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Tips for starting your career off right

August 28, 2023
Rima T.
Rima T.

University of Maryland College Park, Class of 2019

Growing a career and building a life takes hard work, seeking out opportunities, and a vision of how you’d like your future to look. Even before graduating with a Bachelor of Science in computer engineering, Rima was researching employers where she could learn, grow, and advance. She found and joined Fannie Mae in January 2020. With a few years of experience under her belt, Rima now has some great tips to help you get from graduation to your first promotion.

Tip 1: Find an employer that provides you with tools and opportunities to grow

“My biggest tip for new grads is to find a company with a wide variety of opportunities and expertise.” As a new software engineer associate, Rima was eager to get involved and gain real-world experience. With the help of supportive teammates, she was able to use and learn Java, JavaScript, AWS services (S3 and Lamba), REST APIs, ERP systems (Workday), and related ERP developer tools (Workday Studio, Extend, and Workday Query Language) to contribute to her first project — a top priority technological transformation.

Over the next two years, Rima gained numerous skills and a firsthand understanding of Fannie Mae’s finance business operations, all while working remotely. She thinks it’s important to find a company that will empower you with training resources, mentors, a diverse tech stack, tuition assistance, and more. It’s hard to know what work you enjoy, so a company with diverse work areas will allow you to try new things and find your niche. Rima remembers, “At the end of my first year at Fannie Mae, I realized I had made the right decision joining the company. I’d had so many opportunities in such a short time. I was happy to have found an organization where I felt valued.”

Tip 2: Take charge of your own career path

Fannie Mae is a major technology presence in the housing finance industry. This requires employees to have a diverse range of technical tools and expertise. Rima was pleased to discover that she could expand on the general software engineering knowledge she learned in school and begin establishing her own areas of expertise. She advises raising your hand to get involved in important projects.

She also suggests taking advantage of company-provided career development resources like the courses available through Fannie Mae University. “I have taken over 100 hours of technical training and obtained multiple technical certifications,” Rima says. “These skills and certifications can help me in any future role or career and have given me the tools to contribute more effectively to my teams and projects.”

In 2022 Rima was promoted to software engineer senior associate. She now helps guide other teammates, and, in addition to her role as a software engineer, she is a member of the Workday Delivery Center. "Through this opportunity I get to partner with other teams at Fannie Mae on technology innovation, strategy, and design by drawing on my and my team’s experiences and challenges.”

Tip 3: Create the life you envision with employer benefits

There’s more to life than work! Rima advises new grads to look closely at a company’s benefits including vacation time and family and sick leaves, as well as financial building blocks like a generous 401(k) match and health and wellness coverage. You’ll want to balance growing your career with developing the personal side of your life.

Because of Fannie Mae’s benefits, Rima has already been able to achieve goals she’d have had to wait years to pursue otherwise. She recently completed a Master of Science degree in engineering management from The George Washington University, using the tuition assistance benefit to help finance her education. “I also had the opportunity to utilize the housing benefit to get $10,000 toward the purchase of my first home.”

Ready to get started?

With the flexibility of a robust hybrid work environment and so many interesting job choices to start a career where your work immediately has positive impact, why not find out if Fannie Mae offers that great first job you’re looking for?

Learn more about early career opportunities and life at Fannie Mae.

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