Jonetta White '16 was a sociology major at Bryn Mawr and is now a proposal coordinator for an eDiscovery services company based in Seattle, Wash.
She returned to campus recently as part of the Career & Civic Engagement Office’s Alumnae/i in Residence program.
In the below Q&A, Jonetta talks about her burgeoning career, her advice for current students, and more.
How did you get involved in your current field?
I currently work as a proposal coordinator for an eDiscovery services company based in Seattle, Wash. Prior to taking on this role, I had been involved in the proposal development process as an intern in high school and college and as a full-time consultant after undergrad. I always enjoyed writing and sales, and I decided to search for a role that would allow me to focus on capture sales, proposals, and client-facing communications. After a few weeks of searching, I found a job with a company in the eDiscovery services industry, and I happily accepted their offer because I was (and still am) passionate about the intersection of law and technology and taking on new challenges in an industry where I had no experience.
What part of your Bryn Mawr experience has been most important to your professional development?
The intense workload I managed as a BMC student prepared me to work efficiently and productively as a full-time professional. One of the things my colleagues appreciate about me is my ability to take on large projects and turn them around quickly, and I really refined this skill at Bryn Mawr. My experiences at the College also taught me how to approach problems from an interdisciplinary perspective and network cross-culturally. These skills have had an invaluable impact on my professional advancement as I'm able to set myself apart with unique ideas for solving problems and have the ability to communicate with anyone. In fact, cultural competence has been supremely important for my career because many of my roles have required me to collaborate with coworkers and clients around the globe.
What career advice do you have for current Bryn Mawr students?
Intern every summer and even during the academic year, if possible. Internship experience is incredibly important for young professionals for many reasons; here's four of them:
- you get to practice the core tenants of professionalism in a high stakes environment where real dollars and cents are on the line (e.g., clearly and concisely communicating ideas, time management, collaboration/cooperation, etc.),
- you get to meet people who can help you secure full-time employment when you're ready, and who can serve as mentors/sponsors for you,
- the experience will help to differentiate you among pools of candidates who are probably just as smart and have taken many of the same classes as you, and
- you learn a lot about the kind of work you do and do not like.
Even if you plan to attend graduate school upon completing your baccalaureate degree, you still need to find time to gain practical work experience. Do not rely on academics alone. In most industries, your GPA will not matter after you move on from your first job. Instead, what you can do in an applied setting and your interpersonal skills are the key determinants of your future employ-ability, career advancement, and the salary you can command in the market.
What made you choose to attend Bryn Mawr?
A lot of factors came together to lead me to Bryn Mawr's doorsteps. I think the most important factors at the time were the College's commitment to offering service opportunities for students and the plentiful funding available for students to pursue projects that interest them.
The goal of the Alumnae/i in Residence program is for small groups of students to spend time connecting with an alumna/us who returns to the campus for the day. Discussion topics cover a wide variety of areas including graduate programs, the job hunt, work-life balance, and the definition of success. For current list of guests, dates and registration, log into Handshake.