Both of us are looking to move from our current positions (we are in different departments but have the same psycho Exec. Director for a boss). I wasn’t sure what to expect having never attended such an event before. When we got there I was happy to find out we weren’t expected to stand around (it's so awkward for everyone regardless if you're an extrovert or an introvert) and find someone to talk to all evening. Instead the organizers had the mingle for about 20 minutes as finger foods were served (not enough) while people arrived. I had two shrimp, two beef balls about the size of a quarter, and two veggie bungles that were about a couple of inches in size and reminded me of squid in shape. There was not time to eat dinner before the event/after work. I am not supposed to skip meals due to medical condition so I instead had about 3 cups of herbal tea to make up for it. Next time I’ll be wiser and make some food I can eat beforehand and is easily transportable. Someone decided to fill jar after jar with different types of sugar sweets: jelly beans, gummie bears, jub jubs, Swedish berries, peach fuzzies etc and place them on all the tables. Can you say sugar high lol . I also entered my business card into a draw for prizes.
The Q+A panel of ‘mentors’ consisted of who’s who list of non-profit giants.
Somewhere in the middle of the evening, I won two prizes: free admission to two other AFP events one of which is extremely prominent conference. It became a well intentioned joke for the other prize draws that everyone else had a slim chance of winning. Many of the mentors now know my name and I guess it’s a good thing at a networking event to have your name called several times and I am apparently memorable.
I did learn a lot of things during the mentor rotation portion…..both pros and cons for the non-profit industry and whether I want to stay in the sector or not….leaning towards NOT or least not moving in the direction of ‘fundraising’ but if I stayed it would be doing what I do now hand out grant funds just in a different industry…either the arts or the environment or a complete move back to corporate world. It is no secret that I miss the corporate world and their 'sanity' as it were.