Early Talent, Intern to Full-Time, Career Advice
Recruiters want to find the star to add to their team, while candidates want to be the ones that shine.
Career Fair: Perseverance is the Key in Job Hunting
By Amy H. Chiu, Tech Brand Content Developer
What’s better than a firm handshake, a strong resume, and a great impression?
I remember first walking into career fairs seven years ago as an undergraduate student. Before the career fair, I was busy researching what a professional outfit meant. I stood in front of the mirror, changing from one business outfit to another. My feet felt awkward in those black closed-toe shoes, and I practiced smiling while saying my full name again and again.
Walking in the career fair, I saw other students and alumni holding copies of resumes in one hand and the map of the employer booths in another. Some looked stressed, and others looked excited while practicing their introduction line in the corner. Larger companies had long lines that averaged one hour or longer, like lining up for a ride at a theme park. I remember feeling overwhelmed, wondering how to stand out. The students and alumni were just as competitive and intelligent. I had seven seconds to make a good impression and five minutes to make my face memorable.
There were times when I started to wonder: When would someone take a chance on me? When would it be my turn? There were tears of frustration and a lot of nervous perspiration. I ask myself for the 10,000th time, “What does that person have that I don’t? If they take me, I will give my best and everything I’ve got. I promise.”
The stress of finding a summer internship and a first job was tremendous. Imagine waking up scrolling through social media and seeing many of your classmates posting, “I’m so proud to announce I’ll be starting as a (job title) at XYZ company,” followed by a sea of compliments. You check your inbox and refresh again, still nothing. No one talks about the rejections in the sea of positive social media posts on Instagram.
I remember feeling overwhelmed before attending my first career fair, I prepared and showcased myself by setting up a strong LinkedIn profile, writing a cover letter, and revising my resume. I even hired a career coach, visiting my strengths and weaknesses. I filled out worksheets, took personality tests, spent days and nights reading about my favorite companies on the list. On top of that, I visited the career center, attended more than 20+ workshops, and worked with counselors. I wanted to draft the “perfect” one-line bio on my profile, thinking it could make a difference. There were mock interviews, and I signed up repeatedly, hoping the skills would come in handy one day.
At the end of the day, I learned having a positive mindset in the process is just as crucial as any training. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed in the interview process. Allow yourself to be okay with that.
After finishing three internships and entering the workforce for a few years, I learned the value of perseverance. Speaking with many ADP tech associates as part of my job, I’ve noticed a common theme in their advice for future technologists: Do not be afraid.
Some other standard advice: continue to focus on your goal, ask questions, look for mentorship opportunities. Rejections are not the end of the world. It takes rejections to give you time to reflect, improve, and revise. Fear of rejection shouldn’t keep you from applying.
From the recruiter’s perspective
The hiring process is also two-sided. Recruiters want to find the star to add to their team, while candidates want to be the ones that shine. Sometimes people don’t recognize all the effort that goes into hiring and recruiting. Many students think about “impressing” the company rather than fitting into the company culture or the role.
I had an opportunity to speak with Lisa S., Senior Director of Talent Acquisition, and gained some interesting insights. Lisa and her campus recruiters want students to make the best-informed decisions on accepting an offer and ensuring the placement is an excellent match for both parties.
During our conversation, I was surprised to learn how frustrated companies get when students accept a job offer only to renege right before their start date to go to a different company.
I wondered if this happens more frequently in the world we live in today compared to 20 years ago. And does this occur only in tech, where most large corporations offer rich compensation to candidates? Is this a generational phenomenon? There’s not a right answer, but let’s observe and use these open questions in discussion with our teams.
When it comes to virtual and in-person recruiting events, Lisa encourages attendees to come prepared. From digital files to physical copies of resumes, have them ready. You never know who you will meet at the fair. Like it or not, a messy room in your zoom background shows the recruiter something about you.
Lisa and I also talked about the interview processes, and one thing stood out to me. Dear future candidates, please don’t memorize cheat sheet answers from online resources. The recruiters know, trust me, they know. Their recruiting experience can spot right away if your answer is authentic or not. I understand presenting your best self is essential, but please answer interview questions from the bottom of your heart. It sounds cliché, but verbally highlighting what you genuinely want makes you stand out.
Where do you want to be when you grow up? The last time you answered this question probably was when you had to write an essay for a homework assignment at school. I challenge you to find a balance between the job you are searching for and your passion.
“Do you want to work in product development? Do you want to work in management? Have a definitive path and speak to it,” Lisa said. “Come to us and say ‘I want to be a (job title) because of X, Y, and Z.’ The more information the candidate provides at the career fair, the better for us to place them in the right area.”
