One Year Later…Home Sweet Home!

Posted on April 4, 2012 by Comments Off

Colby Reade, Account Executive

A few weeks after I started at Waggener, I wrote a post for this blog about the initial integration process and how impressed I was with the way that Waggener “walks the walk” in that department.

 Fast forward and, hard as it is to believe, I’m approaching my one-year “Waggeversary” on the Windows team which means the honeymoon phase is officially over. I’m no longer the happy-go-lucky newbie savoring the “new car smell” of my cube and relishing the various, unique qualities that set Waggener apart from other employers (hello free Talking Rain!). I’ve gotten my hands dirty … I’ve worked the long hours we all hear about … I’ve had the late night client emails … the surprise deliverable asks … the emergency reactive situations. And like any good relationship, I have to say I love it more now than I did 12 months ago.

 

The agency does a lot to make the work environment enjoyable … Intern Fun Week … War Rooms … Donut Thursday … but there are a few big reasons why I am truly passionate about showing up to my cube every day and why I sing Waggener’s praises every chance I get.

 Work Life Balance is more than just a buzz word.  Many companies urge their employees to find “work life balance,” but actually taking the time to achieve this balance can be difficult. In some cases, a team is horribly short staffed so employees can’t get away without the organization collapsing.  In other cases, employees worry about the security of their job if they disappear for time off and the world continues to function in their absence. For several reasons workers are not taking all of their vacation time these days. Not the case at Waggener. While you can’t just take off at any time and for any duration, Waggener makes sure team members feel comfortable logging off to recharge.

 Waggener treats employees like adults. I can remember my first week here, checking in everyday with my manager before I ran to get coffee at Starbucks or ducking out for lunch. After a few days, Bonnie kindly let me know that the head’s up were not necessary … that she’d call my cell phone if the world was collapsing but otherwise, any work could wait fifteen minutes until I got back. This is emblematic of a bigger theme. There are no clock watchers at Waggener. Yes, we monitor our time, but managers know we work hard and will deliver gold standard work on time, so there are no Bill Lumberg’s wandering around making sure that coffee breaks last ONLY 15 minutes and that we are seated at our computers promptly at 9 AM. Management trusts the team because we show up and work hard.

 Waggener believes in flexibility. We had some work done on our house this year which meant a few days with repairmen who needed to be babysat. Instead of having to brick time off of my calendar and be “off” for half a day (or a full day in some cases), I simply plugged in at home and was able to keep plugging away as if I were at my desk in 3CP. For anyone who has had to skip work to wait on a contractor you know how valuable that freedom to stay on top of your to-do list instead of just sitting and waiting can be.

 Waggener hires brilliant people. One of the things that sold me on the chance to come work for Waggener was the opportunity to learn from some really smart individuals and this place has not disappointed. From watching Mark Martin lead the Windows business to the careful review and feedback I get from my manager, Bonnie, to the knowledge sharing sessions I have with my fellow Windows UnLeaded teammates … I am literally surrounded by “brilliant” every day. The growth I have seen in myself over the last 12 months is due, in large, LARGE, part to those folks and their positive influence. 

 Working for Waggener? Best. Career Move. Ever.

8 is Great

Posted on October 18, 2011 by 1 Comment

8 is Great

Guest Blog Post by Michelle Dollarhide, Sr. Talent Acquisition Partner

In some cultures the number eight is a lucky number and how lucky we are!  On television, Eight is Enough but not for our team.  In the NFL several Hall of Famers wore the number 8 which explains why she’s so good at what she does – Tori Quinn, Internship Program Recruiter and Sr. Talent Acquisition Coordinator, is our Hall of Famer.  A stop sign has eight sides but there’s no stopping her when it comes to infallible candidate care and going the extra mile.  Eight seconds is all a cowboy has to stay on a bucking horse. She’s hung on with every twist and turn on the wild ride of recruiting.  Then there’s the 8-track tape but we won’t talk about that. :-) 

 Since joining the agency she quickly raised the bar for what it means to provide good candidate care. Her attention to detail and the ability to connect with people is legendary. And if that’s not enough she raised her hand to run with the Microsoft intern program and take it to a new level.  She’s our resident social media expert, teacher and Twitter machine. 

 As one client stated: I want to express my sincere and total gratitude for Tori.  Tori is an absolute champion.  She is an absolute delight to work with.  I am incredibly grateful to her.   One of her teammates sums it up:  She is a crystal clear example of how to achieve candidate and client delight!

From your fellow Talent Acquisition Team members, congrats on eight great years Tori.  We look forward to the next eight years with you!  

 #happyanniversarytori

Helping Youth Find Their Voice

Posted on May 4, 2011 by Comments Off

Austin Stewart, Senior Account Executive, Microsoft Education Team, WE-Portland 

Last month I celebrated my 6th year anniversary at Waggener Edstrom Worldwide and one of my favorite aspects of the agency is the unfettered support to follow your passion. For me, that is music!

I grew up dreaming during symphonies, listening to my grandpa’s stories about playing in big bands and with parents that encouraged a love for music before I was old enough to attend school. However, many people have not had the same opportunity to communicate their thoughts and feelings in a constructive way. That is why I am excited to use my abilities as a communicator to help out a local non-profit in the Portland area that engages marginalized youth in music and performance in order to promote self-esteem, social skills and emotional expression.

My Voice Music, founded in 2008, is an incredible program run by a great group of dedicated volunteers. Many of the youth they serve have lived in more homes than they have had birthdays. Nearly all are victims of abuse and have significant barriers to learning and developing healthy relationships. By providing free music programs, it creates a non-traditional way for youth to develop many of the skills necessary in order to overcome these obstacles.

