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Passport Networking Program

Author by Megan Dehn

As a new Data & AI intern here at Concurrency, I was instructed to participate in the Passport Networking Program. Before starting this program, I was told that the first intern to finish all seven interviews would receive a special prize at the end of the program. Hearing this, my competitive roots began to show, and I instantly knew that it was my duty to finish the program first. Not only was this mysterious prize a valid motivator, but I was genuinely interested in learning more about the consulting industry.

I constructed a series of interview questions ranging from demographic questions, to consulting as an industry, and Concurrency as a whole. I was able to diversify which questions I asked each consultant, which allowed me to construct analysis on a variety of answers. I started the program by deciding to interview employees that did not hold a position in my department, Data & AI. I did this to thoroughly understand what different employees do on a day-to-day basis here at Concurrency. I also wanted to meet more people, so I also figured that this was the perfect networking opportunity for me.

The following list provides some of the questions that I asked these consultants.

  • What was your major in college, and do you think that your position adequately links with what you studied?
  • What does a typical day at work look like for you?
  • Why did you choose Concurrency as your place of employment?
  • What is one mistake you have made in consulting that you were able to learn from?

After performing analysis on some responses, I identified some patterns. In discussions regarding a possible route to higher education, all these consultants stated that they are continuously learning through their work. Although they may not be placed in a typical classroom setting, consulting provides individuals to properly learn new skills daily, only allowing improvement to a more well-rounded individual.

At the end of each interview, I asked everyone to give me a piece of advice to make the most out of my internship here at Concurrency. Although this may be considered a “basic” question, others may assume that there can be a “basic” answer accompanied by this.

Ask questions. Never stop asking questions. Never.

I’ve been told this many times, and I’m sure you have too. Surprisingly though, I needed to hear it again. We often forget this. Why are we able to ask questions when constructing conversations between friends and family, but when put into a professional setting amongst coworkers and educational peers, we cannot? Are we scared? Are we making too many assumptions? Are we just too lazy? (I hope not).

If I asked you to learn complex material without asking questions, could you do it? Questions are the best way to learn, stimulate, provoke, inspire, and to gain deeper insights, right? So why is asking questions so hard sometimes?

I not only represent myself as an intern at Concurrency, but also a friend, a sister, a daughter, and a student. Within all my relationships I frequently ask questions, and I am determined to maintain this quality throughout my workplace relationships. The Passport Networking Program has not only taught me how to construct a professional interview with several of my coworkers, but also understand the importance of communication in the workplace. With that, comes asking questions. Without asking questions, we wouldn’t be able to learn, properly make conversation, or be great consultants.

As the first intern to complete the Passport Program, I am pleased to announce that yes, I will receive a prize. Honestly, if the prize were just a snickers bar, I’d be okay with that. I really, really love food. All prize speculations aside, this program allowed me to network within Concurrency, simultaneously providing a smooth introduction to my internship. I want to personally thank all seven of the consultants that I interviewed, so thank you for taking thirty minutes out of your day to speak with me. I have been reminded of the importance of asking questions and why these discussions are so important for my career.