• Free Networking Group for Ivy League Grads: IvyLife

    Here’s a great, free (!) networking group for Ivy League graduates called IvyLife in New York and other cities.

    I highly, highly recommend it.

    Requirements
    The only requirement is to have attended an Ivy League school, which includes Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Princeton University, or Yale University, (where I attended graduate school).

    To join you just need an email address from one of the Ivy League schools, which is easy to get as an alumni.

    Meeting Format
    The format usually is a Wednesday morning coffee meeting that lasts about an hour or two, usually introduced, if in New York, by founders Dale Kramer Cohen and Chris Colvin, starting with time to casually mingle.  Then everyone sits around a table and for 30 seconds briefly mentions what they do, what they are passionate about and how they can give back or offer.  Finally, there is additional time to network and go up to someone you’d like to talk to after the introductions.

    IvyLife Difference
    This approach at IvyLife is not only refreshing, but it’s mostly a “sales-free” zone where you are free to just talk and get to know each other a bit.  One-on-one meetings are encouraged outside the scheduled meetings, and there are additional monthly gathering in the evening with wine as well as other scheduled events—again, almost all are free.

    Another difference is the built-in comradery.   Since everyone has gone to an Ivy League school, there is a lot to relate to, even though you may be in a completely different business or have a very different background.  This makes networking or talking much easier.

    Members
    Most everyone is extremely friendly, are very bright, and many have diverse interests.  For example, inter-mixed between the bankers and lawyers I met artists, a filmmakers, anthropologists, scientists, small business owners of various kinds, humanitarians, etc.  Some have had a great, steady career; others are looking to transition.

    Meeting Locations
    There are branches inNew York, where, as you can imagine, are the most meetings, mostly due to the close proximity to Cornell andColumbia.  However, there are gatherings in Brooklyn,Boston, Long Island,Philadelphia,India, theTwinCities,San Francisco,Miami,New Jersey,Chicago,Washington, DC,Los Angeles,Atlanta,Connecticut, theUK,Seattle,Houston, andDenver.

    Advantages in Networking
    In general, networking is a fantastic way generate business and to meet people.  Even with the importance of social networking sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, personal relationships can be as important as ever.  Who would you want to do business with—someone you’ve never met online or someone you know?  IvyLife, and other networking events, really help.

    Community
    One other advantage in networking is the community it offers.  Since many entrepreneurs or sole business owners can spend long hours lonely or stressful working at home or at the office, networking with other like-minded people (especially Ivy Leaguers) can be helpful.  Meeting others helps get out of that isolation and back on track.  It’s also possible to ask others how they would handle a problem with a client, get feedback on a problem or just get support.

    So again, if you are looking for a great free networking resource inNew Yorkor elsewhere, and have attended an Ivy League school, sign up with IvyLife.

    Feel free to contact me with any questions, Steve Giovinco at Recover Reputation.

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