I went to a networking event with the Minnesota Wild on November 5th, which was my first real experience meeting with people that are Vice Presidents and COOs. There were many people there that were much older than me, so I was really intimidated standing there. I even designed my own business cards with a QR code to my LinkedIn. They seemed very average compared to everyone else. Because there were so many people, I didn't have an opportunity to talk to everyone. There were about 10 or so professionals in the Wild, Timberwolves, Vikings and various other teams that attended the event. There were groups of people surrounding each professional trying to listen to them speak as well as trying to ask their own questions. It was one of the few times in my life that I felt really out of place, but I still managed to ask questions and make sure people knew that I was there.
The person that had the largest impact on me was Mitch Helgerson, who is the Vice President of Marketing Intelligence for the Minnesota Wild. I usually just think of the creative side of marketing, but I never stop and think about all of the research that goes into making creative marketing campaigns successful. Mitch went into depth about what he does and then explained how his part of marketing integrates with the creative area of marketing. It was great to hear about how he uses social media analytics to make successful advertisements.
One of the other people I met was Carin Anderson. She is the Vice President of Corporate Sponsorships and Retail Management. She went into depth about how they manage their store at the Xcel Energy Center and how they plan on expanding. She talked about the idea of expanding the Hockey Lodges up to Duluth, but the concern is dealing with a store that is 2+ hours away. Personally, I think a store here would do very well regardless of season.
Of course, after the event was over, I stayed for the game. We originally had bleeder seats, but managed to sneak down to the 6th row, and got to see 3 goals. It was a great game, and the energy in that building is unreal. People that deal with fan relations, scoreboard, and everything for the Wild do such a great job. I always know at a Wild game that I will be entertained, besides just the game.
The next big event that I got to participate in was the College Connection Speed Networking Event. I work for Twin Ports Connex, who put this event on, and it was a great success. Not only did the event help me meet a lot of new people, but I also got to connect with people that connected me with other people. A perfect example of this was when I met a woman at this event who knows a woman who works for the Detroit Red Wings. She handed my information off to Danielle (Marketing Manager and Corporate Sponsorships for the Detroit Red Wings). Danielle and I talked for about an hour on the phone, and I learned quickly that we were extremely similar. We both are very driven women that are never moving fast enough. I loved talking to her, and I hope that she will be somewhat of a mentor to me.
SO, moral of this post:
- Even if you're feeling uncomfortable, throw yourself out there anyway. People are going to be impressed.
- Networking is EXTREMELY valuable. You never know who you will meet, and who will introduce you to other people. It's a very important skill.
- Always show passion for what you do. Not only will your job performance improve, but potential employers love to see someone who genuinely cares.
My best news out of all of this was that I got a call for a second interview with the Minnesota Twins! I interviewed last Monday and it went great! I won't know until the second week in December, so it will be a little stressful, but I'm hoping for the best. Keep me in your thoughts! Thanks for reading! :)