Ariel Belgrave is a BC alumna who is currently working as an Executive Officer Senior Analyst at JP Morgan Chase. She visited the BC Career Center to speak with students about her recent experiences, career path and choices, and to give general advice to current BC students. In case you missed her visit, here are some take-away points:
1) If you’re interested in something, take a class in it. Ariel was a Psychology major at BC, but she had an interest in working outside of the traditional Psychology career paths. She took a tax course outside of her BC course work, and this gave her the skills she needed to pursue her current career. Ariel recommended that students should look for other ways to gain skills and knowledge, even if it’s not within their traditional major courses.
2) The number one aspect that Ariel has leveraged is people. She recommends networking, joining LinkedIn groups based on interests and skills, getting in touch with alumni, and maintaining relationships with any previous supervisors or professionals. It is useful for finding jobs in the future, as well as understanding a possible job of interest.
3) Rotational programs give a well-rounded experience. Ariel is currently working in a rotational program at JP Morgan Chase, and this has given her a wide variety of skills. She stressed the importance of flexibility while starting out in a career.
4) Use an entry-level job to sculpt yourself and gain skills. Focus on the job characteristics, skills you will gain, and work with your manager to develop your talents. Use a first job to help guide you towards your next job and just in general in your career path.
5) Do things outside of the general job description to gain experience. Ariel described how she has not yet had to say “no” to a project; she views any additional tasks as a way to gain exposure to multiple areas of the company. Additionally, Ariel has joined the board of a non-profit organization, which gives her varied professional experience outside of her company and day-to-day work.
6) Keep good time management, and maintain your health. Even with her busy schedule, Ariel finds time to exercise, walk around the city, and see friends. She mentioned that time management and her calendar are very important and useful, but it’s possible to do everything you want if you use your time well.
-Megan Cain, Lynch School of Education, Class of 2013