Networking one round at a time at the HYP Meet the Mentors

September Meet the MentorsThe Houston Young Professionals presented yet another great opportunity to expand your network and learn tips for success in the most recent showing for their Meet the Mentors series. The series allows you get one on one interaction with business professionals who are at the top of their game in a roundtable setting.  The diversity of the mentors ranged from media to fashion to restaurateurs and even ventured to relationship experts.  Each one sharing their own insight on their path to success and unique challenges and advantages they face in their perspective fields.

Meet the Mentors pic 1In attending these events previously I cherished the opportunity not only to hear very personal success stories from the mentors, but also to have an opportunity to make a personal connection with the mentors. Although this event was no exception to the high bar the “Meet the Mentors” series has set, I was also reminded of another powerful benefit of the series.  When you and another seven professionals sit around to meet, ask questions, and learn from the mentors you also have an opportunity to learn from each other.  Whether if you hear an intriguing new company idea, or a success story, or even similar business challenges than the ones you face, the mentorship extends just from the assigned mentor to the table full of colleges that you can also learn from.   Sharing these experiences and interactions really are the stepping stones for building a network.  You can transform your perspective from how can I help myself when I meet someone into how can I learn from others or better yet, how can I help others in their own business endeavors?   By the time the last mentor rotates a table full of strangers transforms into a table full of colleagues.

One of my biggest criticisms of many networking events is that it can become a little like speed dating. You move quickly on from one person to the next looking for the key words that would make you want to take the relationship outside that setting and see if something deeper can occur.  The Meet the Mentors series is a stark contrast to this model as you first give the nuts and bolts of your job title and in the questions and conversations you share the concerns, attitudes, and even motivations that are unique to you and really draw people into your story.  For those with a fear of meeting new people, especially those you look up to, there is no better way than in a casual, laid back setting where you can be yourself without feeling the pressure to be entertaining and suave at all times to keep the conversation going.  As this is just another great portion of the events put on by the Houston Young Professionals make sure to stay tuned to different way the chamber can enrich your path to success as a young professional.




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