Networking served with a spot of cold-brewed tea

by Rebecca Szkutak / Beacon Staff • September 8, 2016

Evy Chen Emerson Alumni and CEO of EvyTea
courtesy of Beacon Archives
Evy Chen Emerson Alumni and CEO of EvyTea
courtesy of Beacon Archives
In a few days students and alumni can come together to sip cold-brewed tea, eat brunch, and talk post-grad life at a casual networking event at Tea Bar by EvyTea.
 
Evy Chen, an Emerson alumni and the creator and CEO of EvyTea, the local organic company hosting the meet-up, said that she intends for the gathering to have an informal and comfortable environment. All students, faculty, alumni, and staff are welcome and encouraged to attend.
 
While Chen, ’10, was an Emerson student, she started her company after winning Emerson’s E3 program, or The Emerson Experience in Entrepreneurship. This yearlong program allows students to come up with product ideas, create a business plan, and pitch their ideas to compete for funding. Since EvyTea’s creation, the company has expanded rapidly—300 stores carry Chen’s teas and she opened her first brick and mortar storefront in a former auto body parts store in Jamaica Plain this past May.
 
Chen said the idea for the networking event came about organically in a conversation with Robert Amelio, the director of diversity and inclusive excellence for Emerson’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
 
Amelio said that he had heard of Chen’s tea shop through an article on Emerson’s website and, when he realized it was located right across the street from his gym, he had to go to support a local alum.
 
Amelio and Chen discussed the abundance of Emerson students and alumni who have moved to Jamaica Plain in recent years, yet realized many of them didn’t know each other and didn’t necessarily have an easy way to meet.
 
In this day and age, Amelio said, networking is one of the best tools for students looking to break into the job market or plan out where they want to go. He and Chen hope this event will help foster connections and, most importantly, provide a space for Emerson professionals to meet one another.
 
“It’s great in the sense that there isn’t a big setup or overwhelming feel,” Chen said about the event’s aesthetic. “It’s not a networking event. It’s a hangout event, which is the best way to network.”
 
Chen said she is looking forward to this event because she felt it would have been helpful when she was a student. She is aware that Emerson is a tight-knit community, she said, and she found it hard to look outside the internal bubble that forms in the Emerson student body.
 
It can be said that Emerson’s most influential professionals are based in Los Angeles and New York. However, Chen wants to make students aware of the connections in their neck of the woods the greater Boston area.
 
Tickets for the event are available on Eventbrite for $25 which includes food and two drinks. Chen said that she hopes they will be able to host this event again.
 
There will be tea to sip and brunch provided by Della’s, a pop-up food cart. They are featuring food creations for attendees with their homemade sourdough bread.
 
“Students can go to see what an Emerson graduate has done that is different and exciting and making news...with the possibility of meeting other Emersonians—especially alum, and faculty in a social setting,” Amelio said. “It will be a nice way to see someone who is succeeding and learn from what did she did.”
 
The event will take place on Sept. 10, at 253 Amory St. in Jamaica Plain. The festivities will begin around 11 a.m.