There are some core values I don’t compromise on, including respect, hard work, and continuous learning. I learnt most of these from my parents and a good percentage I discovered from the ever generous, yet merciless reality of life. When you decide to be intentional about your personal and/or professional growth, it is quite daunting to resolution to embody a set of principles. The difficulty goes a notch higher when you share your resolve with others! It is not easy to be transparent about your commitments and allow others to hold you accountable for your self-imposed ideals. There are no take-backs. There is no room for ego.
There are not many places and communities where you can find people that are forward and vocal about the values they live by. United Shore (also United Wholesale Mortgage) in Pontiac, MI is one of the few. I believe the 3 months I interned here gave me a growth spurt not only in programming and software development but in being more intentional about the kind of stuff I want to define myself by and what I want to be known for. My experience reinforced my favorite personal core value of being a better version of myself every day – KAIZEN!
I was fortunate to experience and be a part of a community of team members who are relentless in their pursuit of positivity, personal and professional growth as well as accelerated productivity in a fast-paced, yet friendly environment. I joined the IT team of over 600 smart people, as an applications developer summer intern and worked within two teams; a summer project team of equally curious interns like my self and the Underwriting Business Partnership Team that developed software for the United Shore’s underwriters. Till now, I find it amazing how so many people (3500+ individuals) could live by and maintain such a culture and work ethic that is summarized in these six pillars:
- People – the secrete to United Shore’s success
- Service – everyone’s responsibility
- Relationship-driven – not transaction-driven
- Thumb-pointers – not finger-pointers
- Continuous Improvement
- Fun & Friendship – work can (and should be) fun
These defined the way team members interacted with each other and approached every aspect of their work. My favorite is Continuous Improvement — I enjoyed seeing myself grow as I hungrily consumed all I could learn every day of my work at United Shore. This is not just a message sold by the leaders to everyone else. This culture is team member driven. It is incredible! While working on my summer project and later on challenging myself with a user story on the Underwriting BPT, I had thousands of questions and issues. I did not think most were intelligent questions. I shamelessly asked as I was encouraged to, and I am glad I did. I was surrounded by mentors and my team leads who did not hesitate to take a moment from their busy schedule to provide guidance, or point me in the right direction. I am truly grateful to have work with such incredible talents in both my teams.
I look forward to the next experience that I can add to my bible of values! What core values define you and your work?