12 May Meet Youssif: Business Development Analyst
For this profile in our Level Up series featuring early career professionals at Criterion, we want to introduce you to Youssif, our business development analyst. Youssif is currently participating in the AFCEA NOVA Micro Mentoring Program for Business Development. He comments on that program at the end.
Please describe your job: What do you do?
I am a Business Development Analyst responsible for supporting leaders in BD, Capture, and Operations as we transition from lead generation/opportunity assessment into the capture phase and through to the proposal phase. I provide support throughout each stage. For example, I identify, research, and support the response to Request for Proposals (RFPs), Request for Information (RFIs), and Sources Sought notices issued by the Federal Government. I also participate in industry days and different associations/networking events and attend various training seminars conducted by Shipley and AFCEA.
What are your favorite tools to help you to get the job done?
My favorite tools to get the job done are our BD market intelligence accounts: GovWin, GSA Ebuy, Seaport NxG, CIO-SP3, FedConnect, and others. A significant part of my role is identifying opportunities and presenting them to our BD/Proposal team.
What do you like best about your job?
What I like best about my job is that it is a different way of serving my country. I always wanted to give back to this country and providing cutting-edge IT solutions to the Federal Government is a great way to do that.
If you could do school over again, what would you do differently?
If I could do school over again, I would have taken more risks. Throughout my school journey, there were many great opportunities that in hindsight, I wish I would have taken. I didn’t because I was scared of failing and didn’t have high self-confidence. However, now I realize that defeat/failure is another aspect of developing confidence. By understanding what went right and what went wrong, you can prepare yourself for future attempts.
What advice would you give to someone looking for their first job?
Know what employers are looking for and put that on your resume. Technical skills, soft skills, examples of impact, certifications, and quantifiable success are items to highlight on your resume. Always send thank-you notes to the interviewer and practice your answers to basic-level interview questions. Additionally, if someone gives you their business card, make sure you write down what you talked about on the back of the card for future reference.
Bonus: What was the weirdest job interview question you were ever asked?
Is cereal considered soup? I answered no because soup is made by simmering meat, fish, or vegetables with other ingredients.
Commentary on AFCEA NOVA Micro Mentoring Program
Attending the AFCEA NOVA Micro Mentoring Program has been remarkable. I continue to learn more about business development and the federal contracting space with each passing session. Additionally, this mentoring program helped me grow my network as I developed relationships with the panelists throughout meaningful dialogue. This is something that is difficult to do when attending various industry days and association events with hundreds of other attendees on a Zoom or Teams call.