First big networking event, Saxo Bank , Trading Volatility & Performance
After reading "A Clueless Freshman's First Networking", which was a very good, I decided that could share my own experience I had this past Wednesday.
I am in my first year doing part time as last year was a bit of a blow for me, I, at all costs, tried to avoid that same question, "what year are you in?", in fact I did not have planned to talk to anyone.
I signed up for an event hosted by Saxo Bank at the British Museum, just out of curiosty. I do not even remember how I came across it. I read some of topic they were going to discuss and thought well it is going to be fun.
They did not give keychains aways, they were giving away an iPhone 6 and three iPad mini to the most active, and three other criterias, users on twitter using their hashtags, to which I said well let's give it a try.
I put on my best suit, joking I only have one, and went there, I read the list of the speakers that wold attend the event so it basically demanded you to wear business atire.
Some of the speakers were:
- Martin Wolf - Chief Economics Commentator at the Financial Times
- Steen Jakobsen - Chief Economist at Saxo Bank,
- Ian Morgan - Director, Financial Services Sector, Google UK
- Gerald Brady - Managing Director at Silicon Valley Bank
- Geoffrey Yu - Senior FX Strategist at UBS, from him I can say, he was like a machine, spot on on details, he would talk about all the issues going on and numbers and reports from two months ago and reports due next month and a lot of more stuff like when you are talking about football with a friend.
There were more with high calibre charges but I cannot mention all, it would be long.
There was one person that caught my attention, it was Dr Robert Barnes CEO of Turquoise, which is majority owned by the London Stock Exchange group. He was so good, and spoke so clear and easy to understand that I was so impressed I wanted to talk to him.
During one break, I went outside to drink some water, I was making my way back to my seat and to my delight he was there in the corridor talking with other person. I went close to them and respectfully interrupted them, "I am sorry to interrup your conversation but I wanted to talk to you" I said to him. Then I proceeded to tell him about what I thought about him and how and impression he caused on me. it might have sounds as and ass licking statement but at that moment I did not think about that only to express my thoughts. When I had finished he introduced me to the person he was talking to, I also shaked hands with him, he had not spoken at the event so I just smile and told him nice to meet you.
I was turning to say good bye to Dr Barnes, I see he is taking out his business card from his card holder, he looked at my name tag, called me by my name and gave it to me. I was shocked by this ovbiously, below my name it said "Student", all the tags had the occupation below the names, I accepted it and what I assume was my shocked expression face I said, "Thanks! but I am a student I cannot be of much help!" he laughed , I laughed, and the person next to us laughed. When I turned to the other person to see if he agreed with my statement, I find him handing me his business card as well, I just did not know what to do next. After reading his card I see that his name is David Berney and works at Ergos Consultancy.
Dr Barnes made a follow up to my joke " you can be student of the markets", or something along the lines, and after a moment I said goodbye and left. For me this was a remarkable thing, it does not mean he will give me a job or anything but the mere idea that a CEO gave me his business card was just very "exciting" if i can even call it that.
At the event I found myself in the middle of a debate about the Eurozone, emerging markets, the economy, China, Japan, Australia, interest rates... for my surprise I could understand almost everything they talked about.
As for the part of the iPhone and iPads it was mission impossible, the people twitting were just too clever to compete against, I desisted and just listened.
We received a free copy of Martin Wolf's book The Shifts and the Shocks:What We've Learned-and Have Still to Learn- from the Financial Crisis, a copy of the Financial News and few other stuff, but not keychains.
At the end, they had a drink reception, I felt overwhelmed? byt all the business people and expensive suits that I could see around and left, yes it was a foolish thing to do, I could have stayed and try to speak to people, gaining experience in this matter but at the time my mind closed.
For the past two days I have been thinking about sending Dr Barnes a follow up email, I've done some research on the internet but still do not know how to put it together, it might me very simple than I think.