A pillar to my undergraduate experience at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) was my involvement with the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). In fact, I attribute many of the opportunities I’ve gained and the great people I’ve met to my involvement with the NSBE—my current full-time job at Accenture is one of them.
The first time I learned of Accenture was during my sophomore year when I decided to get involved in NSBE and take up the activities chair position.
With my new role, I challenged myself by coordinating and leading various activities within the chapter. Along the way, I gained a plethora of professional, organizational and soft skills, together with great leadership experience.
On the day Accenture came to one of our NSBE meetings, I decided to run my resume by the recruiter. She reviewed it and offered a few suggestions, which I really appreciated. I took it upon myself to go back to her at our Technical Opportunities Conference and submit my newly updated resume and apply online.
While waiting to hear back, I made sure to stay in touch with the recruiter and participate in Accenture forums and events.
I successfully made it through the interview process, and I was accepted into the Accenture Student Empowerment Program (ASEP) and the summer analyst program. I’ve since interned twice at the company, and I was even given the opportunity to recruit other students as an undergrad at CMU.
This was all before I turned 20. Now at 23, I just celebrated my one-year anniversary as a full-time employee at Accenture.
One of my goals as a young professional is to lend a helping hand to other young men and women, allowing them to recognize and reach their full potential. In the spirit of paying it forward, here are a few things I’ve learned along the way.
Get involved. Even though school can be stressful, make the time to engage in extracurricular activities and/or professional organizations. Recruiters are looking for well-rounded individuals. Taking on leadership positions shows that you are multi-faceted and that you work well with others. It is worth the hard work and sacrifice, believe me. Not only are you impressing recruiters, but you are also building transferable skills for the workplace.
Go to professional conferences. These conferences offer networking opportunities, workshops and best of all, job fairs! Taking advantage of the multitude of workshops offered will surely help set you apart from your peers at school. Additionally, meeting new people and maintaining these new connections is a great way to grow your network and find out about even more opportunities in the future. And let’s not forget about the job fair. The opportunity to speak face-to-face with representatives from some of the largest companies in the world is always a confidence booster. You can practice your elevator pitch with a multitude of companies and master it by time you are ready to speak to reps at your dream company (Accenture).
Prepare. In the likelihood that you land an interview, make sure to adequately prepare. Your resume must be error free, concise and full of “action” words to illustrate your impact in whatever work or leadership experience you have listed. KNOW your resume. Be confident with all the information on your resume, so that if someone asks you about a specific skill of experience, you don’t stumble. Lastly, research the company thoroughly. Know what the company offers, and make sure to bring a few thoughtful questions to ask. Don’t forget to send a thank you email after your interview!
Stay Connected. Once you are corresponding with a recruiter before or after an interview, stay in contact. Reach out to learn about events or opportunities to learn more about the company, and display your genuine interest.
Pass it on. As you are learning and growing on your professional journey, make sure to pass on the knowledge, skills, and steps you took. As we climb the ladder of success, it’s important that we extend a helping hand to pull others upward. To reach NSBE’s goal of 10,000 Engineers by 2025, we need to continuously provide support and guidance to one another.
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