Most anyone who knows me well enough can tell you that I’m a little eccentric. It can be great sometimes, but it’s a double edged sword.
A recent example, I just had an informational interview with a decent sized company in Minneapolis that has interested me for some time. I went in and spoke with a person in the position that I’d be applying for and the company continued to impress me. After leaving, I sent a note of gratitude for the time they took to help me out. Unfortunately, I sent a thank you note that had a kitten on the front of it (which made me laugh when I opened the bundle of cards). Looking back, it was pretty silly. But hey, I’m a little silly.
I got some feedback from our school recruiting department that this is not representative of Carlson. After thinking it over, it’s pretty obvious they’re correct. Here’s why: a company can’t afford eccentricity.
It’s not that they don’t want people to be themselves. It’s the simple fact that what their employees say and do is a direct reflection of the products and services they provide. That means that the professionalism of a major corporation is directly judged through the correspondence of their employees. Same goes for a school and the students that attend. One thing that concerns me regarding moving on to a larger corporate structure is picking up the unsaid mores; hopefully situations like this will help me to learn a little faster. It’s important to attribute these situations to mistakes along the learning curve, but more importantly, not make them again.