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Recruiter Spotlight: Meli, This Week's @InsideZappos Social VIP

#InsideZappos, inside zappos, zapponian spotlight, zapponians, Zappos Careers, zappos core values, zappos culture, zappos employees, Zappos HR, zappos jobs, Zappos Recruiter Spotlight, Zappos Recruiters, Zappos Recruiting, zappos techGrowing up in Santa Fe, NM, I was always surrounded by culture and tradition. Although it was a small town, I always found something fun to do. I played softball, basketball, ran track, worked on my car, had a whole collection of animals, and played video games until the sun came up. My very favorite thing about this community was that everyone knew each other and it was very much like one big extended family. That small town feeling never escaped me.

Fast forward to 2007. Driving through Winslow, AZ, my grandmother couldn’t help but belt out the lyrics to that once so popular Eagles song. We were headed for Vegas to join our family for a reunion. Little did I know that the universe had something else in store for me and my life was about to change forever. I met my now husband of six years during that trip. He swept me off my feet and we had an instant connection. Living so far apart I never thought something so short would turn in to very much but a few months later, we decided to try to make things work and the rest was history. That is where my adventure in Las Vegas began.

For the next 5 years, I worked to become an HOA Manager.  I enjoyed working with the communities and helping the residents but never truly loved what I was doing. I knew I needed a change and luckily a friend and co-worker told me a little about Zappos. My first thought was “They get to wear pajamas to work and they believe in unicorns… Say what?!?! Zappos, where have you been all my life?”

I couldn’t help but explore all that Zappos had to offer and before long, I decided to take the plunge and apply. In August 2012, I started at Zappos as a Customer Loyalty Team (call center) member. I loved it! Coming to work was no longer a chore and I could wear a tutu to boot! If only I had found Zappos sooner.

I loved the culture, people, events, customers, service, charity work, and everything else that was Zappos. It meant so much to me that I decided I wanted to take my newfound passion to the next level. I progressed to the Scheduling Team and, with the help of my leads, was able to map out some goals for myself and start planning my career path.

My next move was applying for a temporary position called a Z’Apprenticeship as a Recruiting Assistant. During my interviews, the team was tough and asked me some off-the-wall questions to make sure I was the right piece to their jigsaw puzzle. As a final round, I was invited to happy hour with the whole team. It was at that moment that I knew I had found my calling.

I was lucky enough to be offered the position and asked to take on my role permanently a few months later. Since then, I have never stopped learning or falling in love with what I do and my work is a great joy in my life. The best part is working with our candidates and Zappos Insiders. Each day, I get to help people that hold that same passion and drive as I do and watch them become amazing contributors to the Zappos culture. What more could I ask for?

I don’t know what the future holds or where my Journey at Zappos may take me from here, but I am definitely enjoying the ride. I love that I was able to find the things that mattered to me the most growing up, in a company that I want to grow old with. Culture, community, family and a lot of shenanigans. Yep, I am home!   

Recruiter Spotlight: Lauren, This Week's @InsideZappos Social VIP

Once upon a time, in a faraway land called South Carolina, a college senior was researching potential summer internship opportunities. She searched and searched and nothing seemed to catch her eye or offer exactly what she was looking for. She was about to give up all hope of finding that perfect internship. That was until she stumbled upon the Zappos Family Interns website while shopping for shoes. At that moment everything seemed to click. An awesome company culture, jobs that make you want to get out of bed each morning, and the opportunity to get involved in the Las Vegas community-- It was the perfect opportunity. She knew Zappos was exactly where she belonged.

#InsideZappos, inside zappos, zapponian spotlight, zapponians, Zappos Careers, zappos core values,zappos culture,zappos employees,Zappos Family,Zappos HR,zappos jobs,Zappos Recruiter Spotlight,Zappos Recruiters,Zappos Recruiting, Zappos Interns, Zappos Internship Program, Summer Interns, Zappos Summer Interns    So now you may be wondering – did it all work out? Did she live happily ever after? Well, I will let you in on a little secret – that girl is me. It took some passion, determination and maybe even a weird video cover letter, but here I am nine months later at the new Zappos HQ in sunny Downtown Las Vegas, Nevada!

This summer I am lucky enough to be a part of the incredible Zappos HR Team as the Recruiting College Intern. This is the third year of the internship program here at Zappos and we have a total of 42 fun and slightly weird individuals from all over the world! That makes us the largest intern class the company has ever had – woohoo!

