On October 29th, students and alumni gathered virtually for the Center for Career Education’s annual LGBTQ Alumni Panel and Networking Event, this year titled Networking From Home: LGBTQ+.
The theme of the discussion was navigating the job search as an LGBTQ+ person. Below are some excerpts from the robust panel discussion:
ADVICE ON NAVIGATING CAREERS AS A GENDER EXPANSIVE OR LGBTQ+ PERSON?
Do the research: Carlos V. Cruz, Marist College, Startup Consultant and Adjunct Instructor, shared that he recommends researching companies to identify concrete ways that they are supporting the LGBTQ+ community.
Explore company culture: Mel Abler, U.S. Program Director at TopRow shared how finding out about the culture of the company from the inside can inform your decision making process. Speaking with an LGBTQ+ employee can give you insider information on culture, beyond optics or surface-level support.
NETWORKING, NETWORKING, NETWORKING
Show up: Sitara Herur-Halbert, Communications Associate at Lycée Français de New York shared that one strategy for attending networking events is to go with a friend. It helps to have the support in the room and a familiar face to tackle a new environment. Meanwhile, Lor Malholtra, Associate Portfolio Manager at The Management Group of Brooklyn, discussed how making the connection personal helped when starting conversations at networking events. They shared that doing this with one person was always their goal and created space to lower nerves. Lastly, Sean Walsh, Peacock Advertising Strategy Director at NBCUniversal reiterated the value of networking and stated that breaking the ice by discussing your shared identity is a great conversation starter. Being members of the LGBTQ+ community, the connection is right there — ask how they navigated!
Follow up: Tony Mechcatie, Counsel at King & Spalding LLP stated that one of the keys to effective networking is follow up with those you meet at events. Keep the conversation going and follow through to demonstrate your interest.
It takes all kinds: Networking can happen in different forms and ways. Mel stated that building relationships and connections with your peer group should not be overlooked. Those relationships can come into play later!
Interested in learning more?
If you’re looking for more information on your LGBTQ career path, and/or additional intersectional identities check out our info for resource pages.