A CEO's tips for new grads and everybody else
No doubt about it, the current job market is no walk on the beach for anyone just graduating from college. Companies plan to hire just 2% more grads than last year, says the National Association of Colleges and Employers, a startling drop from the 13% increase those same employers projected last fall. And this year's fresh crop of degree holders will have to compete with the roughly 40% of the class of 2012 who are still underemployed or out of work.
毋庸置疑，对于刚刚走出大学校门的人来说，当前的就业市场不容乐观。美国大学和雇主协会（National Association of Colleges and Employers）表示，公司今年计划招聘的毕业生仅比去年多出2%，与去年秋季雇主们13%的增幅预测相差很大。而且，今年刚刚毕业的大学生们还得与40%就业不足或失业的2012届师兄师姐们展开竞争。
Even so, Joe Echevarria believes success is within reach of anyone who wants it badly enough. He speaks from experience: After growing up poor in a single-parent home in New York City's South Bronx, Echevarria, who is Puerto Rican, faced a tougher struggle than most. Since 2011, he has been CEO of global consulting and audit giant Deloitte, No. 47 on Fortune's list of the Best Companies to Work For. This year the company will hire about 9,000 new grads. In a recent conversation, Echevarria recalled the early years of his career and offered advice on getting ahead against long odds.
即便如此，乔•埃切瓦里亚认为，只要有足够强烈的成功欲望，任何人都能做到。这都是他的经验之谈：埃切瓦里亚是波多黎各人，在纽约市南布朗克斯区一个贫穷的单亲家庭里长大，他的经历比大多数人都要艰难。到了2011年，他已经成为全球咨询与审计巨头德勤会计师事务所（Deloitte）的CEO。这家公司在《财富》杂志（Fortune）最适宜工作的100家公司（Best Companies to Work For）排行中位列第47位。今年，它将聘用约9,000名应届毕业生。埃切瓦里亚在最近的一次和我们的对话中回忆了自己职业发展的早期经历，同时还为求职者们支招，如何在胜算很小的情况下取得成功。
Fortune: What was your first job out of college, and how did you get it?
Echevarria: I went from being an auto mechanic during the summers in the Bronx to getting hired as an auditor at Haskins & Sells [which later merged with Deloitte] when I graduated from the University of Miami, where I had gone on a scholarship. Back then, to get an interview with a Big 8 firm — it's now the Big 4 — you were supposed to have a 3.5 GPA. But, because I went to a not-so-great school — it was nicknamed Suntan U. — I had to have a 3.8. So I did that. I was at the top of my class in accounting, so they couldn't find a reason not to interview me, in spite of my rough edges.
埃切瓦里亚：我先是利用暑假在布朗克斯区做汽车修理工。从迈阿密大学（University of Miami）毕业后，我被哈斯金斯•塞尔斯会计师事务所（Haskins & Sells，后被德勤兼并）聘用，成为一名审计师。大学期间，我获得了奖学金。当时，如果想参加八大会计事务所——如今已经变成四大——的面试，在学校的平均分不能低于3.5分。但由于我上的大学算不上一流（学校曾被冠以“晒太阳大学”的绰号），所以我的平均分必须达到3.8分，我做到了。因此，我有幸参加了面试。虽然我也存在许多不足之处，但我的会计成绩在全班名列前茅，他们没有任何理由不让我参加面试。
What rough edges?
I had a big mustache and bad hair. Also, I had two suits, one brown and the other green polyester. I had no social graces, either — I didn't know where the bread plate goes on a table, had never drunk coffee out of a cup with a saucer. It took me a long time to realize that these things matter in the corporate world. No one was willing to tell me.
Eventually I noticed that everybody else had more than two suits, and nobody wore brown or polyester. But because of these things, however superficial they might seem, I kept getting evaluations that said I had "low potential." Nobody thought I would ever get promoted. Also, I was paid less than anybody else in the [auditor training program]. But I caught up.
How did you do that?
Well, first, I figured out what successful people in the firm were doing. I looked at them and analyzed how they got there, and I tried my best to do the same. Then, I worked very, very hard. I worked harder than everybody else. And third, I had a boss, a Hispanic woman, who gave me good advice. Right before I left on vacation, she said to me, "You're coming back without that mustache. You will never make it into management if you look like the Frito Bandito." I had never realized that was holding me back. She is still my mentor to this day. I've been at the firm 35 years, she's been here 40. I call her my "mom" in the company.
What advice do you have for new grads now, or for anyone who wants to succeed at a big company?
First, you have to outwork everyone else. If you don't, talent will not help you. In this difficult job market, new grads may even have to work for free for a little while, in order to get a foot in the door. Find somewhere you really want to work and prove yourself by working hard and doing a great job, and I guarantee you that they will find a way to hire you and pay you.
I would also recommend reading a lot. Read everything you can get your hands on, because you'll always learn something you can use. One thing that helped me early on was a little book called It's Not How Good You Are, It's How Good You Want to Be [by British ad man Paul Arden]. It's really for salespeople, but you can apply a lot of the wisdom in it to yourself. I still pick it up and read it now and then.
此外，我建议学生们多读书。读任何你能够获得的东西，因为你总能从中学到一些有用的东西。我刚入职场的时候，对我非常有帮助的是很薄的一本小书——《你本身多优秀并不重要，重要的是你想要多优秀》（It's Not How Good You Are, It's How Good You Want to Be，英国广告人保罗·阿登著）。这本书其实是写给销售人员的，但我们都可以从中学到很多智慧。到现在我还是会偶尔翻阅它。
Third, find a mentor who will be honest with you about your shortcomings and show you your blind spots, because everyone has them. If you walk through my old neighborhood in the South Bronx even today, half the men have these big mustaches, so I just never thought twice about it until my "mom" told me to get rid of it.
What does Deloitte look for in hiring new grads?
Altogether, we hire about 18,000 people each year, about half new grads and half experienced professionals, and we go through about 500,000 resumes and applications every year to find those 18,000. Beyond the basic credentials and competencies, we're looking for people who stand out. If you are a passionate person, that will stand out. If you are positive and enthusiastic and other people want to be around you, that will stand out.
And do you finish what you start? It sounds basic, but so many people start out strong on something and then don't follow through. We also look for people who care about people. Those qualities are the difference-makers, and they will always be the difference-makers, between an okay candidate and a great candidate.
As a member of an ethnic minority, do you have any special advice for new grads who are also minorities?
I would say this: Whatever disadvantages you may have faced up to now, because of your ethnicity, that is all about to change. The fact is that there are not enough talented minority managers, or management-track entry-level people, to reflect the changing demographics of the U.S. population, which by 2050 will be more than half "minorities." So you are in demand. Deloitte has been steadily increasing recruitment of black and Latino talent, because if we don't get our share of it now, we won't be in a good place in the years ahead.