As the recruiting intern I have had some amazing opportunities to shadow and assist the recruiters and recruiting coordinators with their daily tasks as well as take on individual projects. Every day I learn something new and grow more passionate about my work. One of the things I love most about my internship is that I’m given challenging, meaningful assignments.  No filing papers, making copies, or coffee runs for this girl! I have already taken on a variety of daily tasks as well as joining in on projects with members of my team. I am also encouraged to pursue growth and learning by coming up with new, creative ideas that will help my team and Zappos grow. I have never felt so supported by a company or team before.

Speaking of team, the recruiting team at Zappos defines what it means to have a positive team and family spirit (Core Value #7). Zappos believes in integrating your work and personal life which means I do not just think of my team as coworkers but also as amazing friends. What more can you ask for than having a group of people who you can collaborate with in the office and grab dinner with after work? The recruiting team has truly have become my family here in Vegas!

It is so hard for me to believe that I am starting week five of my nine week internship here. Not only have I had the time of my life but I have grown both personally and professionally. Working for Zappos has truly been my “happily ever after” and I don’t want it to come to an end. Going into my last couple weeks of this amazing internship, one thing is for certain: I can’t wait to see what else I learn and what the future holds!

Recruiter Spotlight: Cody, This Week's @InsideZappos Social VIP

I guess you could call me somewhat of a rarity here in Las Vegas. My Grandparents moved here in the early 1950s and soon after, they had my dad. Add about 30 years to that story when my dad met my mom and – ta da – I came into this world. Being a Vegas native, let alone a second generation Vegas native, is pretty rare here. Most residents are Vegas transplants, but we natives do exist, as uncommon as we may be.

  #InsideZappos, inside zappos,zapponian spotlight, zapponians, Las Vegas natives, zappos core values, zappos culture, zappos employees, Zappos Family, Zappos Human Resources, Zappos Recruiter Spotlight, Zappos Recruiters, Why all this history about me you ask? Well, being born and raised here in Las Vegas, one of the most common questions I get is, “Do you ever plan on leaving?” Great question! Let’s talk about it. I have friends who are from all over the world and have lived in many different places. Sometimes I think about what it would be like to start new somewhere else and as exciting and great as it sounds, I always come back to the realization that I love Las Vegas. It’s my home.

Just call me Oprah as here are some of my favorite things (in no specific order) – The bearable winters, hot summers, Lake Mead, Mt. Charleston, Red Rock, downtown, great restaurants (I’m a huge foodie), Vegas shows, great shopping, 24-hour everything, being only a few hours away from the beach and Zion National Park. But the one thing I definitely cannot leave off of this list is Zappos.

Zappos moved to Nevada in 2004, and it’s still crazy to me that it took me, a Vegas native, eight years to find them. I often ask myself, “What took you so long?”  Either way, I found Zappos and I love it.

I first started within CLT (Customer Loyalty Team) where I wowed our customers who called in. I had never experienced a better job before this. My background was in HOA management so Zappos was like Disneyland to me. Almost a year into Zappos I knew I wanted to be in recruiting, and just my luck, there was an opening!

Five interviews later, I found out I didn’t get the job. Super sad, I know. I was bummed but I was determined. Core value #9 – Be Passionate & Determined, is my favorite core value. I took the feedback I received to heart and I did all that I could to make sure the next time would be the right time. In January of this year another position opened up and I couldn’t have been more excited, but scared all the same time. After a couple more interviews, I had my feedback session where I was told I didn’t get the position again, just to be surprised by the whole team in the hallway to tell me I did. Yes! Now I am here, writing this blog.

One of the many things that Zappos has done to make my list of favorite things is that this company never stops surprising me. Big surprises, little surprises, all kinds of surprises. The biggest reason I love Zappos is because they let me be me, the real me. I have never felt more comfortable in my own skin than I have since day one here. 

When you live in a world with so much judgment, it’s refreshing to spend 40 hours a week with none of those shenanigans. I’m a 26-year old-guy with gel nails and I love it. My team loves it. My Zappos family loves it. Core Value # 3 – Create Fun and a Little Weirdness – one of my daily mantras. Next week will be my two-year anniversary and here’s to hoping for many more!

 

Cheers!

