Networking at a Distance
John Wilkins, TAMID at University of Pennsylvania class of 2023, is a current fellow working as an Intern for Hyfit. The following is an excerpt about his experience networking through the Fellowship this summer.
During my first weeks as part of TAMID’s first remote fellowship experience, I found the opportunities to virtually connect with other fellows pleasantly fulfilling amidst the adjustment to a remote internship.
The challenges of the Fellowship have stretched my professional skill set in beneficial ways. Working remotely across cultures and seven hours of time difference necessitated greater degrees of adaptability than I was asked to employ during my professional experience thus far.
However, weekly cohort meetings provided an opportunity to talk through challenges and celebrate successes among a small group of fellows working in a wide range of industries. It is gratifying to gain growing connections within the cohort through the light-hearted, weekly meetings. The weekly meetings have become a refreshingly low-stress way to bridge the physical distance between myself and other TAMID fellows. I would be remiss in neglecting to thank Shev, our cohort leader, for creating such an atmosphere.
In lieu of being physically present as a fellowship group in Tel Aviv, I found it rewarding to engage in the one-on-one coffee chats hosted by the donut app. In speaking with those who participated previously, the opportunity to connect with fellow TAMID members during the fellowship was consistently cited as one of the most rewarding aspects. Therefore, I was happy to gain some semblance of this aspect of the fellowship. It was refreshing to find solidarity in discussing the pivot to remote work and to laugh together at how greatly our lives differed from what we expected months earlier.
Beyond virtual meetings with other fellows, connecting with a mentor through the TAMID Pro network has proven immensely helpful. As a rising sophomore, I am just beginning to stake out a professional trajectory and determine the optimal ways to pursue such goals. The personal environment of a virtual coffee chat lent itself to a degree of candor that allowed me to ask questions I may have been uncomfortable posing in a larger panel setting. Tapping into the expertise of someone who undertook a similar professional endeavor was invaluable in establishing a greater feeling of certainty in establishing the necessary steps toward my chosen path. Furthermore, I found it beneficial to delve into the experiences of someone who undertook multiple leadership positions in his university TAMID chapter, as my mentor provided encouragement to take initiative and individually strive to optimize whatever areas of involvement I had within my own TAMID chapter.
Overall, any qualms concerning a relatively rapid shift to a remote model have been quickly assuaged by the multitude of opportunities to engage with the other TAMID fellows.