Gaining Wisdom: Perspectives from WWT Early in Career Program Leaders
Creating opportunities is part of how we Make a New World Happen. Our Associate Academy is one avenue to create pathways to success for young professionals in consulting, sales, and engineering. As the students in the Associate Academy near their graduation date, our early-in-careers program leaders wanted to share some career advice with them, as well as our fantastic WWT Summer interns, and the public! Meet our facilitators and check out their career advice.
"The Academy is a foundational path in your career at WWT. The duration of this program grants you the opportunity for continuous learning, as well as networking with colleagues and our esteemed partners. It has prepared you to be successful at WWT with skills that apply to multiple roles. The Academy emphasizes the significance of taking the time to slow down in order to speed up your progress, and it presents an opportunity that should not be missed."
"Without hesitation, I would say to absolutely take control of your own path. It's up to you and no one else. Continue to lean into everything you do and be someone who is highly engaged. Your level of engagement will be noticed. Make things happen. Continue to build a robust network. It will serve you well, trust me. Every interaction that you have is an opportunity for you to build your personal and professional brand. Remember when Jon Duren told us, 'It's not what you know or who you know, it's who knows you.' Make sure people know you. And finally, find your balance and be sure to take care of your mind, body and soul."
"…which basically means an individual considers new experiences as opportunities to learn. One begins to see the world through a lens of possibilities where even challenges can be considered a way of gaining new knowledge. Obstacles cause us to reconsider how to adapt and absorb new skills. All these challenges are viewed as ways for an individual to improve, develop and grow. Our perception of negative experiences can be turned into positive through determination and focus. The experience of overcoming setbacks allows us to demonstrate our problem-solving skills and reflection afterwards allows us to consider what we have learned. To cultivate a learning mindset, individuals need to nurture intellectual curiosity. Managers appreciate and recognize people who express interest and ask questions. This goes hand in hand with demonstrating a willingness to be productive by jumping in on all tasks. This type of action and thinking create individuals who immediately add value to a team by demonstrating a desire and eagerness to be helpful. However, being proactive and positive in the face of adversity is difficult. Maintaining a positive attitude especially when facing adversity requires grit and tenacity, but overcoming failures teaches resiliency. This capacity to withstand or recover from difficulties is one of the qualities many successful people have in common. A strong fear of failure can prevent individuals from even attempting the first step. In contrast, failure helps keep the ego in check and fosters humility. The strength to admit we don't know everything is so powerful; it allows us the ability to seek new answers or solutions and even accept new concepts we hadn't considered previously. When individuals are pushed out of their comfort zone, it allows for a change of perspective which can open a whole new approach. By getting rid of our fear of failure, being resilient in the face of adversity and always striving to maintain a learning mindset, we are able to work together to contribute to the greater good in a more impactful way both professionally and personally."
"Albert Einstein said: 'I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.' Staying curious means our minds are always open to new approaches and evolved ways of thinking. Curious people tend to be very empathetic, seeking to understand others rather than judge a person's differences. The ability to ask insightful questions is a sales fundamental; it helps you build rapport faster than anything you could ever say or do. Curiosity and humility are inherently linked, as there's always more of what we don't know than what we do. People will surprise you with how willing they are to share knowledge and wisdom!"
"It is okay to not know the answer, and it's also okay to say you don't know but are working to learn and understand. Give yourself some grace and don't be afraid to ask for more information. It is a valuable skill to learn as you grow in your career. Keep an open mind, keep asking questions, continue to develop your skills and give yourself some grace. This is the best piece of advice I received as a young professional, and this is the advice I would share with others."