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How to make meetups work for you

Meet-up

 

September 2017

Tech and IT Meetups are a good platform for students to network with like-minded people in the IT industry.
 
They’re a place for people to expand their knowledge and share information on topics that interest them.
 
But, before we go any further, you might be wondering: ‘What are Meetups?’
 
Well, they’re exactly what the name suggests and they’re generally a gathering for people who share common ideas and they’re a regular occurrence in the tech and IT industry.
 
Shirley Tricker, an experienced IT professional who regularly attends Meetups in Auckland and Wellington, says there’s a range of reasons why they can be beneficial to IT students and graduates, including:
 
  • Hearing from industry experts.
  • Hearing experience reports from peers.
  • Helping other people.
  • Increasing knowledge and understanding.
  • Building connections in the industry.
  • Having a forum to ask for advice.
  • Getting their 'voice' out there - by speaking to others attendees or presenting.
  • If helping to organise a session, they can build evidence of their commitment and ​initiative.
 
Shirley says Meetups are of great value to IT students as they look to enter the workforce and build a network within the industry.
 
“It's extremely valuable to network ... The important thing is to get used to meeting people. You never know who might be able to introduce you to a new role, or to someone else with information that might be valuable to you,” Shirley says.
 
“Also, meeting people gets you used to talking about what you're looking for or what you've studied or are interested in - this is also useful preparation for interviews.
 
“I know that some students find going to Meetups intimidating but it will become less scary the more they do it. I was very nervous at the first Meetup I went to but over time I made friends and contacts.”
 
As for advice for first-timers, Shirley says there’s a great way to calm your nerves.
 
“I would say if it's your first Meetup and you're not sure what to expect, I'd suggest going with a friend so you can check it out.”
And, if you’re still not convinced that a Meetup is worth going to, there’s an extra sweetner.
 
“Some meetups have free food or refreshments, some have prizes or giveaways from sponsors - an added bonus,” Shirley says.
If you want to find a Meetup in your area go to www.meetup.com, sign up and search for your city and join the fun.

 
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