This took a lot of outreach and coordinated efforts to arrange. I delegated tasks, but nonetheless handled most of the planning. I created PDF flyers for the event — though I forgot to put the event date on it — and contacted all of the mentors. Polls were conducted and food arrangements were made beforehand and a room was reserved. I really tried to get mentors who came from an array of different journalistic fields.
It was nonetheless a pretty successful event, and it was wonderful to finally meet up with fellow journalists I hadn't had a chance to talk to for quite a while. I was amazed that nearly all three large pizzas were devoured. A setback, however, was the type of room we had to choose, as it was incredibly hot outside, making the room itself pretty stuffy and uncomfortable.
Our speed-networking event is something SPJ puts on at least once every year so aspiring journalists of all sorts can get in contact with potential future mentors, further connections, and people who can get students an in for possible jobs and internships.
We call it speed networking because the event itself is set up like speed dating, but clearly we’re not setting you all up on dates. Depending on how many people show, each will get a certain amount of time to talk one-on-one or in small groups with one of the mentors, and then time will be up to go to the next mentor. This will be repeated until everybody’s met everybody.
Kelsey Hamlin is finishing up her last year at the UW. Though her time is typically spent telling others' stories, here's a chance to get a peek at hers.