By Maxwell Snelling

The oysters were delicious, the atmosphere was relaxing, and the networking was rampant.  Why weren’t you at December’s iUGO social? Burton’s Grill, the month’s generous host, was slinging $1 shrimp, and buck-a-shuck oysters alongside delicious holiday cocktails, while conversation hummed, and new connections were made. These socials are a monthly iUGO affair, but they change location every time, and give you the opportunity to check out different restaurants and bars in the area, all while meeting fellow young professionals, networking, and just having a good time.

Admittedly, this was only my second iUGO event, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the outing. The lighting was a little dim (as is the norm in most bars these days) but there was nice glow about the place, which left me feeling welcome. I arrived a little early for setup with my colleagues, and we claimed a table just across from the active bar. One thing that everyone kept noting, throughout the night, was just how busy Burtons Grill was for a Wednesday night. By the time I left, there was a line of people waiting to be seated… On a Wednesday!

I’m always a little shy in networking events like these, and being from the younger side of the tracks I felt a little awkward sitting at the table with other young professionals. As the night progressed, however, the conversation blossomed and I had no trouble chatting with those around me about their careers, my career, sports, pregnancy, the acceptability of smacking your boyfriend, and everything in between. The conversation was casual, and I enjoyed a nice rye cocktail with pickled ginger, lemon juice, and basil served to me in a lowball glass. If you were not at this event, you should have been. I look forward to seeing everybody this month as we start the New Year off right with a “Baby Its Cold Outside” Party in the Water Street Building at 4 Water Street. There’ll be drinks, there will be hot cocoa, there will be blending of drinks and hot cocoa… there’ll even be dancing! Don’t miss it!