What's The Diff?

The things Quicken Loans team members care about and want to share with the world

Inside Quicken Loans

Goodbye to the DIFF blog. Hello Zing!

Goodbye to the Quicken Loans DIFF blog. Hello Zing!I can’t believe it.

The DIFF blog is ending today. It’s over. Done.  Finished.

That’s right, the DIFF blog is officially retired.  We started the DIFF blog over four years ago as our original foray into blogging here at Quicken Loans. We wanted a blog. And we wanted to try something different. So, as part of a recruiting campaign, we launched the blog and wrote about things we found around the globe that made a difference.

The recruiting campaign ended a few months later, but the blog lived on. We’ve had several dozen writers over the years contribute to the blog. Almost a thousand posts in 4 years.

My favorite?

Just about a month or so after we launched the blog, my wife’s grandfather died. He had such an inspiring story, I wrote about it here. It pretty much cemented me as one of the main contributors to the blog for the next four years.  Check it out: Requiem for a Warrior.

One personal note about the DIFF blog. It was my writing here that eventually led to my current position leading the Quicken Loans Brainstorm team (content team).  It’s funny how things like this happen.  An opportunity opened up that I didn’t plan, and I can thank the DIFF for setting the stage for it.

I’ll miss this blog. I’m the first to admit I haven’t always given the DIFF blog the attention it deserved. Seems like other business priorities often got in the way of spending a lot of time writing here. But I never gave up on it and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working this for the past four and half years. Interestingly enough, I’ve never really considered myself a blogger. Just a writer working at a mortgage company that fell upon a pretty cool assignment.

So there you have it.

The time has come to say goodbye.

Goodbye to the DIFF blog, one of the favorite projects of my professional life..

Welcome, my friends, to Zing!

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Best Places to Work in IT

Computerworld Best Places to Work in IT Quicken LoansToday, Computerworld Magazine released its list of the “100 Best Places to Work in IT” and for the 7th straight year Quicken Loans is among the top-15 places to work on this prestigious list, coming in at #10.   That’s right, the top-10 of all companies in America. 

But that’s just the beginning.

Over the weekend, the Cleveland Plain Dealer also named Quicken Loans’ Cleveland Web Center as the 4th best mid-size company to work for in northern Ohio (they listed us as mid-size because they only surveyed our Ohio team members) in its annual “Top Workplaces” survey.   Way to go Crown Jewel (it’s what the folks in the Cleveland Web Center call their site)!!!!!!!!!

The best part of being on both lists is that the ranking is based almost entirely on Quicken Loans team member survey responses.  Makes me proud.

Congratulations to everyone involved in both awards.

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Mitt Romney Visits Bizdom U and Detroit

Mitt Romney Visits Bizdom U and DetroitIt was an exciting morning for Bizdom U, which was visited by former Massachusetts Governor and Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney.

Romney stopped by Bizdom as part of sweep through Michigan to address the media and sit down to chat with some of the Bizdom entrepreneurs.

During a roundtable discussion, entrepreneurs gave a brief presentation about their businesses, asked questions and received suggestions from Romney, a former venture capitalist. He even asked new Bizdom U company Picket Report for some info about the neighborhood surrounding 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington D.C., the home he is hoping to relocate to.

Romney also spoke about the state of Michigan and noted that it is organizations like job-producing Bizdom U that will truly make a positive impact on our economy.

Check out this article from the Detroit Free Press for more information.

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First Day Jitters Can Be Exciting

Ah, the excitement of the first day of a new job! It brings back memories for me of the first day of school. It’s new, exciting, overwhelming, and you feel like you might pee your pants at any moment. First days of anything is terrifying no matter how prepared you might feel.  It’s impossible to sleep the night before the first day for fear that everything that can go wrong does and it seems like no matter how early you leave you always end up running late.

