Introducing Centric’s Campus Recruit Spotlight. Learn about recent graduates that are making the transition into the professional world.
This month, we talk to a new hire – a Consultant and Software Developer in Chicago.
1. When did you start with Centric? What did your recruiting process look like?
I started with Centric in June 2016, a month after my graduation. My recruiting process went very smoothly.
It started with Centric in attendance at the University of Illinois career fair, which is where I met Bill, in my senior year of college. I went up to him and asked what Centric was about and from there the rest was history.
2. Tell us about your work experience prior to coming to Centric.
Prior to Centric, I worked an internship at a printing company called Fluent Grp., doing work with Microsoft, and another internship at a printing company, writing software for them in VB.NET. Because they were both internships in the summers of college, I learned a lot, but in the end was still an intern – so the majority of the work that I did was simply migrating code in .NET from VB to C#.
Although I put in a lot of hours there, the functionality of the code was always the same – so I wasn’t able to visibly see the effort that I put in. Here at Centric, I feel like I really make a difference with the work I do for my clients, with the range of front-end development that I’ve been doing for them.
3. What has the transition between campus life and working for Centric been like?
It’s definitely been interesting, to say the least. I’ve worked with a few clients since starting. One required a commute to Downtown Chicago, which was about 40 minutes. That wasn’t too bad as I love downtown!
For my other two clients, I’ve been working from home. Although working from home has its benefits as I’m able to avoid some awful Chicago commutes, one of the largest drawbacks is that I’m not able to interact with my clients or coworkers on a face-to-face basis. So working from home is definitely a change of pace, especially the social aspect of it.
Overall, campus life at U of I is definitely a change of pace compared to working in the real world, with more business involved and less pleasure, due to the 9-to-5 schedules that I did not have back in college.
4. What has been the hardest part of the transition been? The easiest?
Moving was probably the roughest part, as well as getting used to the fact that I didn’t have campus organizations and groups of people available to hang out with every day after classes.
The easiest part of the transition was probably the on-boarding process with Centric – I feel like they gave me a really smooth transition from student life to work life with all the materials, training, and nice mentors around. This is where I give a shout out to the tech team in Chicago, specifically Jeremy Gruenwald!
5. What are the main differences between being a full-time employee and being an intern?
The main difference is definitely the fact that the work I do matters a lot more than what I did as an intern – from small, daily projects to engineering large-scale, longer term designs and solutions.
One example of this was a code migration project that I worked on at my internship. I was given a small task of migrating code in .NET from VB to C#, and although I finished it and pushed it to production, it wasn’t a very satisfying project due to the nature of the task.
Since coming to Centric and working with my clients, I’m able to offer insights into our code design decisions, then follow through and build the code, which makes me feel like a much more valued and impactful employee.
6. What is your favorite part about working for Centric?
The work-life balance and the quality of employees that we have. Everyone is super positive, friendly, and smart, so I feel like it drives me to learn and improve even faster because it’s such a good environment!
7. How does your current role fit into your desired career path?
Given that I graduated from U of I with a degree in Computer Engineering, I planned to pursue a career in Software Development from the start. Over the past year, I have taken on developer roles at three clients, developing and engineering solutions for them that align with my career path.
8. What is your advice to those looking for careers after graduation?
Don’t get discouraged! Keep applying and being proactive. Practice a ton of mock interviews with your peers, and always make sure your resume is top-notch.
9. What are some of the biggest lessons you have learned during your time here?
Delivery and presentation to the client are probably the two most important things as an entry-level consultant.
10. Can you describe an unmatched employee experience that you have had while you’ve been with Centric?
Working at WeWork was probably one of the best experiences I’ve ever had since I started working.
I loved the facility, the kitchen, and just working with smart coworkers together in a tight-knit group environment. Shout out to Centric for setting us up in that place!
11. Can you describe an unmatched client experience that you have delivered while you’ve been with Centric?
Working to complete a deliverable for a client on Easter weekend. The client had requested for an item to be completed two weeks in the future, but then the time frame changed on a Thursday and we were given four work days to get it done. I worked over the Easter weekend and managed to get it delivered in time for the client’s presentation on Wednesday, and they were extremely happy!