by Michael Gonzales (social media intern with the Quicken Loans Pulse team)
I went to the Quicken Loans career fair on April 2, 2011. It seemed like every other career fair that I’ve been to: a lobby with long lines, registration tables and job hunters wearing their Sunday best. From there, we were escorted through security gates and were told to go upstairs. It was a typical, corporate career fair; the kind that all business students and all their business classes prepare for… or so I thought.
When I got to the second floor I was greeted by several Quicken Loans team members directing me to the cafeteria. The first thing that I did when I got there was fill out a quick survey about my interests. Then, they asked me to tell them one interesting fact about myself. It was weird, being asked to share an interesting fact about myself at a career fair. It almost felt elementary. I was used to going to interviews that focused on the employers and didn’t place much emphasis on who the potential employee was. When I turned in my survey, I was directed to my “team’s” booth. As a marketing student at Wayne State University, I really wanted to meet the marketing team.
I thought that I would sit in a conference room and be talked at by a recruiter explaining what they were looking for, what the qualifications were for that position and whether or not I was what they were looking for. What I stepped into was something completely unexpected. Rather than walking into a conference room, I walked into a café with music playing in the background and a Nintendo Wii hooked up to a flat screen TV. Crazy, right? What did I get myself into?
Initially, I was a bit uncomfortable. I was ready for corporate America. I was ready for black suits and black ties; to sit in a boring, white and gray conference room with other hopeful candidates like myself. What I was not ready for was a cafeteria with music playing overhead, QL team members and candidates playing video games and company videos playing on TVs all over the place. It was madness… everything that was going on was so foreign to me.
After the initial shock of being immersed in the non-corporate atmosphere that embodies Quicken Loans, I actually felt quite comfortable. I began to socialize and “hang out” with the Quicken Loans team members; talking to them about my interests and what I was looking for. In a way, I switched into “party mode.” Then, other job hunters and I were hanging out and chatting over a cup of coffee. We were also given quite a few freebies: silly putty, pens, stickers, etc. The atmosphere spoke to me about the Quicken Loans mentality when it comes to working; work hard, then play hard. Quicken Loans is a company that knows the value of good, hard working team members as well as the value of letting those hard working team members play and have a good time at work!
After about 20 or so minutes, I heard my name over the sound system. It was time for my interview. I braced myself as I prepared to sit across the table from a stern interviewer with their stern eyes drilling straight into my soul. What I got, instead, was Brooke Horton. It is no exaggeration when I say that this was the best and most fulfilling interview that I have ever had! We talked about how I started off my college career with the goal of going to medical school. I told her about how, as a child, I dreamed about curing cancer and end all of the world’s diseases. I also shared with her about planning a wedding anniversary for my girlfriend’s parents. Of course, we talked about my experience and my educational background; it was a real interview. What sets it apart from other interviews, I think, is the fact that Brooke really got to know about me, rather than just finding out whether or not I was a match for Quicken Loans. Of course, it’s important to know if a candidate is the right match for Quicken Loans because let’s face it; Quicken Loans is a unique company and requires unique people to thrive in the environment. And what better way is there to find out if someone fits then from actually getting to know who they are, beyond their resume. Through my interview, Brooke learned about my dreams as a child and how I secretly really enjoyed planning a wedding anniversary (shhh…)! She really got to know ME. I left from the interview without the typical feeling nervousness or exhaustion, but rather feeling energized and ready to work for Quicken Loans!
My favorite of the Career Fair was the tour. We were taken up to the 12th floor of the Compuware Building in Downtown Detroit. Our tour guide rode around on a scooter while the rest of us followed. When we got to the 12th floor we were greeted with an array of colors, graffiti and Fatheads posters. On every floor, there’s a lobby with a TV, couch and video game consoles. When we stepped into the offices, we were shown the AMAZING view of Detroit out of the windows. There was a ping pong table and, on another floor, they were building a basketball court! More proof of the work hard, play hard attitude of Quicken Loans. Being named “Highest in Customer Satisfaction for Primary Mortgage Origination” by J.D. Power and Associates obviously shows that Quicken Loans is a company that works hard and takes what they do seriously. On the other hand, what I found out from the tour is that Quicken Loans is also a company that plays hard! I mean, come on, they have slushy and popcorn machines in every kitchen and a scooter station on every floor! If that doesn’t say play, then I don’t know what does…
What I learned about Quicken Loans from the career fair is that they care about their clients and their employees, whom they refer to as their “internal clients.” Quicken Loans is a company who isn’t bought into the idea of Corporate America yet still stands strong among those labeled “Corporate.” They like to worked hard and satisfy their clients and then they like to party hard and satisfy their internal clients. After leaving the Career Fair, I knew that I wanted to work at Quicken Loans. Now, after a detailed and enjoyable interviewing process (which we’ll talk about at a later time), I’m happily working hard and playing hard for Quicken Loans in Downtown Detroit!