Networking Your Way into the Future – by Rebecca Bartley


“Who you meet, what you do, and the experiences you get outside the classroom can be essential to your future career!”

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(Left to right) Keanin Loomis, Julie Truong, Alex Ramirez, Tyler Wright

On March 21, the Humanities Target Learning & Experimental Education Centre (HTLC) and the McMaster Humanities Society hosted “Making Connections: A Networking Breakfast for Humanities Students.”

Humanities students of all years were welcomed to CIBC Hall by Rowena Muhic-Day, the HTLC Coordinator and presider over the event, to enjoy a free breakfast buffet and socialize with other students. “This event is all about making connections,” she said.

Five speakers were invited that morning to advocate the importance of getting involved and making connections. Each had crucial pieces of advice to share with students.

The first speaker was a current Communications and Cultural Studies student, Julie Truong, who shared her journey and experiences of being in university. She explained how over the years, she became more involved at McMaster, and that the more she got involved, the happier she became in her life. “Once I got an opportunity, I started getting more opportunities. It created a snowball effect,” said Julie as she encourged students to get involved while in school.

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Alyssa Lai

The second speaker was recent Communications and Theatre & Film Mac grad, Alyssa Lai. She explained to students how her life had changed after she had graduated, choosing to go pursuie her ultimate career goal as a professor, first by gaining as much experience as she can. Right now she is  exploring her love for journalism and writing. “Don’t be afraid to deviate from your original plan,” explained Alyssa. “Life is going to throw you curves.”

Following Alyssa came Labour Studies and Political Science graduate of McMaster, Alex Ramirez, who was there to represent Volunteer Hamilton. Alex advocated the importance of volunteer experience and encouraged students to take advantage of all opportunities, especially in the area of Humanities. “You can apply your discipline to anything,” said Alex. “That’s what employers are ultimately looking for.”

Keanin Loomis, the Chief Operating Officer at Innovation Factory, then discussed the current job market and the importance of networking with students. Keanin gave students three tips to follow when searching for a job. First, plan out how you’re going to apply for jobs and make sure to network. Next, be patient while you wait for a job. Finally, hustle – work hard to network with others and apply yourself. “When you are out there looking for a job, and you have no network, then you have to begin from scratch,” said Keanin. “That’s why networking is so important.”

The final speaker of the event was the Business Development Coordinator at Innovation Factory and former Communications and Economics student of McMaster, Tyler Wright. He shared his own story, about how getting involved while at McMaster allowed him to succeed by landing a job and being hired by his current boss, Keanin Loomis,the previous speakar! In general, Tyler encouraged students to take advantage of the opportunities they are given and to persevere. “You can’t be afraid to fail. In order to be successful, you have to first fail,” explained Tyler.

Formal speeches over, students were able to put what they had heard about networking into practice, talking informally over coffee and refreshments with the guest speakers as well as sharing their experiences and ideas with each other.

To all Humanities students, in order to get ahead, you need to get connected. It’s time to start networking your way into the future!