Zapponian Spotlight: Michelle R. Gives the Rundown on Rain Boots

Spring has sprung, and once the sky starts to leak, the shoe closet has a way of looking a little bare. Be ready for cloud bursts of any sort with a reliable pair of rain boots. A good quality pair of rain boots will not only last season to season, they can be surprisingly versatile and stylish!

Consider pairing a back-strap rain boot with a printed-dress and jacket combo for festival season. The practicality of a cute rain boot will help keep your feet dancing, rain or shine – not to mention lend a uniquely casual look. 

Thinking of picking up gardening? Rubber garden boots come in shorter lengths for added mobility when reaching to prune those perfect posies. If the great outdoors lights your fire, you can relax in the wilderness or on a fishing boat in a rugged pair of waterproof boots.

If you’re up a creek without a paddle when it comes to styling rain boots, Zappos’ very own style editor, Michelle Robles is here to take us all to school. After six years of wowing everyone around the office with her undeniably chic taste, Michelle has agreed to share her own rainy-day fashion tips as well as some great rain boot picks to get you through any rainy day in style:

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Boat, BOGS, boots, Boots Style Festival Garden, camping, chooka, family, gardening, hunter, Kamik, Muddy boots, rain boots, rainboots, Rainy, spring, spring boots, weather, women's rain boots, women's rainboots, zapponian spotlight

Boat, BOGS, boots, Boots Style Festival Garden, camping, chooka, family, gardening, hunter, Kamik, Muddy boots, rain boots, rainboots, Rainy, spring, spring boots, weather, women's rain boots, women's rainboots, zapponian spotlight

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Classic:

1. Bogs Urban Farmer 2-Eye Lace

2. Hunter Original Back Adjustable Gloss

3. Hunter Garden Boot

Contmeporary:

4. The Sak Rhythm

5. Chooka Ziggy Stripe

6. Bogs North Hampton Floral

Chic:

7.COACH Talia

8. Kamik Medusa

9. Ted Baker Liddied

What inspires your personal style?

M: I’m influenced by street style, Pinterest, bloggers, and different cultures.

 

What is an ultimate essential to your own inclement-weather wardrobe? 

M: My classic Hunter Original boots – these never go out of style!

 

How do you build a practical and stylish outfit around rain boots?

M: Leggings or skinny jeans are my go-to picks. My personal favorite is wearing skinny jeans, a striped tee and a utility jacket for a relaxed-cool look.

 

What is one fashion faux pas that makes you go “Eew!”?

M: Wrinkled clothing.  Steaming your clothes can take you from sloppy to polished in an instant. Ironing is not my thing, but steaming is a breeze. I can’t live without my steamer and travel steamer!

 

SHOP RAIN BOOTS >>

Zapponian Spotlight: Clinton Serves Up Summer Fun!

Summer is here, and as the days get longer, the outdoors takes center stage. Explosions of festive fun shower the warm summer air. Barbeques, clam digs, pool parties, and beachfront bonfires litter your social calendar, but keeping your look fresh in the heat is no easy task. Luckily, our resident Menswear blogger, Clinton Kuska is here to teach us how to keep summer style sizzling.

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Independence Day just happens to be Clinton’s favorite summer holiday. Everything from the fireworks, to hanging out with good friends, to the iconic red solo cups just screams summer fun. We sat down to chat about what to wear for the Fourth of July.

July 4th is coming up, what are you going to wear?

 “Something festive, for sure, but not too cheesy,” Clinton says as he lowers his gaze, raising one eyebrow. “Hold the cheese please!” We laugh as he clarifies, “One fun piece is enough. You should start with a festive piece and build subtly around that.”

How do you choose a fun look without going overboard with themed attire?

“I recommend starting with a standout item that will double as a conversation starter. It can be any part of your ensemble. Hats work well, or accessories if you’d rather shy away from too many prints. A loud pair of pants or shorts can be fun, and sends a relaxed vibe. A more demure option is pulling different hues from the holiday, and creating a DIY color-blocked ensemble. For the Fourth of July, you could work a chic palette of red, white, and blue – ready to wear straight from your own closet.”

How would you balance a lively, holiday piece for a party outfit?

“You should have fun with fashion! Don’t worry too much, especially if you’re attending a casual event. Holidays are supposed to be fun - don’t take yourself that seriously. Obviously you can’t go too crazy either, but parties are filled with opportunities for risk taking.”

