Speed Networking - Worth Twitching About
June 9, 2011:
Monday, November 22, 2010
The room is buzzing with conversations. In the corner, a large screen lauds the accomplishments of students and alumni. A bell rings, and the conversations stop. Guests leave their seats and take new ones, starting new conversations and making new connections. This is Speed Networking.
Students who came to the event last Thursday met with Menlo College alumni working in a variety of interesting fields. Speed Networking gave the students a valuable opportunity to practice their interview skills, but not all of the interviews were simply for practice—many of the attendees are currently looking to hire, and these preliminary discussions could land the students a job.
The format for Speed Networking is adopted from the popular "speed dating" model. Students and company representatives sit on opposite sides of a table and engage in a two-minute discussion. After the allotted time has passed, the students move to the next seat over and meet someone new.
Menlo added a new activity to its Speed Networking program which just may become a new web jargon for Twitter job seekers. Participants had the opportunity to "twitch". A "twitch" (combining the words "tweet" and "pitch") is a brief 140-character self-description that a person would use to position themselves as an enticing employer or employee. The twitches were posted on the Menlo College Twitter page, and a web application projected the twitches onto a screen as they were updated.
By the end of the night, each student had met with 20 alumni and collected several business cards. Some gained even more from the event—student Shaleia Auld has been offered an internship at Merrill Lynch.