In this week's post, Kelly talks more about the time she attended and networked at Cosmopolitan's Self-Made Summit in London and the takeaways she noted from the sessions.
A chance to meet the Cosmopolitan UK team and chat with 400 like-minded people sounded like an event tailor-made to expanding my knowledge, accumulating advice from others, and furthering my career—all while having a good time.
While studying abroad in London, I had the opportunity to attend Cosmopolitan UK’s second Self-Made Summit. I discovered this event while reading the print version of the magazine and immediately knew it was something I had to get involved in. I’m so grateful that I was in London and had the chance to partake in the event.
The two-day event, in association with Tinder, involved talks from celebrities, speed networking sessions, and interactive workshops devoted to empowering everyone to achieve their #careergoals. Everyone was able to select the sessions they wanted to go to get the most out of the event. And what event is complete without food and a networking reception?
To add to the fun and network in a way that isn’t as intimidating, the event offered complementary beauty treatments including make-up, hair, and nails. A bunch of booths were set up, too, including a Tinder area to get a professional photo taken to commemorate the event.
I attended the second day of the event, although I wish I was able to attend both days. Each day, everyone was able to choose two sessions out of multiple in addition to the keynote sessions involving the entire group. I decided to sign up for the Networking 101 session (because networking is hard) and a session called Want to be in Cosmopolitan? (cause yes, yes I do but more like a part of).
In the Networking 101 session, there were a couple of circular tables set up in the room. It was designed in a speed-dating fashion: one speaker sat at each table and was given a set amount of time before they had to move on to the next. We heard from Pip Jamieson, founder and CEO of The Dots (a LinkedIn-like platform for creatives); Liz Nicholl, CEO of UK Sport; Jacqueline Gold, CEO of retail company Ann Summers; and Simon Jones, founder of Simon Jones PR.
Two things from this session really stood out to me. Nicholl said, “CEOs and senior people are no better than you.” This is a helpful way to think when mustering up the courage to speak to people at high levels in a company. Something else that really stuck with me is this: “Every time you walk into a room full of strangers, you have the chance to change your life.” (I believe Gold said this, if memory serves.) You never know who you’re going to meet. One connection can get you in the door and take you a step closer to making your dreams a reality. You just have to put yourself out there.
I was particularly excited for the Want to be in Cosmopolitan? session, which was my last of the day before the networking reception. This session was everything an aspiring journalist could hope for. Many of the people I met at this event were those looking to build their companies and get them featured in Cosmopolitan, which is what I think they were hoping this session would be about. But, in my favor, it was a session offering advice to journalists on how to stand out and turn work experience into the job you want. The panel of speakers included a features writer, the beauty director, fashion director, and creative director with the deputy editor as the host of the panel. I grasped a lot of good advice on how to stand out through a resume and cover letter and gained a better understanding of what a lot of editors are looking for when hiring.
At the networking reception, the Cosmo editors came to mingle after the session they held. In a very Tinder-like fashion, there were cards on all of the tables in the shape of iPhones that had conversation starters on them. They were very helpful for people who are intimidated by networking. It lightened the mood.
After that, I grabbed my event goodie bag, which was worth over 100 pounds, and left feeling inspired. There was so much in the goodie bag. I can’t even list it all. But here are some items it included: an issue of Cosmo (bless), hairspray, tea, chocolate, body scrub, fake eyelashes, lotion, Carmex lip balm, nail polish, and so much more. I returned home looking like I just went on a beauty haul.
I learned a lot at the event and met so many amazing people. I met a woman who studied abroad in America and now runs a baby gear rental service, another who sells marble makeup brushes (so cute), and another who is working on rebuilding her brand and blog (shoutout to JetSetBabe, check out her Instagram).
I definitely deem that event a success and hope Cosmopolitan continues to do it each year.
Kelly's journey continues on so stay tuned.