Clinton shows me his personal Independence Day ensemble; a Roper™ Stars and Stripes Patriotic shirt, khaki shorts, boat-shoe style loafers, and a pair of sleek, Ray-Ban® Wayfarer shades.

“The fourth of July is my favorite summer holiday, and this year I’m going all-out in a patterned stars and stripes shirt. I added neutral bottoms, versatile shoes, and timeless eyewear. These pieces are minimalistic on their own, but create a nice harmony when paired with a striking shirt.”

If you could attend anyone’s Fourth of July shindig, whose party would you crash?

“Taylor Swift!” Clinton confidently replies. “She has a reputation for going all-out for her fans. I’d bet that she’s an amazing hostess. Any party of hers would most definitely be on point.”

After excitedly discussing about what a pool party with Taylor Swift would even be like, I found it much easier to visualize my own July Fourth look. If you’re still wondering what to wear this weekend, check out Clinton’s personal picks for a flawless Fourth of July.

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HATS

1. Billabong Native Hat

2. Quiksilver Boardies Hat

3. John Varvatos Star U.S.A. Straw Fedora

SWIM TRUNKS

1. Billabong Slice X Boardshort

2. O'Neill Quarters Boardshort

SHIRTS

1. French Connection Grunge Flag Tee

2. Lucky Brand Peace Flag Graphic Tee

3. Roper Pieced Stars and Stripes Patriotic Shirt

TANKS

1. Rip Curl Americano Custom Tank Top

2. Converse Sub American Print Tank Tee

ACCESSORIES

1. Original Penguin Ocho Stripe Tie

2. M&F Western Eagle Flag Oval Buckle

Zapponian Spotlight: Francesca S. Shares Her Style Tips

Squinting our way through the bright Las Vegas sunshine, coffees in hand, Francesca Simmons sits down with me to discuss her recent style evolution. Francesca came to Zappos as a summer intern from Scripps College in Claremont, California. Almost two year later, Francesca is now a full-time employee, managing her own portfolio for the Clothing Content team. We take a seat near as much shade as we could find on the Zappos rooftop café.

Has your personal style changed much from when you first interned?

 “Oh yes. Lately I’ve been focusing on classic, timeless pieces.”

She emphasizes pieces.

“Updating my wardrobe to express a more ‘adult’ look has been a creative challenge. Now that I’m out of college, I try not to buy impulsively anymore; if I’m missing a key piece in my wardrobe, I take the time to make sure that I’ll use it more than once before making a purchase.”

What are some of your favorite pieces?

She laughs, takes a sip of coffee, then replies, “This is going to sound totally weird, but green bottoms.”

We share a chuckle as she explains, “Green, for me, is a unique neutral that can also add a pop of color to my look. Plus, I can wear green bottoms pretty much all year. Chambray shirts are another favorite. They’re so easy to layer, dress up or dress down.”

Francesca always (genuinely always) shows up to work looking stylish. Even on her “I just do not care today” days, she looks fabulous, so I was dying to know, how she styles her ensembles.

She thought about my question for a second, and then explained, “No matter what I’m wearing, I try and include at least one uniquely textured piece, or a pop of color. Lately I’ve been incorporating sequins in unexpected looks, like daywear.”

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1. ONLY Amy Antifit Cargo Pants

2. Rebecca Minkoff Amorous Satchel

3. Sanctuary Boyfriend Shirt

SHOP MORE WOMEN'S FASHION >>

Is there a specific source that you use for inspiration?

We’re now getting into the weird, ambiguous world of inspiration, and Francesca smiles at me once again, before blurting out, “Mindy Kaling! I really like how she plays with prints. It’s mind-boggling how she puts her outfits together, truly.”

After returning from our bunny trail of Mindy Kaling Googling, I remember Francesca’s Rebecca Minkoff bag sitting on our table.

 “So where did you find this stunning bag?” I ask.

“That’s actually my tax bag!” she laughs, “If I happen to have a little money to throw around, like a tax refund, I like to invest in something I’ll use a lot, like a quality handbag. I spend very little on trendy items, but I don’t mind splurging for well made, classic pieces that stand the test of time.”

