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Top Executive Recruiters Tell New College Grads How to Reach the C-Suite

How do new grads figure out which first job to take if the road to C-Suite success looks more confusing than imaginable?


The Street | August 3, 2016


The Street featured Russell Reynolds Associates' Nada Usina in a video segment on "Top Executive Recruiters Tell New College Grads How to Reach the C-Suite." She is also quoted in the accompanying article on the same topic. To watch the video, click here. The article is also excerpted below.

 

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- As 2016 college graduates leave the comfort of campuses nationwide and turn onto the mean streets of the working world, finding that first job starts feeling a lot like queuing up at the starting line - for a marathon they never trained for. Many of these fresh new minds look to be the future executives of tomorrow, but right now they still don't know too much about a 401K.

So how do they - no matter how smart, no matter what school, no matter the pedigree - figure out which first job to take if the road to C-Suite success looks more confusing than imaginable? For starters, consider the advice of three top-flight executive recruiters who work with major CEOs throughout the U.S. and abroad. They know where you want to end up, and they certainly know the best place to get a jump start and chart the path ahead.

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Importantly, open your eyes to learning opportunities beyond formal training programs. "In your first job you're going to be learning a ton regardless of what you're doing," said Nada Usina, Managing Director and lead of the technology sector at New York-based Russell Reynolds Associates. After nearly 2,000 hours in class, you know a thing or two about Plato or physics - but you don't know much about being an employee just yet.

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The job where you'll learn the most is usually also the one that frightens the living daylights out of you. Try embracing that fear. Usina said that executives look back fondly on the risks they've taken, even if they were scary at the time. "Those are roles where they were stretched out a little bit over their skis, where the job was a bit of a rush and had a serious requirement to learn."

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Russell Reynolds Associates' Usina suggests looking online to learn more about an employer. From Yelp (YELP) to Glassdoor.com, there's no shortage of places where you can find reviews from real employees giving the inside scoop on their bosses and the culture. Figure out what kind of people and atmosphere make you tick, and go from there.

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Keep in mind, the first job isn't forever. "Careers are longer today," Usina said, "and a lot more interesting than the kinds of careers our grandparents or even our parents had. More often than not, people undergo several shifts over one career."

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Tech has variety, from massive organizations to smaller companies looking to take over the field," Usina said. "Roles in technology can vary widely based on age and stage of the company." Take a closer look at tech, because chances are there's a job there you'll love.

To read the full article, click here.

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Top Executive Recruiters Tell New College Grads How to Reach the C-Suite