January 20, 2022

Diverse early-career professionals learning from the pros! A networking event with the Minnesota Timberwolves Executives and Community Leaders

In partnership with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx, we came together in November for a career panel and networking event for young professionals of color. Our hosts Tru Pettigrew (Timberwolves/Lynx) and Ieesha McKinzie Collins (ConnextMSP), welcomed a packed house to hear from panelists PJ Hill (Northrock Partners), Jade Denson (ConnextMSP Leadership Council), John Thomas (Timberwolves/Lynx), Jennifer Ridgeway (Timberwolves/Lynx) and moderators Shahmar Dennis and Jesse Ross shared encouraging words for young people who are looking for ways to launch their careers and entrepreneurial pursuits.  

Panelists talked about the importance of supporting each other and using mentorship as a great way to do that. Jennifer Ridgeway specifically talked about using LinkedIn to start making more meaningful career connections. “There’s a lot of things out of our control but this belief in yourself is so important in making sure you surround yourself with people that believe in you as well, just like in this room. We’re all here and willing to share our time, our talent and energy with all of you now and in the future,” she said.  

Panelist PJ Hill shared his experience in focusing on your growth to help you excel in your career. “Don’t ever back down and be confident in everything that you do. But if you work hard and show up every day with the right intentions, there’s nothing that can stop you,” he said on growing your potential.    

Young people who attended the event were inspired to learn about different ways to network and pursue a new job. Many also said the advice they were given reassured them that they could still be themselves in the workplace and that speaking up can help you be successful. It’s okay to step outside your comfort zone and take some risks. Most in attendance found that hearing inspirational stories and experiences were their favorite moment of the event.  

“So just remember what your superpower is, I have that as your mantra in your head no matter what you step into,” said Jade Denson, “you’ll move past feeling like an imposter because you’ll know who you are.”

We would like to give special acknowledgment to Tru Pettigrew, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer of the Minnesota Timberwolves/Lynx, and Jesse Ross of Principal Consultant of Mr. Jesse Ross LLC., for partnering with the ConnextMSP team to make this event possible. Thank you!