Francesca goes on to explain cost-per-wear, a personal policy that she tries to follow when shopping. “Preferably, the cost-per-wear I’m looking for is about $3. After all is said and done, I would like to see myself wear an item enough times that I average about $3 spent per day. That really paints a clear picture for me when I can’t decide whether or not to commit to a new purchase.”

The mid-day sun is beating down on us by the end of the interview, and as we walk back, across the rooftop café, I feel inspired to go home and pick apart my wardrobe. Maybe we don’t need to sink dollar after dollar into department stores…unique style and a smidge of creative thinking can take your look a long way without opening up your wallet.

Recruiter Spotlight: Alexis, This Week's @InsideZappos Social VIP

Inside Zappos, Zappos College Recruiting, Zappos Human Resources, Zappos Recruiters, Zappos Recruiter Spotlight, #InsideZappos, Zappos Employees, Zapponian Spotlight, Zapponians, Zappos culture, Zappos Core Values, The story on how I got to Zappos isn’t really the special part. That’s filled with the normal things you’d find in a life. You know, job after job, college, boyfriends and the like. I could tell you about how I’ve made my journey through Zappos. That’s pretty important to me, but the actual path becomes repetitive after a while. I started in the call center, and had my eye set on my passion. I applied for recruiting and was lucky enough to be accepted. From there, I’ve only grown into a career that I absolutely adore, and that’s being a part of the college recruiting team. That story can be found on the lips of many Zapponians (though it might be different departments).

 

The special part, however, is what Zappos has done for me on a personal level. Before I came to Zappos, I was a little on the negative side. I had my trials and tribulations through life, as most do, and it left me jaded. I would get angry at things that I couldn’t have control over, and that was usually accompanied by cursing. That doesn’t mean I was a “debbie downer” all the time or wasn’t a good person in general, but I knew I could have a more positive outlook on things. I wanted to be better, but I didn’t know how. 

Enter Zappos. Zappos became the first place that felt like home to me in Vegas. I was actually born in Vegas (not raised) and have family here, but it never felt right to be here. Zappos was the first place I came across where I felt like I belonged. I remember walking into my very first day of New Hire Training, and it was like walking into a brand new life. It definitely had the feel of walking into your very first college class freshman year, where everyone kept their heads down and were equally shy, but it felt refreshing.

I met people I could relate to. After all, we all share the same values. In all seriousness though, I am a product of my environment. Those around me affect me. I am a person that needs positive vibes to be able to give off positive vibes. That’s what Zappos did for me.

I have an environment that is conducive to me becoming a better person. I have another family, and that’s my team. These are people I can rely on for anything, inside or outside of work. If I’m having a bad day, I come to work and I feel better within the hour. They are my coworkers, friends, confidants, and they make me want to be a better person. Although, I do still have some troubles with cursing!

Zappos truly brings out the best in me, thanks to the amazing people who make this place the culture haven that it is. When you look at studies on healthy relationships, they say this should definitely be an outcome. Like every relationship, there are ups and downs, good days and bad, but the true test is how you come out in the end.

I don’t ever want to quit being a better person. So I thank you, Zappos, for being an amazing partner, and pushing me to be the very best version of me.

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Recruiter Spotlight: Kelly, This Week's @InsideZappos Social VIP

Thomas Huxley once said..."Try to learn something about everything and everything about something."

And that's exactly something that I never want to stop doing--learning.  Zappos has been nothing less than the perfect place to contribute to this passion.  My brain is constantly cultivated by my daily tasks, the people that inspire me, and the culture that is contagious.  It is a fountain of knowledge and you can always count on a variety of paths to pursue. This has been the theme of my journey here at Zappos.

Inside Zappos, #InsideZappos, Zappos Recruiters, Zappos Recruiting, Zappos Careers, Zapponians, Zappos jobs, Zappos Recruiter Spotlight, Zappos HR, Zapponian Spotlight, Zappos Core Values, Zappos employees, Zappos Tech, Zappos Culture, Zappos Employees, A few years ago, I had decided to uproot myself from the beautiful state of California to move back home to Las Vegas.  I was rapidly approaching what twenty-somethings call a "quarter-life crisis" where everything is much more dramatic in your fresh and vulnerable post-grad mind.  I was torn between pursuing a legal career or continuing my education to become a speech pathologist.  Because both of these routes would require a fair amount of certainty, I decided to take a break.

