Path to Politics Networking Lunch

April 27, 2009

Wednesday, April 15th, Running Start had another greatly successful Path to Politics lunch at the offices of Winston & Strawn, LLP. The subject was networking, and I’m so glad that I went. I picked up some new skills I hadn’t necessarily thought of before, met some great young women, and was wholly impressed by the conversation and passion of the women around me.

You know, there is a lot more that goes into successful networking than you might think. You’ve got to make an impression, hopefully positive, on the people you meet. You should try hard – and if you’re anything like me this may be the most challenging aspect of networking – to remember names and associations. Juggle the glass of wine you might be toting or the small plate, and for Heaven’s sake, please chew with your mouth closed!

Running Start did a great job of reminding me of some of the most fundamental points of networking. For instance, I’m great at the conversation, and I’m pretty good at remembering to jump in with my name before someone has to say “and you are?” But I almost always just say, “Hi, I’m Rachael.” Now how memorable am I if you don’t know my last name? It’s important to remember to always say your first and last name while making a good impression with a solid handshake and eye contact.

I get so much out of teaching moments like this luncheon, and I know that it is this characteristic that is one of the things that drew me to Running Start in the first place. The programs are all geared towards educating young women on politics, the world, and professional skills.

I don’t get to make it to Path to Politics lunches very often. I wish I could make it to more but I’m often chained to my desk through lunchtime. If you make it to these meetings with any regularity and want to write a little something about them here, let me know. We can always use new voices on our blog!

-Rachael Berkey

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