Perficient strives to build a culture that empowers everyone to achieve their personal and professional goals. Colleagues are supported and championed to pave their own career path, and Candace Cooper is living out this mission.
Candace joined Perficient as a senior business consultant more than five years ago. Since then, she has transitioned over to the technical side to become a technical consultant. She followed her passion to find a role that challenges her and gives her the opportunity to do what she loves. Candace shares her talents beyond her role by serving as a committee co-chair in Perficient’s Women in Technology (WiT) Employee Resource Group (ERG) and volunteering as a mentor for Perficient’s Bright Paths Program. Keep reading to learn more about Candace’s life at Perficient.
What is your role? Describe a typical day in the life.
I started at Perficient in July 2017 as a senior business consultant. I bounced around a lot in the beginning of my career, but I figured out that I really wanted to be a developer. When I interviewed with Perficient, I was told that the transition from business consultant to technical consultant would be possible. I switched roles to go over to the technical side of things in late 2020, and my first project as a QA was in October 2021. I am now a full stack developer helping to build a new website on a client project.
What is your role in Perficient’s WiT ERG?
I have remained very active in WiT during my time at Perficient, and I am now a co-chair on the WiT programing and events committee. I have worked on many events and pushed for different proposals to partner with other companies to support our mission of helping young women in the tech industry.
Heidi Kim, a senior project manager, and I run Coffee Breaks, WiT’s quarterly virtual networking event. As Perficient has grown, so have our Coffee Break events. People from all over the world join to connect with other women across different teams and departments at Perficient. My network at Perficient and beyond has grown tremendously because of WiT. I get to hear a lot of cool stories from women in STEM that inspire and motivate me to encourage girls in whatever ways I can.
READ MORE: Women in Technology at Perficient
Please tell us more about your Bright Paths mentorship experience. What did you learn during your experience being a mentor, and how have you grown from it?
Being a mentor to a Bright Paths student helped me learn more about coding itself. My mentee was learning a massive amount of code throughout the boot camp, and this took me back to some of the basic coding fundamentals. As my mentee was learning these new skills, I was learning right along with her.
I also learned a lot about myself and how I like to be coached and taught. It was an eye-opening experience because not everyone processes information the same way. It has really helped me on projects with my one-on-one communication because I’ve learned to really understand and listen to figure out what people are going to be receptive to. I have taken the skills I learned from being a mentor to build better relationships with my team and clients.
Perficient Promises to Challenge, Champion, and Celebrate Our People
Supercharge your career and experience our people-first culture. At Perficient, you and your colleagues bring diverse perspectives, knowledgeable insights, and dynamic mindsets to our global community. Come grow with us!
READ MORE: Perficient’s Bright Paths Program Experience
Whether big or small, how do you make a difference for our clients, colleagues, communities, or teams?
The most meaningful ways I make a difference at Perficient beyond my role are through WiT and Bright Paths mentorship.
Throughout the 16 weeks of the Bright Paths Program, one of my main focuses as a mentor was trying to build up my mentee’s confidence. I let her know that it’s okay to make mistakes, and the most important thing is to keep pushing through. We worked on building her coding and business skills as well as her confidence. Seeing her confidence grow was the most rewarding part for me.
What advice would you give to colleagues who are starting their career with Perficient?
Don’t be scared to change career paths if you find something you enjoy. Developing is fun to me, and I enjoy it so much that I do it in my personal time as well. My advice is if something makes you happy, just go for it!
What are you passionate about outside of work?
I’m passionate about my family, friends, and dog. I moved from Denver to Austin, Texas, to be closer to my family. I love getting to see my niece and nephew grow up.
I’m also passionate about traveling and working out. One of my favorite places I’ve been to is New Zealand. My boyfriend and I went for a month in 2017, and we drove through the whole South Island. We had so much fun, and it was a super cool island!
Another awesome experience was when I traveled to India for my brother and sister-in-law’s engagement party. I was able to get some travel tips and advice from my colleagues based in India, and this helped me better prepare for the trip. It was a really cool country with amazing temples and beautiful architecture.
What’s something surprising people might not know about you or your background?
I like extreme adrenaline. I’ve been sky diving four times. I have also been bungee jumping once, and I’m going again next year in Switzerland, which is the second highest bungee in the world.
It’s no secret our success is because of our people. No matter the technology or time zone, our colleagues are committed to delivering innovative, end-to-end digital solutions for the world’s biggest brands, and we bring a collaborative spirit to every interaction. We’re always seeking the best and brightest to work with us. Join our team and experience a culture that challenges, champions, and celebrates our people.
Visit our Careers page to see career opportunities and more!