Amanda Potter on Internships, Networking and Founding a Leading Consultancy

Amanda Potter, CEO at Zircon Management Consulting Ltd

By Amanda Lopes Pacca

Getting to know Amanda Potter for the first time was like staying with a familiar. Her kindness, openness, and attitude bring a feeling of “home”. 

Amanda Potter is the CEO at Zircon Management Consulting and has vast experience in diverse areas of occupational psychology. Despite all her professional achievements, she stays human and humble with life, and she showed in the interview I made essential lessons and reflections for the “beginners”. 

The complete interview with Amanda is already on our YouTube channel, and you can find a link at the end of this post. Here I will touch on important topics and reflections that she gives to us. 

To start, we all know that the first steps of our professional careers are not easy. We need to apply for jobs, go through interviews, deal with our CV and cover letters. All challenges are the process of showing our best side to have a place, a space that we can show ourselves and be valuable to the company. 

This process takes a lot of energy- it is what we call the recruitment and selection process in human resources. But something changed through time. Before the company used to choose the individuals, they stayed more passive, waiting for responses and hoping to find a good job. Today, everything is different, or at least expected to be. Of course, for the ones who dive into this change. The company chooses the individuals, but they also choose the company. They are no longer passive individuals, but pro-active ones who can build their futures ahead of them and think, rethink and think again in what they really want for their lives- in this first path. 

The individuals have the possibility and facilities due to technologies to search the company, the culture, and they can really decide based on their preferences what they really desire. 

A difficult question that I want to ask you: What do you really desire?

As Amanda said, the important thing is not to find the correct answers but come up with questions. 

However, do you think all recent graduates, students, or professionals that really want a role go deeply through it? I am not so sure about it. Our generation is mostly short-sighted, anxious, and seeks success and quick results. We have a hard time dealing with failures and waiting.

Amanda Potter showed how it is necessary to have time and be dedicated to doing simple things, such as filling out a form or being proactive enough to know how you can contribute to a company, rather than expecting them to contribute to you. She showed how a relationship is based on a mutual connection, receiving and giving. 

Connection, reconnection, a learning life process. Are you ready for that? To learn, make mistakes, and face your own failures?

It is important to repeat that the essential thing is not just expecting but offering. Thinking about what you have to offer and the best way of doing it. 

Amanda also indicated how companies look for courageous and proactive people who show that they can contribute to them. She highlighted all these essential aspects and attitudes expected by an intern. It was possible to see through the knowledge she shared that in the end, what the company wants is not an expert- is a human being open to challenges, available to know how to work in teams, someone who knows how to communicate effectively, receptive to commit mistakes but more open-minded to learning how to deal with them in a responsible manner. An individual who is open to taking time, researching the company, understanding their desire, and filling a form until the end. 

Filling a form here could have a symbolic meaning. It involves being compromised with what you really want, being compromised with yourself.

This is a personal challenge in times like ours. We need to develop patience, waiting, and active listening. However, we can’t fool ourselves. We have to step up and see the world with prudent eyes: it takes time to build a career, it takes time to grow, it takes time to learn, it takes time to search for the right job, it takes time to think about your desire and really choose your life. 

It takes time. It involves frustration, committing mistakes, and facing your fears. And it is impossible to conquer the life you want without living it and going through the process. 

In the end, Amanda also said to interns to pick themselves up, learn from their mistakes and keep trying! Moreover, she reported on the importance of taking time to get to know people and build mutual relationships! Finally, she advised that if you send a LinkedIn invitation, include a message on why you want to connect to this person! In a sincere, open, and captivating way, Amanda reflected the reality of life. 

And now I am saying to you, dear reader, really keeps trying, without deceiving yourself. Try with your heart, and wait for life to show you the results of your actions.

Amanda finished sharing her lessons, throwing back to the moment when she was an intern: “Don’t feel like you need to come with the answers. As long as you are prepared to learn, to ask questions, and be open to feedback, then you will be fine”. 

Interview link on YouTube:

About the Author

Amanda is a final year student of the WOP-P Master in Work, Organizational and Personnel Psychology. Brazilian by birth, her journey into psychology began before she graduated, at the age of 17, when she came into contact with Psychoanalysis. From then on, her passion for understanding the human mind expanded, and she graduated in Psychological Sciences at the University of Coimbra in Portugal. In her last year to become an occupational psychologist, her topics of interest cross all human nature, including leadership, psychological empowerment, emotional health, and mental problems. Her hope of contributing to the blog is that this vast universe of psychology could be accessible to as many people as possible through writing. Psychology has a long past but a short history. In this sense, psychology professionals owe it to the world of psychology and its precious knowledge to expand that so more people can think better about themselves, the world, and their desires.