Thursday, March 22, 2018
Oasis For Girls Career Night
Last week I got to go down to the Women's Building and have the honor of being a mentor at one of Oasis for Girls' Career Nights. Rather than try to paraphrase what Oasis is and what they do, here is their own mission statement from their site:
At a time that falls in the middle of each of those three programs, they host a Career Night where professional women from various fields come and mix and mingle and chat with the girls directly, one on one, about our careers and how we arrived at them, yes, but also about the girl's own interests and dreams, questions they have about college, adult life, and so on.
I realized several things throughout the evening - the first was how passionate and focused and amazing these girls were (way more so than I remember being as a teenager). And the second was that while we were indded there to impart information about career paths and possibilities, we were also there to help the girls practice a particular key social skill. If you call it "small talk" it sounds diminished and unimportant (and, not at all coincidentally, feminine) whereas if you call it "networking" it sounds horribly cynical and corporate (and, not coincidentally, macho). Instead, let's call it what it is: the fine art of conversation.