I needed to consider my options before diving head first into a dream that I was unsure I even wanted to chase.  I began applying to a variety of jobs within those two industries of interest, thinking I had it all figured out--until life threw me a curve ball.  I was driving on the freeway one afternoon and passed an adopt-a-highway sign that had the name "Zappos" on it.  I had heard a lot about this company and knew how much its focus was on customer service.  So when I got home that evening, I began to do a little more research on the company.  After reading about the 10 core values and watching some of the videos on the culture, I was very impressed.  Everyone looked so happy. The same kind of happy you see at Disneyland...but in the workplace. It almost sounded too good to be true.

The next day, I decided to contact the Recruiting Team to get more insight into applying at Zappos.  I was amazed at how genuine and speedy the response was compared to the rest of my job search with other companies.  Given all of the facts that I had learned about the company core values and the emphasis they place on customer service, I took a leap of faith and decided to apply for a position with the Customer Loyalty Team (CLT).  What better way to understand a company than to work within the department that has the closest interactions with its customers?  

The CLT department stood out to me as the face and heartbeat of Zappos. Before I knew it, I was taken on an adventure through the recruitment process. I was still in the midst of my interviews with other companies, but something deep down told me that this door was opening up for a reason and was one that I should not ignore.  As I continued in the process, I knew more and more that this was a company that I wanted to work for. The stars lined up and I was fortunate enough to earn the job!

My journey at Zappos was off to a start! Little did I know how much my life would begin to change over the next few years. The training process was a great way to dig deep into the company's core values, culture, and history.  Our trainers teach every new hire in the company this foundation in addition to the focal point of the company: customer service.  

It can be scary to start off a new job not knowing anyone, but with training--I immediately gained 60 new friendships that I would take with me going forward.  Once I began my journey with CLT, I learned to appreciate the value of true customer service and putting your customers as the #1 priority. This role taught me the importance of listening and challenged me to creatively think of ways to "wow" our shoppers.  

After a few months, I began to grow within my team and learn from the leaders around me about the different ways I could pursue Core Value #5:  Pursue Growth and Learning.  Having always been a nerd when it comes to number-crunching, I landed a spot with our statistics team.  This team gathered data and metrics from our customer-contact channels and would share this volume with the scheduling team in order to properly staff the entire department.  The Excel-nerd in me came alive!  Working with the numbers helped quantify the bigger story of our company. 

A few months later, I continued my quest for knowledge as I joined the Toolbox team.  This team helped develop leadership paths for CLT team members who had leadership on their heart.  Our team also went on to help pioneer the company's first seasonal employee program in 2012.  This role pushed me out of my comfort zone and helped me find an inner drive that I did not know existed. It helped set me on my feet for the next step I would take: joining the Zappos Recruiting team.  

Nothing excited me more than being able to help our teams find the best of the best to grow our Zappos family.  I joined the team through a Z'Apprenticeship which is an internal internship program that we offer employees to pursue new opportunities with other departments.  After working with the team for a few months, I knew I had found my passion!  Lucky for me, they liked me too and decided to open up a permanent position for me to grow into the role that I now have as a Recruiting Coordinator for our Zappos family.

Looking back on the last year and a half, I have seen myself grow in so many ways.  Bridging communication between our interviewees, hiring teams, and recruiters--I have gotten to know so many incredibly smart and talented individuals.  I absolutely love that I can be both an advocate and a friend to our interviewees going through our recruitment process.  My role has also taught me so much about understanding all of the little parts that go into running a successful e-commerce website.  Today, I still find myself learning so much about the teams that I work with and I have challenged myself not to give up in continuing that knowledge.  

You can probably tell that learning is extremely important to me.  But I cannot forget to point out that while I pursue this growth and learning...there is another piece that is important to me, and that is the fact that I am surrounded by an amazing family of individuals who are always there to support me.  We have our fair share of laughter and tears, we have our luck at bingo, we kick off our boots while line-dancing, we have a little too much fun together at happy hours, we are completely involved in each other's dating lives, we spend 40+ hours a week working with each other and we still want to hang out with each other outside of office hours.  

What more can I say? My team is my home away from home.  I cannot paint the picture clear enough.  I have never worked for a company where I have seen myself challenged so much over the last few years.  I have never felt as comfortable in my own skin as I do now.  I have never made such a close community of relationships with the coworkers that surround me.  The journey has been incredibly wild and the best part is that it only continues from here!