POLL RESULTS: HOW MENTALLY FIT ARE YOU?September 6, 2023
DLE INTERNSHIP SERVES AS LAUNCH PAD FOR RONAK PARIDA’S REAL-WORLD EXPERIENCE WITH GESeptember 6, 2023
Q: Talk about your current position with EforAll.
A: I started with EforAll Berkshire County two years ago, almost to the day, as the Program Manager, where I ran and recruited for our Business Accelerator. After a year in the role, my boss–the Executive Director–moved on to a new opportunity and I started taking on more responsibility as the search for a new director started. I had actually started the formal interview process in January, seven months prior to the actual promotion, but both the organization and I were not quite ready to make the change. Seven months later, I had continued to take on more of the director’s role and brought up to management that, at that point, a change needed to happen. I will now be working with funders and volunteers to continue supporting new business in Berkshire County.
Q: What are some concrete steps that you took to move up within your own company?
A: I have an affirmation I use before I start work every day and it is “Focus on doing good, not looking good, because if you are doing good, you will look good.” For the year I took on both roles, I made sure to focus on the tasks and responsibilities that would keep doing good in Berkshire County. We needed to ensure there was funding coming in, volunteer roles were filled, and entrepreneurs were being helped. Ensuring our programs kept running at a high level made the conversation about the internal promotion much easier.
Q: What has changed in the interview process that people should be prepared for?
A: I had a slightly different experience than a traditional interview. One piece of advice I have from that experience is don’t let your interviewer question the answers you are giving them. You know your history and strengths. Even if they question you, don’t question yourself.
Q: How did you prepare for the interview process?
A: Again, I had a slightly different process than normal, but after not feeling as confident in that January interview, I made a list of all of the work I had done for the ED role and the outcomes of the work I put in. This helped me collect my thoughts and stick to what I knew I offered to the company.
Q: In staying and getting promoted within the same organization, what do you need to do differently or more proactively to build your network? To build your reputation?
A: Luckily, there is a lot of crossover between the manager and director roles at EforAll, but now I need to shift my networking focus from people I can help to people that can help me. I find it helpful to have done both roles so that I can bring that perspective of how our program impacts our community here to those people who have money and time to offer our programs.
Q: How has the DLE contributed to your career growth and success?
A: Prior to EforAll, I worked for a very insular company, and before that I was living in Thailand and Germany. Due to all of this, my networking and, frankly, conversation skills were rusty. The DLE has created so many opportunities for me to simply practice those skills: gathering my thoughts in the moment, responding to questions, taking space and time to answer questions, etc. Everything is a practice, and the DLE gives me the space to practice those skills.
(Note: Allison is a long-time volunteer member of the DLE Culture Chat Planning Committee.)
Q: What are you most looking forward to in your new role?
A: I’m really excited to bring new people into our small business community and connect with more organizations that want to provide support to the same communities that we do like the Berkshire Black Economic Council and Latinas 413. A shameless plug–we are always looking for volunteers and have a wide range of options with varying time commitments. We’d love to have more of the DLE community intertwine with the EforAll community. Reach out to me at email@example.com or on LinkedIn to learn more about our volunteer opportunities!