Wednesday turned out to be a big AMWA day for me – there were two meetings of our New England Chapter that day, and I managed to get to both!
LUNCH IN MASSACHUSETTS
The first was a lunch meeting in Cambridge. That was perfect for me since the meeting place was a Chinese restaurant just a couple of miles from where I work. It was a cosy gathering of about 11 of us, so we all managed to fit around one large, round table. I’d met a couple of the members before, and there were numerous new members in attendance too.
One of the highlights for me was hearing one member’s story. Larry Kerpelman is a health writer and author of Pieces Missing, a book that tells the story of his family’s perseverance following his wife’s traumatic brain injury. And the best part about it all was the fact that Larry’s wife thankfully eventually recovered.
DINNER IN CONNECTICUT
As soon as lunch was over, I jumped in the car and headed down into Connecticut. The evening meeting was being held at an Italian restaurant in New Haven, so I had an almost two and a half hour journey to get there. It was a beautiful day here in New England though, so I really enjoyed the drive.
The evening meeting was a “speed mentoring” session. There were four speakers, all from slightly different medical communications backgrounds, and after they’d each shared their general stories, they each migrated to separate tables and small groups of us rotated around them to hear their stories and ideas in more detail.
Lots of ideas were shared by the speakers, as well as other members so another great networking session in general.
A few take-home points from the day:
- Be sure to have business cards made
- Have an elevator speech
- If you’re just starting out (or even if you’re not), never give up – work through every “no”, and bust through any walls that you come across
- Network as much as humanly possible
- Have some kind of a presence – if not a blog, use LinkedIn
- When sending in pitches to magazine editors, try sending them three or four ideas rather than just one – this helps them realize that you’re someone who isn’t just a one-hit wonder
It was a long day for me since I didn’t get home until about 11:30pm after my drive back to the Boston region at the end of the night. But it was a really fun day, I enjoyed it very much – two great meetings, getting to know lots of wonderful new colleagues, tasty food, fun conversation, and useful networking opportunities.