by 2L Brianna Ricque' Howard, Director of Community Affairs (DIRCA), ASUCH
More than 40 attorneys and 120 students participated in ASUCH’s Speed Meet & Greet—a first-of-its-kind event at UC Hastings that put a new twist on networking.
The event, held Thursday, October 23, 2014, was arranged by ASUCH President 3L Joy Siu in partnership with the ASUCH External Vice-President 2L Nicolas Kerr, Student Services and the Career Office. It was co-hosted by many organizations on campus, including KALSA, BLSA, APALSA, MELSA, OUTlaw, La Raza, and ILSA.
Each participating attorney was assigned to a table, and students would gather around each table for ten minutes. After ten minutes had expired, Joy would bang a gavel to signal the next round where students would move on to speak to attorneys at the next table.
A reception followed the rounds to allow attorneys and students to interact who may have not had a chance to meet or wanted to learn more without the time limits. Joy is hoping this is just the beginning of a long tradition, and several students who attended the event echoed the ASUCH President’s goals.
1L Sara Tobin: “’Networking’ is one of those buzzwords you hear that can make you nervous, but the way the event was set up eliminated any fears I had. In an hour's time, each student was able to meet at least a dozen attorneys without feeling pressured to be overwhelmingly impressive. The discussions at the tables were laid back and fun, and the attorneys seemed just as interested in us as we were interested in them.”
1L Mark Richards: “Outside of such an amazing networking event like this, it sometimes feels like you are burdening someone by contacting them outside of an event. It was particularly great meeting UC Hastings Alumni who were very receptive and open to giving advice as well as making themselves available to students.”
1L Matthew Huzaineh: "Meeting so many successful legal professionals at once elucidated how I need to prepare for my career. No where else could I find such a bevy of advice in such a short amount of time.”
Although UC Hastings has many successful networking events in the spring, many students were tremendously appreciative to attend an event this large and successful in the fall since it is before many first years send out applications for their summer employment.
As an ASUCH E-Board member and a second year student at UC Hastings, I was especially delighted to see the successful turn out, help during the event, and watch all the students have such incredible conversations with the remarkable attorneys in such a short amount of time. Students feel extra pressure to do well and impress employers because of the recent drop in rankings. However, it is apparent ASUCH President Joy Siu has committed herself to improving the rankings, specifically by increasing employment opportunities.
The event's success demonstrates that commitment is shared by the UC Hastings community as a whole. We look forward to having attorneys and UC Hastings alumni participate in future events like these and contribute to the success of the students at UC Hastings.