Hello everybody, my name is Derek Drew, I’m a sophomore and a computer science major at Wichita State University. I’ve been a member of Barton International Group since the Fall of 2014. Being a part of BIG has helped me realize the importance of networking, not only for my personal development, but for the development of my community.
I’ve been able to witness first-hand how Wichita has built its entrepreneurial culture over the last few years by attending Third Thursdays as a representative of BIG. Third Thursdays are monthly gatherings of Wichita professionals and students hosted by Startup Wichita. Bringing people together for a fun night of food and drinks is a simple idea, yet truly has a strong impact on the community. These events facilitate conversation and collaboration between people from different backgrounds, which is a strong driver of creativity and innovation. It’s events like these that American cities need more of because they spur new business growth and help to make America a more attractive place to do business. There has been a huge increase in these types of events in Wichita within the last few years, thanks to organizations like Startup Wichita, DevICT, MakeICT, and The Labor Party. In order to find and attend these events, I’ve discovered that an app called MeetUp works great for me. I highly recommend that Android and iPhone users alike download it*.
We all know that networking plays a big role in helping students to get that first job or internship, but I encourage you to network and participate in events like this even if you aren’t a current student. If you’re a current professional, networking can help you advance in your respective field. For students and professionals alike, the biggest reason to network is to meet new people. I’m a quiet guy, so I don’t always jump at the opportunity to go to events where I don’t know anybody. However, I strongly believe the more people you meet, the more experienced and knowledgeable you become. I am incredibly grateful every time I go to one of these events because I always end up learning something new and having fun. Join me in helping to build the Wichita business community and download MeetUp today!
*Meetup is also a website: http://www.meetup.com/