this point there was the more classic open networking opportunity, where people were free to talk to anyone they wanted and exchange information. This was made much easier by the fact that everyone had already spoken with each other.