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Making the transition from being a full-time student to a full-time consultant is a challenge that many college graduates face every year. A competitive workforce, high expectations, and just being “out on your own” can catch many young professionals off guard. Michael Villalobos, a technical consultant in Perficient’s IBM ECI practice, joined the company after graduation and has some advice for young professionals as they start their career:
- You are not working for a letter grade anymore; you are working to develop your career, and that’s a lifelong process
- Don’t be intimidated because someone has 20 years more work experience than you do. You were hired because the company believes you have the skills to be successful just like anyone else on the team
- When you’re in front of a client make sure you “act the part”. You aren’t in college anymore and the way you present yourself will have a tremendous impact on not just how others perceive you, but your career overall
- Pursue mentor/protege relationships but let them occur organically; your company may not have an official mentoring program but aligning yourself with the right people will pay off
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