By: Megan Sheppard, Zimmerman/Edelson, Inc.
Recently, the Public Relations Professionals of Long Island (PRPLI) held a Young Professionals Mixer event at the Refuge in Melville. This event aimed to give young professionals including current college students majoring in public relations and similarly related fields or people who have recently broken into the industry, an opportunity to network with public relations professionals. It was a chance for everyone to mingle in an informal setting, which can be less intimidating for college students.
When I first walked into the area where the event was being held, I immediately felt myself searching for people I knew from my office. To my surprise, I found two familiar faces from my high school. I knew their names and faces but going to a large high school, there were a lot of people I never got the chance to get to know. After approaching these girls and (re)introducing myself, I was surprised that they discovered the event from my Facebook page that I shared the event on. It felt good that my small attempt to promote the event paid off. I found comfort in the fact that they also did not know anyone. I had to remind myself that this was a networking event, everyone was in the same boat, of course you’re not going to know most of the people in attendance, the whole purpose is to meet new people!
I decided to introduce myself to new people and discovered I actually had worked with one woman at the event throughout my internship, but it was nice to finally put a name to a face. I told people who I was, the university I attended, what degree I was pursuing, and that I was an intern at Zimmerman/Edelson, Inc. Everyone was extremely kind, and they only had helpful comments to share with me about the industry.
The attendees at the event became further acquainted with each other through a game of, Networking Bingo. I won’t lie; when I first heard the word “bingo” I had the instant reaction I typically have when I’m asked to play any kind of ice breaker game. However, the way this game was designed made it actually really fun. The boxes that were on the game card consisted of things like “collect 5 business cards,” “add 3 people on LinkedIn,” “meet a current college student” and many others. It was a great way to meet people and learn about them!
For the duration of my time as an intern at Zimmerman/Edelson, I have had limitless opportunities to meet and network with other public relations professionals. This PRPLI Young Professionals Mixer further solidified the importance of these events for me and reminded me to always try and attend more events to gain any extra experience that I can!