Ellen Jang is a 2016 Steinhardt graduate, who received her Bachelor’s in Global Public Health and Applied Psychology.
Jeanne Qiu is a 2016 Stern graduate, who received her Bachelor’s in Marketing and Finance, with a minor in Public Policy and Management.
Hello NYU! We’re Ellen and Jeanne, two recent NYU grads who are currently Associates at Capco, an innovative and fast-growing management consulting firm that specializes in the financial services industry. A key part of the culture here is the #BYAW (Be Yourself at Work) group, which is devoted to creating an environment where employees feel comfortable bringing their true selves with them to work every day. It makes this a truly unique place to work, and a lot more fun! Keep scrolling to learn some tips we’ve picked up during our time here for how you can be yourself at work too.
Act a fool
We both started at Capco together back in June 2016, fresh out of our purple gowns but still wearing our violet pride. The Associate Training Program (ATP) that kicked off our careers at Capco was a whirlwind experience that constantly pushed us out of our comfort zones. Besides typical stumbles as we all grew accustomed to the job, an especially memorable (and embarrassing) part of ATP was the Bucket Challenge. Each member of the class wrote a ridiculous challenge on a slip of paper that was added to a bucket, and any tardy students had to take a challenge from the bucket and perform it. We witnessed our classmates dance to Taylor Swift, belt out I Will Always Love You, run around in the hallways of Capco, and so much more. While these experiences were often mortifying at the time, the result was that our ATP class quickly grew comfortable with each other with many funny shared memories, and became a huge source of support.
Turn outside-of-work passions and hobbies into inside-of-work passions and hobbies
You can work hard and play hard at work. Share your passions, excitements, accomplishments, and goals with those you work with. Let your colleagues support you in your next half-marathon by getting them all to sign up for the half-marathon with you. Now you have training partners and people to keep you accountable! You can also utilize your hobbies to help others. One of the partners at Capco has competed in the World Series Poker Tournament. He’s helped put together an annual charity poker tournament where all contributions are donated to the charity of the winner’s choice. When you bring your out-of-work passions into work, you can also bring people together around your passions. At Capco, everyone has a coach, which creates a coaching/family tree structure, with a partner leading each tree. Once a month, two or three coaches come together to host an event. One of our partners LOVES karaoke, so she challenged two other partners and their trees to a karaoke battle. Spice Girls and Justin Bieber never sounded so good and so off-key. When you are your truest, most honest self with your colleagues those Sunday Scaries will be a little less scary… and it’ll feel like you’re playing hard when you’re working hard.
Find common ground outside of work topics
When you spend many hours of the day, every day, working with the same people, there are bound to be occasional disagreements and conflicts. When these moments occur you’d be surprised at how much it helps smooth things over just to know that there is something else you can fall back on that brings you together and helps you all forget about work-related stress. This requires talking about things outside of work with your coworkers! It can be a struggle at times to know where to start. But it’s worth it once you find that common ground for days when you’re getting out of a tough meeting, people are feeling tense, and switching to talking about the latest Game of Thrones episode immediately lifts everyone’s spirits and gets you back in the mode to work as a cohesive team.
Keep these tips in mind and you won’t have to exhaust yourself with pretending to be someone you’re not at work, taking valuable energy away from focusing on the quality of your work and work relationships. Wherever you decide to work after graduation, we hope you never let go of that individuality and authenticity that NYU students are known and loved for – except for Sternies. (Just kidding! Jeanne wrote that and #SheIsStern.)
If you would like to learn more about Capco and how we work, join us for a site visit on Thursday, September 7th from 12:00-2:00 p.m. at our Manhattan location. You’ll get a tour of our space, meet our recruitment team, and enjoy a Q&A panel with recent NYU alumni like us! You’ll also get to go home with some Capco swag. This site visit is geared towards undergraduate seniors from all majors and academic backgrounds. Students of color and from underrepresented communities are strongly encouraged to sign-up. Please register via NYU CareerNet here.