In order to be a great company to work for, employees at all stages of their careers need to feel supported, challenged, and motivated. So it was especially meaningful for Workday to be ranked in the top 10 on the “50 Best Workplaces for New College Grads” list released yesterday by Fortune.com and Great Places to Work. Companies that made the list “excel in providing great employee experiences in areas important to recent graduates.”
An important part of this effort is Generation Workday (GW), an early-career development program designed to help new college grads make a successful transition from school to the workplace and accelerate their careers at Workday. Those hired as part of GW get exposure to multiple teams and projects that include networking events, career development boot camps, discussions with company leaders, and potentially even overseas job assignments. Currently, GW includes about 250 employees worldwide, and another 250 college interns, some of whom will join Workday upon graduation.
We asked Megan Baker, who has completed the GW program and is now a member of Workday’s Tools team, to share a bit about her experience and how her role has evolved since joining Workday.
When did your career begin at Workday?
I was hired by Workday in 2014 as a GW Cloud Engineer after I received my master’s in computer science from Cornell University. Because my role requires specialized skills, I joined the Cloud Engineering team immediately instead of joining the rotation program that most GWs in Tools go through. My team’s job is to develop Workday’s private cloud platform.
I joined Workday because I felt my values clearly aligned with those of the company. Originally I was considering a startup that I had interned at during the previous school year, but Workday’s culture won me over. During my interviews, I could tell the office environment was balanced and healthy. I was excited to get a chance to work on the challenging problems we deal with from a technical perspective because of our scale and quality requirements.
What makes Workday a great place to work for new college graduates?
The different opportunities I’ve had both within the GW program and outside of it have provided me with some amazing experiences I don’t think most recent graduates have this early in their careers.
One of the best parts of the GW program is that it takes a horizontal approach to relationship building at Workday. You are thrown into this big melting pot of people with different skills and experiences, which gives you a totally unique perspective on how the different parts of the company work together. I still keep in touch with UX designers and developers from other parts of the organization from my GW class even though I’ve graduated the 18-month program—we eat lunch and play board games together on Fridays.
“The great thing about GW is it demonstrates that the company is really invested in your professional development.”
My other favorite experience so far has been the Sprint to Europe Program, when I got to spend one month working with team members in Dublin, Ireland. It was cool to meet international Workday employees and experience their culture. Several members of my direct team live and work in Ireland, so being able to put faces to names, spend social time together and build a rapport has made working together much more effective. I don’t know any other companies that have a program like this.
How has Generation Workday helped prepare you for long-term career success?
The great thing about GW is it demonstrates that the company is really invested in your professional development. In the GW Leadership Program in Tools, we’ve been tasked with helping to plan for summer interns joining the organizations, technical training for onboarding new Workmates and community building activities for other GWs. In addition, the Tools team brought in leaders from around the company to give us lectures on software engineering and Workday architecture. We also had unique access to Workday’s senior-level staff as GW members, which was really important for networking within the company. All of these opportunities have given me new insight that continues to help define my career path.