Come to the ADP booth and learn about the six-week extended GPT Development Program. It’s an opportunity for students to meet with leaders and understand our products. You will make a real contribution if you are lucky enough to get chosen for the program. One of our students developed an algorithm to match graduating students with leaders based on their top five choices. Everyone has a voice here, no matter the title or years of service.
If I could tell my younger self one thing before I walked into that career fair, it would be: Go for it! Talk to the recruiter, and don’t be afraid to show your curiosity. ADP’s campus recruiting team spends time reading all the resumes they collect, but it’s the impression you make that sets you apart. We hire in various settings, including tech conferences, virtual fairs, and employee referral programs.
Fill your career path with pleasant surprises. Every decision adds up and reroutes you to a different place, preparing and building you for the next challenge. I’m excited to explore mine, and I’d like to invite you to take on your own unique adventure here at ADP.
Learn more about what it’s like working for ADP here and our current openings.
Women in STEM, Recognition, Grace Hopper
AnitaB.org recognized ADP for making the most progress toward the equity of women among companies with large technical workforces. We know that having a more diverse organization makes us stronger, and we are proud of supporting women in technology. Hear from Krupali who describes her recruiting experience with ADP at Grace Hopper.
At this year’s virtual Grace Hopper Celebration hosted by the nonprofit social enterprise AnitaB.org, they announced ADP earned the distinction as a 2020 Top Companies for Women Technologists Winner in the Large Technical Workforce category. Read the full press release here.
AnitaB.org recognized ADP for making the most progress toward the equity of women among companies with large technical workforces. We know that having a more diverse organization makes us stronger, and we are proud of supporting women in technology.
Our Global Product and Technology (GPT) organization stays close to industry benchmarks and has adopted measures to continue to drive progress. ADP also supports philanthropic organizations that nurture the career development of girls and women in the technology field, helping them to fulfill their potential as future tech leaders.
Our technology leaders are committed to driving diversity, including recruiting and developing women technologists while providing opportunities for them to grow their careers.
Since we are celebrating Grace Hopper, let’s check out a post about one of our attendees and hear from Krupali as she describes her recruiting experience with ADP & Grace Hopper.
To learn more about our Campus Programs, visit Who We Hire.
Scholarship Winners, Women in Tech, Diversity & Inclusion
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[TEXT] When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, WIT was faced with how to give inspiring STEAM students scholarship awards virtually. Fake interviews were set up to lead the scholarship winners into believing they had one last interview before a decision was made. Their reactions were priceless.
[DESCRIPTION] Young women of color speak to administrators on video screens.
[MARIUM ZAFAR] I’m a student at Georgia Gwinnett College majoring in IT.
[EVE BARRETT] I’m an incoming senior at Agnes Scott. Right here right next to me is my mom.
[SANDY ALI] I am a senior at Georgia Gwinnett College majoring in information technology software development and minoring in business.
[MARIUM ZAFAR] I think I took like an intro to coding class, and I said, oh no, I can’t do this. I was letting the environment influence me rather than letting my dreams or what I wanted to do influence me.
[SANDY ALI] When it comes to talking about WIT, it really helped me believe in myself when I was the only female in all my IT classes. I thought this, I’m in the wrong field. IT is not for me. And that’s why WIT actually supported me and believed in me.
[MARIUM ZAFAR] So when I joined Women in Tech, I was just so excited to see women in tech, women in STEM, and that be something that was normalized. So I want to be able to show other girls you can also go into tech.
[EVE BARRETT] Women who look like me, women of color, young girls of color, letting them know that you can do whatever you set your mind to. You shouldn’t let the statistics bother you. That’s what I’m trying to do in pursuing STEAM.
[KANYATTA WALKER] Have to let you in on a tad bit of a little bit of the secret here. So this is kind of a hoax. We knew all along you were the scholarship winner. So let’s just make it official. Congratulations.
[AISHA THOMAS PETIT] Congratulations.
[MARIUM ZAFAR] Did everybody know?
[MARIUM ZAFAR] Brianna, she knew ahead? Brianna, I’m going to text you after this and we’re going to talk.
[KANYATTA WALKER] Winner of the Women in Technology $5,000 scholarship from ADP is Eve Barrett. Congratulations.
[EVE BARRETT] Thank you.
[DESCRIPTION] Women smile and Eve hugs her mom.
[AISHA THOMAS PETIT] They made me do it, Eve. They made me do it.
[KANYATTA WALKER] Congratulations.
[SANDY ALI] Is that a joke?
[AISHA THOMAS PETIT] We’re very serious.
[DESCRIPTION] Young woman clutches her face.
[SANDY ALI] Thank you so much. I appreciate you so much for believing in me and for believing my goals and my dreams and awarding me this scholarship. It’s very honoring.
