The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Networking scavenger hunt creates new connections

Photo by Austin Carey for The Lafayette
Matthew Moise ‘24 (center) is passionate about showing his peers that networking can be more than a handshake.

Matthew Moise ‘24 wants you to know that networking is easy, and it can be fun, too.

Last week, 21 students spent five days participating in Moise’s networking scavenger hunt, scouring Lafayette’s campus for polyglots, twins, published authors, D1 athletes and more.

“I spent the semester trying to craft an event that taught people that networking doesn’t have to be fake,” said Moise, who organized the event through the Dyer Center. “It doesn’t have to be transactional, it’s about connecting with people.”

Thirty-five people registered for the scavenger hunt, (including college President Nicole Hurd, though Moise confirmed that she did not fill out her board) and 21 people participated. According to Moise, the participants had 362 unique conversations in total.

All participants were set up with unique logins to the scavenger hunt website where they could access the board of 30 categories, each asking them to meet a person with a different skill, job or quality.

“Meet someone who owns/runs a small business,” instructs one block. “Meet someone who can do a flip/handspring,” reads another.

To fulfill these blocks, scavenger hunt participants were required to meet the qualifying individual in person, learn their major and ask a follow-up question relevant to the block’s category. Respondents were also asked to have their new connection fill out a brief, two-question Google form to ensure that no conversations were fabricated.

Seven participants completed their boards, each making 30 new connections and answering one bonus question.

“It was networking, but it was so simple and digestible for people,” Moise said.

All participants were rewarded with a $5 Dunkin’ gift card and a copy of a book on modern mentorship from Gateway Career Center, while the seven winners were entered into a raffle for themed bags of swag from the college store and other offices on campus.

Moise, the networking chair of the Dyer Center, landed on the idea of a scavenger hunt while thinking of ways to dispel the negative misconceptions around networking that he sees in his peers.

“I thought, ‘What is something that sounds really fun, but just makes people connect with different people?’” Moise said, emphasizing the casual approach to networking that the scavenger hunt facilitated.

With the help of two computer-oriented freshmen, Jackson Eshbaugh ‘27 and Joe Freeston ‘27, Moise took the event from a primitive Excel spreadsheet to a from-scratch website with a custom domain.

“It was very much a collaborative team effort,” Moise said. “I bounced on my network a lot.”

Abigail Cooley ‘27, one of the winners of the scavenger hunt, had originally anticipated that none of the participants would be able to complete the scavenger hunt, though this hypothesis was quickly disproven.

“It was the second day and someone got 26,” Cooley said. “I was like, ‘Okay, well, I’m gonna finish this thing.’”

Rebecca Capone ‘27, another one of the scavenger hunt winners, enjoyed the event well beyond her first-place prize, finding the questions to be excellent conversation starters.

“It wasn’t just transactional like, ‘Oh, cool. I got my thing, you got your thing,’” Capone said. “We talked about majors, classes to take next semester, different workshops to do. It was really sweet.”

According to Moise, some blocks were fulfilled by the same person many times.

“There were some where there’s only a select group of people who you will see on campus doing these things,” Moise said.

Tuna Akin ‘27, who frequently skateboards on campus, said he was approached many times throughout the week by scavenger hunt participants hopeful to check off their “Rides a board/skates” block.

“They all asked me if I could do any tricks,” Akin said, referring to the follow-up question for the category. “It was a silly question, but it didn’t take long, so I didn’t mind.”

To Moise, having some of these more niche, yet visible categories was purposeful.

“I wanted to have us finally talk to the person we’ve seen every week, for however many years but maybe never had a conversation with,” Moise said.

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About the Contributors
Elisabeth Seidel
Elisabeth Seidel, Design Director/Assistant Business Manager
The funniest culture designer.
Austin Carey
Austin Carey, Staff Photographer

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