with Ellie Schmelzer
On Nov. 4th, CNSPY hosted a Networking Workshop with Dr. Ellie Schmelzer, who is the Director of the Office of Career Services & Strategy at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Prior to this position, Ellie did her postdoc at Yale and then worked at the Office of Career Services at Yale.
This interactive workshop covered both the basics of networking theory and also incorporated interactive hands-on exercises. Some of the items discussed where how to prepare for networking (research who’s attending, research the companies present, prepare interesting questions), how to initiate a conversation (just look for an open group and say hello), and how to end a conversation (offer a business card and/or excuse yourself). Additionally, Ellie covered common problems encountered at networking events, such as avoiding awkwardness. She recommended bringing a friend as long as you still talk to other people and remembering that people go to networking events to be open to conversation. The first hands on activity addressed how to identify good groups to enter for conversation, such as looking for a group with a gap, people with open body language, and people paying attention to those around them. Lastly, we wrote and practiced 30-second elevator pitches.
Overall, this workshop provided key tips for navigating a networking event and was a great lead-up to the CNSPY Annual Networking Event Scheduled for Nov. 7th.