My first day at Quicken Loans was full of the first day jitters and hiccups. I didn’t get much sleep but I at least heard the alarm clock go off. I felt like I had jumped over my first big hurdle of the day. The next step was driving into work. I live about an hour away from downtown, and I have never been downtown by myself so I was  terrified with a lack of direction.

I think downtown is really awesome but I never realized there were so many one-way streets. When I finally made it to the parking structure I pulled into the wrong gate. Luckily for me, the security guard was super nice and instructed me out of the wrong lane and I was able to pull into the correct one. I was too nervous to be embarrassed about what happened. I found the closest parking spot and made my way into the building.

I was so impressed when I walked into the lobby of the Compuware Building where Quicken Loans headquarters resides. I instantly heard the colorful fountain that stretched up to through the middle of the building. Everything seemed to sparkle and glisten. I was amazed by all the stores in the lobby and how busy it was with people going in and out of all the stores.  The lobby was impressive but what I remember the most is everyone I passed said hi to me with a smile on their face.  I felt welcomed and ready to take on whatever challenge I had waiting for me.

The rest of the day was pretty much the same stuff anyone would go through on a first day, the normal thing of filling out tax forms and other paperwork. Nitiah Caudle from Human Resources walked us through all the paperwork we had to fill out. She was very nice and took her time explaining what we needed to do. Then tech support came in and showed us newbies some tricks to help us use the computers efficiently. Most of which I don’t really remember – but I get plenty of help from the people around me in the area where I am working. After orientation we were taken to the lobby to meet with our team leaders.

I met my team leader Clay Closson in the lobby and he was great. He seemed very happy to have me on the team and I felt very welcomed. I also met with Victoria Araj who has been very patient and kind through my first few days.  I do have to say that the first day was very overwhelming but everyone I meet in this building is so nice and friendly. It has been a challenge so far and a little overwhelming at times. I just remember a quote I got from Michelle Salvatore, the director of recruiting, from my first project on the second day. She said to “be comfortable with being uncomfortable.”  It is a quote that will probably stick with me for the rest of my life. New projects and assignments can be tough,but if you dig deep and work hard, Quicken Loans can be an amazing experience. It’s only been my third day but I love every minute doing this job and working with my team.

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Dan Gilbert – A Detroit Visionary!

WXYZ’s Detroit 2020 recently featured Quicken Loans Chairman Dan Gilbert, discussing his take on downtown Detroit’s future. Here’s some info from their website:

“Dan Gilbert wants to help Detroit become prosperous again.  And he’s putting his money where his mouth is.

The Chairman of Quicken Loans is moving 2,000 more workers from the suburbs to the heart of downtown Detroit.

Gilbert tells Detroit 2020 his company is talking to Apple about bring a retail store to the Chase Tower, which he recently bought.  Many of the workers coming downtown will be working at the Chase building.

Quicken Loans is the nation’s largest online lender.  Inside their headquarters at the Compuware Building, the atmosphere is Google-esque…with a ping-pong table, a slushy machine, and popcorn.  It’s also open, airy and colorful.

Gilbert also has companies that invest in entrepreneurs, which he believes are key to the city’s turnaround.

Channel 7′s Carolyn Clifford talked one-on-one with Gilbert:”

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Quicken Loans Helps Nigerian Student Reunite With Mom After 10 Years

Sometimes you read something that makes you proud. Proud to be part of an organization that does great things for people. Sometimes those people are people you’ve never heard of.

This is one of those times.

Here’s the recap: USA Today and the Detroit Free Press reported yesterday about Wayne State University  student Victor Chukwueke, a Nigerian national, who dreamed of reuniting with his family that he left 10 years ago to pursue his dream of becoming a doctor in the US. Chekwueke suffers from neurofibromatosis, a disorder that causes tumor growth in the nervous system.

Despite this, Chukweke is graduating from WSU with honors and is speaking to his graduating class at commencement.

