Tag Archives: networking

Conference Gone Bad


Apologies for the radio silence! Been much busier than expected with conferences, gigs and flying back home for a few weeks, and I have to admit I did forget to write last week. I am ashamed.

So while I was busy finishing assignments and then fulfilling the rock’n’roll part of my personal blurb on this blog (actually ran into one of the speakers from the Unconventional Women conference in a rock bar in London!), I also went to another conference. This time it was Business 2012, and I have to say it was quite an experience. And not all good.

Speed Networking. Yay or nay?

Getting past the absolutely and unforgivably poor organisation of the event – we didn’t get to see Sir Richard Branson speak because they “couldn’t disclose the information” about which speakers were on & when! Srsly, what the eff? – the seminars and workshops we attended were quite surprising. In fact, my friend and I came to the conclusion that, with the exception of the seminars on trademarks and mobile internet, we could’ve gotten up on the spot and taught the seminars better than the speakers.

Now you might be thinking I’m crawling up my own rear end here, but it was very shocking how unprepared and unprofessional some of the speakers were. I did not come to sit through a seminar on the commercial use of twitter being taught by some middle aged guy who gets up and starts off with “Well I’m actually really bad with social media and some kid I have working for me actually does it all.” Why are you here giving your “advice” then?

This conference was really an example of making it too broad and in turn making a big mess of an event. To top it off the seminars were overbooked so we had to sit on the floor, and The O2, where the conference was being held, was freezing cold.

But perhaps most notably,

 The best and most informative seminar was the one given by one of the youngest speakers there.

Just something to think about. And comment on below.

Stay cool,

Marta

P.S. The saving grace for the last day was the British Music Experience museum of popular music which is in the same building, and which I HIGHLY recommend you visit if you can!

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Un-Covention: Women in Music and Media, Part 2


As some of you may have noticed if you saw last week’s post, I took a litttle trip to Manchester last weekend. The following Monday I wrote a post about it which covered the gender-related conclusions, this week I want to talk more about why it’s important to go to these things whenever you can.

When I went to this conference, I didn’t really know what to expect or even how formal or informal it’s going to be. I went there with the expectation to learn something about the state of the music and media industries from the women that are actually in the thick of it, and at the same time see what they’re like and if I ever enter any of these arenas, what are the people I would likely be working for like. And I went to see if I could gather any information that would be useful for my dissertation on live music and heavy metal.

Turns out the conference was so relaxed you could easily approach the speakers after each panel, a golden opportunity for anyone who, like me, was looking to build contacts. It took some courage and the best opening lines I could muster to do it, but I went up to them. I introduced myself, I commented on the points made in the panel, I took and interest in their work. And I walked away with not one, but two interview arrangements for my dissertation research. We are now also connected through various social media, therefore I am on their radar for future opportunities and have a huge edge against most of the competition if I do apply for a job with any of them, simply because they’ve met me before.

Competitions are good, you get prizes and pretty CV material. But conferences give you the chance to make your presence known among the industry community, which WILL give you an edge and might even bring the job to you.

It’s time to put that natural charm to good use!

Stay cool,

Marta

P.S.: Next weekend I’ll be attending another conference in London which lasts until Tuesday so the post should be out later the following week, but the delay should be well worth it.

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Un-Covention: Women in Music and Media, Part 1


So yesterday I attended Un-Convention’s Un-conventional Women event in Manchester’s awe-inspiring Victorian neo-gothic town hall (I have a wee bit of a soft spot for anything gothic). A fairly last minute decision since I was only told of the event a couple of days prior, and Manchester isn’t exactly in my general area. Nevertheless I grabbed a friend and off we went, almost unacceptably early on a Sunday morning.

It was awesome.

The main reason I decided to go to this convention/conference wasn’t to indulge some kind of feminist man-hate that these events have an unfortunate tendency to turn to. I was interested in learning about what the “state of the art” in the music and media industries is today, how do these influential figures in the music industry understand the age of digital music, and how can I work the situation to my advantage in what is very much a male-dominated industry. Another reason was a chance to network with the speakers and others in the industry to further my base of contacts.

It was very eye-opening just how little understanding of the relationship between music and the internet was demonstrated by some of the speakers. And what a fantastic opportunity this is for our generation to become the next great innovators in the music industry.

But mainly, I have to say, I was incredibly pleasantly surprised by the sheer presence of the speakers. Most of these were charismatic, no nonsense women. They have every bit the confidence to play with the boys, and they elegantly shot down all the characters that show up in these crowds to cry and whine about how “the boys make mean jokes” and are “insensitive”. Have you ever seen a bunch of guys hanging out together? They’re not exactly having a tea party and complementing each other’s hair. If you’re having to work with a bunch of guys, you need to learn how be one of them. I’m not talking visually, or about renouncing your femininity. But you can’t expect to walk in a room and everyone adapting to you just because you’re a girl, because let me tell you something, sweetie:

That is not equal treatment. That’s preferential treatment. And you’re nothing more and nothing less than every guy in the room.

Besides, from my experience, most of the time a girl’s biggest enemy in a male-dominated place is the other girl. Just something to think about.

I’ve still got a thing or two to say, so stay tuned for Part 2!

