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Lessons learned by a new Maestro employee

My friends and I used to joke that you were not a “real person” until you had graduated college and started working. A month into my position as an Ambassador for Maestro, it is safe to say that my life as a “real person” has officially begun. As someone who has always loved school and learning, the end of college was bittersweet. Luckily the old saying is true—you never stop learning! This is especially true while working at Maestro and especially (ESPECIALLY) true for someone with a limited technical background. Here are some lessons learned from my first month at Maestro….

The way you dress does not determine your professionalism. Our office dress code is very casual, but our top-notch development abilities and client-centric approach leave no question about our professionalism.

Acronyms are the gatekeepers of the tech start-up world. When someone discusses a SME who wants to develop a native iOS mobile learning application to assist with several LOs that will be hosted on a CMS instead of ILT – things can get a bit confusing – what a mouthful! Luckily, once you get a few acronyms down, it is easy to pick up on the others. Everyone in the office was glad to help me out with a translation if they forgot my rookie ears were in the room. I will admit, though, I did giggle to myself a bit when SME was pronounced as a word “sss-me” instead of an acronym “S-M-E.”

I am officially a professional athlete. I thought my days of athletic competition were over, however, my fellow Ambassadors informed me that I am now in the sport of “Ambassing.” A sport that requires impeccable people skills, intelligence, determination, sneakers, and sweatbands.

We like cookies – but are far from cookie cutter. Everyone is unique; being yourself and expressing your individuality is encouraged at Maestro. The eclectic nature of our office helps to create an amazing atmosphere for collaboration and also leads to some entertaining conversations.

“Ping” is not a new social networking platform. I kept hearing my colleagues saying, “Ok, well just ping me and we’ll figure it out” or “ping me sometime later in the week.” Never using this term before, I initially thought “ping” was code for a new business social networking platform or application that I had not yet discovered. I quickly learned “ping” is easier to say than “pick your preferred method of communication and contact me.” Ping is all encompassing.

Our (Kalama)zoo has a (Silicon) Valley. Kalamazoo is a small but mighty start-up home. I have already had the opportunity to meet some amazing entrepreneurial spirits within our community, and I am excited to help further spread the joy of innovation. A recent visitor and native of the techy California start-up world said our offices made him feel right at home, like he was back in Silicon Valley. It’s great to hear our collaborative space brings a homey feel and brightened smile to someone else’s face too!

I am one lucky girl. As a recent graduate, I have heard many horror stories of boring jobs, crazy coworkers, and terrifying bosses – and my organizational behavior class last fall certainly drew attention to the pitfalls companies can sink into. I am not saying we are perfect at Maestro, but collectively we are pretty darn good at what we do, and we do it with integrity. When we make mistakes, we own them – and then fix them. When we don’t know something, we figure it out. It is refreshing to work with and learn from such wonderful people.

Sydney Hill

Not to mention refreshing, positive and downright invigorating. Should we expect anything less from a personality that absolutely bubbles…

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