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The Dudley and Kiniya Network

Building off of my blog post on Dudley & Kiniya as a Resume Builder, I’m sticking with this theme of career development and talking about everyone’s favorite career development term…networking!

I know, ugh. Just the thought of it makes me feel awkward and anxious. Hopefully, Dudley & Kiniya can help though.

This winter we wrapped up a series of career development seminars with Jeff Chapski, he’s the parent of a Dudley camper and the founder of Career Ready Coaching as well as the author of Careerology: The Art of a Successful Career. Our last seminar focused on networking and it was a really fruitful discussion that included insights from alumni like #14571 Pete Groves.

What struck me most about the conversation though was that, in many ways, Dudley & Kiniya is the perfect network. Here’s why…

Networking is not about someone giving a job, it’s about building meaningful and authentic professional relationships.

This was a point that Jeff made and I thought to myself, well that’s really what we’re all about here: Building meaningful and authentic relationships. And networking in our community is a chance to do that with folks who may not have been at camp the same time that you were, but who have the same experiences and love of Dudley & Kiniya that you do. 

Personally, one of my most significant personal and professional mentors is #12082 Pat Butler. Pat and I never knew each other at camp. I think we overlapped one or two years when he was a Leader and I was a camper. However, I got to know him through Dudley events in New York City in the early days of my working life. He never gave me a job (because he’s smart!), but he gave me tons of great advice. To me, it’s a great example of the kind of authentic and meaningful connections you can make in our community even when you’re no longer spending summers at camp.

Networking is learning more about the industry or career you’re interested in.

One of the things we try to focus on in our leadership development program is asking good questions. This is an important skill for two reasons: One, it helps you learn about someone or something and, two, it lets people know that you’re listening to them and curious about who they are. 

Because our community in the summer is defined by close, face-to-face, meaningful interactions with almost everyone on campus, our alumni tend to build a great ability to connect with a wide-variety of people and get to know them easily. When that’s translated into the professional realm it means our alumni are able to learn easily from others and also learn how they can be helpful to those around them. 

The Dudley & Kiniya Network is filled with thousands of alumni who want to see each other succeed.

Those of us who are part of this community are lucky in many regards. One of the biggest is that for the rest of our lives we’re surrounded by a group of people who want to help us find success in not just our careers, but in our lives. So we all have an incredible built in network! 

Plus, we all have a shared experience and love for the same place. That’s a wonderful place to start, even if you end up talking about professional experiences in tech, education, healthcare, the law, the arts, or finance, that shared common background makes our community very accessible. 

Another point that Jeff made was that one of the keys to successful networking is asking, “Who else should I talk to?” And that’s where things get really interesting. By starting conversations within the Dudley & Kiniya Network you also get the chance to expand one more layer out. It’s one of the best things we can do to help each other find success in this endeavor.

Smart folks want to meet our talented groups of Leaders

It’s not just a nice thing to do for our older alums to meet with younger alums. This is a point that Pete made, it’s a pretty smart move for anyone interested in recruiting talented, smart, compassionate, and committed young people to their organizations to meet with Dudley & Kiniya Leaders. 

So it’s a win-win in our network. Our young alums get to learn about an industry and our older alums get access to terrifically talented people.

Networking is Fun!

What’s more fun than meeting new people (especially Dudley & Kiniya people!), learning about them, and what they do?

Be Sure to Write a Thank You Note

Always say thank you. If someone takes the time to chat with you, send them a word of thanks, preferably with pen and paper…just like we do at camp!

Interested in accessing the Dudley & Kiniya Network?

The best way to do that is by joining our LinkedIn group: The Dudley & Kiniya Network. It’s open to all Dudley & Kiniya alums as well as parents.

Interested in recruiting or supporting the career development of our Leaders?

If you’re willing to meet with Leaders who might have an interest in your industry or if you’re interested in recruiting this very talented pool of young people then please reach out to me at evan@campdudley.org.

Evan George – Assistant Director, Camp Dudley

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