I recently found myself in a pleasant conversation with an administrator of higher education. The college had hired me as a consultant to advise them on the future of their technology program.

Kim Hunter shared with me some sage advice that her college advisor had shared with her many years before, advice that she has passed on to many students in her program. I thought it worthy of passing along, too. Here is what she said:

“I remember my college advisor, Joseph Sass, as one of the most important people in my life (outside of family). He strongly recommended that for my first full-time position I accept the offer from the largest corporation possible. He told me to learn as much as I could about the company and its systems, take advantage of every professional development and training opportunity, and meet as many people as possible. His advice was to work there for at least three years and then decide what I wanted to do next. He said it was much easier to start at a large company and move to a small company or non-profit than it was to move the other way. His opinion was that smaller companies and non-profits were always eager to hire folks that worked in a large corporate environment because they would have more knowledge to share.”

–Kim Hunter
Director, Instructional Technology
College of Mount St Joseph

I was fortunate enough to have unwittingly followed this advice, starting my career at Procter & Gamble and gaining the big-company experience before starting TechSoft Systems. That experience has been invaluable over the course of my career – not just for the processes and principles I learned and have applied to my own business, but also because I have a greater understanding of how my customers’ businesses operate. I understand their processes and their challenges, which allows me to communicate and work with them more effectively.

After the conversation with Ms. Hunter, I did a quick mental evaluation of my own staff over the last decade. Those who have been most successful in their roles are indeed the ones who came in with corporate experience. This revelation will most definitely influence my hiring decisions in the future as the team at TechSoft Systems continues to grow.

Thanks, Mr. Sass, for your sage advice to all of us.

-Clifford A. Bailey, CEO of TechSoft Systems

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 25th, 2012 at 5:30 am and is filed under Effectiveness, S.H.A.P.E., Technology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.