Here’s where Quicken Loans got involved. Chukweke wanted his mother to attend his graduation and Dan Gilbert (Quicken Loans founder) used connections to make sure that happened. From the Freep:

“I was reading the paper and the story caught my eye,” said Joyce Keller, philanthropic adviser for the company. Dan Gilbert…has a relative with neurofibromatosis. “With everything (Chukwueke) has been through and this one obstacle still standing in his way, it was an easy decision to see if we could help.”

Great story. Hope you like it.

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Happy Earth Day 2011

Happy Earth Day from the friendly folks at the Quicken Loans Blog.

Happy Earth Day 2011

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Thanks, Quicken Loans and Fathead!

Boba Fett Fathead and Jude FettMy son, Jude, is the world’s biggest Star Wars fan. Well, wait. That’s a big claim considering some of the Star Wars fans out there. Ok, he’s at least the world’s biggest 5-year-old Star Wars fan. He’s watched the movies countless times, he visits the 501st Legion every year at the Motor City Comic Con (as seen in this post), he watches the cartoons, and my god, he has toys out the wazoo. Last year, I even went so far as to make a stormtrooper costume for Halloween because  in his mind a simple store-bought stormtrooper would NOT do. We spend the drive to and from school discussing why Anakin was overcome by the dark side, why it’s good to be a Jedi, why Boba Fett  (his favorite) was a bounty hunter and how he doesn’t think that Boba was necessarily BAD, per se, but misunderstood. Needless to say, the boy loves Star Wars.

Continue reading “Thanks, Quicken Loans and Fathead!” »

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LiveWork Detroit Shows Students Advantages of City Living

LiveWork Detroit, an event sponsored by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, brought nearly 250 students from 20 universities to downtown Detroit last Friday to learn more about what’s to love about living in the Motor City.

The tour kicked off at the lovely Fillmore Theater, where young visitors were addressed by a variety of speakers – from Shannon Homes, Chief of Staff for Mayor Bing, to Jennifer Berkemeier, Special Events Director of the Fillmore. The overall theme was that young people who want to make their mark have a wide-open playing field and lots of community support in up-and-coming Detroit.

LiveWork Detroit Bus tour

Five buses toured just some of the highlights of Detroit.

In light of Detroit’s recent loss of population, Bryan Barnhill, a former DPS student and recent Harvard grad who now works as an aid to the mayor, brought up the historical Detroit fire of 1805.  He said the people of Detroit probably had a very low census that year, too. But residents rebuilt the city to one of the most important in the nation, which is a testament to the character of Detroiters and proof the city will rise again. Visitors were also enlightened to many unknowns about Detroit — for instance, Detroit is home to the second largest theater district in the nation, with over 13,000 theater seats in a 2-block radius. And downtown has over 130 bars and restaurants in its one square mile. And the incredible affordability of living right in the middle of it.

Students and visitors then boarded five buses for a whirlwind tour of the city, given by the knowledgeable guides at Inside Detroit.

Buses zipped around town, stopping at highlights like the gorgeous art deco Guardian Building, Belle Isle park, Eastern Market, Cork Town, The Heidelberg Project, and hot spots of Midtown, like the Avalon bakery.

Continue reading “LiveWork Detroit Shows Students Advantages of City Living” »

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Grow Baby Grow

By Christopher Raab

How cool is Detroit? Cool as a cucumber.  Cool by the bushel.  With at least 800,000 residents and only four full-sized supermarkets, this has been a city long left to tend to its own garden.  Well, be careful not to step on the squash or cauliflower because it is doing just that.

Instead of sugar and starching it up at the corner store – often  the only choice for intercity residents without a car – people trying to say no way to obesity and diabetes have turned to growing and managing their own foods increasingly since the ‘90s. What they have harvested has been a cornucopia of nationwide positive attention for Detroit on just what the right seeds can sow:  city and suburban residents farming together, abandoned tar and cement  lots turned back to soil and leafy fields, healthy foods  and healthy attitudes – good in a bowl and good for the soul.  Continue reading “Grow Baby Grow” »

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Today's Date:
Thursday, February 23, 2017