Why You Should Move to NYC- Networking

 

Some call it The Big Apple, some call it The City That Never Sleeps, and over 8 million people call it home. New York City is arguably the most diverse and largest city in America. Although the opportunities are endless here, some people may be discouraged by the thought of moving to a place like this. Nevertheless, no matter where you come from, you can connect with this city one way or another. If you’re thinking of coming to NYC for school, a new job, or to try the best bagels in the world, I’ve compiled reasons and tips for why you should make the move.

My name is Michael and I’m an intern here at Open Systems Technologies. Five years ago I made the difficult decision to attend college in New York City, 3000 miles from my home state of California. I’ve been in your position before and know what it’s like to wonder what it would be like to move here. After living in Queens for 5 years, every other person I meet is from a different part of the world. Some are foreign exchange students, some are here on business, and some are visiting from other states. In NYC you’re bound to have encounters with a remarkable range of individuals with unique backgrounds. I’ve attended countless career fairs and worked at both small and massive companies. “Why You Should Move to NYC” is a 4-part blog series where I’ll be giving you advice on what to expect if you’re looking to start your career in New York. I’m also going to provide you with answers to questions I had before moving across the country. In a city of 8 million citizens, it can be difficult finding meaningful business connections. In this installment of “Why You Should Move to NYC” I’ll be sharing what I’ve learned about building your network in the capital of the world.

Networking events, meetups, conferences, and career fairs are helpful for meeting like-minded individuals who can broaden your perspective and open up more opportunities. New York’s strong tech community provides an astounding amount of events to learn or network at. Whether you’re looking to sharpen your JavaScript skills or go to NYC’s biggest tech startup networking mixer, there are multiple resources you can use to find what suits your needs best. LinkedIn and your school’s career board are great for finding meetups within your immediate network. If you’re a recent graduate, websites such as www.builtinnyc.com and www.garysguide.com provide hundreds of upcoming options. Events such as “API Gateways in Microservice Architectures” and “Data Disrupt 2018 – Financial Services” are just a couple examples of the niche events available for you to attend.

Once you’ve successfully made it into your dream firm, the networking never stops. While there are countless opportunities to meet new people, one of the easiest ways to fraternize within a firm is through diversity networks. You’d be hard pressed to find a major company that doesn’t have a diversity program to support and cultivate their employee’s varying backgrounds. Take for example Goldman Sachs. They have over 80 support/networking groups for communities such as firm-wide Black, Latino, and Asian networks and Working Parent forums. These companies value their employees and recognize the importance of fostering their beliefs and cultures. What does this mean for you? Being able to associate with employees across divisions means not only a stronger community, but possibly further professional development. Find out what companies you would feel valued at. Some examples of these programs can be found at www.goldmansachs.com/who-we-are and www.citigroup.com/citi/diversity.

TIP: Prepare for a career fair or networking event by researching what companies will be there. Develop very specific questions such as what they do for community service or about a new merger they’re overseeing. While it’s important to know what skills they’re looking for or what programming languages they use, these are the same questions that hundreds of other candidates are asking. Set yourself apart with unique questions and use those as talking points in your follow-up correspondence.

TIP: If you’re at a job fair, speak to random companies to “warm up” before engaging with the companies you’re interested in. I find that this calms my nerves and helps me practice talking about myself and my resume.

Despite NYC’s population, you’re bound to find someone with the same interests as you, no matter how narrow they are. You may end up connecting with a peer who knows more about a programming language you want to learn. Alternatively, you might end up connecting with a manager who is hiring candidates with your skill set. It’s all up to you to go out there and start shaking hands. I’m a very introverted person. However, I would have never seen success if I shied away from meeting new people. If you’re like me and get nervous talking to new people, you’ll never get over it unless you get out there and just do it. Practice makes perfect.

If you’re interested in networking with people who know how to strengthen your job candidacy and connect you with decision makers, start by visiting www.opensystemstech.com/jobs-search. Also, stay tuned for part 3 of “Why You Should Move to NYC” It will build upon today’s lesson of building your network by covering how to stand out amongst your peers.

 

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