You Got The Job! - Now What?

Congratulations student-athlete! You aced the interview and got the job. Whether it’s your first job or your dream job, career development should be at the forefront of your mind. For some this might include feeling out the culture, while for others it could mean preparing to enter a leadership position down the line. Whatever your goal is, you should continuously evaluate your career – culture, leadership, salary, and your development.

I spoke with Dr. Ravi Ramani about what to prepare for as you continue on in your career. I was lucky enough to have Professor Ramani during my freshman year of college as my Organizational Behavior professor. While he has now moved on to Morgan State University, I still consider his class as the best class I have taken in college.

Professor Ramani currently teaches Organizational Behavior & Human Resource Management at Morgan State University and previously taught at Purdue University Northwest. Prior to joining academia, Professor Ramani held the position of Director, Learning and Talent Development with Hilton Hotels in New York City. His role involved overseeing all aspects of training strategy for over 150 managers and 2,000 union and non-union staff at Hilton’s flagship property, The Waldorf Astoria. Specific responsibilities included:

  1. planning, directing, and measuring all aspects of learning and development including, departmental standards training, organizational effectiveness, and professional development.
  2. coordinating and executing leadership training, including developing individualized personalized curriculum for high-potentials.
  3. executing recruiting lifecycle activities including, candidate generation, assessment, interviews, recommendations, and onboarding for all levels of new hires.
  4. serving as a business partner to the Executive Committee in the pursuit of organization’s strategic objectives.

“Leadership is not a special talent granted to a few, but an ability that can be developed by those willing to put in the time and effort.”

Ravi Ramani

  • This interview has been lightly edited for clarity

Q: How does a new employee assess the culture of a company?

A: To me, new employees understand and assess culture through actions. That is, it’s what existing employees, including supervisors, do, rather than what they say, that helps new employees understand an organization’s culture. For example, if the new employee hears the organization espouse empowerment in orientation and in training, but simultaneously witnesses employees being made to check with a manager before making any decision, they quickly learn that close supervision and micromanagement are the culture of the company.

Q: What makes a leader a leader?

A: Two complementary thoughts. First, I believe that anyone can be a leader. That is, leadership is not a special “talent” granted to a few, but an ability that can be developed by those willing to put in the time and effort. In addition, leadership is context-dependent, so those who may be followers in a particular context can, in turn, be leaders under the right circumstances.

Second, I believe that effective leadership hinges on three interrelated factors: 1) Delivering valued outcomes; 2) Productive and mutually beneficial relationships with followers; and 3) Willingness to take calculated risks.

This definition does not assume that the “leader” has a formal position of authority. That is, you do not need a title (e.g., supervisor, manager) to be a leader.

Q: What does successful organizational development look like?

A: Successful organizational development requires a system-wide application of scientifically-grounded knowledge to innovate, improve, or reinforce the strategies, structures, and processes that lead to organization effectiveness. Success is achieved when the “new way” has become so ingrained that it becomes the default and is taught to future cohorts of employees.

Q: How should one properly assess their salary and go about the negotiating method?

A: Preparation, preparation, preparation. More often than not, the party that is better prepared for the negotiation walks away with the better deal. This applies to recent college graduates as much as it does to seasoned professionals. Simple things you can do:

Take time to do your research – Check GlassdoorBe aware of your value – Check O*Net OnlineBe direct but polite – Don’t take the negotiation personally and know your best-case scenarioKnow your walk-away point – BATNA or Best Alternative to a Negotiated AgreementQ: How should one prepare for a performance management review?

A: Documentation is key. Because reviews happen so infrequently, typically once a year, it’s easy to overlook or forget all you have accomplished over that time. To avoid this situation, make a note to yourself whenever you have an accomplishment or do something positive at work. This could be minor, (staying an extra hour to cover the lunch rush), or major, (highest sales in the region). The notes don’t have to be formal or in any particular format, but should capture what happened, when it happened, and if applicable, who was affected positively. At performance review time, you then have a stack of objective information to support your claims of superior performance.


About the Author

Kane Clendenen is a student intern for Game Plan.  Currently, he is a junior at Purdue University Northwest majoring in Business Analytics and Finance while also balancing time as a member of the PNW Baseball team.  His future plans include attending Law School and pursuing a J.D./M.B.A. dual degree.

About Game Plan

Game Plan’s comprehensive software platform integrates mobile-first eLearning as well as virtual mentorship and career services, uniquely designed for athletic organizations. Game Plan works with 875+ athletic departments and organizations with over 240,000 courses completed yearly. Our eLearning courses provide student-athletes ultimate access and flexibility while equipping both athletics departments and the conference office management tools and insight to ensure outstanding experiences and outcomes. To learn more about Game Plan, please visit