The networking event that I went to was called New York Comics & Picture-Story Symposium: Michael Hearn on The Picture Book Revolution. This event was located at The New School, which is located at 14th Street. It was supposed to be about how the Silver age art movement known as “World of Art” transformed into an aggressive propaganda era of children’s books in Soviet Russia under Lenin, and Stalin. At first, I was very interested because art is known for making messages better than talking ever could, and I wanted to see how far this concept actually went. Also, this assignment forced me to actually go out, and interact with random strangers for the sake of networking even though I really didn’t want to. I tried to have high hopes that this would actually beneficial as well as worth my time. However, I ended up reacting in a way that heavily opposed my forced optimism as I found the experience to be very displeasing.
Honestly, I seriously disliked this event because the speakers spoke over one thousand words a minute. It was like hearing a machine gun fire off non-stop for long periods of time. This was rather irritating to the point that I barely had any idea as to what on Earth they were saying. To me, conversations went from children’s books to straight up gibberish. I literally learned nothing useful from this experience. The only information that I did learn from the panel was “Blah, blah, blah”. As far as I know, this isn’t even remotely useful to know for the future, yet that was all they provided.
Adding to the aforementioned complaint, I felt that the way this event was set up was unprofessional. Coming into this event, I believed that The New School would have a refined, and artsy atmosphere to coincide with what they want prospective students to feel. However, I got the complete opposite. These panel speakers, as well as the organizers gave me the vibe that they really didn’t want to be there. For starters, the organizers had the same gloomy look as if they were forced to work, which is a real downer. Secondly, having the speakers talk so rapidly gave off the impression that they wanted to just say a script, and immediately leave. Lastly, the speakers were also speaking in a way that they were just talking amongst themselves, and ignoring the rest of us. It was extremely rude, and they were very aware of it.
Lastly, my main issue with this networking event was that nobody was prepared to network. There were literally no participants with business cards aside from myself, and Rosanna. It was so strange because that’s the point of having a networking event. Business cards are used to network, so what the heck? It made this entire thing pointless. What made me even angrier was that I did something that I truly hate, which is to interact with a room full of complete strangers, just to get nothing positive out of it. All that I got was a completely negative impression about this school, and its environment. The main life lesson out of everything there was that some people in the industry are just straight up useless, and it raises more questions as to how they managed to actually get a career in the first place.
In summary, this networking event was nowhere near satisfactory, or even pleasant for that matter. It was an utter letdown to say the least. I really expected more from an institution that is supposedly prestigious along with a panel of individuals who claim to be from the industry. For something that was purposely assigned to get me out of my comfort zone, it was nothing but a false bag of goods that wasted my time. I already felt that this assignment was seriously pushing me to the limit in terms of extreme anxiety, but to also test my patience really had me feeling so goddamn salty. It heavily impacted me because I started to feel skeptical about the industry due to its ever so strong soul draining vibe. After this, I now prefer to work for myself so I can retain my humanity, make a living doing what I love, and give the people what they really want without being held back by such awful drones who call themselves members of the “industry”.