In this episode, Stephanie shares her tips for recent graduates on how to stand out in the job market and what employers look for when hiring entry-level professionals.
Listen in to hear Stephanie's valuable insight on how to make your resume stand out, what details employers are looking for during the interview process, why it's essential to stay humble even after getting hired, and the benefits of having a mentor in your professional life. Stephanie also discusses her involvement with Chief, a private membership network for women executive leaders.
Thanks again for listening to "Leaving The Nest." I hope you enjoy my conversation with Stephanie!
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In This Episode:
[00:34] - Kathleen introduces Stephanie Baker, Chief Experience Officer at WAEPA, who will share her journey and discuss her perspective as a hiring manager.
[01:34] - Stephanie introduces herself as the (at the time of recording) Senior Vice President of Member Services at WAEPA and shares that she is originally from Connecticut but moved to Maryland 20 years ago.
[03:30] - Stephanie talks about her own experience "Leaving the Nest" and talks about starting her career at Fidelity and Guaranty Life Insurance as an Account Representative, then being promoted to team lead and manager.
[04:16] - Stephanie shares what she enjoyed most about beginning her career after college.
[06:00] - Stephanie discusses her promotion to Vice President of Insurance Services at Baltimore Life Insurance Company, which included responsibility for new business and customer service and being customer-facing.
[07:50] -Stephanie shares her advice for new graduates entering the workforce.
[09:15] - Stephanie elaborates on the importance of asking questions and ways new hires can show commitment and flexibility.
[10:11] - Stephanie shares what you should look for in a mentor, her experience of finding hers, and how a mentor can help you see things differently.
[13:01] - Kathleen highlights the importance of learning from peers and emphasizes that building a relationship with a mentor can benefit both parties.
[14:02] - Stephanie explains that WAEPA is a nonprofit organization that provides group life and term insurance to civilian, federal, and rural employees and offers additional services such as financial workshops to its members
[15:57] - Stephanie shares her day-to-day role at WAEPA and their success in hiring candidates from ROCS.
[18:03] - Stephanie shares that they are currently recruiting for a Membership Services Representative and shares why being eager to learn, punctual, and having a clear idea of their desired career path is the key to securing their desired position.
[20:38] - Kathleen shares her take on the importance of punctuality in the workplace.
[21:14] - Stephanie shares a personal experience that taught her the importance of punctuality and committing fully to work.
[24:13] - Stephanie shares what she looks for when reviewing resumes, including how she handles gaps in employment or job hopping. She also offers us the most important question she asks during interviews.
[26:02] - Stephanie explains how she opens up interviews to build instant rapport while also allowing her to learn more about the candidate as an individual.
[26:57] - What qualities does Stephanie look for in an entry-level hire?
[29:14] - The importance of discerning the reason for new employee's questions to ensure that that training is thorough and provides an understanding of roles.
[31:06] - Stephanie advises that one should always be prepared for opportunities and view every step as an audition for both the individual and the organization.
[31:34] - Stephanie shares information about Chief, a private membership network connecting and supporting women executive leaders through a personal board of advisors and access to business experts and programming, with an annual cost and sponsorship options for women at the vice president or above level.
[34:33] - Stephanie shares her biggest piece of advice for young professionals starting their careers and emphasizes the importance of seeking out a mentor and also being a mentor as you progress in your career because it's important to give back and help the next person, and as a leader, grooming the next person to take your place is crucial.
[37:01] - Stephanie shares an example of how her mentor worked in her life to help her learn in her career and what that experience taught her.
[39:35] - You can connect with Stephanie on LinkedIn.
Connect with Kathleen: