David Zapata and I recently had the privilege of attending a private dinner to celebrate the launch of Gilt City Chicago. The dinner was hosted by Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, Founder and Chief Merchandising Officer of Gilt Groupe at Balsan, the European Bistro at the Elysian Hotel.

At this particular dinner, I sat next to Matt Carroll, Senior Director at Gilt City and Isaiah Freeman-Schub, Fashion Associate Editor at Chicago Social. While all three of us work in industries that place emphases on networking (editorial, sales and public relations), we set aside formalities and instead engaged in candid conversations about work, professional development and more. Each week there are an array of Chicago events to attend and industry professionals with whom to network; I am as guilty as the next person in keeping many conversations on the surface and avoiding getting to philosophical while sipping on white wine and watching hors d’oeuvres pass by. My dinner companions offered a wonderful change of pace.

The next day I couldn’t help but wonder if there is a growing set of young professionals who understand that true networking will only succeed through genuine communication and dialogue. It was refreshing to chat with two individuals who could easily rely on cookie-cutter conversation tactics but instead forced themselves out of their comfort zone to offer authentic insights and witty banter.

While it may seem like an odd observation, is it really? In this day and age aren’t we are all thirsty for a little honesty? I’m proud to be a part of a Public Relations agency that places a considerable emphasis on being candid with our clients, media, and peers. Jenn Lake Creative Director