Much love,

Marta

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The Power of Schmoozing


A few weeks back I was contacted by a lady from my university who wanted to hire me to photograph classes and events in their department for new brochures and website content. She found out about my photography (a hobby) after I mentioned it to a colleague of hers at a social event in my department.

I like taking photos...and silly hair. (© Marta Svetek 2012)

This isn’t some kind of high paying job. It isn’t a milestone in my career. I don’t even want to make a career out of photography. I am definitely not the best photographer at our university. I am also not the only one who would even be willing to do this kind of job for free. But I got the offer simply through making a good enough impression to make that person recommend me to someone looking for someone with my skill set.

That lady doesn’t have the time to review the entire photography talent pool of the university and she obviously trusts the opinion of her colleague who thinks I am reliable and generally someone she can trust to get the job done well. And in turn I get to boost my creative CV and portfolio with an actual paying job.

This little anecdote is hardly groundbreaking in itself but it shows how important socialising and networking is.

Studying hard is important, but don’t forget that it’s people that hire you and people you work with, and you need to show them you’re the person they want to work with!

A smile goes a long way! (© 2011 Toastmasters International)

Be nice, compliment people, take an interest in whoever you’re talking to. Tead up on the latest news, talk about your interests/hobbies. You’ll find people will be much more willing to talk to you if you can have a conversation about something OTHER than work! Having a hobby in common with someone or generally just a very interesting one will definitely make them remember you.

So go to those employer presentations, conferences, sponsored events, alumni events, basically any kind of social events and work on your networking and social skills. You might not meet the CEO right away but you may meet someone he/she knows that will refer you to them when you apply for the job.

And above all else, don’t forget to SMILE! No one wants to talk to a grump, or the guy that takes himself too seriously.

Happy schmoozing!

Much love,

Marta

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Martholio !

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Your 5 Steps to Networking Success


Networking is finding the right people with the right resources and having them help you get the word out.

Right people + Right resources = Success

By yourself, you are nowhere near as effective as when you have a network of contacts and friends working together to help promote you or your new venture. Networking is as easy as making new friends. If you can make new friends, then you can network. But making new friends does take work. It’s not magic.Build your Network in 5 easy steps!

How do we do this? Let’s break it down into 3 important sections:

  • Identify your value
  • Build your network
  • Leverage your network

IDENTIFY YOUR VALUE

Step 1: Make Yourself Valuable by Helping Others

Make it a point to provide helpful information / advice / support to at least one person each day. This is a major stumbling block for people because of the personal investment it requires, but once you realize the multiplier effect that’s attached to each of your efforts, you will be surprised at why more people aren’t doing this.

Attributes of Service posted on a bulletin board with pushpins

Just help others. Quite often you’ll hear people voicing their concerns in public forums or even on twitter. If it takes a few minutes of your time to point them in the right direction, do it right there and then.

Summary: You have to prove your value to people who are vastly more influential than you – this translates into building your own worth by playing with the smaller fish first. It’s a step-by-step process. Continue reading

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From the Classroom to Consultancy #5


Let’s begin with the Good.

I was able to amend my train ticket, ensuring that I won’t miss my upcoming presentation. I’m happy to report that our team has been getting along very well. But while clicking with the team is essential, it’s establishing a good relationship with the client that is the most crucial. This is where I’ll be moving on to the Bad…

We don’t have a ‘bad’ relationship – we just don’t have one at all! It’s been 2 weeks since we were appointed as the client’s management consultancy team, and so far our (one-sided) correspondence has consisted of:Communcation Problem

  • An unanswered first e-mail
  • An unanswered chase e-mail
  • Put on hold when calling them directly
  • Getting through and then told that they’re unavailable and will get back to us by the end of the next day
  • Them not getting back to us by the end of the next day.

Let’s just say that the lesson learned this week is:

If you’re not getting paid, you’re not a priority. Continue reading

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7 Must-Have Traits to become a Young Entrepreneur


You’re young, ambitious, and full of amazing ideas, why not start your own business?  With the job prospects for students and recent graduates looking grim, now may be a better time than ever to capitalize on that great idea you have by turning it into a profitable business. 

Continue reading

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Quote of the Day


Never Shy Away From Introducing Yourself To New People By Assuming That They Will Hurt You. Company Adds Colour To Your Life.

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The Benefits of Attending International Conference for Students


Communication is one of the most important skills to learn for human beings, no matter how it is conducted. Today’s students are the masters of communication both formally and informally. One of the most important venues for formal communication is at a conference, especially international conferences for undergraduate students. There are many benefits, both globally and individually, of attending a conference. Not only do you further your education, but you also learn how to talk to people from diverse backgrounds.

Communication is key. Photo credit: Google Images Search.

Continue reading

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5 Networking Tips (for non-business students)


I was recently at a career information session held by a top electronics company. As a psychology major, I felt more than a little out of place: the information session was for commerce, engineering, and computer science students only.

Everybody was wearing a suit, had 20 copies of their resume filed neatly in a portfolio, and here I was, wearing my favorite bright blue heels, no makeup, no resume, and completely intimidated!! I had actually only stopped by to see a friend of mine who graduated two years ago and was now part of the company’s campus recruitment team…

But then they brought in the free pizza… Continue reading

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