Build Your Community to Build Your Career

Eleanor Whitney

Caplan Recital Hall • November 04 • 7:10 - 7:30 pm

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When I worked for a community-focused 3D printing startup we used to brag that our “community was our IP.” Meaning, the community we built up and nurtured made us strong as a company. The same is true for you as an individual. Your community is your intellectual property and the foundation of your career.

This talk will cover approachable strategies for community building that will enable participants to expand their network and build their career in a way that feels authentic to their goals, values and “personal brand.”

On a daily basis as a community manager I strategically engage other like-minded groups, organizations, and companies with the goal of building a mutually beneficial, memorable, and long-lasting collaboration. This talk will take techniques I use in my work as a community manager to help participants spark and maintain professional relationships and friendships in a way that is both authentic and sustainable.

This talk will enable participants to approach networking situations with confidence. It will help conference goers to develop strategies for building relationships with new contacts in a way that feels natural, develops mutual benefit, and contributes to a participants’ personal brand.

This talk will cover strategies for networking and community building, as well as keeping relationships healthy by setting boundaries and communicating clearly. These strategies include identifying the kinds of people you need in your network, cold outreach (such as through email or Twitter), connecting in person at events, follow up, and maintaining, sustaining, and growing relationships whether in-person or online. While it will touch on the idea of “personal brand,” especially around consistency, voice, and authenticity, it will focus on the power of community and will not delve deeply into how the principles of branding can be applied to one’s own career.

This session would have interest to those who are early in their career who want to develop their network, those looking to break into a new field or role, or those who are looking for a more strategic approach on how to be involved in networking and community events.