Editor’s note: The Emerging Leaders Program facilitates the college-to-career transition by providing opportunities for recent college graduates in a variety of career tracks, including: Program Analyst, Contract Specialist, Financial Management Analyst, IT Specialist, Building Management Specialist, Realty Specialist, Project Management and Asset Management. You can learn more about the program here.
Why Did I Join?
As I enter into my third rotation in the Emerging Leaders Program, I began to reflect on my time thus far. The Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) takes participants through a college-to-career transition by providing opportunities for recent college graduates in a variety of career tracks. ELP participants participate in work experiences, training, networking, and developmental opportunities designed to build technical and leadership skills; and develop a broad knowledge of the agency and its core functions.
I joined the ELP Program in Fall 2015 per the recommendation of my supervisor James Wyatt. In this program I was able to start my career with my cohort, a group of other ELP hires, who helped me to gain a sense of community .Unlike the rest of my cohort class, I did not get recruited into this program while I was college. My journey through ELP has been slightly different. I began my career with GSA three and half years ago. Upon my graduation from Howard University, I was selected to represent the the National Capital Region in the ELP Program. I was the first ELPer to be selected from the region.
What Have I Learned?
Through this program I have learned so much about GSA. Rotating through many different offices has given me a more well rounded insight about the agency.
Here at GSA we do more than just lease buildings to other federal agencies. GSA is a leader in innovation and open to trying new ideas and technologies. What surprised me most, however, is how much I am learning about myself while in this program. Prior to my acceptance into the ELP Program I had been doing the same job for two and half years. In this program, every three months I rotate to a different office in the agency. I learned that I am a quick study, comfortable with meeting new people, and have good communication skills. I’ve also learned that I am an influencer who thrives in a collaborative atmosphere. I know this to be true, because I have done well in every collaborative office I’ve worked in.
How ELP Will Help Me?
The Emerging Leaders Program will only continue assist me in enhancing my professional development. From networking to all of the technical training we receive, I have had the privilege of meeting people in the agency that I might not have otherwise. The staff has created the opportunity for me to rotate, an opportunity I did not have in my previous position. ELP has also given me the chance to put my broadcast journalism degree to good use. Prior to this program I did not believe there was a place for a journalist in the government but I was wrong. Almost every communications person I have met has worked as journalist and has given me great advice on how to go forth in both the private and public sectors. I am enjoying my experience thus far, and feel blessed to be able to share my story with you.