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Speed-networking and speed-mentoring at WOW – by Pauline Matthews

There was a great buzz in the venue for Speed Mentoring at the WOW event on Sunday (8th March) and this was before we heard the whistle to signify the start.

A large room filled with mentors and mentees and the idea was to have a chat with a Mentor for fifteen minutes and then move on to the next one – this definitely was speedy! No getting too involved in the conversation as the whistle sounded every fifteen minutes. It is amazing what you can do in that length of time. The venue was set up in about eight circles of separate groups. Out of the four women I saw, two were scientists. Maybe not surprising in Cambridge. Many people seeking mentoring are seeking clarity.

I hope I helped these women to think a bit more clearly about what they want in their careers, realistically in what time span and acknowledge they need support. To my surprise one became tearful when I congratulated her on all she had already done – definitely a lesson to acknowledge what you are doing and give yourself credit for it.
I do not imagine I will find out if the women I saw will carry out what they decided to do, but I hope I helped them to bring clarity to their situation and that has to be a good thing.

Speed Networking was also part of the WOW event and once again this was speedy. Breaking into groups of three we had the opportunity to chat to each other for about five minutes and then move on to the next person. After that, change groups and meet people you had not met before. It was great to meet and learn more about people in such a short space of time. The variety of ages and occupations added greatly to the experience. Some of us exchanged email addresses and I have already met up with one person I met there. It also gave me the opportunity to put two people in touch with each other who are both researching the effects of e.g. Yoga on depression. A very worthwhile event and great to have a time boundary on it. It could have continued for hours.

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