Duke MQM Student Blog
How I Secured My First Job in Tech
Now four terms into MQM, I’m excited to share that I secured my first job in tech, and I wanted to share my experience and some tips on how I got to this point!
Before coming to Fuqua to begin my journey within MQM, I knew that everyone’s job search would begin and look differently. For me, while I had a concrete idea of the industry I aspired to work in, I was ecstatic to leverage Fuqua’s deep network of support from my MQM peers to the Career Management Center (CMC) to help me secure my dream full-time job. Now four terms into MQM, I’m excited to share that I secured my first job in tech, and I wanted to share my experience and some tips on how I got to this point!
I grew up in a blue-collar household where my mother was a cashier at a gas station, grocery store, and a movie theater, and my father was a farmworker, a grocery store bagger, and a military veteran who eventually served 25 years. I never knew a person who worked in a corporate setting, so I never imagined myself working there. However, while studying business analytics, finance, and data science during my undergrad years, I drew from these experiences to expose me to the fields of work I wanted to pursue. Through the years I explored positions within nonprofit work, material procurement, product fulfillment and trade compliance, and supply chain risk management through internships. In a matter of time, I felt confident that I wanted to work within tech, specifically with the operations of consumer products.
Now knowing the field and positions I wanted to enter, my first step at Fuqua was to receive help from my classmates within MQM to help me finalize and updated resumes, cover letters, and perfect my “elevator pitch.” Thanks to the diversity of work experience within MQM, those who helped me knew what looked and sounded promising from an applicant. At this point, I felt comfortable reaching out to the connections I made along the way to see if there were any opportunities to join their teams.
My biggest turning point was reaching out to my connections at Dell Technologies, where I interned for three years. I wanted to discuss where I could apply my business analytics skills from the MQM curriculum to Dell’s global operations group. Knowing that I was taking classes in decision analytics, operations analytics, data visualization, and data science, I knew I could speak on the positive change I could bring to Dell’s supply chain with the skills I would acquire. One conversation led to another, and in time I was offered a position to work for Dell as a senior analyst project manager within their Supply Chain Risk & Resilience team and to join their inaugural class of the Supply Chain Immersion Program.
Within this role and rotational program, I will be leading my team’s analytics initiatives within Dell’s supply chain to predict and proactively decide where product is most susceptible to disruption due to environmental disasters, socio-political threats, and many other potential risks. Reflecting on my journey to get to this point where I no longer have to worry where I will be after graduation, I offer these four tips to help anyone along their search:
1. Don’t let your background determine your success—own your narrative.
Whether professional or personal, do not let anything define or limit where you think you can go. Let the parts that make up your story show why you are an asset to any organization: your special skills; your life-learning experiences; your unique perspective.
2. Ask for help!
Without asking my peers to review my application materials and going to the CMC to learn how to negotiate, I wouldn’t be where I am today. If there is anything you are not sure of, I guarantee someone at Fuqua is an expert and is willing to help!
3. Build connections whenever possible.
From classmates to professors to mentors, and everyone in between, make sure to connect with those you create relationships with because you never know when those connections will become your future coworker or boss!
4. Pass on support to the next person.
Make sure to continue paying it forward by sharing your journey to success, any pieces of advice, and any open positions on your team you think a connection might be a great match for.