More than 50 College of Staten Island (CSI) students recently took part in the school’s annual “speed networking” event last week. For three minutes at a time, each student was able to network with some of Staten Island’s most successful women.
The speed networking event is a partnership between CSI’s Career and Scholarship Center and the Staten Island Economic Development Corporation’s Women’s Leadership Council (WLC).
Back in 2005, the WLC was known as the “Women in Business Group,” and over the years it has expanded its cause from simply helping women to include networking, mentoring, and giving back to the community.
“The best way to find out information is to deal with a woman who basically has the same outlook on life and has the same challenges that I would face and has already accomplished them,” said CSI junior Ruth Arsenec, one of the young women who attended the event.
“I think we have more of a mission now than we did in 2005. When we started in 2005, we were everywhere, we didn’t know where we wanted to go, we didn’t know who we wanted to help,” noted WLC member Chrissy Mazzola. “We wanted to help women; we wanted to do something for women.”
For CSI’s part, the event was a perfect way to finish Women’s History Month as well as Career and Scholarship Month. “It was a success,” said Nina Long, a Career Development Assistant at CSI, who spearheaded the event along with Joanne Hollan, the Career and Scholarship Center’s Associate Director. Although this is the second year of the event, this year, Long decided to add the small wrinkle of giving the “networkees” only three minutes with each professional woman. “We wanted to make sure everyone was able to see everyone,” said Long. The main reason for the program shift was logistics, with 23 networkers and 50 “networkees,” there just wouldn’t be enough time for niceties. “It worked,” said Long.
All of the networkers offered contact information and several of the students have already been asked to send in résumés. City University of New York Trustee and CSI adjunct Kathleen Pesile was also on hand and gave remarks at the event, as well her own contact information. She even went so far as to agree to meet with one of the students to set up a mock interview.
“All of the networkers really want to do their part in helping these young women,” said Hollan.
The CSI Career and Scholarship Center, under the Direction of Caryl Watkins, has been a boon for CSI students, male and female, looking to make a mark in their chosen professions after graduation. According to Long, who has run a similar program with the Alumni Association, events such as “speed networking” really keep “the realm of possibility open” for CSI students.