It takes a lot of courage, hard work and diverse culture within a corporation to make a start-up work. Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, described his ventures since his graduation and the increased corporate culture at Zappos throughout the years. Not only does the company focus on customer satisfaction (and great footwear): It focuses on its employees. It has a four-week training process and inspires the new, entry level employees that they could rise to a management positon. This creative notion has not only increased the sales over the last ten years, but has created a work environment that I would be more than happy to be a part of.
I decided to also check out other businesses that look forward to communicating with not only its customers, but its employees. Starbucks, I’m not trying to be bias I swear, really appreciates their corporation and dedicates time to train and inform their employees. It is a nice notion to know, as a customer, that not only I am happy with my coffee and footwear choices, but the employees are too.
Check out Tony Hsieh’s speech at Kelly School of Business for more inspiration!
Interning abroad, this past summer, was one of the best learning experiences in my life. It was a learning experience and a culture shock for the first couple weeks, but soon my colleagues stopped treating me like an “ugly American” and I embraced the Parisian lifestyle. Communicating and working with people from different backgrounds and languages is something I would recommend doing. It was challenging at times because I knew that my colleagues spoke English, but I wanted to practice my French as much as possible. It was important to be mindful of some values that could be different. I always thought very carefully about what I said to my colleagues because some information or topics are not openly discussed in France. The French had a sense of community and were very welcoming when I arrived. I learned that they make friends for a lifetime and I truly did while I worked there.
It was an odd feeling, the day off the Paris bombings, less than a month ago, thinking about my friends and where they could be in the city during the attacks. I learned about their university life and how Greek life was not relevant. The country values hard work, but also enjoys leisure and take advantage of life. Their values and censorship are relatively the same as in the United States so working alongside Parisians was almost the same as in the states. Many say that Europeans are lazy, but I met some of the diligent and successful workers while abroad. I learned the importance of food at meetings with higher status employees and also learned patience, since everything I learned was in another language.
I feel so lucky to have experienced the summer in Paris. With all the museums, parks and pastries, I was overwhelmed with adoration and miss it every day. I hope to work with my colleagues again, one day, and am happy to have been able to work alongside them.