By Keith Judd, Associate Consultant and 2017 University of Nevada-Reno graduate
The decision to join a startup is a huge leap for any individual, no matter what point in their career they may be in. While startups offer much room for growth and success, they also come with uncertainty. What are plans for growth? How will success be measured? And in my case, is this opportunity worth taking when so many other opportunities might be more promising and stable?
As someone who enjoys taking risks, I welcomed the opportunity to join a startup because I think the notion of helping to build a company from the ground up is truly a unique once-in-a-lifetime experience. From the day I arrived at Alchemy in June 2017, I’ve had the pleasure of watching the company grow substantially from its infancy. Additionally, I am Employee #21, and that title will forever be exclusive to me. Imagine getting to say something like that for the rest of your life!
The People and Team
As a relationship-oriented individual, it has always been in my best interest to work for a company where mutual respect is a strong focus. During my job hunt, I knew that no matter how much I may have been interested in the work responsibilities of a job, if I took a position with a company that did not make me feel welcome, it would not be an enjoyable experience.
From the initial interview and throughout the seven months I’ve worked at Alchemy, I’ve felt nothing but continuous support from my peers. We see our company’s workforce as “horizontal”; no matter your job title or tenure, all teammates are equal, and no creative idea goes unwelcomed.
In the second half of 2017, we welcomed a new Alchemist almost every week, and each new teammate has proven to bring something valuable to our growing team. Now in 2018, we are growing even further, and I feel that our collective contributions are essential to every milestone we reach as a young company.
One of the things that stuck with me when learning about Alchemy was their enthusiasm and dedication to the company’s core values: Teammates, Customer Focused, Entrepreneurs, Tenacious, and Genuine. These core values set the standard of who we are and how we conduct business. We share our core values with prospective candidates during company information sessions and interviews, as they provide a great framework for our selection process of future Alchemists.
No Day Is the Same
In a startup environment, it comes with the territory that everyone has quite a bit of work to do to achieve the company’s desired end goals. You must be flexible and ready for just about anything.
In my relatively short time at Alchemy, I’ve experienced a top-notch onboarding process, taken various certification classes through the Workday Education program, and have learned how to become a better public speaker. I’m committed to being a lifelong learner, and Alchemy has exceeded my expectations in providing me with that opportunity.
As far as general startup tasks, I’ve been given any number of unique assignments: assembling chairs, going on grocery runs for the kitchen, and even helping to choose the perfect “office plant”. My colleagues and I have worn many hats in our first few months here, to say the least!
Going into my job search, I held the belief that I would be flexible with wherever a job opportunity out of college would take me–even with an inclination for becoming easily homesick. Fortunately, Alchemy has given me the opportunity to stay in Reno, a city that I hold very close to my heart.
The saying that “a place grows on you” was an understatement in my experience. During my 4+ years as a Reno resident/student, I received an exceptional education from a tier-one university, built relationships that will last a lifetime, ate at some great restaurants, and picked up some new hobbies (snowboarding!) that the Tahoe area offered. Sure, it would have been great to move back into my parents’ house in California (for free!), but at the end of the day, writing rent checks in Reno was conceivable. Plus, how could I leave a place that had given me some of life’s best experiences?
The fact that a tech company like Alchemy chose to establish itself in the Reno area is something I greatly value. To be involved in an exciting startup located in a geographic area that is experiencing its most rapid economic growth to date is a double bonus.
Overall, Alchemy has given me an opportunity that I could have never imagined, and I am beyond grateful for the support my fellow Alchemists have given me in the months I’ve been here. I’m excited about so many things this company is working on, and I am truly proud to be a part of this team.