As a recent or future college graduate, taking the first step in your post-college career can fill you with a mix of excitement and fear. To illuminate some of the mysteries around growing from a new graduate to an experienced professional, I reflected on the experiences that stretched me out of my comfort zone. Looking back after five years of technical consulting, I have grown from a new graduate with a solid technical academic background into a technical consulting Project Lead. I have demonstrated experience mentoring team members, providing technical guidance, leading requirements gathering sessions to understand the end user’s experience, and delivering solutions focused on the best results.
After graduation, I started working as a Consultant at Macedon Technologies in August 2017. On my first day, I started with a few peers in Macedon’s two-week “Bootcamp,” a training that continues today for new consultant hires. Bootcamp introduces us to Macedon as a company and tests our limits. They expect us to learn a new technology in the first week and implement and present a fully functional application to upper management in the second week. Expectations were high, but I successfully honed my academic background into a focused, results-oriented technical consulting skill set through the Bootcamp process.
While Bootcamp established a foundation in the technical competencies required for my role, working on real business applications presented new challenges and opportunities. My next career focus was to flesh out my technical knowledge while gaining experience working on impactful applications. I was assigned to internal projects and client projects that introduced me to unique business scenarios, best practices, technical quirks, and integrations between enterprise systems.
As I encountered unfamiliar situations, I learned firsthand the importance of having a mentor. I relied on my team lead on each project to give feedback and coach me through increasingly complex technical challenges. Over the course of my first few years, I learned to tackle difficult tasks with little to no guidance. As I spent more time working on a project, I gained the confidence to explain details about the applications I worked on. I became the go-to technical expert when my team members had questions about system components.
My natural development as a mentor was bolstered with formal leadership training. Macedon offers leadership training to Senior Consultants as a prerequisite to formally taking on the role of leading a project. Leadership training complimented my resume of client experiences and technical skills with leadership skills. During the training, I participated in role-playing scenarios to test my capabilities in difficult client situations, providing feedback to team members, delegating tasks, leading project meetings, and being accountable for the successful delivery of a project. These scenarios prepared me to lead projects professionally.
My experience at Macedon has been colored by unique challenges, supportive mentors, and formalized training to grow my skills in every direction of technical consulting. How are you planning to search for an employer that encourages a consistent focus on your personal career growth? Start by checking out our career page and explore our current openings here.
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