OCTOBER 2002

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Networking Made Easy
From Nowy Dziennik
August 31 — September 2
By Marcin Szczepanski

About 60 young Polish businessmen, computer specialists, bankers, brokers, engineers, graphic designers and students from New York and New Jersey gathered on Thursday evening at Telephone Bar in East Village to help each other in advancing their careers.

All the people who showed up at the bar are members of Central European Business Association (CEBA), an organization that unites ambitious Polish graduates of both American and Polish universities. The main goal of the organization is to promote young professionals living in the United States and establish relations between Polish and American companies.

People like Ewa Lisik, who works at the BMW branch in New York came to the bar on Thursday to meet other accomplished Poles. Marek Drywa, a recent college graduate who just moved to New York from Michigan, showed up hoping to make some contacts and get information on how he could find an internship or a job.

The members of CEBA meet every last Thursday of the month and hold "networking events," where more experienced Poles share their knowledge and offer advice to those who want to advance their careers.

Next weekend CEBA is sponsoring a canoe trip over the Delaware River and some outdoor activities. "We do what Deutsche Bank does," says Kasia Mlekodaj, vice-president of CEBA. "We want to create a group of people who would join their efforts in developing this organization."

CEBA is also planning a meeting with some American specialists in the fall.

About 300 people belong to CEBA. Most of them are employed at such companies as Chase Manhattan, Pricewarter Coopers, Deutsche Bank, Johnson&Johnson, Goldman Sachs, the Wall Street Journal and IBM. In the last two months about 30 new people became members of the Association.

Kamila Kopij, an architect, came to the meeting not to seek advice, but to socialize.

Her secretary, she says, talks only about shopping and restaurants. Here Kopij can "talk to people about her home town Krakow and things other than her career."

Translated From Polish by Joanna Sufin

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