Meet Meg Aul
I initially got involved with PDXWIT last year when I started working for inDinero. One of our core values is “learning and self-development”. I was encouraged to get involved with the community and attend networking events. When I went online to do research I found PDXWIT; a few people from work had gone before and said it was a great group. The first event I went to was in November 2015. One of my passions is photography so, naturally, when I attended events I was taking photos and posting to twitter. I went to LinkedIn to connect with Megan Bigelow and she sent me a message saying she had seen my photos and wanted to get together for lunch. When we met we talked about my experiences at the events and how we could make things better. I threw out the first thing that came to my head — an adult zen coloring table! She loved the idea and we put it to the test. During the April event I ran the coloring table and was able to get people who would normally leave a large event to stay and make conversation.
With PDXWIT, I am learning so much about the world of tech in Portland and beyond. I get to talk to people about what projects they are working on and what companies they work for. I’ve met people from my alma matter Portland State (sometimes from the same department!) and we have a great time chatting about classes or professors we loved. I know that PDXWIT will always be a great resource for finding work and staying connected with the community.
I plan to continue to stay involved with PDXWIT by continuing to run the coloring table! I think it’s a great way to encourage introverted extroverts (like myself) to find easy ways to engage in conversation. I still consider myself relatively new to the community so I still have a hard time walking up to a group of people who are already engrossed in conversation. The coloring table allows people who would normally go and find a chair in the corner (or leave immediately after arriving) to sit down and ease their way into a conversation.
My advice to others would be “never stop learning.” One of the greatest aspects of networking is the sharing of information and knowledge. I have learned so much from the women (and men) I have met at PDXWIT events, and that is really inspirational.