During the Sun Valley Film Festival, I was shy to talk to producers, directors and writers. I kinda want to kick myself for it because at the time, I did not fully understand the power of networking. I started thinking about it when I met a guy named Ron who graduated from the C of I and is now in the film industry and has worked with actors like Arnold Schwarzenegger. It was only after he told me there were a lot of C of I alumni at the festival that I wished I hadn't shied away from meeting new people, as he was so eager to communicate with us, share his contacts and give us advice.
Nonetheless, at the CGIU conference I attended in Arizona, I had no other option but to do away with being reserved. And so I made some new friends and met potential partners, which was the purpose of my attending the conference. I met people who are extraordinarily brilliant in a lot of different fields: politics, science, education, economics, etc. It was amazing to see all those people come together because of one common value, bettering the lives of others less fortunate than themselves. I got to watch Bill Clinton and John McCain discuss issues that are usually the subject of presidential debates and the exchange was mind blowing, especially for a small city girl like myself.
I went to the conference with 30 business cards (thanks to CEL for hooking me up) and they were gone in the first day of the conference because I had no idea I was going to be talking to so many people. In any case, I was able to collect cards in cases where I couldn't provide one, but the moral of the story is: because I opened myself up and shared my ideas with people who were complete strangers, I had the opportunity to make new friends--people that are involved in some amazing projects that are changing so many lives.I guess the reason for writing about networking is my realization of how it can open doors in places one has never thought of.
i am currently working on the fundraising page for Fabulous Development and I already have people who gave me their cards in order to send them a link as soon as it is complete. I am going to be required to meet other people I have never met before as I further raise funds for Fabuous Development, and instead of feeling like I could hide behind some corner, I am ready to share what I believe is a great way of empowering women and I am also ready to receive advice and support from different people.
This little piece of writing is just an encouragement to share with people things that you are passionate about. You will be surprised how many other people out there share similar views and are willing to support you.
Keneuoe Mphutlane is an International Political Economy major in her sophomore year and is from Lesotho.