I don’t really like networking events. Trouble is, I’m in an industry where networking is KEY and it’s all about relationships and who you know. When I meet people one on one, I do pretty well and I enjoy it more. Put me in a room where I don’t know a bunch of people and I feel like I’m back in the days of kindergarten when I was the shy girl in the corner.
This morning was a networking alum brunch for my college. A really good friend of mine works with the LA alum chapter and helps run these events. I always go as a way of supporting her as well as volunteer at the check-in table. I always find that it’s a great way to get people’s names and they often come back later and start a conversation. That’s the approach that I enjoy taking, especially at the smaller events.
But this morning’s event has the biggest turnout, was at a really nice hotel in Santa Monica and as I was helping check people in, I got the same shy/awkward sense that makes me dislike these sorts of events. There are always people that I remember taking a class with or meeting once but don’t remember their names, can’t tell if they remember me, or it really just feels awkward because we haven’t talked or seen each other in years. Also the majority of my friends from college are in the New York area, so it’s not like a mini reunion for me. It’s more awkward and I don’t think I’m great at “small talk” or striking up conversations with people – particularly in these sorts of scenarios. I think they give me anxiety causing me to over think every thing more than I usually do and therefore making me feel even more uncomfortable inside, even if I’m displaying anything on the outside.
And since I spent my morning surrounded by Berklee alums, here is a picture from my graduation and one of my favorite pictures I’ve ever taken of Boston. I really miss that city…