SIGGRAPH 2009 Report 8/6(Day4)

SIGGRAPH is not just a place to get informed on the latest technology, but also to network with others of similar interests. “The collectible business card game”, an initiative where participants could collect others' business cards and debate how talented others are, is aimed to allow participants to enlarge their network. As an adult who will soon enter the workforce from next year, the importance of networking is already sinking into me.

Today, I brought Matsuura-san to a booth in one of the “Emerging Technology” rooms to introduce him to his future colleague. The other party, a girl who boarded the same flights as myself on the way to New Orleans, had mentioned the company she will be working for from next year, and when I found out that Matsuura-san would be entering the same company at the same time as her, it was only natural for me to arrange for them to meet here, one Pacific Ocean away from Japan. 

While Matsuura-san was chatting with his future colleague and other students tending the booth, I myself was networking with another graduate student who also took the same flight as I did. We exchanged contacts, and he promised to call should he need my help regarding graphic designing, and offered to help out if I encountered any problems work-wise. I of course gladly took him up on his offer.

The networking processes continued into the reception held after the convention today. I listened enviously to accounts by Rebecca and Matsuura-san where they met and even received business cards from people who might be the leads to their future careers. It was a stark contrast how I had spent my time at the reception, where I kept with people I already know. 

According to Rebecca, what I lack are:
1.Self-confidence to start and maintain a conversation with a stranger
2.Age to allow others to take myself seriously as an equal
3.Experience, be it work experience or experience alone in a foreign country from which I can pick up survival skills

Whatever the catalyst for the start of a conversation, even if it might be an attempt to chat up a lone girl at a party, one never knows if it might lead to the start of a mutually beneficial working relationship. Or it may end up as a shallow acquaintanceship, from which no loss will be made anyway.

YING TONG