On a recent visit to Atlanta, I met with several recruiters and Freeman alumni at top-notch companies such as AT&T, Valic, 8Step Promotions, AIG and Pritchard Capital. The recurring theme in these meetings: development and cultivation of the individual employee. Although they represent varied industries, cultures and size of companies, most of the individuals I met with described the overall mentality of their employers as promoting education, training, development and retention of their employees.
This news excited me, and although it may not sound sexy coming from a company you’ve never heard of, the principal of investing in your employees seems to be one that successful companies are finally figuring out–and many of them have learned to do it well so that they can attract and retain the very best talent. It IS sexy to work for a company that wants to invest its resources in helping you be more successful, and to grow as an individual and as a professional.
I also got the broader sense that Atlanta as a market is less cut-throat and more collegial–especially for young people starting out their careers.
AT&T has one of the most prestigious training programs out there–the Business Sales Leadership Development Program. They don’t just hire eager young professionals, turn them loose on a territory and say, “sink or swim.” They nurture commeradery, teamwork, friendly competition and provide each trainee with all the necessary tools to be successful. This extensive program is available to Freeman students on Freeman Link during the fall and spring recruiting seasons and I hope we can present them with some great candidates so that they will continue to want to invest resources in hiring from here.
Valic is one of the country’s leading financial planning firms. Founded initially to provide financial advisory services to educators and government employees, the firm has grown to represent institutions and individuals across the board. Despite the economic downturn, Valic continues to thrive. New hires are provided a book of business–unlike some financial planning roles that require you to cold call and/or to hit up your circle of friends and family for business. They also invest a great deal of time and money cultivating each portfolio manager and making sure they have all the support they need to succeed.
And these are just a few of the highlights! So before you turn up your nose at a job posting in Atlanta, give some thought to the greater scope of your career path. Rather than a sink-or-swim kind of town, Atlanta is full of employers who want to cultivate and invest in great candidates. It is an exciting place to start out a career or take it to the next level. It has all the charm and character of the true South, with the added benefit of being a major metropolitan area. About midway between New York and New Orleans geographically, I would also map Atlanta in roughly the same spot culturally.
Stay tuned to Freeman Link for these and other exciting opportunities with great companies in Atlanta.