There are a lot of things I love about my job. I love the work that I do, I love the people I work with, and I love the feeling that my company cares about me and my happiness at work.
But one of the things that I love the most, is the commitment to volunteering that my company fosters. There are opportunities all year long, for both individuals and teams, and most of them build around a bunch of schools we partner with. Past opportunities I've taken advantage of have included collecting backpacks and school supplies for students, fulfilling Christmas wishes, being a pen pal to a student throughout the year, and working at the annual book fair.
In addition to all of that, twice a year there are school transformation days, where thousands of employees descend on different schools and complete various projects. It might be building picnic tables, or organizing a library with donated books, or painting classrooms and murals. My team recently participated in one of those days, and spent an afternoon preparing a playground for students to come back to school at the end of the month.
There's actually been some studies done that show that more than social economic background, school pride and excitement can be a bigger factor in how successful a student is in school. Our goal was to add some paint and games to the playground, which would hopefully excite the students when they show up on the first day of school.
Also, a bit selfishly, it's a great opportunity for team building and an excuse to hang out with my work family. We started the day off gathering as a team and having a bit of fun goofing off in the elevators.
Once we were at the school, we split in two groups: one working on gardening and clearing out brush, and one painting various games and designs onto the black top. We even had some of the students that were there participating in a summer program ask if they could help with the painting.
It was a super fun day, and hopefully we made a bit of a difference in the process. Here's our group all together before we got incredibly dirty and sweaty.
There's one person in this group that interviewed me back in February 2005 and hired me for my first internship. I've reported directly to four different people in this group (and two more who aren't pictured here). A handful were at my wedding. More than half I've known for over 10 years. I'm really lucky to be able to say that I like the people that I work with. We're a pretty awesome bunch.