Nadia Fallahi - Culture Feature
What MY INTERNSHIP AT FACEBOOK TAUGHT ME ABOUT COMPANY CULTURE
By Nadia Fallahi
Quickly approaching the end of my undergrad at USC, I am anxious, nervous and excited to enter the “real world.” And while I still can’t believe I’m already in my fourth year, I think I’ve had some of the most incredible experiences, helping to shape and prepare me for what’s next.
This summer I had the opportunity to intern with the Content Strategy team at Facebook’s Menlo Park headquarters, and I ended my internship with a full-time offer. The first thing you hear at Facebook, which forever sticks with you, is their mission: to make the world more open and connected. Facebook's mission is also in line with their corporate culture, and it definitely speaks to the success and growth of the company and its employees. Since being a part of a company that facilitates such a positive and rewarding work environment, I've encouraged my friends and fellow classmates to look for these qualities in a job as they begin to graduate. Here are five things I've learned about company culture from my experience at Facebook:
1. Freedom breeds better work
My managers embraced different working styles and even though I had people to report to, I could always work from home or take a walk to clear my mind when I needed. I had a choice of being able to work in my favorite spot in the office or taking a longer lunch, simply because I felt like it. As long as I was doing good work and getting everything done before my deadlines, I was good to go. It’s important to recognize that each person works best in different ways than the next and allow each person to work in ways that are best for them.
2. Successful collaboration should be encouraged in every aspect of an office environment
Every building is an open-floorplan office, and you never felt that you can’t approach anyone. Teams are constantly collaborating, things are moving, changes are being shipped — it’s all very fast and exciting, and could not be done without having an open space for ideas, talents and conversation
3. POSITIVE EMPLOYEE RELATIONSHIPS SHOULD BE SUPPORTED
Not once did I feel I couldn’t reach out to my manager or any one of my teammates about anything, whether pertaining to work or not. Teams can't get projects done or even done well without establishing relationships. There is no feeling worse than not liking the people you work with, and I am so glad I didn’t find myself in that position.
4. Work should stay at work, in moderation
One other very important thing is work-life balance. At Facebook, I knew when I leave at the end of the day, I could go home and decompress and not worry too much about my projects. This may seem like a strange concept considering how vital Facebook has become in our lives, but I never felt like Facebook consumed my life.
5. PROFESSIONALISM IS COMPLETELY SUBJECTIVE
Millennials get a bad rap when it comes to professionalism. We're often perceived as lazy or expecting too much, that we have little concentration and drive. Maybe as we are getting older and changing, so might the industries we work in. We need to not settle for jobs just because of the name of prestige of the company only to slave away at work that isn’t rewarding. There is nothing worse than waking up and not wanting to go to work.
Without having Imposter Syndrome, I still pinch myself over the opportunities I have had in my young professional life. I could never imagine working at somewhere that isn’t Facebook, and I think a lot of companies could learn from Facebook’s company culture. You're right if you assumed that I accepted the full-time offer and can't wait to return to Menlo Park after I graduate in the Spring.