Conference Grant Report: Katherine Puntiel

Katherine Puntiel ’19 was selected to receive a Conference Grant from the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship. With this grant, she attended the Hustle Summit in NYC. You can read Katherine’s reflection below, read past grantee reflections here, and visit the PCSE website to learn more about all of our grant programs.

Swimming with the Sharks

About four days prior, I received an email for a 25% discount for tickets. I saw the word “Hustle” in a turquoise font, and I knew I had to attend this event. The more I researched, the more anxious I became, representatives from companies such as Live Nation, Refinery 29, and New York Public Radio would be involved with this “hustle.” Similar to any procrastinating college student, the morning of the event, I conducted quick Google searches for companies that I only had interest in: Refinery 29 and Live Nation. This method of procrastination used among college students is similar to students who do not read the assigned reading for the day. It usually works, the guilty student asks a few questions, and the student will eventually figure out what is going on in the reading. I believed I could gather information by asking people questions and think quickly about my responses. Majority of the time, the technique works in my favor. I thought to myself, or at least I expected an authentic conversation with all kinds of people whether the person affiliated with a company or not. I thought I would be able to figure out what they represent and their objectives from a genuine interaction.
The closer I arrived at the venue, the deeper my nerves swam. My chest began to pound, and my breaths became shorter as I passed the security check and witnessed their labeled Live Nation hats. I enter the building, and red lights beamed against my skin and bounced off to take hold of the brick walls. A sudden rush pulls me into the room as if it were rush hour on an MTA subway platform. There were long lines behind tables with large banners by its side. That sensation of speed leveraged me to dive into an ocean full of hungry sharks. I knew I wanted to visit the first table I saw: Refinery 29. But the table was super crowded, so I decided it take my time, and I visited a tech agency, advertising agency, and a textbook manufacturing company. And every table I visited it was all the same. Awkward moments, long pauses in conversation, blank stares, and the constant question for a hard copy of my resume. The event itself had its app where attendees were told to upload their resumes. I guess not everyone agreed with the idea of an app, which I should have known. I honestly did not want to give my resume to these companies, yet I was willing to find out more about these companies and see if I wanted to give out my resume information. Truthfully, as someone who has worked with a hiring manager in the past, most resumes end up in the garbage or lost. All it takes for one mistake on a person’s resume and you are out. My resume has value and significance especially when my resume carries sensitive information such as my address and my phone number. I refuse to dilute my information for anyone. I turned my head to an empty table, and the representative spoke on behalf of New York Public Radio. I am personally not interested in Radio specifically, but I do enjoy entertainment and media. The agent meant serious business, she asked what knowledge I had concerning the company, and I said none. She continued and asked if I enjoyed podcasts? I answered her with “sometimes” then she replies to me “Have you heard of ‘2 Dope Queens’?” and I said yes. Then she looked at me with a sudden disappointment that I instantly caught in her eyes. She explains to me that New York Public Radio produces ‘2 Dope Queens’ and majority of podcasts I listen to through iTunes. I never felt so ridiculous on a professional level, I deserved donkey of the day, but the woman explained to me that we all make mistakes and said: “YOU NEED TO DO YOUR RESEARCH!” I told her about my professional experiences, and she said that I could learn a lot from the company. Then, she wrote my email down with my full name. She told me she would send me an email Monday morning (it was a Friday evening). I have yet to receive that email. Although I will say, that representative from New York Public Radio presented mentor qualities in a matter of ten minutes. I want to thank her for her authentic and honest advice and that single interaction with her was the best moment of my experience. I eventually visited Refinery 29, and it was completely unexpected interaction. Their company lost a fan. Overall, there are three things I took away from the Hustle experience:

  1. Do your research
  2. You can never be too prepared
  3. Meeting the “wrong” person can be the best person to meet

This conference is relatively new and occurs on an annual basis sponsored by FindSpark in New York City and Chicago. I would only recommend this conference, The Hustle Summit, to recent college graduates in dire need of a job. Otherwise, I am grateful for all of my experiences because there is always something to learn. There is a necessity in developing a clear path for an individual’s goals and the ways the person plans to achieve such objectives over time. I am lucky to say that this summer is what I needed to visualize the path I want to take on in my career.