Name: Bidemi Palmer
Hometown: New Jersey
Current Title: Technology Analyst at Accenture
Prior Professional Experience: Charles RIver Laboratories, Bynder
Education: Boston University Questrom School of Business (B.S.)
How did college prepare you for your first job post-graduation?
I will always appreciate the practical skills I gained through my business studies. I learned how to read people and connect with them. I also learned how to thoughtfully listen, learn and how to become involved within a community. Throughout my time in Boston, I attended many conferences, events, and workshops that expanded my network, broadened my mind, strengthened my support system and taught me the importance of giving back to a community.
How did you decide which industry you would work in? And your current role?
I gained exposure to consulting early in my college experience because I knew it would be a great industry for me to enter upon graduation. What appealed most to me about consulting was the introduction to different industries. I also liked that consulting firms are project based, meaning that throughout a career in consulting, one could work in numerous industries and produce different types of work while staying within a single company. For me, I have always enjoyed the challenge of learning new skills and gaining different experiences. Almost all the people I met that worked in consulting were intelligent, and I admired that. It appeared to be a gateway in which I could develop personally and explore experiences outside of my comfort zone. I also knew that working in consulting, across a big firm, with worldwide clients, would be a great way for me to expand my network. Starting in technology consulting was especially important to me because I wanted to gain skills within technology and understand the tech industry better, since I always found technology fascinating.
I am currently a Technology Analyst. On my current project, I am helping my client implement a large cloud-based, customer relationship Management (CRM) system. Outside of my project, I am helping Accenture further its blockchain efforts.
What has been the biggest challenge you've faced thus far in your career?
Recently, the biggest challenge I have experienced is the overall transition from college to my first job. There are so many changes that have occurred during this timeframe and I have been learning to adjust. While I love what I am working on, I am still trying to understand my personal and professional needs in a career setting. However, I think the most important thing is to keep an open mind and understand that there is value to obtain in any experience.
What resources, professional or personal, have you leveraged to ensure your career is progressing?
I love learning from people, this often how I learn best. I find it interesting to learn about people's’ career paths and the factors that motivate them. There is value in gaining insight from people who already begun their professional journey. Networking has been one of the most influential factors in my career thus far. It is important to note that networking does not have to result in a job; I have learned so much just by connecting with different types of people across a multitude of professions and industries. I make it a priority to actively seek new relationships and follow-up with old ones. While networking can seem intimidating, I like to think of it less formally; essentially networking is about meeting new people. Incorporating this belief has opened so many doors for me and will continue to do so. The business world is interconnected and not as big as it may seem so it is definitely worth it to stay connected.
Do you have mentor? If so, how did you select this person or people?
There are many people in my life who have acted as a mentor. Mentorship often has a very formal connotation. It puts a lot of pressure on a single person and high expectations for a mentor to perform for a mentee. I think of my support system as a personal "committee". For me, it is most important to find the people who I felt comfortable with and whose advice I could trust; that group for me continues to evolve and grow. I also think that it is important to acknowledge different opinions and experiences and understand that you are the ultimate decision maker. While the people in my support system have my best interest at heart, I don’t always follow the advice I receive. Over time, I’ve naturally developed a personal filter because no one truly knows what is best for me, except me. I never set out to find one specific person to consider a mentor. Instead, I have met great people in a variety of settings that include a past bosses, a few college professors, colleagues, and people I’ve met through networking and a range of other experiences.
What do you wish you could tell your Sophomore-year self?
I wish that I told my sophomore self to stop comparing myself to others; it is wasted energy. Luckily, I did just that, but it took awhile for me to truly understand. Learning in a business environment is often cut-throat. People are competing for the same jobs, and many people consider you as successful as your last internship. However, I have learned to appreciate that no two people's journey is the same and that everyone has their time to shine. I also would have told myself not to think of myself as a failure. I genuinely no longer believe in the concept of failure because there is always something to learn from a situation that did not turn out as expected, in fact, it is these types of situations where personal growth occurs. It is necessary to stay focused on yourself and your own personal development and the only person you should try to outperform is yourself.