1. How did the foundation of NRC’s Talent Incubator program help you begin your career?
It helped me begin my career by exposing me to a number of different clients, technologies, situations, and business challenges. In the Talent Incubator Program, I was able to learn a great deal in a short amount of time as I was just coming right out of school. It was very beneficial to be able to have a program that helped guide me through the learning process and transition me into the working world, rather than just being thrown in.
2. How did the structure help you feel comfortable with the client that was ultimately your employer?
The structure helped me by setting clear expectations for what was expected of a New Resources consultant. To this day, those lessons come to mind whenever I conduct business and influence what I expect from consultants when I bring them on. From something as simple as dress code to learning how to work with a client and how to ask the right questions….and, most importantly, knowing you’ll deliver and bring value. These lessons have stuck with me throughout my career and are foundational to my success.
3. What did you learn during the program?
The two major things I gained were confidence and assurance that I knew how to do my job effectively and efficiently. I was going in with a support network in a structured program. I was elbow-to-elbow with others in the same situation. In the first two years, I was working with different types of technology and was able to provide value to the clients; it gave me skills which I’ve used throughout my career and the confidence that I can do anything I set my mind to.
4. What would you say to others who might be looking at the program?
From a candidate’s perspective, it’s a big jump from academia to the working world and the advantage of going into this program is how much support and coaching/mentoring you receive. We would sit down weekly and talk about what we did well, where we could improve, and what we learned—it was extremely helpful to have that after-action report and the time to analyze our work. It’s a great stepping stone into the workforce.
From a client’s perspective, hiring, especially someone who is “green,” is a low-risk endeavor with the Talent Incubator Program; you both have a safety net. The participants will be trained and receive feedback along the way in order to improve as well as come in at rate that matches their skill level. Ultimately, if it doesn’t work out, you can expect that New Resources is going to switch that consultant out for you.
5. Any additional reflections on the program?
Some of my best working memories are from this program. These were some of the happiest years of my working career and part of the reason is that I was working with very ambitious, helpful, and intelligent people. One of the things I love when I’m working is being surrounded by smart people so we can build and bounce ideas off of each other and try to solve difficult and complex problems. Everyone is aiming in the same direction with the same motivations.
One other thing I learned through this program is knowing I could tackle pretty much any IT challenge, whether it be project management, disaster recovery, requirements gathering, or anything else. This program allowed me to get over the fear of, “I’ve never done this before,” and gave me the ability to pick skills up very quickly, without hesitation.