The new era of business networking starts with Biz Under 40
By Meredith Morrison
The idea of business networking seems so…grown up.
Wait a minute – we are grown ups! Oh man, when did THAT happen?
Somewhere between five-dollar pitcher nights at Myron’s and purchasing our first home, we became adults and started taking on responsibilities like getting married, having kids, paying bills and starting new careers. As we make our way into the “real world”, we start to realize that professionalism is key to being successful in all that we do.
But professionalism isn’t something we’re born with; it’s something we develop over time as we make our way into the workforce and start careers rather than “jobs”. In addition to developing work skills, business networking is introduced to us as a necessary component for establishing connections – as well as our names – in the business world.
As a young professional, the process of attending business mixers and events can seem daunting especially when you consider that you’re now playing the big leagues with a lot of big names and seasoned veterans. But the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce has taken on a huge initiative to establish networking events and activities that caters to the needs of our growing “community” of vibrant young professionals.
Scenes from the Globe: Networking at the Biz Under 40 network mixer at Globe World Flavours on Victoria Row. Photography by Aaron MacDougall.
Launched in February 2010, the Biz Under 40 networking program has been providing young professionals and entrepreneurs the opportunity to connect and build their own network of peers. Through mixers, Lunch & Learn sessions and special events, Biz Under 40 brings together the – you guessed it – under forty crowd to address the networking needs of this thriving demographic.
Consider Biz Under 40 networking 2.0; this isn’t the way your parents used to network. Today’s young professionals are short on time and want to get the most of the little spare time we do have. We want to meet like-minded people who share the same professional challenges and experiences. And we’re tech savvy; if we don’t see it on social media sites first, chances are we’re going to miss it. Biz Under 40 focuses on these specific needs and gives participants the opportunity to connect within their network of peers, their own “community”.
Throughout our lives, we’ll probably move on to a number of different careers; whether it’s for strategic reasons, out of necessity or because our interests change as we get older. By meeting new people through Biz Under 40 events, participants get to know one another and establish professional relationships that can help with any future career transitions. The Lunch & Learn sessions give participants the opportunity to cultivate their professionalism and learn the skills necessary to succeed in the ever-evolving business world. It’s the perfect combination of social interaction, learning and fun that helps make our ascension into the “real world” a little less scary.
Above anything else, Biz Under 40 events are fun. Yes, it’s true – being a young professional does have its fun side. Catching up with old friends you haven’t seen in years and meeting new friends over drinks and tasty appetizers doesn’t sound the least bit daunting; that’s because it isn’t.
The Biz Under 40 committee focuses on creating networking events that will keep participants coming back for more. They’re always working on new ideas to get people interacting and having a good time. Plus, most networking events happen at Charlottetown hot spots such as St. James Gate or Hunter’s Ale House, which – let’s face it – some of us have frequented quite often. Okay, most of us.
As much as being an adult is about responsibility, schedules and self-improvement, it’s also about building relationships and having fun in the process. Whether you attend a Lunch & Learn or chat it up at networking mixer, you’re making valuable connections with people just like you.
For more information on Biz Under 40, visit www.charlottetownchamber.com or follow them on Twitter: @BizUnder40.
The new era of business networking starts with Biz Under 40 By Meredith Morrison The idea of business networking seems so…grown up. Wait a minute – we are grown ups! Oh man, when did THAT happen? Somewhere between five-dollar pitcher nights at Myron’s and purchasing our first home, we became adults and started taking on […]
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Moving back home as an adult isn’t easy, but it’s nice to know you can always go home again
By Mike McNeil
“Did you brush your teeth?” Mom yelled as I was on my way out the door. ‘Yes Mom, I didn’t forget,” I replied.
Reading this exchange between my Mom and I, one might assume this was my mother questioning me as I toddled off to elementary school, right?
Not quite. This was five months ago…and I had just turned 27.
A proverbial bump in the road landed me back at my parents’ house for about a month as I searched for a new apartment. Even though asking for my old room back might have seem like a step in the wrong direction, it actually turned out to be the best thing for me. An eye opener, if you will.
Not everyone is lucky enough to have folks to fall back on, and those who do sometimes take the unconditional love of their parents for granted. It’s a shame really. Whether it be a roof over our heads, a much needed home cooked meal, or just the piece of mind knowing that the parental safety net is still in place, parents have a way of taking a bad situation and making it right again.
