After months of anticipation, 15 September saw the official start of the Berlin Geekettes Mentorship Program 2015.
Karolin Rühlmann, event manager extraordinaire from the program organising team, kicked off the evening with a quote by rock star and crowdfunding pioneer, Amanda Palmer. It read: “Through the very act of asking people, I connect with them. And when you connect with them, people want to help you." The quote is taken from Palmer's book 'The Art of Asking', a book that is well worth a read if you are wanting yo rethink your ideas about asking, giving, art, and love.
Next we found ourselves up on our feet and standing in silence in a ‘power pose’ a la Wonder Woman (or Super Man for our male mentors), a well documented way of helping make you feel more confident and in charge. According to social psychologist Professor Cuddy, certain "power poses" don't just change how others perceive you, they immediately change your body chemistry. And these changes affect the way you do your job and interact with other people. You can listen language shapes who you are here.
Fully geared up for some serious ‘power connecting’, Karolin then introduced our theme for the evening, “Effective Networking”. Here we were joined by Yvonne Kania Customer Program Manager at HERE Deutschland GmbH, who shared her tips and tricks on how to network like a pro. Here are my top five:
1. Be authentic. You want people to like you and connect with you because you’re being genuine.
2. Give more than you receive. Go beyond thinking, “What’s in it for me?” to asking “How can i help?" do so with zero expectations of getting anything in return. Remember: No strings attached!
3. Quality trumps quantity. Focus on building long-term, meaningful relationships, not just collecting business cards.
4. Follow up and follow through. Follow up with new contacts within 24 hours by sending an email or personal LinkedIn invite. Make sure you deliver on any promises you have made.
5. #PowerPose. If, like many of us, you dread walking into a room and introducing yourself to a bunch of strangers, don’t forget to #PowerPose!
Coming up next time on the Mentorship Program... Personal Branding with Inka Kretschmer, Director at Mindmatters Coaching Ltd.
By Melanie Fieseler, member of the 2015 Berlin Geekettes Mentorship Program organising team, and a business and career coach/ trainer passionate about helping women find and build careers they love. Connect with Melanie on LinkedIn - she’d love to hear from you.
With special thanks to all those who have made this year’s Berlin Geekettes Mentorship Program possible, including Scout24, our main partner for the program, the organising team - Denise Philipp, Bianca Walterspiel, Karolin Rühlmann, Juliane Möllmann, Kate Castellano, and Irina Botea - Markus Kretzschmar Photography, and of course our fabulous mentors and mentees.
The Berlin Geekettes Mentorship Program is a five-month program focused on the professional and personal development of female professionals. This year’s program runs up until February 2016, and brings together a total of 70 mentors and mentees matched based on areas of interest, background, goals and expertise. To meet our mentors and mentees, and find out more about the program, visit our homepage.