Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared on our former blog. It’s been updated and republished here to reflect the 2015 event details.
By Scott Jones '12, '13
This holiday season, I’m thankful for a job at an organization I love. These days, it’s especially important to me that I don’t take this for granted.
I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for City Year Boston’s 18 Minute Networking event. Designed with AmeriCorps members’ professional development in mind, the event allows small groups of corps members to meet individuals in their areas of career or academic interest. In 18-minute sessions, you can ask about transitioning into the "real world" workforce and gain valuable career advice.
Going into 18 Minute Networking, I didn’t know what to expect. I had always been put-off by networking events because they seemed like forced schmoozing with strangers. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how the “speed dating” style made conversation so natural and easy.
At the event, I made the connection to my current employer, Opportunity Nation. I am now working in the exact field I had hoped to be in: nonprofit development. It is for this reason that I ask you to join alumni and champions in facilitating at this year’s event.
To this year’s corps, my advice is to take full advantage of this event. Whether or not you have secured plans following your service year, 18 Minute Networking is a great chance to meet new people who can give you perspective on the diverse opportunities that exist in Boston. But remember, networking doesn’t end when the event closes. Follow up with your new contacts in a timely manner. At any networking event, you might leave feeling like you made great connections. Sending a “thank you” and “nice to meet you” email or card the following day is bound to leave a lasting impression.
To those considering participating as a facilitator, please consider the impact you can make. There are 5.8 million young adults today who are not in school and not working. As a young adult starting my own professional journey, the employment I found through the 18 Minute Networking gives me a sense of fulfillment and security. I am forever thankful to the City Year Boston team for planning the event. Please, register as a facilitator this year to expand the horizons of this year’s cohort of City Year corps members. This year's event is on Thursday, January 22, from 2:00-5:00 p.m. at Temple Israel of Boston (477 Longwood Ave.). Corps members are some of the best people with whom you will ever have the privilege of networking.
About the author:
Scott Jones ’12, ’13 is a member of the City Year Boston Alumni Board. Currently he works as a Development Associate at Opportunity Nation. To learn more about Opportunity Nation, please visit their website.