Finding Your “Other” Network

Posted by Taylor Haney on Fri, Feb 7, 2014

February is a month about love so this month our blog theme is all about spreading the MITX love! We get stories from members all the time about their experiences with MITX and we want to share some of that with you. To kick off our month of MITX love we have a post from Devlyn Brisson, Director of Category Management at Wayfair about her involvement with our Future Leaders Group.

Devlyn BrissonDevlyn(@dbriss) is the Director of Category Management at Wayfair (@wayfair), the world's largest pure play e-commerce company for home furnishings and décor. During her five-year tenure at Wayfair, she has had multiple opportunities to grow professionally in a host of vertically aligned positions. She is presently responsible for overseeing a $150+ million P&L and seven product categories, as well as managing a team of Category Managers, Merchandising Managers and Buyers. 

As a young professional, I have learned how important networking is and how crucial it is to have several different networks that you are involved with. One of the most significant networks is one that you develop outside of your workplace and outside of your group of close friends. This other network should provide you with a space where you can grow on a professional level and have other professionals, similar to yourself, to discuss industry trends, get advice, and even grow on a personal level.

Networking is truly invaluable and through the Massachusetts Innovation & Technology Exchange I have been able to create that other network and find a wonderful group of talented, young professionals that can help me become a better leader and team member in my career.

This year, I was fortunate to be selected as one of ten candidates chosen for MITX’s Future Leaders Group (FLG). This year’s FLG class is comprised of promising talent from companies in and around Boston. I feel honored to be chosen to be a part of this community. Not only have I created my other network, but this tremendous opportunity has provided me with direct access to MITX events, exclusive networking and mentoring opportunities, and engagement with the MITX Board of Directors.

It’s been an absolute blast working with the other FLG members and we’ve met a lot of interesting leaders along the way. One of many unforgettable experiences with the group was our trip to Las Vegas and our closed door CEO session with Zappos founder, Tony Hsieh. With Wayfair being the leader in online retail in the homes goods category, it was inspiring to hear Hsieh talk about building Zappos to be the world’s largest online shoe store. Getting to sit in a round table setting with Hsieh is absolutely a once in a lifetime opportunity and something I probably would never have gotten to take part in without MITX.

In the six years I have been with Wayfair, I have had the opportunity to grow my career within several different functions of the business. Being a part of a community like MITX really has helped me to further understand what I want from my career and how I can continue to drive my career.

Because I became involved with MITX by being nominated for the FLG, I hadn’t been too involved prior to my joining this group, however I cannot imagine not being a part of this organization down the road. Whether being a part of the FLG, like myself, becoming a member of MITX, or attending an event with a friend or colleague who is a member, it is definitely an opportunity that other people in the business and technology community should experience.