When I think of networking events, images of hotel conference rooms and non-descript bars immediately come to mind. If you’re lucky, you run into an old colleague or classmate and exchange business cards with a couple folks only to never be heard from again. When it comes to UConn Elevate, throw out this visual or any preconceived notions you may have of networking events.
I had the privilege of attending the UConn Elevate event held in New York City last year and it blew away all of my expectations. The event took place at Google’s office in Chelsea hosted by UConn alumni that now work at the company. It was incredible seeing the huge turnout of fellow UConn alumni in the city all under one roof. Being in such a major metropolis, it can be easy to get lost in the shuffle and not realize how close our alma mater and state is from the Big Apple.
For the evening, there was an opportunity to network amongst alumni followed by a panel of current Google employees to discuss various aspects of the company. I was able to meet fellow Huskies who are now at Google, introduce myself to other alumni in attendance, and catch-up with friends that now work in the area. There were a number of unbelievably successful individuals in the room that had noteworthy backgrounds and all attended UConn. In general, there was an overwhelming amount of enthusiasm being at one of the most successful companies of our time and it made for a very approachable setting.
The panel, which included UConn alumni working at Google, presented on a number of topics including how they landed the job, what it is like to work there, and what the company is looking for in the workforce today. There was also a Q&A session at the end that discussed what steps to take to be considered for a job at Google and what types of problems employees at Google are trying to tackle everyday. Having been in the workforce for a few years, I appreciated the opportunity to see how other companies manage their workforce, operate on a day-to-day basis, and consider potential hires. In addition, there was a high level of engagement and interest exhibited by the audience that made the presentation that much more valuable.
I walked away from the event more knowledgeable about Google, a company that impacts my life on a daily basis, from the perspective of a consumer and potential job applicant in the future. I left UConn Elevate NYC reminded of how many fellow alumni you can find outside of Storrs.
I encourage you to join me this year for an overwhelmingly positive experience to create new alumni connections and learn more about a Fortune 500 company. Hope to see you there!
January marks the launch of Elevate, UConn Alumni Relations’ second annual career and professional development month. Find an event near you.
Jesse Cohen ’12 is a graduate of the School of Engineering