Have You Found Your Tribe?

Four Black woman in tech coworkers talking and laughing in a meeting

In February, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) kicked off BPTN’s Global Masterclass Series for the year by delivering what can only be described as a FIRE masterclass. The topic was “Find Your Tribe” and it featured an inspiring fireside chat with HPE executives Lavonne Monroe and Amanda Jordan, and an engaging panel discussion with talented professionals from different companies.

During the fireside chat, which was hosted by the ever-upbeat Cher Jones, Lavonne and Amanda dished some key moments from their careers that developed them into the total #BossBabes that they are today. Amanda shared that early in her career, she struggled to build a supportive network because she was encouraged to blend in, copy others, and avoid offending people with her presence. Things only changed when she decided to be unique with how she presented herself. Her advice to the audience: “Ditch the templates and be authentic with how you present yourself to the world so that people remember you for YOU!”

The panel followed shortly after, and the gems did not stop! The discussion was moderated by Nicole Picton, a Career Consultant at Precisely Careers, who encouraged attendees to go to events and learn about topics that are outside their scope of familiarity in order to expand their networks. Here’s one key takeaway from each panelist:

Fatoumata Camara, HR Manager, IG Wealth Management: Tell people what you want to get out of your career. When you tell people what you’re aspiring for, they’ll remember, and whenever they come across something that could be helpful to you, they’ll send it your way.

Ibiyemi Balogun, Manager of Corporate Partnerships, Ryerson University: Stay connected to your connections. Lots of people network so that they can move up, but then ‘ghost’ their connections after a while. Always keep in touch with the people in your network so that when it’s time for you to switch it up, you don’t have to rekindle old connections. In other words, stay ready so that you don’t have to get ready!

Jameca White, Executive Recruiter, HPE: Connect with as many people as possible and be open to network with people outside of your normal group. Reach out to people in the companies you want to work for and connect with them. Introduce yourself at events and make sure that you’re seen. Also, do your research and understand what your worth is. Don’t undervalue yourself.

Dave D’Oyen, National Lead of Black Exporters, Export Development Canada: Always show up! Don’t NOT show up. If you register for an event, do your best to make it. Valid reasons may present themselves as to why you can’t attend, but if you can, GO. When you’re present, BE present. Show your face and actually listen because people can tell if you’re paying attention or not.

It’s safe to say that the first masterclass of the year was a hit. Building authentic connections was definitely the theme of the night. If you’re looking to grow your own network and find your tribe, head over to Obsidi and create your profile now! Be sure to register for future masterclasses and other events on Obsidi as well. See you there!