Perficient provides our colleagues with the support and resources they need to grow both personally and professionally while enabling them to make a difference for our clients, colleagues, and communities. Rachel Boyd, a business consultant on our Detroit team, is a great example of building a career at Perficient and taking on opportunities to thrive beyond her role. One of the ways Rachel makes a difference is by mentoring students in Perficient’s Bright Paths Program.
In honor of International Women’s Day on March 8, we’re celebrating the incredible women in the technology industry. Keep reading to learn more about Rachel’s experience being a mentor and working with clients. Plus, she shares her hobbies, travels, and what she wishes her colleagues knew about her!
What is your role? Describe your typical day in the life.
I am a business analyst working with a client to expand their automation practices within their IT department. My main priorities are discovering automation opportunities and documenting them as use cases. I’m then able to work with the respective teams to determine feasibility and document requirements. The client’s goal is to use automation to achieve a five percent cost reduction by the end of 2024.
Whether big or small, how do you make a difference for our clients, colleagues, communities, or teams?
I make a difference at Perficient by mentoring students in the Bright Paths Program and by being a member of the Giving ERG. I like to participate in donation drives, lunch-and-learns, and other community-building events hosted by the Detroit team. I find that participating in these types of activities is a great way to support my colleagues.
Being a mentor is a great way to make a difference in someone’s career. As a Bright Paths mentor, I’m there for them as an outside source to provide support and encouragement as I have experienced something similar having gone through a coding bootcamp myself. I received a scholarship through the Michigan Council of Women in Technology and The Nation Center for Women & Information Technology. The scholarship targeted IT professionals who wanted to expand their coding knowledge. The bootcamp was 10 hours a week after working hours and lasted six months. It was a commitment and definitely challenging at times, but it is something that I’m super proud of.
Can you tell us more about your mentorship experience with the Bright Paths Program, and what made you want to get involved?
I’ve been a mentor to students in the Bright Paths Program twice. I got involved to pay it forward because when I first started my career there were people who helped me and offered guidance. I wanted to be that person for someone else and be able to help them along the way.
Since I have firsthand experience of going through a similar fast paced coding bootcamp, I’m familiar with the process. This helps me relate to the person I’m mentoring. It’s also helpful for the mentees going through the program to have a Perficient colleague as a mentor because it provides a glimpse into what things could be like after the bootcamp.
READ MORE: The Bright Paths Program Experience
What benefits have you experienced from being a mentor?
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Being a mentor makes you think about things from a new perspective. The people I mentor ask questions that I may not know the answer to, and this challenges me to seek out answers. It’s a great learning experience both personally and professionally.
What has your experience at Perficient taught you?
It’s taught me to not be afraid of change. I have worked with three clients on numerous different projects during my three years at Perficient, and because of this, things are constantly changing. I have hopped from many projects, and sometimes I’m working on two to three separate projects at the same time. This experience has provided me with an accelerated learning path, and I’ve gained so many skills in different sectors as a result.
What advice would you give to colleagues who are starting their career with Perficient?
My advice is to grow relationships with the people in your business unit because those are the people you are going to rely on the most. This will help you and your career because life will be a little easier if you have strong relationships. You never know when you might be able to help someone out and vice versa, so building and maintaining relationships is key.
What motivates you in your daily work?
Helping our clients reach their goal is my main motivation, whether that is a successful launch or achieving a specific outcome like with my current project, automation implementation with a cost reduction. Tackling big issues our clients have and bringing it to completion is very rewarding. The client’s gratitude and satisfaction when we’re able to successfully help them is a big motivator for me.
How have you grown your career at Perficient?
I started as a QA tester and was asked to be a lead after I gained more skills. I was working with a business analyst on one of my projects, and I became interested in pursuing that role. I shadowed her and eventually made the career path change. It worked out so well largely because of relationship building. I found that if you express interest in a certain role, people at Perficient are willing to help you succeed.
What are you passionate about outside of work?
My main hobby right now is visiting coffee shops. I started an Instagram account in November to post about the different coffee shops I have visited. I mostly go to local coffee shops in Michigan. My handle is @todayscoffeeMI.
I like doing yoga to stay active, and I enjoy collecting rocks and crystals. I also have two cats. I did a ton of traveling last year. Some of the places I traveled to in 2022 include Charleston, Cincinnati, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York. My favorite trip was my honeymoon to Sedona in 2021.
What goals do you have for professional development?
I am currently taking a SQL and Tableau course in my own time to fulfill my professional goals. I’ve always been interested in data analytics, so I’d like to learn more about that as well.
What’s one thing you wish your colleagues knew about you?
I’m super easy going, and I don’t take a lot too seriously. I keep it light and that helps me throughout the day. If things are stressful, I never try to dwell on it. People who have worked with me can attest to this.
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