- Meridith Freese is the marketing manager for the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce and the West Des Moines New View Young Professionals coordinator.
As a marketing manager, it is important for me to have relationships with people in the media industry, as it is my job to promote the West Des Moines chamber events and get the word out about all that we do. I wanted to expand my media circle but did not know where to start.
A friend of mine and fellow blogger, Danny Beyer, suggested that he was going to meet someone with the Business Record the following week and that I should be there when his meeting wrapped up so that I could meet them also.
I had just graduated college only a few weeks prior and this was going to be my first coffee meeting with a stranger. I was nervous. The introduction through Danny went very well and I was able to turn that new relationship into a productive one. This one casual after-coffee meeting ultimately turned into the opportunity I’ve been given to write this blog today.
In college you take classes about how to successfully manage your time, develop a professional persona, and how to work collaboratively. No matter how well you master these skills -- and they are all important -- there is nothing that will drive your success as a young professional more than going out and meeting people.
I was not an honor student while at Iowa State. I did not have a perfect attendance record. I did, however, have the ability to speak confidently to people face-to-face. Even if you are not naturally outgoing, the more you network and put yourself out there, the more comfortable you will become.
Meeting people and being interested in them is a great life skill, especially when you are beginning to build your professional circles. Never doubt that you have something to offer and always take that first meeting. You never know where the opportunity will take you.
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