17 April 2012
Since the beginning of my internship, I had the opportunity to attend some networking events. To be honest I have to say that I am not very at ease during this kind of evenings. I think that, like in all situations where you arrive somewhere as a new member, you feel not really comfortable. During networking, I have the feeling that everybody knows each other and that I am an intruder. Of course, when I start talking with people, I understand that either they are like me, either they are happy to speak with new people. In fact, during networking events, the purpose is the same for everybody: expand contacts and spend a good time.
So after attending some events, I really think that it is one of the best ways to meet people in the same state of mind. I believe that it is particularly interesting for expatriates because it is easier to adapt in a foreign country when we have a good network, while we sometimes miss our roots.
But Thursday 5th April I realized another thing. Pui and I went to the Thailand Young Professional event organized by the AMCHAM. One of the purposes of this evening was to distribute some Broadgate Postcards and the least we can say is that the feedback of this evening was mitigated. The fact is that when you are a young woman in this kind of event, you are not always taken seriously. Obviously, it is not a general fact and I do not want to make any confusion but it happens sometimes. On the other hand, it is also true that in every Networking I have attended, there were always many more men than women and older people than Pui and I. I do not know if these two facts are connected or if we look particularly young, which is possible, but it was for sure a certain brake in the distribution of postcards.
In fact we realized that offering postcards to people we barely know is kind of too direct and we are rapidly taken for scammers. I think this feeling is raised by the fact that even if people are there to meet people in a professional atmosphere, they also need to unwind after work. The conversations must be on any interesting subjects and not only on professional matters. People do not like when they realize that you have talked to them just for professional interest. If they may have a professional interest then it is great but if not it does not mean that the conversation will not be interesting. People must go to networking events in a good spirit.
Research & Administration Officer