By FASTLANE Graduate and Loan Review Analyst Sneha Bhanfdari
A person’s first job is usually accompanied by a new apartment, the freedom of living alone and maybe a new car. However, most recent graduates don’t realize that the complete package also includes paying your own rent, making car payments and being kicked off of your parents’ insurance plan. Besides getting a job, there are two very important items you need to have on your checklist to be able to afford this freedom: 1) continue to learn and grow and 2) make the journey fun.
As a recent Digital Risk FASTLANE program graduate, sitting on the production floor, I was reminded of the time I texted my 13 year old cousin asking about her weekend and receiving a reply saying “nm hbu”. It took me a minute to decode the text, which turned out to mean “Nothing much, how about you?” You see, we learned a lot of acronyms while in the FASTLANE Program, like BA stands for borrower authorization. As we moved to the production floor, I learned more acronyms that I could ever imagine. I sent an IM (instant message) to my team lead asking for help and he replied “OMW”. I was struggling to understand the IM when, in just a couple of seconds, my team lead was at my desk. “On My Way” – so that’s what it meant! Just yesterday, I was trying to get help from a quality control team lead and he sent me an IM saying “What’s your ?” I had to ask him to clarify twice to realize that he was asking me what my question was. I also learned that an IM in all caps does not mean the person is screaming at me. A lot of our work is done using all caps, and it takes time to turn the caps lock on and off. People say time is money and we are all committed to saving time and increasing productivity.
Many people think the ability to adapt in a work place is only required when you are moving between jobs, but I have learned that this is a false perception. At Digital Risk, I learn something new every day and adapt to new roles as my job requires. Since starting in July 2013, I have worked in two projects, changed seats five times and worked under five different team leads. In my 11 months as a D-Risker, I have learned to become adaptable and flexible. These qualities are essential in every employee who works for clients with ever-changing needs. In an industry such as this one, change is inevitable and so is adapting to new roles. The key is to adapt quicker than everyone else and to be the first to reach the top rung of the ladder.
As we spent our first three months incubated in a training room, we found ways to keep ourselves entertained during any downtime. We organized pot luck lunches and, at times, even tried our luck at playing putt-putt. Once we graduated to the production floor, I realized that Digital Risk leadership believes in the proverb “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. The pot luck lunches have continued along with activities, such as bowling, corn hole, hula hoops and much more. There are times when the nerf guns find their way out of the drawer and the war begins. There is always something going on that will give us a break when we need it. And now, the newly installed check-In stations even allow us to surf the internet and use social media. These perks may seem small, but when you are on the floor, you realize that every little thing makes a difference in the 40 hour work week.
During my time at Digital Risk, I met a lot of people. I made friends to join at happy hour, to put on my speed dial in case of emergency, and to cheer me up after not so good quality control feedbacks. I have met people who inspire me to perform better every day, and I have gained mentors who help me reach my goals of becoming a top performer. These friends give me a reason to get out of bed, come to work and deliver my best performance. Working at Digital Risk would not be the same without D-Riskers. I learn from them every day as they help me grow personally and professionally.
As I am progressing in my career, I am realizing that success isn’t just a result of being good at your job. It’s a combination of things, like who you surround yourself with and how you treat the people around you. I am also realizing that the two items on my check list can never be crossed off because building a career is like participating in a race without a finish line where everyone wants to win.