When I studied at the Berklee College of Music, I gained a better understanding of the healing power and therapeutic benefits that music can provide. As a music educator, I saw students overcome incredible obstacles. Now in my day-to-day work at the agency, I constantly draw from my experience as a musician.

In addition to inspiring employees to follow their passions, the agency also encourages all employees to have a positive impact in the communities that we work. Along with backing pro-bono PR support, and company-paid volunteer time, Waggener Edstrom has graciously stepped up to assist My Voice Music by becoming a sponsor of HeART Beats, a benefit concert for My Voice Music on Friday, May 6, 2011.

If you are interested in getting involved or want to learn more about My Voice Music, please feel free to reach out or come to the concert. I will also be performing at HeART Beats with my bluegrass band, the Cow Paddy Stompers.

EVENT DETAILS

Join My Voice Music and Vibe of Portland for a benefit concert that supports Portland youth. HeART Beats will celebrate the healing power of music and provide an opportunity to support music and arts programming for underserved youth throughout the greater Portland area.

The Concert –
 Friday, May 6, 2011 (7:00 PM – 11:00 PM). $10, All ages welcome (kids are free).

The BandsTango Alpha Tango, Sara Jackson-Holman, Boy Eats Drum Machine and the Cow Paddy Stompers

The Venue The historic Village Ballroom is owned and operated by The Oregon Public House, a non-profit pub where 100% of all profits are donated to other local non-profits, opening this summer! Beer provided by Breakside Brewery.

Six Years and Counting…

Posted on October 19, 2009 by 1 Comment

TQ guitar heroineLast Thursday marked my official six year anniversary at Waggener Edstrom and I found myself reminiscing about how I came to WE and what has kept me here for so many years. I actually started at the agency in August of 2003 as a temporary employee (which is a great way to help get your foot in the door). I still remember first coming across the job opening for my role on a Human Resources networking email group (networking is another great way to help get your foot in the door!). I wasn’t working at the time and the job was for a temporary position here at the agency. I was just about to start traveling so the timing wasn’t ideal, however I still contacted the recruiter and shared my resume, letting him know I’d absolutely love to be considered for anything in the future. A few weeks later after I returned from traveling to visit family, I received an email from the recruiter I had sent my information to, informing me they were in need of another temporary staffing coordinator. I let him know that I was very interested and he put me in touch with his coworker who was managing the hiring for this position.

As a Staffing Coordinator, it was interesting to see what it was like to be a candidate again, as I hadn’t had the need to interview during the previous four years. After having notified the recruiter of my interest in the position, a couple of days later I had my initial phone interview with his coworker. I felt like she and I had immediately connected and we ended up talking for an hour and a half. The more we talked the more excited I got about the position because it was exactly what I was looking for. Two days later I received a call from the hiring manager and went into the Lake Oswego office for my interview. I passed the first round! The second round was with another staffing partner on the team, whom I immediately hit it off with as well. At this point I was trying to not get too excited in case I didn’t get the job!

I ended up coming back in one more time, as the recruiter who I had my phone screen with was down from our Bellevue office. Our meeting was scheduled for 8am and I always try to be at least 5 minutes early to interviews…never really more because I’d rather wait out in my car than in the lobby of an office building. I had gotten in the elevator, pushed the 3rd floor button and nothing happened. I kept trying. The button would light up, but only for a second. I was trying not to panic. It was 8am and I was late! I kept pushing it, but still nothing… and then someone stepped in the elevator and luckily happened to be going to the 3rd floor as well. I then learned that apparently the elevators were locked until a certain time so you needed a security card to access them before and after hours. It also so happened that the woman in the elevator happened to be who I was meeting with! So it all worked out perfectly. A couple of days after that, I received a call and was offered the position! I said yes before I even knew how much it paid or what, if any, benefits I would receive. The whole process took just about two weeks to go through. To me it felt like a whirlwind. But it felt right.

I was so excited to be joining the recruiting team at Waggener Edstrom. I felt like I had hit it off with everyone I had met during my interview process and it just felt like it was the right place for me. It’s now six years later and some days I feel like I’ve always been with Waggener Edstrom and other days, it doesn’t feel like it’s possible that it’s even been six years! I’ve made some really great friendships over the years as well. I’ve been lucky that I think I’ve worked with just about every team in the agency, from the account side and infrastructure teams to those teams in our regional and international offices. When it comes to hiring here at the agency, I’ve gotten to know a lot of really great people.

Over the years I’ve taken on more responsibilities. Along with my coworker Michelle, we manage our Employee Referral Program, which is a fabulous source of hire for us (our program has fielded up to 50% of our total hires at times). I also work with my teammate Kristin on our Digital Strategy Initiative and also with Michelle and another coworker, Jodi, on our Internship Program. I love that I’ve been given the opportunity to branch out in my role and not be kept with doing the same task day after day. I love the variety that my position and team offers. When I talk with candidates and they ask what’s kept me at Waggener Edstrom for so long, without a doubt my first response is always my team. The flexibility that we’re also allowed can’t be compared to other companies where I’ve worked. I feel very fortunate that I work on such an amazing, supportive team.

The culture at Waggener Edstrom is a very celebratory kind… earlier this week my team took me to a local family fun center to celebrate my 6 years with the agency and we all played air hockey, skee ball (how fun would it be to have one in your home?), shot hoops, and played various other arcade games… it was a blast! One of my passions is photography so I’m rarely without my camera. Here are some of the pictures that were taken during our celebration:
TQ Anniversary 4
TQ Anniversary 3
TQ Anniversary

I hope this gives you an idea of the Waggener Edstrom culture. It’s definitely a culture that likes to celebrate everyone’s well-deserved success.

If you’re looking for a company that challenges you, supports you, and rewards your success, check out WE!

Tori - Name

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