If you are a young creative professional or student and have not heard of FindSpark (previously known as NY Creative Interns), get your life in order.
After graduating from college, FindSpark Founder and President Emily Miethner had a difficult time networking in the big city. She noticed that her friends and peers were also struggling to make connections with people in creative professions, so an idea was born. In December 2010, Miethner and her friend and fellow Hofstra alum Reb Carlson launched the Meetup group NY Creative Interns to serve as a haven for young creatives looking to meet likeminded peers and mentors and gain invaluable career advice.
Three years later, NY Creative Interns has relaunched as FindSpark and is the largest Meetup group for interns and recent grads in the country. The group offers a wide variety of events and live and virtual workshops with an array of speakers and mentors, a highly curated job board and insightful career-related articles.
From the moment my cousin’s cousin (bless you Jewel) told me about FindSpark last year one fateful night over hookah, I was hooked. I have spent hours upon hours reading articles from the site, applying to great jobs and participating in their virtual events in the comfort of my pajamas and bed.
On Tuesday night I stopped acting like a doofus and finally attended an in-person FindSpark event to celebrate its three-year anniversary and relaunch.
I was especially proud of myself for going despite the fact that none of my friends could join me. You have to celebrate small victories, right??
It turns out that all of the “don’t be awkward!” pep talks that I gave myself up until the moment I stepped off the elevator at the Wix Lounge were unnecessary.
When I arrived at the party, there was a palpable difference in the atmosphere compared to the energy I typically feel when entering networking mixers. I immediately felt at ease after being greeted by a bevy of smiling volunteers and I was excited to network after receiving my ingenious FindSpark mission of meeting someone who works at a museum.
I failed at that mission (not for a lacking of trying), but the $50 Amazon gift card was great motivation
Thankfully, I was able to help a young lady complete her mission of meeting a person from Connecticut, and a great connection was made.
The Wix Lounge was buzzing with animated conversations all night as people bonded over plates of yummy hor d’oeuvres and wine (for the 21 and older set, of course). Keynote speakers Victoria Taylor, Director of Communications at Reddit and John Sinclair, Senior Writer/Producer at MTV + MTV2 gave lively speeches, sharing humorous and encouraging stories of their career highs and lows.
Reflecting on FindSpark’s anniversary, Emily’s enthusiasm was infectious as she gushed, “Our goal is to make our community the best possible applicants for every internship and job out there.”
Judging by the inspiring people I met at Tuesday’s event, FindSpark has reached that goal and then some.