I work for Deloitte as a Human Capital Consultant in the commercial sector, which means that I help position companies for future success by strategizing implementing people-centered solutions.
I took a circuitous route to land at consulting. I began my career in private philanthropy, then went to Oxford for grad school to study theology and took odd jobs to support myself. Then I was a substitute teacher and, later, a nanny for a few professional athletes in the area. While I’m glad to finally be in a career-track job that I love, I can’t forget the journey it took to get here. Each of those professional experiences taught me a lot about myself, the world, and how to work in the world as myself.
We’re all faking it until we make it! In academia, you quickly learn that the more you know, the more you realize you don’t know. While the business world leaves a little less room for the exploratory journey, curiosity is still an integral piece to doing your job well. Everyone might be faking some part of their job, but the people that get ahead are the ones with enough self-assurance and confidence to admit what they don’t know and ask the good questions to fill in the gaps.
I had a lot of really fantastic professors who taught me to use my education to learn how to think, not what to think. Critical thinking is one of the most valuable transferrable skills and can be applied and adapted to any professional situation you find yourself in. I am so grateful to the many PBA professors and staff who poured into me during my 3 years there and kept in touch along the way.
Remember: All skills are transferrable skills that can carry you from one job into the next – you just have to know how to market yourself. So if your first job out of college isn’t a job you see yourself in long-term, don’t worry. Do your best, glean from it everything you can, and then think creatively. How can you position your story in a way that leverages that past experience to launch you in a direction you love?
Yes! Mentorship, specifically that of Vicki Pugh, PBA’s former VP of Development, has been crucial to my professional journey. She taught me how to network, how to run fast, and how to fight to build a career I love. That kind of support has given me the encouragement and determination to move forward, pivoting when it’s wise and pushing through when it’s hard. I’m so grateful.