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Old 01-23-2013, 12:46 PM
 
Location: the Beaver State
6,466 posts, read 12,469,287 times
Reputation: 3555

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Does anyone know if any of the following companies offer Informational Interviews at all?

- Adobe
- Amazon
- Cray
- Big Fish
- Pop Cap
- Corbis
- Getty
- Allrecipes
- Omni Group
- Sur La Table
- Valve
- Wizards of the Coast

Seriously thinking I need to live full time for a few years in my second favorite city, instead of visiting it every other weekend. The problem is that I have an absolutely awesome job right now, so I'd need to find a company with similar culture, Type-A work ethic, great benefits, and by far most importantly, a good chance to excel and not be stuck in the same position for more then two years at a time.

I hear Amazon is really good for the later, but are any of the other companies growing at the same rate? Or have the same "Why are you still working this position at six months?" mentality? Companies with an international (or at least National) presence would be more desirable.

Please do not suggest Microsoft. I know too many people there and would not get along in the culture.
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:11 AM
 
Location: the Beaver State
6,466 posts, read 12,469,287 times
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Does anyone know what the culture of any of these companies is like?
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:10 PM
 
17 posts, read 60,322 times
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I know about Valve, Pop Cap Games, Wizards, Amazon, Big Fish. What kind of job are you lookg for? DM if you want specifics
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:32 PM
 
21,206 posts, read 13,624,436 times
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You could check glassdoor.com and read what other employees think about the companies there.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:20 AM
 
Location: the Beaver State
6,466 posts, read 12,469,287 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seacove View Post
You could check glassdoor.com and read what other employees think about the companies there.
I have surfed glassdoor.com quite a bit. Unfortunately I don't think they give a very accurate representation of the companies, many reviews tend to be either very negative or so poorly written I can't believe they're real.

Culture wise, I'm looking for info on how the employee-business relationship is.

Do these companies take care of their employees? Do they subscribe to modern business science theories regarding happy employees are highly productive employees? Are they open to change in processes and procedures brought up from lower ranks, or do they stay with outdated top down approaches? Are they stringent "must wear business casual," or do they have an open (within reason,) dress code? Do they believe an employee is hired for one specific job, and that job only? Or do they encourage stretch projects and growth opportunities outside of the immediate work group? Are promotions through turnover or merit based? Are they growing enough that new opportunities are possible? Or is the company stagnant?
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:21 AM
 
Location: the Beaver State
6,466 posts, read 12,469,287 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MI-Mom View Post
I know about Valve, Pop Cap Games, Wizards, Amazon, Big Fish. What kind of job are you lookg for? DM if you want specifics
Thank you very much, I will do!
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:45 PM
 
2,064 posts, read 4,110,424 times
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I can answer any questions that you have about Amazon. But please keep in mind that it's just one opinion and like most things in life, opinions can vary widely.

Like many tech companies, we have a pretty open dress code.

We do believe that happy employees make productive employees. This is why we allow you to bring your dog to work.

We also believe in operating much more like a big company with many small startups and teams rather than a big monolithic company. This is good in many ways since teams have the opportunity to make changes as they see fit for their teams. However, this also means that the experiences can vary widely between one team and another.

Obviously the company is growing. We have been hiring like mad for the past few years and buildings are going up, etc. There is a lot of opportunity to grow your career but I won't kid you, it's not easy. People aren't given promotions simply because of turnover or even longevity. It is going to be largely merit based. The interview process is also merit based. We want everything to be a positive and fair experience for everyone.

And if you want to try something else, you are encouraged to do so. We would much rather have an employee transfer roles or teams than leave Amazon. It is well understood that for most engineers, they leave their jobs simply because they get bored and want to try something new. At Amazon, we give the opportunity for the employee to join a new team as long as they have been with their current team for at least the past 1 year and they have had good reviews (we don't want to simply move out our weak performers).

Anyway, let me know if you have any other questions. I like working here.
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:51 AM
 
Location: the Beaver State
6,466 posts, read 12,469,287 times
Reputation: 3555
Quote:
Originally Posted by RVD90277 View Post
I can answer any questions that you have about Amazon. But please keep in mind that it's just one opinion and like most things in life, opinions can vary widely.
Thank you very much, that is a decent counter to most of what I saw on GlassDoor regarding Amazon.
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Portal to the Pacific
7,980 posts, read 7,072,758 times
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My husband recently interviewed for Wizards and Valve. Both companies do informational interviews. Valve is always willing to hire if they see that you bring a skill set or quality that they find meaningful for their interests. We are casually associated with the head designer at Wizards and have met quite a number of his employees on many social occasion. My impression is that the entire lot is rather laid-back and mellow.. and *super* casual... It seems to me though, that Wizards could be limiting in the professional sense, based on what I know about their main product line (which is not much); many of employees I've met have been in their positions for many years (which I don't think is necessarily bad, if you value stability), but if you are truly a type-A type and are looking to excel, I'm not sure you would be satisfied. Business is doing well for them though.
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:51 PM
 
Location: Seattle
620 posts, read 1,214,203 times
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Get on LinkedIn. Use the search function to find the companies you are interested. Look through profiles of managers and if any of them state that they are open to hearing from interested applicants, email them and ask if they would set up an informational coffee meeting (not interview).
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