Hi all. My name is Monica Latowicki Rabin and I’m the SVP/GM for Northwestern University (Counseling@Northwestern) and Southern Methodist University (DataScience@SMU). I work super closely with the schools to launch and support the two great degree programs at each university. I am also a student in the MBA@UNC program. I started my master’s in October 2013 and am now in my last year with 3 quarters left to go. Next week I’ll be joining my classmates in London for my first global immersion. Disney and London in 2 weeks!
So how was last night? The first night of the company meeting can always be a little overwhelming, especially if it’s your first meeting. We’re a lot of people! I thought the venue last night was perfect, though. Tons of space, food and plenty of bowling and dancing to go around.
I always find that people tend to form small groups of people to spend time with at these events. You find a few people you know and like, and stay with them the whole evening or whole meeting. I do it too. But last night I tried to carve out specific moments where I could find my other great coworkers and meet new 2Utes. It takes a little more effort, but know that your friends are just a text away. So what’s my secret?
- Take a walk around: Last night, I spent the first hour or so of the event just walking around. I ate dinner with a few SMU Admissions Counselors and caught up with someone I don’t see as much in my current role. I wandered around upstairs looking for familiar faces and purposefully sought them out to say hello. These conversations weren’t long, but are so important to make the in-person connection at these meetings. It reminds you that we are ALL here together, and when we go into that huge room this morning, that will be even truer.
- Introduce yourself: Any event at the company meeting is a perfect opportunity to meet new people. As you walk around and find a few people you know, I guarantee you’ll run into people you don’t. Extend your hand and introduce yourself — no hesitation. Learn their name, what they do, and even ask them their favorite TV show. I met a ton of new people last night waiting in line for pictures with the characters, bowling (by the way, we rocked it until our lane shut down), and dancing.
- Dance, or don’t: I love dancing. Lots of 2Utes love dancing. If you are one of them, take advantage and join in. The dance floor can be a great place to run into new people — that little dance circle you form can turn into the place you meet 5 new coworkers. Last night, I chose to take the long way to the bar and back to the dance floor just so I could dance with a few new faces. If you don’t do dancing, find what’s going to make the night fun for you, whether it’s more bowling, or face painting, or just chatting. When you find that thing, think about a way to invite someone new to join.
So, with a little effort, we can all find a way to meet someone new or find someone we haven’t seen in a while. Think about incorporating this philosophy into the rest of the company meeting, and even beyond. These relationships don’t have to stop in Orlando, nor does your effort to constantly meet new and wonderful 2Utes. Come find me over the next 36 hours. I’d love to meet you. #Dream2U15