At Protiviti we are proud to see our people recognized for the great things they achieve. One such recent accolade was given to Leslie Bordelon, a Senior Manager in our Houston office. Leslie was celebrated as an emerging leader by Ia Magazine, the official magazine of The Institute of Internal Auditors. You can read the full article by clicking here.
We have known Leslie to be a star ever since she interned with Protiviti and returned as a full-time consultant after graduation. Leslie is a great example of what all of our students can achieve! I asked her to share some thoughts on her journey from student to professional and the value that she gets now from working with recent graduates.
Q: As a proud graduate of Louisiana State University, how did your academic background prepare you for your career in consulting?
A: The LSU CIA program instilled a sense of professionalism and work ethic that I might not have otherwise learned so early on. The program teaches valuable life lessons (the importance of punctuality, appropriate dress in the workplace, determination, perseverance, teamwork, etc.) as well as critical application skills related to internal audit. I had great teachers and mentors at LSU that always pushed me to succeed and try harder, which has led me to where I am today.
Q: As an emerging leader, how do you mentor new hires on your projects, and how do you continue to learn from them?
A: Early on in my career, building relationships with those around me was very important. I had great leaders who took the time to mentor me and teach me in various ways. I was very deliberate to make note of certain practices that my managers and leaders put into place that helped me to feel appreciated and motivated – and also those things that I wish they had done differently. I tried to make sure that I adopted the skills that I admired in the leaders that came before me, and tried not to repeat the behaviors or managing styles that I didn’t like as much.
I also make sure that teaching is a big part of everything that we do at client sites. I see one of my primary responsibilities as teaching those that work with me why and how we do something, not just assigning tasks. It may take additional time to do this, but it shows new hires that we care about career development, and it also helps us in the long run when they can then make informed decisions later on. All of the new hires that join my projects are given an extensive training on the client and industry in their first week. We then make sure that we explain each task we give to them in great detail before assigning them out. It is very exciting for me to see someone whom I have taught pass the knowledge on to another new hire down the road. It shows that they not only truly understood the information, but valued the learning experience enough to take the time to pass it along to others.
Q: What advice do you have for students who are just starting their internships or full-time careers and looking to follow a similar career path?
A: Over the years I have given and received great advice on this topic:
- Be very deliberate and intentional with your career.
- Try your hardest to surround yourself with people who care about you as a person, not just your work product.
- Learn as much as you can – but don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know.”
- Never take credit for something that isn’t your work.
- Always be a team player, have integrity, and treat others with respect – no matter who they are.
- Don’t be a complainer!
- Find ways to make yourself stand out.
- Be known as someone who will go the extra mile.
- Learn to balance efficiency and effectiveness in terms of your work product, and know that many times “perception is reality.”
- Never send an email when you are upset!
- Be someone you would want to sit next to and work with for 8 hours a day.
Congratulations to Leslie and all the emerging leaders who work so hard and contribute so much!