Priscilla KosseimIn the lead-up to our season opener event on October 2, Network like a BOSS!, we chatted with networking (and overall) boss Priscilla Kosseim. We learned about what she does in her day-to-day and got a sneak peek into what networking insights she’ll share during her talk. Spoiler alert: the goal of networking may not be what you think it is!

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
As an award-winning digital strategist, I’m currently working as a Cybersecurity Service Delivery Manager. I develop practical solutions and deliver results by having the ability to integrate an IT risk mindset and a deep technical expertise into each of my engagements and projects. I help clients manage their internal business and assesses and controls  IT risks, prevents cyber threats, protects their data, computer systems and technology, and maximizes (or optimizes) their data value.

Born and raised in Montreal, I came down to study at Carleton University. I have always been fascinated with exploring the world and disrupting myself. In addition to giving my all to my career, I’m also active in aiming to empower marginalized and minority groups, and am vocal in my efforts and advocacy in creating change and disruption in today’s culture and status quo. I’m also on the board of three not-for-profits organizations  and am currently writing a book around the obstacles women face in regards to their rights, equality and social justice.

How did you become a go-to networking expert?
I do not consider myself an expert in networking, but rather I have followed a series of steps to become comfortable and open to the world of networking, just like you would if you were to manage your finances or even educate your kids. I believe the most important step is to be willing to invest time in your networking, read up on all the information that is pertinent to your field and forge long lasting relationships by developing a network of people that will teach you, guide you and pave the way for you.

What can people expect to learn from your talk?
People should expect to learn more about making the most of networking events, and my ability to build and maintain long lasting relationships in her work and everyday environment.

What advice would you give someone who wants to attend this event, but is nervous about networking?
A lot of people are scared of or turned off by networking, and I think that’s partially because there is this idea that it has to be transactional and you’re supposed to “get” something out of it, which can make interactions feel pretty fake and forced. But a better way to look at it is that networking is a relationship-building process: getting to know people essentially. It is important that you also network in a way that makes you comfortable, because if you are not comfortable, I can guarantee you that the person you are networking with is not either.

What’s one communications book or podcast you’re reading/listening to right now?
I really enjoy listening to National Security Law Today featuring professors Bobby Chesney and Steve Vladeck of the University of Texas at Austin, Womenpreneur Success with Smita Singh, the Tim Ferris Show, The Brainy Business started by Melina Palmer, Defensive Security Podcast by Jerry Bell and  Andrew Kalat, Security Now TwiT hosted by Steve Gibson and Leo Laporte, The Bad Crypto Podcast by Joel Comm and Travis Wright.