Graduation Guide: Everything You Need To Know Before You Graduate
This past Tuesday, I got together with Shinjini Das, a recent Deloitte Consulting Business Technology Intern, on a free teleseminar for soon to be grads. It was so fun chatting with Shinjini and hearing her inspiring story about how she used networking to successfully find internships at Deloitte AND IBM. Congrats Shinjini!
Today I wanted to share with you some of the tips that Shinjini shared on the call that I think you need to know before graduation. I picked tips below that I think apply to professionals at any stage of your career. So listen up even if you are already a college grad!
How did you get your internships at Deloitte and IBM?
Persistence, effort, and willpower. For a year before I applied to Deloitte, I was networking and talking to people in the company even knew I was too young to have an opportunity at the company. I made sure they knew me and that is why it worked out in the end. I also found a mentor in consulting from Deloitte.
The purpose of our relationship was to meet outside of campus time so I could pick her brain about what she was doing at the company, what her typical day looked like and what she was excited about. That is how I got in the skin of the company and understood what the company was about. I was then more prepared to handle the interview. Reach out to people who you see yourself as in the future. Have your goals set on a company and make sure you do enough research on that company. Meet with a lot of people who work at that company. Get a flavor of what work life is like there. Then you will have a great inner perspective of that company and you can talk as an insider during the interview.
Treat whatever company you want to talk to like an insider. It impresses them and shows them how passionate and honest you are about pursuing that company. I really dealt with the people I knew there like insiders. Such as knowing nicknames which connects you to the interviewer on a more personal level.
With previous networking, you know so much about the company because you have talked to so many employees. It will make it feel like you have already been at the company and you belong at the company – making it so easy for them to select you for that job.
How can you become a networking ninja to find your future career opportunity?
It starts with knowing what you want to do and be clear about which opportunity you want to pursue. Narrow your focus and target what you want. For me, consulting has always been it. I always knew that Deloitte was where I wanted to go and I created an action plan to get there like talking to people and getting mentors. Before the interview, I even reached out to the recruiter and asked him tips for interview case preparation and what the company was like. No amount of research on the web will tell you what it is like to work there except talking to people. Understand what you want and figure out who your role models are in the job you want.
You will be surprised, every single time that I reached out I have been so impressed how much the other person helps me. Don’t be afraid to reach out because everyone you reach out to will be more willing to help you than you ever thought they would be. You will be very surprised so just wait and watch.
How can you improve your presentation skills?
Substance – Know the content. You need to have in-depth knowledge in your industry. Make sure you have credibility. Style is how you present yourself and how you come across. It is a blend of professionalism and maturity. Take initiative when speaking. Make sure you are front and center even if you don’t know exactly what you are doing. Show that you are there to learn. Have confidence and poise. If your credibility and professionalism and maturity is intact, it’s a total win.
Practice or rehearse a pitch in a mirror. It lets you see yourself from a very unbiased perspective so you can be an objective judge. Another idea is recording yourself so you can see how your voice sounds. See if there is uncertainty or nervousness in your voice. See what questions you come across strong and when your voice sounds a little more nervous at a certain question so you know to fix it. Confidence is so important – it is HUGE! Not everyone knows everything but you have to act like it and be credible. Have the confidence to back up that credibility. Practice makes perfect. Make sure that what you are – passion and qualified for the job, really shows in the interview. Be enthusiastic during that interview and show that enthusiasm and passion to your future employer.
What do you wish you would have known before graduation?