During my month as a returning guest in my parents home, I had to make a few adjustments to get myself used to the living arrangements. Living back home as an adult brought me back to the days when I’d be coming home much too late, shutting the lights of my truck off and coasting into the driveway hoping no one would wake up and notice the preposterous hour I was arriving home at. Naturally, this never worked as we lived with a dog that barked at the slightest movement, but it was always worth a shot.
Returning home as an adult is a whole different scene. Technically I’m a grown man, and as a grown man, it can be hard to adjust to my Mom asking me if I washed my hands prior to eating or reminding me to zip up my coat before heading outside. At first, I found this to be a nuisance (like I said, I’m a grown man) but once I started thinking about it, I realized just how lucky I am.
We grow up and acquire all of these new responsibilities, and they’re not as easy to handle as we think. The more I thought about all of the little things my parents kept telling me to do since I was home that were driving me up the wall, the more I realized how much my folks do for me. It’s all about the little things, and those things hadn’t changed since the first time I packed up my belongings and left the nest.
Living at home means questions. As adults, we cringe every time our parents ask us what we’re doing with our lives, why we chose to go in this direction, or why we didn’t. We change the subject to avoid these conversations at all costs because we feel as though our answers will never satisfy.
It’s important to take a step back and realize what’s going on. They’re not hounding us incessantly to drive us completely nuts – they’re asking us these questions because they care. It’s their instinct and it’s all they know.
Eventually, we get to an age where our relationship with our parents works best if we have our own home to go to. I’ve managed to land myself a place of my own not too far away. I still make the occasional stop by the ol’ homestead for the odd rummage through the fridge, or date with the washer and dryer. These luxuries are still too good to pass up and prove to be a great excuse to spend some QT with the folks. My parents are my best friends and I guess I like to think they might need me around just as much as I need them.
So the next time you’re asked if you brushed your teeth, washed your hands, took the garbage out, paid your phone bill and so on, give your folks a smile and answer with ease. After all, where would be without them?
Here’s to you Mom and Dad.
Mike McNeil is a Journalism graduate of Holland College currently working in the Tourism industry. He’s working on his university degree, but that’s mainly to put off joining the “real world” for another few years.
Moving back home as an adult isn’t easy, but it’s nice to know you can always go home again By Mike McNeil “Did you brush your teeth?” Mom yelled as I was on my way out the door. ‘Yes Mom, I didn’t forget,” I replied. Reading this exchange between my Mom and I, one might […]
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Meredith Morrison lets loose her inner imp to dish up a ‘G!Style’ look at what Island movers and shakers are up to
On January 17, 2011, Islander Jill Dunn won the wild card expert spot on CTV’s newest talk show The Marilyn Denis show. This was no easy feat, seeing as nearly 3,500 experts from across the country were vying for the top spot. But with nearly 10 years of experience writing about fashion, beauty and women’s lifestyle trends, as well as spearheading a successful online social media campaign to secure online votes, Dunn earned her position as one of six contributing experts for the daytime talk show. It’s a win that will see Dunn work alongside one of Canada’s most dynamic and fun-loving talk show hosts, Marilyn Denis.
To say that the past month has been a whirlwind for the former Summerville resident would be an understatement. In addition to her role as a contributing expert, Dunn continues to keep us on point with the latest fashion and beauty trends as editor-in-chief of the online magazine 29secrets.com.
During an online interview, I had the opportunity to find out what this whole wild experience has been like for Dunn and what trends we should be looking for throughout 2011. There’s no doubt she’s busier than ever these days, but when it comes to PEI, Dunn always has time for the place she will always call home.
Catch The Marilyn Denis Show weekdays at 11 a.m. immediately following Live! with Regis & Kelly on CTV.
How did you get your start in the beauty writing/editing business?
I have always loved to write. I went to a liberal arts school in the US, called Providence College where I received a B.A. in Political Science.
After I graduated, I wanted to specialize in publishing, so I moved to Toronto and attended a one-year post-graduate program at Centennial College, called Book and Magazine Publishing. In this intensive program, I learned all aspects of the book and magazine business and was able to land an internship at ELLE Canada magazine, which turned in to a full-time gig as their Editorial Assistant. That was my foot in the door to the business, and I am very lucky to have an internship that turned into a job. That does not happen often, so I’m grateful for that start.
