By Loan Review Analyst George Bradea
Graduating from college surely meant jobs would be easy to find, right? Well, as for my experience, finding a job was very frustrating because of a lack of certain technical skills, such as database (SQL) and advanced Excel (VBA). These were critical skills in the finance, business and technology fields.
After several phone interviews that failed to progress to the next step, I became frustrated and slowly lost confidence in my ability to land a job. I needed to get past my seemingly inadequate telephone interviewing skills and land a face to face interview so I could showcase my personality. My growing lack of confidence didn’t stop at the interview stage; I was beginning to feel inadequate in my knowledge and skill set. All of my previous customer service experience was not enough, not even for customer service positions. Now I was beginning to even doubt the value of my degree. Every potential employer wanted experience for entry level positions; no one wanted to hire me. It was a catch 22 that made me reconsider going back for a Master’s Degree, or at best, seek an unpaid internship to get my foot in the door and the experience employers wanted.
Then one day, at my college’s annual career fair, I met FASTLANE Program Manager Michael Carrasquillo from Digital Risk. I quickly realized the value of the Digital Risk FASTLANE program. This was the perfect opportunity for a recent college graduate while seemingly too good to be true. FASTLANE would obviously attract some stiff competition from the best candidates, but after moving through the initial phone interview to a face to face interview, I became hopeful.
Two weeks following the interview, I received my offer. The program would begin in six weeks – May 20, 2013. Excitement and anxiety were just a few of the emotions I was experiencing. I was eager to begin, eager to learn, and eager to become a young professional. As one of my colleagues stated, “College may be pertinent to an actual job or career, but it rarely prepares a person for one.” FASTLANE was an extremely beneficial step in becoming a full time employee.” Mario Allen of FASTLANE also added, “Coming out of college and immediately going into the workforce is not easy. The FASTLANE program was essential for our success here as it took us through a strict training program. That, in itself, was the difference maker in our success [and] experience.”
During the first three months we depended heavily on our subject matter experts. To this day, we still attribute our success to the impeccable knowledge of our SMEs. Once on the production floor, the dynamics changed. Due to the layout of the production floor, getting face time with our SMEs was difficult, so we began to rely on the collective knowledge of the group. In many instances, a group of us would discuss a scenario, passionately debate, and reach a conclusion. Yet, our group was then spread out across the production floor, making this access to one other difficult. I soon got the hang of things and began to excel with independence and confidence.
Approaching the one year anniversary of the program, it’s exciting to see the changes that FASTLANE has experienced. Many of us have pursued other internal opportunities as we continue to grow as professionals.
We attribute much of our success to Michael Carrasquillo, who has been there for us at all times. To this day, although we have graduated from the FASTLANE program, Mike is still as supportive as ever. He has definitely made a difference for all of us. He and the SMEs were the DNA of our success. And these individuals can be the DNA of your success as well. Anyone graduating from college and looking for a career should check out Digital Risk; I know this company has helped me, and I know it can help you!