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Work is where the heart is: a first year memoir

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Work is where the heart is… Really? Am I trying to tell you all that after 365+ days in the real world, I still love my job? Yes, that’s exactly what I’m trying to tell you. It’s been a year since I moved all the way across the country (no exaggeration) to work for one of the most innovative companies in the world. In a year, I’ve had many ups and barely any downs. There are three things that have defined my year (and this crazy place the world calls Intel) – the people, the opportunities, and the experiences.

The people. I’ve always said the people make the place. You can find cool, interesting, GOOD people anywhere, but usually you have to look for them. Not at Intel. In my year here, I’ve had the chance to meet, work with and listen to really cool, really interesting, really GREAT people. From my first manager, who turned me into a marketing machine (I used to hate marketing, now I love it!); to my second manager, who dug deep into my brain to harvest and grow the natural social scientist within to create a project that fit my passion and talents. (This project eventually turned into the job I have now. I am a user experience researcher in HR.) While these two women directly helped to mold my career so far, along the way I’ve picked up a handful of amazing mentors and had interactions with some of the most brilliant people I have ever met. (Does Genevieve Bell ring a bell to anyone?) This is my life at Intel. I get to come to work every day to mix, mingle and innovate with individuals that share my passion in bringing change to the world.

The opportunities. Being able to work at Intel was the biggest opportunity of my life and I took it. The opportunities kept building once I got here. One of Intel's values is risk taking; something I feel I am very good at. I took a couple of risks in my first year and I was rewarded with new opportunities. Little risks, such as asking Intel VPs a question at an open forum ended up turning into an opportunity for me. (Yes, our VPs have open forums where little ol’ me can step up to the mic and ask a burning question.) The opportunity to ask that question opened the door to my current job (the job I mentioned above). In a year, I’ve also had the opportunity to represent Intel at well known recruiting conferences (remember my posts on NBMBAA and AISES? ), work with global partners, rotate into different jobs, showcase Intel technology, develop a new research method in HR, and, let’s not forget, drive the Intel WiMax Smart Carin downtown Portland! In all seriousness, I’ve been given the opportunity to try a bunch of different things at Intel. Each one hit on my interests and I’m looking forward to future opportunities that are coming up because as we create new things here, we create new opportunities as well. Hopefully, you’ll be the next person to fill that new opportunity.

The experiences.The experiences are the sum of the people + the opportunities. I could describe every single experience but they don’t give me enough space in these blogs. Plus, I’ve already mentioned some. Instead, I’ll summarize my experience over the past 365 days. My experience has been amazing. I said it before, I’ll say it again: I work with really cool, really interesting, really great people. I have the opportunity to come to work every day knowing something new is waiting here for me to create, to explore and to share. There is something special about this place that I wish everyone could experience in their lifetime. Intel gave me the people that lead me to the opportunities that created my experiences and my life the past year. I have loved my life the past year so yeah, I said it once and am saying it again: I actually love my job, I love it a lot, and I know the years to come will be just as great as this first one!

But don’t just take my word for it. Try it out for yourself. And on your first day of your first year here, be sure to look me up and let me know how it goes.

On a side note: Speaking of opportunities coming from creating at Intel, since I’ve been talking so much about my life at Intel I’ve now been asked to be a featured employee on our Life at Intel site. Look for me there shortly!