Our mission here at The Muse is simple: to help you find your dream job. So, there’s nothing we love more than hearing about it when you do!
Today, we caught up with Ayaan Harper, who recently landed an exciting new gig as a Business Development Associate for best practice insight and technology company CEB. Not only does she get to do exciting work helping CEB engage new clients, she also gets to learn new skills on the job to help her take her career to the next level!
Tell us a little about yourself!
I majored in International Studies at Spelman College and studied abroad in London, Morocco, and Tunisia. While in North Africa during the Arab Spring, I developed an interest in global business development and noticed first-hand the impact women can have in this space when they have the opportunity to occupy leadership roles.
This experience clearly defined my professional mission: to develop a deeper understanding of how international business is conducted for large and small companies, earn a senior position with an emerging company, and grow business opportunities in areas beyond the U.S.
What stuck out to you about CEB when you found it on The Muse?
The business model of CEB really stuck out to me. I had never heard of a company that offered advisory support, research, and valuable solutions for executive leaders—all under one roof. I really thought it an ideal place to work considering my goal to work as a business development leader.
I was also really excited about this particular position because it offered an opportunity to understand the challenges companies face and how tools and resources can be developed to address them.
What’s something people would find surprising about working at CEB?
I think people would find it very surprising that CEB has achieved a corporate culture that strikes a delicate balance between a genuine, supportive environment while maintaining competitive drive. Everyone you encounter here wants you to succeed, and they make the time to help you reach your goals.
What’s your favorite part so far about working at CEB?
I really like the fact that CEB offers professional development courses and resources that are available 24/7. It’s nice to be able to continue learning and developing new skills at my own pace without having to pay for third-party workshops and classes to get ahead.
Is there anything from The Muse that helped you out in your job hunt?
Before I discovered The Muse, I was applying to every job posting I could find. After a few months of this and no response, I became very discouraged largely because I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong. The Muse provided helpful articles and a filtered job search tool that allowed me to focus my efforts on pursuing positions that really aligned with my career goals.
One article in particular, “The Perfect Cover Letter Template to Show Off Your Skills,” revealed that my cover letter was not effectively written and showed me how to edit it at no charge!
It was also so nice to see articles written by other Millennials who were experiencing the same challenge finding the right career fit and being uplifted by their encouragement to keep moving forward. Within a week of using the site, I was invited to interview for a few great positions and had accepted an offer from CEB by the end of the month.
What advice would you have for someone who wanted a job like yours?
My advice would be to be authentic and be a sponge. There are countless pieces of advice on how to succeed in sales, but what really brings about wonderful outcomes is the ability to be authentic and connect with people. Genuine conversations about what a potential client or customer needs allow you to present a valuable solution, instead of simply selling a product or service. Also, be curious, ask questions, and never stop learning.
Check out More People Who Found Their Dream Jobs
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