Young professional Q&A: Creating a positive perception when joining the workforce

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The Intern to In Charge – Young Professionals Blog Series spotlights thriving young professionals at DXC Technology and their personal advice for new hires who are transitioning from campus to corporate life.

Interview by Racquel Royer, Digital Marketing Intern

DXC young professional Jonathan White learned how “to be comfortable being uncomfortable” while he was an intern at Def Jam Records, before working as a Business Analyst and transitioning to his role as an Advisory Executive at DXC. The Chicago native credits his success to positive energy and time management. And now that he’s had a few years of experience in a corporate work environment, White wants to share his tips for confidently engaging in the workplace, planning for projects and creating a positive self image.

What was your most valuable internship experience and what did it teach you?

I interned with Def Jam Recordings when I was in college. I was in charge of a budget and it gave me a lot of project management skills and experience handling action items. It also taught me how to market a brand to the general public and how to use my creativity to engage customers or consumers with that particular brand. It’s a lot of trial and error and being able to communicate with different people.

I also had a great mentor that taught me how to seize opportunities. He always said to be comfortable being uncomfortable. Just because you’re in a situation or environment that you don’t feel comfortable in doesn’t mean you should conform, you should engage. When I had engaging conversations, I got connected to people I thought would never be possible.

What are your best tips for transitioning from campus to corporate life?

Let your work speak for itself, especially at DXC. Definitely make sure that people can put your name to your face and that they can remember you and know who you are. Also use your time wisely, it will go quick. You don’t want to look back and say you should’ve done something else. Just make sure to network, use your resources and let your work speak for itself.

How do you network?

At DXC, I’m in the corporate office and I’m young. People are reciprocal to people of a certain age. Research the executives. If you see them in the hallway, say hi or maybe ask them a question. Try to go to networking events that align to your career path or your interests so you can meet like-minded people. That energy and conversation can lead to something great. Smiling is always a good thing. If you join a conversation and convey a good smile, people are generally more engaging. Body language is key.

How do you manage your time in a flexible work environment?

Project management. I set a lot of calendar reminders on my phone. I tend to forget things so I set several reminders. If I have a meeting in 30 minutes I may give myself 3 reminders. When I go into a meeting I want to come out with concrete next steps for what needs to take place for things to get done. Get up early and stay late depending on what you’re working on. You’ve got to be able to manage your personal time and your work time. It’s a balance and you’ll figure it out. My methods may not work for how you go about your day. I do think that everyone should write things down especially when you have new ideas. My biggest thing is to have a notebook. For meetings, questions and next steps. At the end of the day you can look at your notes and plan accordingly.

What should new hires avoid?

A negative perception. You have a clean slate. Drive the perception of how you want others to think of you. Come in, do the work and have a positive energy. Be a good person to collaborate with and have fresh ideas. Always be open and visible. That is the most important thing for a new hire. Can they ask you questions? Are you alert and visible when someone needs you? Create the vision of yourself. You are in control of how others view you.


Jonathan-White-headshotJonathan White is a brand manager at DXC.

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