Originally posted on the SPARCedge blog June 9th 2014
“So what’s next?” and “What are you doing now?”
It’s a rare specimen of recent college graduate who has a concrete answer for either question.
It’s the adult version of, “what are you going to be when you grow up?” Even as a kindergartener I was a skeptic, “You mean, one day I, me, Lauren, will be a grown up? And I can do whatever I want?” It’s asking, now that I am technically a legal adult, what did I decide I was going to be? It’s a question for someone exceptional, who decided what they wanted to do, went to school for it, and landed a career doing something they love.
After graduation, I didn’t – and still don’t – feel more grown up, and I definitely didn’t end up being a veterinarian specializing in big African cats. I went to school and love writing, but jobs are either in academia, publishing, or IT support. Most live hoping they’ll make it big enough to quit their day job. I was counting on being granted a MacArthur Fellowship just for existing. So like many of my peers, my answer to “what’s next?” was “You’re looking at it.”
I Guess My Reading List Could Wait a Little Longer
Ten days after graduation, I was checking Facebook and saw a post from a friend who worked at SPARC. I had heard great things about the company, and every time I talked to him, he told me about how much he loved working at SPARC. So I responded on a whim, because after all, I had a day job and the entire summer to figure out what I was going to do with the rest of my life. But a recruitment coordinator, Jill, responded within fifteen minutes, and I had a phone interview that hour, and a physical interview scheduled for the next day. It’s funny how opportunities can be hidden in a Facebook post.
Please Keep Your Limbs Inside the Vehicle at All Times…
I got to see the building, which is modern, beautiful, and out of this geeky girl’s dreams. It’s set up like a maze so that each team has their space, but they’re still open enough to be a resource for other teams (including some witty banter and some nerf dart throwing.) What had me hooked — besides the children’s bikes laying around and the ping pong table in the break room —was how happy all of the Team Members were. Yes, they were working hard, but there was happy chatter, laughter even, in the office.
…And Enjoy The Ride!
Everyone has been welcoming, stopping by my desk to say good morning, even reminding me that we had met before but they wanted to officially congratulate me on getting the internship. I am thrilled to join the SPARC family, who has immediately embraced me. I was given a desk next to my two leads, “Here, there’s even a spot for your weirdness to compliment ours.” For the first time, I’m excited to go to an office. This may be the first week, but it won’t be the last. (Unless I get that call from the MacArthur Foundation.)
Want to join the SPARC team? If you’re interested in our monkey* business, check out our open positions here!
* Great Apes, Marvelous Marsupials, and Superb Sloths may also apply.