Recently I went to my first event at the Moseley Exchange which is Birmingham’s first ‘co-working space.’ After talking with members from the board I soon found out what this actually meant and discovered that it is a space essentially made up of hot desks which people, especially freelance workers, can hire by the hour or the day in order to be able to work in an office like environment, yet not having to actually have a space of their own. There are also areas in which you can have meetings and, like the event I attended, small informational and networking events. This night was part of the Creative Forum and was led by independent filmmaker Deborah Aston from RedCarpet Media.
It was very intimate, with only around 15 attendees in total which was a completely new experience for me and not what I was expecting. Before Deborah started her presentation, my friend and I began networking with others who were there which was initially a daunting task. Never before had I been in a situation where I was in a room full of strangers who appeared to know what they were doing, and just introduce myself and strike up a conversation. However once I had started, it did become easier and I met some extremely interesting people who I have now subsequently linked with on LinkedIn. The most significant contact that I made was at the end of the session when I got talking to the speaker. The most useful careers information that I have been given is that if you don’t ask then you won’t get; so I went up to Deborah and asked her if she had any interning opportunities. She initially said no because RedCarpet Media is only run by herself, however when she is working on projects she does need additional help, and so I jumped on this and gave her my contact details and she gave me her business card. I have now subsequently followed up this meeting by tweeting her and connecting to her on LinkedIn. As I want to work in the media, although this is true of any industry really, it is always important to network and talk to lots of different people to gain contacts. You never know who in the future you may need to call on for something or they need to call on your for something. Networking is about gaining and maintaining reciprocal relationships which could benefit you.
Overall I really enjoyed the evening and it was great experience for meeting new people and putting into practice all the advice I had been given by the careers centre. Check out http://moseleyexchange.com/ for more events that are coming up and don’t forget to keep checking http://www.as.bham.ac.uk/careers/events/index.shtml for events that are put on by the Careers and Employability Centre. It’s a great resource. Use it.