COM0015, Blog 3: My Professional Networking

Having a professional networking strategy that incorporates an online presence with face-to-face opportunities is nothing new to me. When it was time to leave my last job, I let my networks know and ensured my LinkedIn profile was up to date. While I was away on a vacation, there was a lot of activity on my profile and a voicemail message from John, the printing rep for the medical journals I was producing at the time. John had spoken with his coworker, Randy, who is the rep for Canadian Nurse, the magazine I am currently producing. Not only had Randy viewed my LinkedIn profile, so too did the Canadian Nurse editor-in-chief (EIC) who was looking for a new managing editor. The EIC messaged me, we met and the rest, as they say, is history.

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Virginia St-Denis

My professional network not only includes people I have worked with over the past 25 years and connections of connections on LinkedIn, but also various professional groups of which I am a member. With most of my career being writing and editing, I joined Editors Canada. The Ottawa-Gatineau branch offers monthly speaker nights and seminars (for example, see COM0015, Assignment 5: Writing and Editing for the Web). These are not only great opportunities for professional development, but also for meeting other editors in the National Capital Region. Editors Canada has an annual conference, which brings together editors from across Canada and beyond. In celebration of Canada’s 150th, the Ottawa-Gatineau branch will host the event June 9-11, 2017. I will attend to learn, share information and gain a few more contacts, I hope.

While I have covered the cost of Editors Canada activities myself, I find out-of-town professional development and networking opportunities outside of my budget. I’m thankful that my EIC has agreed to cover the cost of travel, accommodation and registration for MagNet: Canada’s Magazine Conference. Held in Toronto April 25-28, 2017, MagNet draws magazine professionals from across Canada, and not just editorial, but also design and circulation.

While my career has focused on writing and editing, my husband and I hope to turn our photography hobby into a retirement business. Whether a hobby or a business (we could charge for presenting workshops), Photography Meetup groups like the Ottawa Photography Meetup Group, Ottawa Photography Events, Ottawa Photography and Ottawa Nature and Conservation Photography Workshops are a great way to meet new people, learn and share knowledge.

One thing I know I need to do better is attending club meetings. While some groups like the Orleans Photo Club are inexpensive to join, others like the RA Photo Club are not. I also want to find out more about Facebook events as another way to meet people in the Ottawa area.

COMM 0015 – Blog Post #5 – Event Participation

cs4l summitThis past week I had the pleasure of attending the Canadian Sport for Life (CS4L) summit in Gatineau, Quebec.  It was a two day conference and it was a natural choice since my company, SIRC, was to be an exhibitor. Since I’m the primary person at the booth, it was easy to use this event as a networking tool as well as squeezing in some professional development whenever I got the chance to attend a session.

Since I was at the booth, I met around 30-40 people and had some interesting conversations in the two days I was there. I had two firm connections with Francois Gravelle from the University of Ottawa who is researching physical literacy for Olympic weightlifters and Jennifer Scott who is the Director of Communications for the Canadian Dermatology Association who led a project in partnership with Baseball Canada to increase awareness of UV rays and skin cancer in baseball players. Both were extremely friendly, Francois had sosircboothme research questions for me which I managed to answer via email for him while he was in session and Jennifer kindly answered my questions about obtaining resources for our library after her presentation was over. She also mentioned the use of social media to create awareness for her project so I was interested in picking her brain on what worked and what didn’t in order to apply it to my own position.

One of the most unique experiences was listening to the keynote speakers who came from an unlikely source considering the whole conference is about Canadian sport. Two representives, Gil Favreau and Patrice Aubertin from Cirque du Soleil and The National Circus School spoke about the application of long term athlete development and their particular organizations. I was surprised to find that many of the students at the school were former athletes, although in retrospect it makes sense. The the two gentlemen knew each other very well so they played off of one another while they spoke so it was interesting and informative at the same time. This is a quote from Gil (which I actually tweeted that day) “We are believing in the dreams of youth”.

Overall the conference was great and I got to meet a lot of new and interesting people, coaches, CEO’s, an aquafit instructor, dieticians, researchers and doctors. It was a great experience and I look forward to attending the conference again next year.