The AAAC Mentoring Circle will host a training program designed to teach students the art of networking. The “mocktail party” is a simulated networking event held during the VCU AAAC Reunion Weekend that will place African-American VCU students and alumni in a networking environment. Students will receive pre-event instructions to dress for success and to bring business cards. The program will be facilitated by Deborah Porter (B.S.'87/H&S) and her husband, Clif Porter (B.S.'89/AHP).
The facilitators will create a relaxed environment for the student participants to feel comfortable socializing with professionals from multiple disciplines. These networking sessions will enable the students to put into action the key skills of introducing themselves, proper eating etiquette, engaging in meaningful conversation with a person they do not know, transitioning discussion to sharing a business card or resume in order to follow up professionally, and gracefully exiting conversations to ensure a positive and lasting impression. The attentiveness and interest level of the students throughout the two 20-minute networking sessions will be discussed in hopes of improving responses and increasing confidence among students in presenting themselves verbally and nonverbally.
The goal is to increase students' engagement in appropriate conversation on a business level as measured by the adult participants who will rate the students' progress in the second session compared to the first session. Rating sheets for the adult participants will be provided.
* Arrival of observers and mentors for training
* Student arrival
* Overview of networking
* Mocktail I
* Mocktail II
* Graduation of Cohort I
* Introduction and next steps for Cohort II