[LOGO] 2020 WIT CONNECT VIRTUAL
[TEXT] Thank you all those that participated in the making of this special video:
Aisha Thomas-Petit, Chief Diversity, Inclusion & Corporate Social Responsibility Officer.
Kanyatta Walker, VP, Global Product & Technology.
Georgia Gwinnett College:
Dr. Sonal Dekhane, Interim Dean, School of Science & Technology.
Dr. Umar Khokhar, Assistan Professor of Information Technology.
Dr. Hyesung Park, Assistan Professor.
Brianna Hickson, Student, Co-President WIT Campus for GGC.
[LOGO] ADP, Always Designing for People.
[TEXT] ADP and the ADP logo are registered trademarks of ADP, Inc. All other marks are the property of their respective owners. Copyright 2020 ADP, Inc.
Catch all the feels as Aisha, our Chief Diversity, Inclusion & Corporate Social Responsibility Officer, and Kanyatta, one our Vice Presidents, break the news to three lucky STEAM winners for ADP scholarships. (Spoiler: there may have been some tears!)
Interns, Virtual, Campus Programs
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[TEXT] Meet ADP’s 2020 Global Product and Technology Summer Interns. When we first met our soon-to-be GPT Summer 2020 Interns, we never could have predicted how quickly the world would shift. We are so grateful to our 115 Summer Interns who came along on this virtual journey with us. So much so, that we’d like you to meet some of them.
[DESCRIPTION] Pictures appear one by one of young adults. Two of the young men and a young woman introduce themselves in videos. Text, Hello from our GPT Interns.
[PRANSHAV THAKKAR] Hey, everyone. My name is Pranshav Thakkar, and I’m a computer science Master’s major at the Georgia Institute of Technology. I have one semester left, so I’ll be graduating in December of 2020.
[MISCAN BUGATTI] Hi. My name’s Miscan Bugatti and I study at the University of Minnesota at Twin Cities, and I will be graduating next spring, so spring 2021. I’m majoring in computer science and have been loving it so far.
[WILLIAM ZUBACK] Hey, everyone. My name is William Zuback, and I’m an intern here at ADP. This coming fall, I’m going to be a senior at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia, where I’m majoring in information science and minoring in leadership studies as part of the President’s Leadership Program there.
[TEXT] When asked how to describe ADP in one word, here’s what we heard. Diverse, Supportive, Nurturing, Balance, Welcoming, Meaningful, Innovative. Here is some advice for future #ADPTech Interns.
[PRANSHAV THAKKAR] Hey, everyone. So my advice for future interns is don’t be afraid to ask questions or speak up or talk to anyone, because everyone here is really, really friendly and they want to see you succeed.
[SPEAKER] So one major advice I’d like to give future interns is to ask smart questions.
[WILLIAM ZUBACK] I think the best piece of advice that I could offer to a future intern of ADP is not be afraid to ask questions.
[TEXT] Ready to see highlights from our virtual offices? Let’s Go. As a GPT Intern, you’ll receive:
• Exposure, guidance and learnings from Senior Leaders.
• Access to a mentorship program.
• Experience meaningful, global project-based work.
• Gain a sense of community with fellow interns.
• Participate in a corporate social responsibility day.
[DESCRIPTION] A man appears on a video call.
[AARON SMITH] Hi, everyone. My name is Aaron Smith, and I’m SVP of Product Development for our National Accounts Business Unit here at ADP. We’re really excited to have you join our team. And this week, I’m also excited to share with you some of my own experiences along with a little bit about the technology that we’re building.
[SUJINAN VENKATESH] My name is Sujnan Venkatesh. I am the Head of HR for the Global Product and Technology Organization at ADP. I want to start off with extending an extremely warm welcome to all of you to ADP and to a new normal. I didn’t think that I was going to be doing my first talk with all of you virtually, and it seems like it’s going to be like that for a little bit. So I hope all of you are staying safe and healthy.
[DESCRIPTION] A laptop screen shows a video call with two men.
[TEXT] Demo meeting with my manager and mentor.
[DESCRIPTION] A screen shows a video conference with 25 participants. A screen shows another video conference.
[TEXT] Intern Happy Hours are my favorite.
[DESCRIPTION] Pictures showing a smiling young man and woman while holding boxes at a food bank.
[TEXT] Ready to design what’s next? Visit tech.adp.com. Find your way into our world. Follow us at ADP Careers. #ADPTech.
[LOGO] ADP, Always Designing for People.
[TEXT] ADP and the ADP logo are registered trademarks of ADP, Inc. Copyright 2020 ADP, Inc.
Faced with the challenges of 2020, ADP moved ahead and took this year’s global summer internship program virtual! How did it go? Hear what our interns had to say!