As you know, I try to make it out to 2-4 networking events per week, to keep myself "in front of" folks that I already know, and meeting others that I haven't yet. And, as I've noted, there are several very useful resources out there which list many hundreds of events every week in the Chicago market. Today I was off at a luncheon that was co-hosted by 435Digital, TribNation, and EventBrite, the latter being one of those useful sources for networking event info.
On the spur of the moment (and this whole event was "spur of the moment" for me, as I didn't even register for it until 3am this morning!), it occurred to me that having one of these little The Job Stalker interviews with EventBrite "Chicago Event Evangelist" Sara Altier might be something my readers would be interested in, and she fortunately had time to sit down with me at a Starbucks after lunch.
Here's what she had to say:
Q: Briefly, what's your background?
A: I had intended to go to law school, but in working as a project assistant at a large law firm, I found that this was not the path that I really wanted to take. I moved from that to studying graphic design, which was badly timed for the job market, and ended up waitressing. This, however, led to doing special event work, and when I saw the "Chicago Evangelist" position with EventBrite, I jumped on it.
Q: Have you had notable job-transition experiences?
A: I was on a trial team with the law firm, and what we had expected to be a 8-9 week trial process got settled in just a couple of days. I'd been up working constantly on this for weeks with virtually no sleep, and one of the partners, seeing my disappointment, suggested that maybe this wasn't the career that I was best suited to. Moving into marketing seemed a much better option.
Q: What most appealed to you about working for EventBrite?
A: I love that it's a start-up ... I've always been fascinated with new technologies, and their company culture is awesome. We're leading the way in helping event organizers structure the promotion, monetization, and interactivity of their events, with very easy ticketing systems for both organizer and attendee.
Q: If you had a single piece of advice for today's job searcher, what would that be?
A: Get your face out there! Go to as many networking events as you can find in your area of interest. EventBrite has a search module that lets you narrow down to type of event, cost, time, location, etc.
Q: How do you see the job market in the next 3-6 months?
A: It seems from what I've seen that it's getting better, and generally have a sense that we've maybe turned the corner on the worst of it. If you're looking in the San Francisco area, EventBrite is hiring for positions out there!
Q: What do you feel makes EventBrite unique?
A: Not only is it a great way to set up events, it's a great resource for discovering events. Because of its ease of use, it allows a lot of smaller "niche" organizations to reach out with their get-togethers, which job-seekers can then find (via our listings) where they might not have gotten wind of them before.
Q: Aside from EventBrite, what resources do you recommend?
A: Nicole Price puts out a weekly newsletter called "Around Chicago" with all the networking events around the area, and every other month she runs an event "Around Chicago Live" which brings together folks from a wide range of organizations, businesses, and interests.
Q: Any additional words of wisdom?
A: I send out a newsletter every Monday, featuring "what's brite" in Chicago from the EventBrite listings. I try to highlight several networking events in that, and anybody on EventBrite can send me info on their upcoming functions for mention in that.
It is interesting (OK, to me at least) to note that this is the first time that I'd done an "in person" interview here, as I usually just e-mail out my questions and await a reply. It was an unusual experience, made slightly more odd by our only being able to find space in the coffee house at the big "common table". Again, I hope the info here is useful to you to start finding the type of events you need to get to for your job search!