Monday, December 5, 2011

Kate Belza

This interview is part of the Network-Weaver Series. More info & interviews here

Kate Belza is a student at the University of Virginia (UVA), where she is pursuing a religion studies major with a minor in leadership. Her religion advisor connected her with Darim, where she now interns (showing the true power of networking!). At Darim, she has been researching the ways Millenials think and work in social media and network-weaving and how to leverage the intersections between the two. 

Tell me a bit about your definition of a network.

When I think of networks, I think of relationships and relationship-building. A network starts with one person; those people connect to other people, who connect with others. Yet there is usually someone at the beginning who puts the network in motion (a network-weaver). As an example, I started a Challah for Hunger chapter at my university, UVA. When I spoke at Hillel, someone came up to me afterwards and said he would love me to meet his friend -- and now this friend is donating ingredients for challah-baking.
What value do you get from being a part of your networks?

A lot. I have people to go to for advice or to ask for resources. But mostly I get to be a part of conversations – both to take part and to listen. For instance, twitter is wonderful way both to network and talk to other people and to listen too.

Do you have a best practice in network-weaving you’d like to share?

I look for “connectors” – the people and/or organizations who are engaged in creating smaller networks and bring these people together. By finding and listening to the connectors, you can learn a lot about who is doing what.
Are there any networks you wished existed that you’d like to start?

I’d love to create an interaction between students and professionals – connecting people looking for mentorships, internships, and jobs with people already doing great work.

Kate Belza tweets as @kate_belza.

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