Published on March 22, 2016 | by Juliana Bannon Photography by Uttra Gautam0
Sweat away the stress of networking
Most students think networking is stiff, boring and intimidating and most young professionals don’t have time for it. But it doesn’t have to be according to one GTA entrepreneur.
Celine Tarrant founded Smart Girls Sweat in October 2015 as a busy young professional who’s highly motivated in her career and into fitness.
The founder of the company said she’s perfected the formula for successful networking: high-energy workout + healthy refreshments + keynote speaker = sweatworking.
It’s a relatively new term that she’s sure will catch on. “I noticed that a lot of young professionals are in my situation,” Tarrant said, “we have trouble balancing our careers, balancing our fitness goals, trying to have a social life and we all want to be able to get a network and have professional development opportunities. I thought, why not combine them?”
She added that working out with someone creates a bond unlike traditional networking.
“Everyone should be networking, even if you have a job and you’re secure,” said Allison Scully, Career Resource Developer for Humber College’s North and Lakeshore campus.’ “Especially students, don’t just start doing it the week before you’re graduating in hopes of getting a job.”
Typically what comes to mind when people say networking is the “old boys network,” where you’re out on the golf course or attending a typical networking event, said Melissa Patrizi, Career & Placement Coordinator for students in the Justice and Media Studies programs at the University of Guelph-Humber.
“Students can network in a number of different ways that aren’t necessarily exclusive to that conference environment,” said Patrizi.
“Now through LinkedIn and Twitter, it’s a little less nerve-racking because it’s not face-to-face,” said Scully, “I would still say that face-to-face meeting is the best bet.”
Smart Girls Sweat is catered specifically towards women, but other co-ed GTA-based sweatworking companies exist such as The Social Sweatwork.
A typical sweatworking event with Tarrant’s company includes a high-energy group workout, led by an instructor. Then a break is taken where participants can enjoy refreshments such as coconut water, green juice or healthy snacks. After that, the event hosts keynote speakers, who in the past have all been professionals that are also involved in the fitness industry.
A previous event held at Hard Candy Fitness in Toronto had a theme of goal setting; “goal sweating” as Smart Girls Sweat likes to call it hosted Robyn Baldwin as the keynote speaker. Robyn Baldwin is a Sr. Integrated Marketing Manager for Kobo and a Fitness Personality. “She is a former CFL cheerleader and fitness competitor, a published fitness model, a freelance magazine writer, an eBook author, a future best selling author,” according to Smart Girls Sweat.
“Working out in groups brings out the natural competition in people,” said Alexandra Rinaldo who’s a personal trainer and bodybuilder.
The Smart Girl Sweat events have been at Toronto fitness clubs, mainly those that aren’t part of franchises, which lets people try them out, said Tarrant.
“So many people have come up to me after an event and said, ‘wow, you know I worked out beside this really cool professional in an industry that I want to be in, after we worked out together it was really easy to just go up to them and say hi and start a conversation,’” said Tarrant.
“When you go there and you’re doing a class, you guys are working together and you’re all feeling the same thing, you feel connected and that’s what people want,” said Rinaldo, “you want to be apart of something.”
Tarrant had only had a couple sessions since starting the company in the fall but planned to expand to Mississauga to serve the west as well.
The next event that Smart Girls Sweat is hosting will be at Equinox gym on Bay Street. The event will be on Thursday April 7 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
The keynote speaker for the event is Lesley-Anne Scorgie. The Smart Girls Sweat website introduced her as “the bestselling author of Well-Heeled: The Smart Girl’s Guide to Getting Rich and Rich by Thirty: A Young Adult’s Guide to Financial (2007/2015). She’s the founder of MeVest, a money school for Canadians.”