Growing a Career and a Family
By Becki, technical recruiter
My career in recruiting started at a staffing agency, putting in the long hours typical for that industry. I was fortunate enough to work with former engineers who took the time to teach me about engineering. While I can’t sit down and code software, they taught me the differences between engineering disciplines. I learned how engineering is leveraged in every organization, regardless of the products or services they produce.
My role was important and valued from the moment I walked in the door.
When I joined MathWorks, I was looking for a good company with great people. Starting as a junior recruiter focused on engineering roles, I was given the time and support to learn the hiring process and the company. I was responsible for filling open positions, but had the support of the entire Recruiting team throughout every step. I spent hours observing the senior recruiters to ensure I was doing the right thing. Even though I was still junior in my career, my opinions and perspectives were respected and taken into consideration. I partnered with engineering managers responsible for increasing the size of their teams, and those managers looked to me for help in hiring. My role was important and valued from the moment I walked in the door.
As I learned more about the company and roles, I began to grow my career at MathWorks. Over the nearly 10 years I’ve been here, I was promoted to senior recruiter and then principal recruiter. In these roles, I was still hiring engineers, but I was also a more strategic partner with larger departments. I have become involved in growing and developing the Recruiting team. This involves training recruiters and driving internal projects that have helped evolve the team. During the same period, my personal life underwent several changes: I got married, bought a house, and had three children.
Things are busy. My husband and I both work full time, and we have an 8-year-old daughter, a 6-year-old son, and a 3-year-old daughter. When I had my first daughter, I struggled to strike a balance between home and work responsibilities, and felt overwhelmed. I had a new baby girl who, while amazing, would cry a lot. She would wake up all through the night, which meant so did I. I remember thinking, “My whole world just changed … A LOT.”
But MathWorks did not change, and I mean that in a good way. I would go into work and people would smile and ask how my daughter was. Coworkers offered parenting advice, and my manager encouraged me to take care of myself and not get stressed at work. On a regular basis he would say “family first,” and he meant it. Even though I was thrown into a new role of motherhood, the support I got at work enabled me to still have a career. It took some time, but eventually I figured things out and settled into a comfortable routine.
My manager encouraged me to take care of myself and not get stressed at work. On a regular basis he would say “family first,” and he meant it.
With the arrival of my son, I found myself with an infant and a 19-month-old—basically “two babies,” as the nurses in the hospital joked. In contrast to this happy but chaotic life at home, my career at MathWorks gave me stability and a place to make a true difference. Between sick kids and sleepless nights, juggling everything was a challenge at times. But it is for us all. I am like all working parents. Running around balancing children, work, and the home. I was able to continue to grow at MathWorks and learn more in my role while I was teaching my tiny humans to be good people. Things were moving along, I had a 5-year-old and a 4-year-old, and they were doing great!
Then came my littlest girl. That pregnancy was the toughest. Juggling two young children, working full time, and being pregnant was exhausting, but it was important to me to keep working both for myself and for my family. For myself, because I feel fulfilled by helping others: I helped people find jobs at a great company, I helped hiring managers grow development teams, and I helped the company continue to innovate with their products. For my family, because I showed my children reliability, dedication, discipline, integrity, responsibility, and professionalism; I believe the best way to teach a strong work ethic and the qualities within is to lead by example. After my third child, we settled into a great routine. The baby went to daycare and the older two went to pre-K and kindergarten. We were rolling!
Then came a pandemic. Well, no one saw that one coming! When MathWorks sent everyone home, I thought, “Cool! We’ll all work from home for a couple of weeks and then go back to the office and regular life.” Boy, was I wrong.
Everything changed and so did my routine. My kids were out of school and the daycare was closed. I found myself taking meetings from my car while my little one napped or from my dining room table with her draped across my lap. I couldn’t see my extended family, and we were all worried about getting sick. My mom started living with me so I could help her and she could help with the kids. I had a full and busy house: two working parents, three children, a grandma, and her 15-year-old Maltese. Things were uncertain and chaotic.
The one thing that was stable was MathWorks. While many other companies experienced hiring freezes, furloughs, layoffs, or salary cuts, MathWorks continued to hire engineers. People at work stayed positive, and we enjoyed joining Microsoft Teams meetings to see everyone’s families and homes. Most MathWorks staff turn on their cameras during meetings, so we were able to establish a new way of communicating. I saw people more often than I did before, and we became even more a part of everyone’s worlds.
In my career at MathWorks I have grown a family, grown as a person, and literally helped grow a company. I love helping people search for their perfect role or career path and working at a company where I can watch those people grow. During my tenure, I have personally helped hire hundreds of staff members as MathWorks has grown from a few thousand to over 5,000 staff members in 16 countries. I was also lucky to be involved in growing a new international office.
Your value has no ceiling at MathWorks, and every year I find myself growing more than I knew possible.
I am proud to help people work at MathWorks because I am proud to work here myself. It seems simple to say, “I want to work for a good company with good people,” but it is a surprisingly hard goal to achieve. It’s difficult to find a place that cares about the individual, a company that cares about your family, your health, and your opinions. Your value has no ceiling at MathWorks, and every year I find myself growing more than I knew possible. It gives me pride to know everyone I help find a job at MathWorks is working for an amazing company. While roles are different and career paths vary, one constant remains: the company cares about you as a person. Simple, but rare.
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