What’s it like to work in a Top 50 Best Places to Work company (Inc Magazine 2016)? We interviewed Millennials at SimVentions, about 40 miles south of Washington DC.
When people kept telling her to join SimVentions, Katherine Walker was initially skeptical. It was “insane” to think that there could be a workplace like SimVentions, a family where everyone loves being at work. No way. But when Katherine applied and starting working for SimVentions, her attitude changed, and now work feels like home. Now, people keep asking her if she ever stops smiling.
While at work (or rather, “home” as Katherine calls it), Katherine is a Systems Engineer Technical Lead, aiding the Navy in developing a training simulation for operating ships. Katherine describes it as a “high-tech driver’s ed”, but says it’s preferable to having a new sailor take the ship out without the proper training. She describes her first day as “hitting the ground running.” Katherine received the typical documents from her boss and that clichéd, “ask any questions while you are reading.” However, her boss was more than accommodating in helping answer questions, and Katherine never felt overwhelmed. If her boss had other matters to attend to, her coworkers were always around and happy to lend a helping hand. Katherine explains that everyone at work is a leader, building one another up. Instead of floundering when she couldn’t find an answer, Katherine would find a coworker who knew how to tackle her current problem, or knew the electronic warfare lingo and the “sea of acronyms” as Katherine calls it.
Katherine describes the attitude at SimVentions as the “selfless pursuit of technical excellence.”
Katherine started right out of college working with the Marine Corps on another small business contract. She describes her first day there as “unmemorable”, and, in contrast, Katherine feels like she’s always been a part of SimVentions. She explains that she fell in love with the place, because they “uphold their values of working here,” it’s not a 9-to-5 type of job, everyone has a positive attitude that goes beyond the task, and it doesn’t matter what time of day it is. Katherine describes the attitude at SimVentions as the “selfless pursuit of technical excellence.”
When asked if she could summarize what it’s like to work at SimVentions, Katherine echoed The Lego Movie’s theme song, “Everything is Awesome”. “I love engineering, computers, and people. No matter how my career track develops in that way, with SimVentions it would be a wonderful and successful one.”
Katherine will likely be smiling along the way.