Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Navigating the College to Career Transition

Summer is just around the corner and we are excited to have our Seniors transition into the workforce. To help prepare you, UGCCD is hosting our annual Backpack to Briefcase event on April 7th. We will have two speakers joining us to cover Budgeting and Benefits along with a panel of recent alums to give you insight into their biggest ah-ha moments (followed by networking in the Pub!). While preparing this program, I took some time to reflect on my personal transition into the workforce and want to share a few key aspects:

Get to Know Everyone- Building relationships with everyone from Shippers to VPs was critical to my success. I am naturally a people person so when assimilating into the company I wanted to meet everyone and learn how they impacted the organization. Having these relationships and understanding what currencies they found important served me very well in the future solving customer issues, building project teams and negotiating on business initiatives. So make it a point to learn names and cultivate all relationships!

Don’t be Afraid to Ask Questions- Often times we think asking questions will expose a weakness or have people think less of us. I learned quickly that not asking questions had the exact opposite effect and could result in work being produced that was not aligned with the goal. A big takeaway for me early on was to confirm the goal of each project or task when assigned. Beyond this, when I did not know a term or understand an aspect of my training/the company/a project I made a note to research and ask the appropriate person. Later in life, as a more senior member of the team, I consistently found the people that ask questions assimilated quicker into their role and the company.

Participate, Participate, Participate- Get involved with the company culture and join offered events. You never know who you might be paired up with or have an opportunity to meet. Early on, I attend a Lunch and Learn session that involved an HBR case activity. I had the chance to be in a group with a VP, a Director and a Peer. It was incredibly insightful to see how my senior members approached the case and I got to have a look into their thought processes. Beyond this engage in the fun activities to get to know your co-workers on a more personal side!

Each person’s transition will be unique but I hope that you take a nugget or two away from my experience and/or the Backpack to Briefcase event that will set you up for future success. Good luck Seniors and keep in touch!