Last week I traveled to New York City with my aunt, Dr. Porter King. We traveled there for business pertaining to the TransPorter Group Inc (TGI), and for some fun! The first two days were business related. Tuesday evening I attended a work dinner with my aunt and a group of her clients that were in town for her workshop. Many thanks to my aunt’s client for allowing me, the TGI intern, to join the networking dinners and sit in on the workshop.
First off, I just want to say that New York City is the most crowded city I’ve ever seen in my life! It is constantly busy, so busy that we had to walk from our hotel to the actual dinner because we couldn’t get a cab and our Lyft driver was stuck in traffic. Walking to the dinner wasn’t a problem. I didn’t mind walking because that is what you do in NYC!
The problem was walking with my aunt! My aunt tends to power walk everywhere! So, you can imagine how my walk to the dinner was! My aunt & I were basically sprinting up the sidewalks of Manhattan trying to make it to this dinner on time! When we got there, we were pouring sweat because it was 95 outside that day! I was a little on the agitated side, not because I just had to walk in the hot blazing sun almost 20 blocks! But because I had to sprint in the hot blazing sun for 20 blocks!
But after we got there and relaxed, the night went very smoothly! I met a lot of women from different places from all around the world, who were very smart and friendly! I was a bit nervous to be there, with it being my first business dinner! But the women were very nice, they kept me involved in conversations and I networked with them and got to know them very well throughout the night!
The next day we woke up and went to the workshop my aunt was teaching on leadership! I met the same women again, along with some additional ones! Yes, we walked again but this time it wasn’t quite as bad of a walk because I really fussed about the night before! Not to mention the view from the room was amazing! You could see all of New York!
At the workshop I assisted with set up and took notes on my Aunt’s teaching. I’ll use my notes to help develop a couple of video segments for her.First thing I want to say is that my aunt is an amazing speaker! I really enjoyed getting to watch her in action! To be able to watch an African American woman, who is highly educated and very accomplished lead a seminar on leadership to other educated, accomplished women was incredible!
I watched as they did different exercises and used teamwork. I listened to the conversations they discussed about leadership for women in the workplace and I will say, I believe I got a lot out of being able to watch these talented career women learn!
While I was watching the women do an exercise during the workshop, my aunt approached me and said some very inspiring words. She said asked me if I was enjoying being in on the workshop, I replied yes! Then she continued saying, “good, because it is important for you to see a woman of color at the front of the room. I want you to be able to see yourself at the front of the room.” I then replied, with so much confidence, “Oh of course! I can definitely see myself at the front of the room reviewing a script of a new show one day!”
After all the work was done, another aunt of mine, my cousin and my older sister joined us in New York for fun time! So I was able to spend some time in NYC with my family! We went to a ton of different places, my favorite place being Harlem where we visited the Apollo Theater, and a very famous restaurant called Sylvia’s. We also saw Wicked on Broadway, where we had near front row seats. The musical was amazing!
Overall, I had an amazing time in NYC for both work and play! There is one more thing I want to talk about. I know that there are a lot of different people that read my blogs but I want to talk to my Millennials! Sometimes as Millennials we often get stereotyped as not having a strong work ethic, and not being able to focus because we are constantly “connected.” A few things that I’ve learned on this trip are:
- More mature women do want to help us–we need to make ourselves available to be helped.
- Reach out to a professor, boss, or relative and ask for help in making the transition from college life to work life.
- Mentoring is critical and I’m thankful for the mentoring I’m receiving from my aunt.
- We have to disconnect from our devices. My aunt made our training class a “no-phone zone” for me and, although It was tough at first, I really feel that I benefited from focusing on the lessons.
- Networking is critical! I almost didn’t go to the second networking dinner, but my aunt’s client invited me and I feel that I learned a lot communicating with people over dinner.
- And lastly, always envision yourself at the front of the table. We’re never too young to lead, but you have to see yourself there because if you can see it then you can be it!
I hope to visit the “concrete jungle” again sometime in the future! Thanks for reading Kickin’ It With Kiki, stay tuned for another post coming your way! 🙂