New to the consulting industry, I would just like to briefly introduce myself as Claudia Onate, a recent College of Charleston graduate. I am currently a Capgemini employee, working under the Insurance Vertical, adjusting to a life of travel, learning, and being completely resilient and adaptable to whatever is thrown my way.
In this brief article I would like to share a recent life experience in relation to the topic of networking and expand upon that to discuss network generation. Upon on boarding at Capgemini, the new hire class spent a duration of 5 weeks training in one of the Chicago offices. This event occurred the second weekend of the 5 week time period.
Let me set the scene for you:
Location: Cindy’s: a rooftop bar and restaurant in the heart of Chicago
Located directly across from Millennium Park, the restaurant and rooftop is hosted on the top floor of a historic building, the Chicago Athletic Association. Once a men’s club, the building was redesigned upon vacancy, still embodying a locker room gone chic feel. Perched over the iconic Chicago Bean, it offers a vibrant ambience, filled with the smell of caramelized bacon, brunch dishes and the buzz of cocktails, otherwise known at Cindy’s as elixirs and potions. The architecture and ambience, a mix of the old and the new, seen in the brick and iron work, make the crowded space seem magically intimate and homey.
What initially was intended to be a cocktail and brunch, while exploring the city, around 1pm on Sunday turned into 5 hours later– 3 new phone contacts, a lifelong friendship, and meeting Mr. Clayton Oates.
Have you ever dined at a bar, more specifically a crowded one?
Sitting at a bar entails people approaching the bar from behind you and ordering through the gaps.
— intro Clayton Oates–
Sitting at the bar, I happened to glance back at him as he ordered two drinks. He was in a London shirt. Being that my mother lives there, I felt compelled to say something. Upon introduction, I was told that this man in a London shirt, who was in fact from London, was also in the consulting space. He was the co-founder of a mid-size IT consulting group, and we were instantly able to generate conversation via these commonalities or points of connection. He was a thought leader in the space and a notable public speaker, and happened to be giving a speech at a conference in Chicago, Sage Summit, which he encouraged I attend.
After an exchange of his business card and connecting via LinkedIn– the Facebook of business professionals– I was feeling high vibes upon seeming to have many instantaneous points of connection.
Has anyone heard of the concept of manifesting?
It’s very real. When we constantly want something and envision it currently or subliminally, we will it to happen. Manifesting involves visualization, whether that be of a physical or spiritual goal, in which actions produce vibrations that attract your ambitions. Upon visualization, positivity is key. Envision your goals, carry out your days positively, and let the vibrations and universal pull bring your ambitions to you. Recently I have been practicing this concept. I am beginning my journey as a business analyst and that involves a lot of uncertainty, but I have been approaching my journey with utmost positivity. I truly believe that my encounter with Mr. Oates was a product of manifestation. I would consider my encounter with him as an achievement in the building of a constructive and impactful network, a high goal set of mine upon the commencement of my consulting job.
We live in a global, highly technologically driven world and that being said, I would like to leave you with this thought—first take a look at your neighbor and the fellow human beings that surround you daily. I set another personal goal for myself and I kindly urge you to join me.
Let us attempt to be a culture of origin. Let me explain. Instead of passing judgment– based on mannerisms, looks, speech, etc., — let’s focus on origin. Let’s focus on where people are from, what drives them, what experiences have effected them, and why they are the way they are.
If we attempt to understand– we exude positivity and compassion.
No, you’re never going to identify with everyone, but you can try to simply understand everyone.
A brilliant man once introduced a somewhat simple concept to me. Upon the closing of a very deep conversation, he took his cocktail napkin and drew two circles– the circles intersecting to form a common ground. I had previously mentioned to him that Charleston wasn’t the right fit for me post college, because the job market was small. He told me that perhaps I should restructure my thoughts….
In the common ground he noted many dots. These would be referred to as points of connection. He explained to me that if you take any person or place for granted, the chances of you missing a point of connection is substantially high. So instead of engraining the thought of Charleston not being the place for me, potentially closing out some opportunities, I should think openly of the area. One dot in the common space could potentially have two more dots in relation to New York or Chicago, two of my aspiring job markets.
“Everyone has something to offering– it’s those that see that that have an edge”, he told me. Whether that offering be small, such as making you smile, or on the contrary something large like a connection in the international business world, both are positive outputs.
From this article I would like to generate thought and motivation to constantly pursue common ground with others. “Instead of better glasses, your network gives you better eyes.” This quote of Ronald Burt, a professor of sociology at the Chicago Booth Graduate School of Business, aids to surmise the magnitude of importance and valuation that we should hold in our networks. I would argue that it is a natural inclination to attempt to connect with other individuals. How you approach these daily opportunities is up to you.
Thank you for your time! And happy networking!
Takeaways: ability to relate, culture of understanding, <<manifesting>>, network generation, gradathon, Capgemini