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CultureOct 04, 2021

Credera Women’s Network Presents: Succeed From the Start, Advice From Credera Women

Taylor Welch

Consultants and senior consultants in our Credera Women’s Network (CWN) recently shared advice with our summer interns on how to succeed from the start when transitioning from college to a full-time job. These women were in our intern’s shoes not long ago and are sharing great insights around navigating the exciting (yet somewhat daunting) season of life that soon-to-be full-time employees find themselves in.

While there were many nuggets of wisdom shared by our women, the overarching theme was simple—you are not alone. CWN offers an amazing support system for employees at Credera to learn and grow throughout their careers. Our hope for the interns we had the pleasure of working with—and for all students about to join corporate America—is that they realize many others have felt what they are feeling and are willing to share their advice and experiences!

Here is a snapshot of the advice our women offered when asked about transitioning from college to a career, picking the “right” job, and planting roots in a new city:

Transitioning From College to a Career

Which lessons from college were you most thankful for when starting your career? 

"In college, I sought and found a lot of different mentors who encouraged me to be the best I could be. Some of my mentors ranged from professors, faculty, more tenured students, and leaders of student life organizations. I turned to many of them as I went through college and eventually the working world. To this day, I still keep in touch with these same mentors. When starting my career, this lesson benefitted me. In the workplace, it is important to find informal and formal mentors. Credera provides us formal mentors with our coaches. However, there are a lot more people at Credera who are willing to mentor and help each one of us grow personally and professionally. I would encourage everyone to find at least one to two Credera team members, outside of your coach, to learn from and be coached from. There’s so much wisdom to be gained from being mentored." 

Kelsey McLaughlin, Management Consulting, Los Angeles

What was the biggest challenge you faced when transitioning to a full-time job, and how did you overcome it?

"As cliché as it is, the biggest challenge I faced when transitioning from college to a full-time job was dealing with imposter syndrome. Even though I’d interviewed well, gotten a job offer, and had people telling me they were excited for me to join Credera, I felt for a long time like I wasn’t good enough, smart enough, talented enough, like I didn’t belong, etc. I was moving from a place of comfortability in college where I had my friends, worked hard for good grades, and understood what was expected of me, to unfamiliar territory with new expectations and a new set of rules. So how did I move from feeling like I was an imposter to knowing I had a place at Credera and that my skills, experience, and talents were valuable? I started telling myself they were. I started listening to people when they told me I’d done a good job or I’d exceeded their expectations. I counted my wins as wins and my struggles as opportunities to grow. By shifting my mindset from a ‘You’re not good enough to be here’ to a ‘You deserve to be here even if you’re not perfect’ mentality, I was able to give myself so much more grace and space to grow."

Elizabeth Abston, Management Consulting, Denver 

Picking the “Right” Job

What company values were most important to you and why?

"For me, it was important that the company I chose valued their culture and people. I wanted to make sure I saw myself fitting into their environment and that it was one that could help cultivate my growth and experience. At Credera, there was a sense of security to know I would have a career coach to lean on once I started working, and it helped provide a sense of community within the company. It was also important to look for diversity. When there is diversity in terms of people, thoughts, and ideas, you can be certain your company is more accepting and creative."

Uruj Manashiya, Management Consulting, Houston 

Were there any exercises you found helpful in ultimately choosing your first job?

"When I was looking for my first job, I started by thinking about what I enjoyed most during college. I knew I spent many hours outside of my normal class work participating in campus organizations and leadership positions, so I thought a job that would allow me to use those leadership skills would be a good fit. Additionally, I found it helpful to look at the people who made up the companies I was considering. During interview conversations and through outside research on LinkedIn, I would ask myself questions like, ‘Are these professionals that I look up to who could provide mentorship and coaching throughout my career? Does their career look like what I want my career to look like in the future?.’ A company doesn’t need to have employees who are exactly like you, but you should find somewhere that challenges and encourages you to grow in the ways you want to grow professionally!"

Libby Schultz, Management Consulting, Houston

Planting Roots in a New City

Do you have any tips for making the move to a new city easier?

"I moved from Georgia to Dallas in March 2021. I don't have a single family member within 15 hours of me, and I knew only a handful of people in Texas. My biggest tip for moving to a new city is to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Putting yourself out there to make friends can be a little awkward at first, but you will be shocked by how quickly you'll become accustomed to striking up conversations with strangers and meeting up with new friends. You can and will build relationships quickly if you are friendly, open-minded, and intentional. If there is a hobby or activity you love, seek to find people with similar interests and passions. For example, I grew up playing beach volleyball every summer. A few weeks after I moved to Dallas I was talking to a coworker and she mentioned she was in an intermural volleyball league. I told her to let me know if her team ever needed a sub. I ended up playing a few games and then joined the team for next season—all with complete strangers besides the one coworker I knew. It was a blast! (Pro tip: Utilize your Credera community. There are awesome people at Credera and having friends at work makes it so much more fun.) Send that text to the person you barely know—the two minutes of awkwardness is worth it! Following up with new friends is key to building relationships. Additionally, community can be found in so many different places. From sports teams, to churches, to professional memberships, and volunteering, there are endless options when you move to a new city. Start by exploring a few organizations or communities that pique your interest, striking up conversations with those around you (I met one of my best friends at my apartment pool), and attending Credera social events. After a few short months, your new city will start to feel like home. P.S I’m still always looking for new friends! Feel free to reach out any time." 

Lauren Stone, Data and Analytics, Dallas

Did anything surprise you about your first six months living and working in a new city? 

"Quite a few things did but the biggest being just how much was involved in being an ‘adult.’ I thought it would be move to city, pay rent, get salary—easy. But then you add in electricity, internet, health insurance (still getting a grasp there), investing, … The list really can go on and on. I say all that not to freak anyone out but more to say, if you feel overwhelmed, you are absolutely not alone. My biggest piece of advice is get a budgeting app you know and like. That was a game changer for me because it helped consolidate all my expenses in one place and made everything make sense. There are a lot of responsibilities involved, but being an adult means a lot more freedom and the freedom definitely outweighs anything else."

Amanda Bsaibes, Technology Consulting, Dallas 

Interesting in Working at Credera?

This kind of mentorship and advice-sharing happens often at Credera through both formal and informal channels. Our interns and members of the broader CWN were excited to learn from these employees at Credera, and we hope their advice resonates with you. We encourage you to share it with those in your life who are navigating the unique transition from college to a full-time career. 

If you’re interested in finding out more about Credera culture or the Credera Women’s Network, visit Our Firm page.

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