Last week, my colleague Aaron Strout posted a blog titled, “What’s Your Why,” in which he discussed his tenure here at W2O Group. His blog challenged others to think about, and write about, our “why” for joining this organization… well, challenge accepted!
Rewind to January 2013, I’m preparing to graduate from Syracuse University and frantically thinking about what my first move out of college will be. My friend asked me to take a class with her that spring, taught by an industry professional named Gary Grates. I agreed, and in a short five weeks, I knew W2O Group was where I wanted to be. More than a year later, I’m glad I was able to join this family, and here’s my “why”:
1. You aren’t boxed in by a title
No one cares what the title below your email signature reads. If you’re smart, speak up, and execute, you’re valued. There is an endless runway here for people who want to use it. I’ll offer the December 2013 Go. Ahead in Health Summit that was held in Las Vegas as an example. I was fortunate enough to be one of six associates selected to attend to act as a “roving reporter.” The six of us were tasked with attending the event and producing content to educate those within the company who were unable to attend. From planning to execution, we were given free rein to do what was needed to accomplish our tasks. Find me another firm who will give an entry-level employee six months out of college that type of responsibility and access to senior leadership.
2. An ever-growing culture
We work hard AND we play hard (see dodgeball picture below…). Every day, I come into work and am surrounded by people who like to be here; who like what they’re doing; who like what our company stands for. From talent shows to dodgeball leagues, ping pong tournaments to happy hours, W2O understands the importance of camaraderie between colleagues. Just as importantly, however, they foster a culture of continuous learning and professional development. Our recently implemented “Breaks to Educate” offer employees the opportunity to learn from one another, highlighting our success and our failures so we can grow as an agency.
3. Cutting edge partnerships
I’m lucky enough to work alongside my colleagues here and at the S.I Newhouse School of Public Communications to transform higher education. Formed in 2012, The W2O Group Center for Social Commerce is a partnership between W2O Group and Syracuse University. The Center is aimed at ensuring students are immersed and educated in social commerce, social media, technology, analytics and the influence they each play on our society and industry, giving them every opportunity to be prepared as they graduate. From influencing curriculum, to holding events on campus, I’ve been lucky enough to help prepare students for our evolving industry landscape.
So, that’s my “why”. It’s been an exciting and fulfilling 15 months here at W2O Group. Kudos to Aaron for kicking this off. I’d encourage others to reflect on their time here, and put it on paper for us all to read!