I worked at ELLE for three years before moving on to Glow magazine where I worked as an editor for five years. In 2010, I was appointed the editor-in-chief of an online women’s lifestyle magazine called 29secrets.com.
What was your family’s reaction to moving to Toronto to start your career?
Well, I moved to Rhode Island when I was 18 to attend Providence College, so I had been away for several years already before I moved to Toronto. My family has always been very supportive of any decision I made, personally or professionally, so moving to Toronto was no different.
Did you always have a passion for this kind of journalism?
I never pictured myself as a hard news editor, so lifestyle journalism is a better fit for me. I knew that I liked writing about lifestyle topics such as beauty, fashion and travel. I personally am interested in these topics so it makes writing about them that much more fun.
Describe the moment you realized you had won the wild card spot on The Marilyn Denis Show. Has it sunk in that this has all happened?
I got a call from the Marilyn Denis producer letting me know that I had officially won and it was a thrilling moment. My roommate and I popped a bottle of champagne immediately! It was roller coaster week of voting and I was just happy that it all worked out. So many people were rooting for me and supporting me. I couldn’t believe the overwhelming support that everyone extended to me; it was a great feeling. So when I won, I was happy because I knew how excited everyone would be.
What does your role as contributor entail?
Well since I have a full-time job as editor of 29secrets.com, I will appear on the show on a semi-regular basis to discuss beauty trends and the latest and greatest products that I think Marilyn Denis viewers should know about. It’s not set in stone exactly how often I will appear.
What was it like to meet Canadian TV personality Marilyn Denis?
As a journalist, I have always been a fan of Marilyn Denis. I think she has a really natural approach and superb interviewing skills. So when I got to meet her, she was fun, engaging and what you see on camera is exactly how she is off camera too. She’s a very genuine broadcaster. No ego whatsoever.
What do you hope to accomplish as the sixth contributor for the show?
I hope to present relevant information for her viewers that they can apply to their everyday life. Since I’ll be talking mostly about beauty tips and tricks, it’s all about simple ideas that give women a boost in their day-to-day life.
What fashion/beauty trends should we be looking out for in 2011?
There are lots of exciting trends:
Bold, neon colours are huge for spring, so mixing in shades of chartreuse, fuchsia and neon orange is very much on trend. There’s also a big 70s influence on the runways, so one shift we’ll be seeing is that wider leg pants are coming back. Skinny jeans are being ushered out and being replaced with wide leg trouser-cut denim.
As far as makeup goes, there’s tons of colour. And like we’ve been talking about on 29secrets.com for a while now, if there’s one thing that women should buy to update their makeup for spring, it’s a fuchsia lipstick. We saw it
Revlon Colourburst Lipstick in Fuschia. Source: realsimple.com
a lot on the spring runways and most recently, Natalie Portman wore it on the red carpet. Ones to try are the Revlon Colorburst Lipstick in Fuchsia, Joe Fresh Matte Lipstick in Fuchsia or the YSL Rouge Pur Couture in Fuchsia. To solidify this trend, Pantone, the colour authority, just announced that honeysuckle (a hot pink) is the number one colour trend for 2011, so fuchsia lipstick is going to be a huge.
Spring 2011 is all about embracing your natural texture. There’s nothing too polished or slick happening. Even straight styles had a little bit of fuzz happening on the hair. It all goes along with the 70s-inspired influence this spring – those styles are always a little bit wild and loose (think about brushed out big curls and waves). The braid is over, but the topknot (a messy bun on the top of the head) is still a hot look, which ties in to all of the ballerina-inspired cultural things happening right now (like the movie Black Swan and Kanye West’s videos for his latest album that star ballet dancers).
What are your ‘secrets’ for success?
No matter what job I’ve ever had, I’ve taken pride in it and done it well, whether it was doing mundane stuff like fact checking at a magazine or exciting stuff like producing a photo shoot. You have to be dedicated to whatever task you have at hand.
I think I’ve also been lucky to meet and work with incredibly talented and creative people, and they always inspire me and challenge me to do new, exciting things. I get bored really easily, which is why this industry is perfect for me. No two days are ever the same.
Island Briefly Meredith Morrison lets loose her inner imp to dish up a ‘G!Style’ look at what Island movers and shakers are up to On January 17, 2011, Islander Jill Dunn won the wild card expert spot on CTV’s newest talk show The Marilyn Denis show. This was no easy feat, seeing as nearly 3,500 […]
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