Orientation serves as a period of acclimation for new hires and interns, a time to get accustomed to the work space, culture and tools. A good orientation session will also provide guidance, lessons and direction for young, raw professionals. My orientation at CSC did just that.
For two days, new hires and interns at the CSC Tysons location gathered in a meeting room as orientation leaders guided us in class activities that helped us develop a greater understanding of CSC and our role in it.
We listened to presentations on various industries CSC serves, and heard from chief executives who shared priceless advice and encouragement. Though every speaker added insight to the professional experience, one stood out and made an impact on me for my internship and beyond.
Jonathan White, a leader in the orientation process, spoke to us about transitioning from an intern to a full-time hire here at CSC and the path his career has taken since. His story was enlightening in so many ways I feel obligated to share it.
White came to CSC full-time through the Recent Graduate Program. He was hired in Inside Sales due to his student and professional background (he had a degree in business administration and sales experiences in past internships). He was excited about the role but came to feel it wasn’t a great fit; his skills weren’t being fully engaged.
He spoke to his manager and asked to switch roles into a sales operation position, but again, the position did not meet his needs. Instead of choosing to leave the company and trying a career elsewhere, White reached out to a leader in Human Resources.
She listened to White, took the time to get to know him, his skills and aspirations. She wanted to see him succeed with CSC, and thought he could do that in her department. White now works in human resources and has found his niche, part of which involves inspiring the next generation of the workforce as a mentor to summer interns.
What lessons did I take away from White’s story?
1 Have a strong work ethic.
Throughout White’s journey, his drive and determination never led him from his goals. He worked hard at every role, even those that didn’t seem like the best fit at the time.
2 Persevere through challenges.
White faced some definite struggles in the first years of his career. He recognized transitioning from sales to human resources wouldn’t be an easy process. But through the highs and lows, he kept moving forward. He continued to learn from experiences and move on.
3 Be agile.
White showed you should never get too comfortable – in any job. His flexible skillset and attitude made him a valuable employee who could pivot into dissimilar fields of work while continuing to be resourceful. Management recognized this potential and invested in him for that reason.
4 Don’t be afraid to speak up.
Quite possibly the most important piece of advice for young professionals is the importance of speaking up. White vocalized his frustration with his early job roles. To a new hire, voicing concerns might seem like a death sentence. But, if done with the good intentions of improving your situation and the company as a whole, speaking out can be a benefit.
5 Network, network, network.
Meaningful work relationships were crucial in how White’s path unfolded. He took advantage of opportunities to meet people and make his presence known in the office, something that might terrify an intern or new employee. But White understood that by showcasing his character, skills and work ethic – both in and beyond his department – he could build relationships that would be beneficial down the road.
I’d like to thank Jonathan for sharing his personal story, one that paints a realistic picture of what our future in the workplace might entail.
As aspiring professionals, we often see our mentors and managers in current, successful roles. What we don’t see is the journey they took to get there.
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Bradley Mann is a summer intern working in the content hub at CSC’s Tysons location. Bradley is an upcoming senior at James Madison University majoring in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations. Bradley will be blogging throughout his summer internship with CSC’s Content Hub. Connect with him on LinkedIn.