Bernadine Karunaratne, the president of U.S. Government Consulting Services at Korn Ferry, fielded questions regarding her experiences in talent management, firm management, resume building, and tenure at American University as an international student.
Additional notes from her talks follow:
Current work mission
· Her Leadership and consulting department is currently helping CEOs build the right team, harvesting talent, developing personal talent, create the right succession path, does scientific work with human beings
Early life and tenure at American University
· Grew up in the area and came from Sri Lanka
· Was aware of brand while at American- international students had their own brand, while at AU.
· After graduation she had to face the decision of having to leave the country or immediately get a job in the states due to the F-1 visa status.
· Worked as a student in the registrar’s office and was sponsored by her first boss. Got MBA in Kogod. Met her husband in SIS.
· Offers a huge diversity practice within Korn Ferry and understands the person from the inside out.
· Diversity is a shifting brand that goes to thought, opinion, instead of skin color and racial makeup, called inclusion.
· Customer service-customer connectedness
· Commitment to excellence
· Brand is comprised of people who were ambassadors of the brand.
· You become the brand, you add to the brand
· Will not tolerate lack of ethics and integrity
· Make sure your value system is the same as the big brand.
· You are the president of your own board and you will have trusted people within the table of your own board.
· Interviewed and hired her
· The Gallup brand included itself in world research, which greatly appealed to Bernadine.
· Later she said did her homework on the company itself and was with Gallup for 15 years
If you could go back in time
· Would surround herself with the best people
· Stick to your strengths and do not fix yourself
· Focus on what you do remarkably well
· Develop a deeper pursuit of excellence
· Said she needed to be more confident in who she is.
· Had a very thick accent. The negative feedback really helped her. Really got good at presenting by working with a coach and working with getting clear with an audience.
· Stay close to who you are.
· Ego is good when managed
· The need of humility
· Self awareness
· Executive presence
Process of consulting OPM
· Talent assessment
· Coaching (based on where are you trying to go in a corporation)
· Change management work (Change the organization and the people in a organization)
The Global Focus
· Went to Abu Dhabi and was the keynote speaker. at a conference regarding U.S. Government background and knowledge on how to engage a workforce.
· The conversations detailed how to motivate people on the job, how to engage people, the local traditions have to be safeguarded.
· Think about the whole world and not just think about a vertical silo. Made her want to work in an office that works globally, and taking all of want you want in account.
Internships and Resumes
· Stretch yourself and learn a hell of a lot from work. Ask yourself what do you want out of an internship?
· Put things that are relevant on your resume. Display on your resume, who the company would be getting if they decide to hire you.
· Make sure it’s perfectly written and presented.
· This is the final piece of paper that can describe your brand. Your story!
· Customize your resume for every job you apply for. Be specific and targeted
· Make sure people know you rather than you knowing people
Common pitfalls of the interview process
· Not prepared--- Do your homework
· Ask Questions
· Do not be in receiving mode
· Engage that stranger
· Challenge on norm of the company
· Provocative questioning --- (respectfully)
· Be cool under pressure when asked a tough question
· Surprise them and don’t be surprised
Homework for class
· Finish all Eliminating Wordiness Exercise Problems
· Write two different broadcast leads for bear homer
Ø Throwaway lead
Ø One that tells what happened in present tense
· Write the broadcast Busdicker story (Include the ashes in the clarinet in lead)
· Glamor Inc. Press Release DUE AT 5:00 p.m. ON SUNDAY
Ø Will be judged on News/ PR judgment, headline, sentence structure, organization, headline, formatting, AP style