"Networking events...not the most exciting thing to attend, especially without a plus-one. That's what I thought, anyway. But, don't let that hold you back because you never know who you might meet. A little over 2 years ago, I went to my first IIBA KC networking event. Everyone was welcoming and clearly knew I wasn't a familiar face. Up walked this gal towards the end of the night and she introduced herself to me. We hit it off, chit chatted a bit, and exchanged information. Several coffees, lunches, dinners, family meetings, and travel conversations later, I am a proud employee of the gal who was once a stranger that became so much more. Sharon Weaver gave me an opportunity that never would have happened if I hadn't stepped foot into that networking event."
"As a teacher and an introvert, I had to force myself to socialize over the summers. So, when the invitation came to attend my cousin’s wife’s best friend’s daughter’s adoption party, I said, 'Why not.'
As my cousin’s wife was running predictably late, I summoned my extroversion skills and chatted with a couple near the food table about my burnout as a teacher and my desire to try something new. She worked in a field that I’d never even heard of – tech consulting – and within minutes, she discovered my background, my aptitude for picking up technology, and that she liked me. We exchanged contact information and connected over LinkedIn, and then the couple left.
A few days later, we met up for lunch and discussed my goals and what she did for a living, and she offered to become my mentor. She knew I was contractually obligated to teach through May, but she offered me a part-time position while I learned more about her field. She was just starting to build her company at the time, Smarter Consulting, and I became her first employee.
One school year and a pandemic later, I am a junior consultant at Smarter Consulting, joining a group of female consultants that my CEO has since signed on. I’m proud to join their ranks and to work for that woman I met that day at the adoption party, Sharon Weaver, my CEO."