Friday, October 14, 2011

Networking in Overdrive

The 2012 Multicultural Leadership Program (MCLP) class went full speed ahead during a Speed Networking event. It was a chance for the 25 leaders in the MCLP class to meet key players in the community, ranging from leaders from small businesses to higher education and corporate executives. Participants walked away with more confidence and knowledge. They also picked up at least 30 new contacts in McLean County! COUNTRY Financial manager Melinda Zehr sums up her experience:

If you’ve heard of speed dating, then you probably understand the idea behind speed networking. In speed dating, you meet a lot of people in a very short time, and decide based on first impression if you want to meet up later. Speed networking uses the same concept. But instead of looking for romantic companionship, you’re looking to make some good business and career contacts.

A few weeks back, I participated in the Multicultural Leadership Program’s speed networking event. My head is still spinning from meeting so many wonderful people in such a short amount of time.

I found in the beginning, I wasn’t very good with managing the tiny amount of time I had with each person. We’d get started talking about one topic, digging deeper and deeper into it, and the next thing I knew our time was up and we were scrambling to exchange business cards before our next speedy encounter.

But by the time I got to the last few, it seemed we all got down the knack of speed networking -- ask for business card first, find out where each other works and outside interests, and then discover a topic we both have in common to explore during the last minutes.
In the end, I walked away with nine business cards and contacts that I didn’t have before. And just as with speed dating, I discovered a few people I want to have a longer conversation with in the future. Thanks MCLP for putting me in contact with so many people I may have never met otherwise.


1 comment:

  1. I never had a chance to speed network in the past so this was a great experience for me. I was able to meet most of the community leaders outside the event for a longer time. This was one of the event i loved the most.