This year, SAYA held our very first College Success Young Professionals Mixer, hosted by Deloitte at 30 Rock in January. The purpose of the event was to provide our youth in college with the opportunity to have one-on-one conversations with young professionals for career exposure and to build up their networking skills. With six different industries represented, youth "speed networked" by moving from table to table and gaining an understanding of different career paths within each sector. This provided them the platform to ask deliberate and specific questions on, for example, a day in the life of a consultant or a communications manager. The most valuable component of the day was our students learning how to initiate and conduct professional conversations in a setting outside of college.
Some of the youth who attended shared their thoughts with us after the event.
Labib: "The Mixer was better than career fairs because it was focused on 1:1 conversations. I got to meet with people more individually and understand what they do in a better sense. The people were personable and younger so they seemed more like me. It felt less like advising and more like talking."
Kerissa: "I found it so interesting that they were so direct about a job. From Daniel at Deloitte, I learned how to actually stand out in an interview. He was open about meeting up for coffee and going over skills. I learned that the first step is actually to approach people because 99% of the time, they will not say no."
Jimmy: "The mixer opened my eyes. It was great to receive insight into other industries. I really clicked with the consultant from McKinsey, Kishore. He gave me as much information as I asked for. I could see that he respected my questions so I felt like I was networking strategically. I feel that even though him and I are in different fields, I still gained useful skills."