Growing Within a Culture, Not a Name

By: Amy Walker, Account Executive

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Image Credit: ActiveLamp

As a student at Penn State University, I’m constantly bombarded with emails detailing networking events and professional development seminars led by various companies. Having an abundance of opportunities at my disposal caused me to subconsciously narrow my sights on “big name” companies. To avoid dismissing incredible opportunities (like I almost did), do some research. Here are tips to make sure you find the company that is right for you:

Search Social Media

  • Check the company’s Facebook, Twitter, and other social accounts thoroughly, as these contain a glimpse into its culture and values.
  • Read what others are posting on these platforms about the organization because these are generally very honest assessments.

Check Glassdoor Ratings

  • Glassdoor.com lists employees’ reviews, salaries, benefits, and other aspects of life within a specific company.
  • These assessments are anonymous and honest; allowing current and previous employees to let others know what experiences they had during their career.

Ask Recruiters Honest Questions

  • Although they may give “fluff” answers, asking a recruiter the strengths and weaknesses of their company can reveal more truths than expected.
  • For example, if a recruiter reveals that he or she hasn’t changed roles throughout the course of his or her employment, then career development may be lacking.

As I searched across these various platforms, the company that I am interning for aligned with all of my values. It did not have a name I immediately recognized, but its employees said that its work environment fosters creativity and provided them countless resources to develop as professionals.

During my first week, my manager told me to ask questions and implement changes if a practice could be done more efficiently. Those are incredible freedoms and opportunities that many interns are denied. Throughout the entire summer, I have felt valued and respected as a Red Hat Intern.

A mentor of mine once told me, “As long as I’m happy and I’m learning, I don’t care what I’m doing.”

Let go of the name on the building and realize that it is the internal company environment that will propel your career forward.

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