5 Reasons Employers Like A RED Grad
To you, it’s not enough to simply be hired post-grad. You want to be a sound investment for your future boss, a choice they look back on during a reflective sip of their morning coffee and cheers silently to themselves in satisfaction. You want to be a catch.
So how does a RED grad measure up to that standard? We spoke to senior project managers, directors, and marketing heads who have hired RED grads in the past and heard 5 reasons why they’d do it again in a heartbeat.
1. RED grads hit the ground running
It’s normal to have growing pains when starting a new job. But according to the higher-ups we spoke to, the hires they made straight out of RED hardly seemed to feel it.
Philip Manzano, Head of Marketing Communications at Keela in Vancouver, says he has noticed a common thread with his RED hires. “They’re ready for what the role entails, because they’re coming with an expertise that’s fully-baked,” he says. According to him, that’s essential for Keela—a startup company comprised of 25 staff that creates software for small nonprofits. “Ultimately my RED hires have been ready to hit the ground running, and that’s refreshing—especially at a startup, where we don’t have a lot of time.”
That sentiment is echoed by Alexis Shuster, Director of Business Operations at ThriveDigital. She has had at least three staff come into her employment from RED’s Digital Marketing program. “They have all come hungry to learn, and hit the ground running,” she adheres. “Which is awesome for us—we want people who are excited about our company, but also self starters who are excited about what they’re doing.”
2. They change the culture for the better
More and more positive effects of good company culture are being discovered every day, and it’s making employers think carefully about who they bring onto the team. Luckily RED alumni have a good rap in that department. “RED in general, and the individuals who have come here from RED, have had a very positive impact on the culture here,” Manzano affirms. “When you have individuals who are bringing work ethic and quality work, that becomes ingrained in the work culture.”
Part of that culture shift comes from an employee’s effect on the team’s attitude. “They’re really excited about the new role and the client work they’re doing,” Shuster says of her experience with her RED hires. “And that’s always good for morale.”
3. They’re prepared to innovate
Innovation is a long-standing prized trait, but how does one develop an eye for thinking outside the box? With the right cocktail of education, experience and enthusiasm—all of which Manzano has seen in his staff that came from RED. “It’s happened on multiple occasions where RED grads came in with a conviction of what we should be doing, despite what the team was saying,” Manzano states. “They knew what needed to be done and what experiments we were trying, but went above and beyond—whether that meant working overtime, or trying things outside of the box, or pushing our leadership team to try something new even if it went against the plan. And listening to their ideas had positive results.”
Gianmichael Di Lallo, UX Director at Athlon’s Toronto studio, says it’s a confidence that can be taught. “We’ve repeatedly seen RED hires who are multi-faceted and willing to jump in,” Di Lallo states. “And that comes from learning in an open, creative environment that supports both success and failure in a positive way. I haven’t had a RED grad yet that didn’t have a degree of creative freedom or was afraid to express themselves.”
4. They already know how to work with clients
One of the riskiest factors of hiring someone straight out of post-secondary is putting them onto a client project, where rookie mistakes could be embarrassing for the company. Greg Ryder, Senior Project Manager at BAM Digital in Vancouver, hasn’t had that issue with his RED hires. “I’ve noticed they’ve all been quick to pick up on the understanding of working with and for clients,” he says. “The real client work they do at RED really helps bridge that process and that mindset. It’s not a passion project they’re working on at home, it’s something that the client is going to need to approve.”
Besides that clutch professionalism with clients, RED grads also come into the game familiar with the scope of the work, according to Manzano. “They’re really hard working,” he says. “They understand what the work looks like and feels like, and how long it will take.”
5. They’re sponges
Coming into a company as a junior may be a humbling concept, but to employers of RED grads, it’s invaluable for both parties. “We always want forward thinkers and self starters, because they’re really eager to learn and absorb everything they can,” Shuster points out. “They know they don’t have two or three years experience yet, but they’re great people to mentor in this type of role.”
Ryder says he actually set out to create a role structure at BAM specifically for this purpose, and his RED hires have had a hand in solidifying it. “They’ve really helped round out the team and made it feel like a full unit that’s moving together and growing together,” Ryder says. “We’re excited to see them come in as juniors and begin presenting client work and build that confidence. I see it as a win win—they get the hands-on experience and we get juniors who are willing to learn.”
Starting a new job will always have it’s growing pains, but when it comes to impressing an employer with your prowess right out of school—heck, impressing yourself—now we know at least 5 ways to do it.