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Networking in Black and White: A New Way to Network in St Andrews



For many St Andrews events, exclusive invites and the whispered conversations about who was invited paint a landscape of clandestine allure, a masterpiece of social intrigue that echoes with the whispers of validation and coveted superiority. I am convinced that there was an exclusive event in St Andrews that changed the way we buy tickets. People began to judge the worth of an event based on the way they were invited or if the FIXR link was private  bonus points if there was a cash-in-hand ticket collection! 


What this event was I do not know, but I admit, receiving an Instagram DM inviting me to ‘an exclusive black and white themed party’ from St Andrews Networking piqued my interest.


With anticipation, we gathered at The Hide for their first-ever event, hoping to expand our networks and get LinkedIn real life. Despite its dress code, the event itself was not so black and white, as an exciting layer of the event was discovering the complex collaborations: St Andrews Networking x The Scotsman Group x Haus x Black Flag events. There is a lot to unpack here…


The Scotsman Group is a collection of businesses: they own The Vic and The Bothy and are now offering student accommodation. Representatives from the group gave us ‘an exclusive preview’ of their new accommodation, asking us for feedback on their studio apartments which could be yours for the price of, brace for it, over £300 per week. I think I can speak on behalf of every student in attendance when I say the open bar was very appreciated (especially for the £5 ticket), as was the ability to network with people from The Scotsman Group.


We can probably all recall a networking event that was an initially promising, but inevitably disappointing, gathering ending with people who know each other gravitating towards each other at the back of the room. The problem lies in the causal interactions, there lacks a bigger purpose than conversation; an activity is needed as an incentive to move past our comfort zones. This is where St Andrews Networking wins the game. Their collaboration with Haus and Black Flag Events (both Scottish-based event companies) meant that we headed straight from The Hide to The Vic, minimising the desire to fall back on the dreaded “what do you study?” until you can think of an excuse to leave (unless of course you’re like me and opt for the Irish goodbye). 


Wondering why I got that Instagram DM, I turned to the St Andrews Networking website to find that they ‘reach out to ambitious, successful individuals from different backgrounds’. Although it is flattering to know that I looked ambitious and successful on my Instagram (it was definitely those Welly Ball pictures), it is possible to be referred by friends at the events or reach out to Co-Founder Brian Lim, who has curated a networking master list. As I was walking home from the event, I kept thinking about something that Mr Lim said: “At university, we should meet as many people as possible” and how, despite its conspicuousness, I don’t think that is said enough.


Image: Alice Hodges

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