CWIB would not be possible without our sponsors who provide networking opportunities, jobs to CWIB alumni, and insight into the corporate world. Protiviti, a global consulting firm, is one of these sponsors and I had the opportunity to hear more about this company from three CWIB alumni currently employed at Protiviti.
Andra Scaliti, a 2019 graduate with a Business Information Technology degree, says she found Protiviti through other CWIB members and a Pre-Business Horizon’s event. She says, “What stood out to me immediately were the people, each one of which I could easily have a friendly, open, and candid conversation with.” Lauren Carey, another 2019 graduate with a degree in Finance and Management found Protiviti through a workshop they held with CWIB and also from CWIB members newly employed there.
Heather Sangalang, also a 2019 grad who found Protiviti through connections in CWIB, says Protiviti stood out to her because, “everyone has been so warm, welcoming, and inclusive. The passion they have for Protiviti’s culture and mission, as well as their genuine desire to see their peers succeed, are evident.” She is, “so thankful to have a job that allows me to enjoy not just the work itself, but the people I work with as well.” Lauren mentions their new Foundations Program, which allows new employees to work on a range of projects, is what drew her to Protiviti and says “I was excited to be a part of this program to help me to figure out what I am actually interested in and have the opportunity to work with multiple clients.”
The transition from college to the real working world can be a tough one, but Protiviti provides assistance in many ways to help new employees feel at home. At the “training school” Heather says, “You get the opportunity to travel to a cool city with hundreds of other new hires to learn about what the firm is like, how to implement our methodology, what basic consulting skills are, and how to network.” Andra mentions this eased “the transition from college to corporate life.” Lauren says Protiviti’s mentorship program greatly helped her transition. She became friends with her peer advisor and says, “she was there to answer all of my questions and help me navigate my first months with the firm.” She mentions while the transition into the workforce has been difficult, her mentors have greatly helped.
Andra, Lauren, and Heather are all current consultants at Protiviti. Andra explains, “While consultant level responsibilities vary greatly across engagements, some common functions include attending client meetings, generating work papers, and completing risk assessments to enable our clients’ success.” Heather is currently working on a project with a large software company and with her team, “is conducting a risk assessment, which means we are evaluating the client’s current processes and identifying what risks exist that may impede their day-to-day operations, customer interactions, and profitability.” Lauren is currently working on an anti-money laundering project and is “in charge of account analysis and reviewing people’s accounts to determine if there is suspicious activity.” Andra is a Foundations Consultant in New York City and works “across multiple solutions including Technology Consulting, Business Performance Improvement, Risk and Compliance, and Internal Audit.” Though these women have similar job titles, their responsibilities and interests vary greatly and all have been able to find their place at the company.
Heather says in addition to working with clients, she has, “been able to help with campus recruiting, get involved in network groups (i.e. Women in Technology group), and plan social events.” Andra appreciates the experience Protiviti offers her and says “Protiviti enables rapid growth for its consultants’ skillsets, both technical and interpersonal.” Lauren says she has been given more responsibility in her first six months than she expected, which has made her feel valued and respected in the company.
If you are anything like me, you are probably wondering how to land a job at such a great company right out of college. Andra says in addition to being involved in CWIB leadership, she played Club Soccer and Club Lacrosse at Virginia Tech, “which built work ethic and taught team dynamics which apply directly to my day-to-day.” Lauren’s experience working at Wells Fargo part-time helped her “learn how to balance work and school. At my job now, my clients are mostly large banks so working at a bank has helped me to understand the customer facing side.” Heather, who was involved in various CWIB positions all four years at Virginia Tech, says in her roles she, “learned how to communicate within a team to execute things for the organization, which has helped me tremendously in my job now because I collaborate with people every day.” She was also a Student-Athlete Tutor, an experience that taught her to “think about how I communicate my thoughts and knowledge to others in order to transfer the information successfully”.
In an attempt to recruit other promising hires such as these women, Protiviti provides both internships and externships.” The internship is an eight-week program that allows interns to get real consulting experience. You get staffed on 2-3 short engagements throughout the summer. It may seem like you wouldn’t get that much experience in that short period of time, but you’ll be surprised how much you can learn,” explains Heather. Andra mentions “Virginia Tech is one of Protiviti’s target schools for recruiting and can be found on campus multiple times throughout the year for Business Horizons, Pamplin events, and of course CWIB workshops. Protiviti applications can be found on Handshake and the firm even provides convenient on-campus interviews for students. Protiviti hires interns, full-time hires, and offers its Summer Leadership Conference for sophomores to get involved early in the Protiviti community.”
As not only Virginia Tech graduates but CWIB alumni, I was curious what advice these women who are a few steps ahead of us could offer. Lauren suggests saying yes to as many opportunities as possible your first year at a company will help you get to know the people in the office and gain respect. Andra warns against imposter syndrome and says “Harnessing your abilities, taking ownership of your successes, and making your voice heard is a sure way to combat imposter syndrome, impress coworkers, and stand out among peers.” Heather says making connections now is extremely important and suggests, “Whether you introduce yourself to the speaker at a CWIB monthly meeting, ask for the business card of an interesting employee you meet on a trek, or start a conversation with the person sitting next to you in class, any small step is good practice!” She reminds us “As women, it’s important to have a strong support system in this male-dominated industry, and the more comfortable you are with making those connections, the more prepared you are to be successful in the business world!”
I would like to thank Heather, Andra, and Lauren for taking the time to give such great insight into their personal experiences at Virginia Tech and with Protiviti. Protiviti’s partnership with CWIB provides many valuable opportunities for its members and I encourage you to look for them at the next job fair or networking event!
By: Grace Farmelo