It’s no easy task figuring out where to start a career. However, Springfield, Missouri is a great place to consider.
Fundera, a small business financing site, lists Springfield as one of “The Top Cities for Entry-Level Jobs” for young professionals. And in Springfield, World Wide Technology Asynchrony Labs has been recognized as an exemplary business for developing its entry-level employees. WWT Asynchrony Labs was chosen based on its value for internship and enthusiasm for nurturing entry-level staff. With that in mind, WWT Asynchrony Labs’ Springfield Office Lead and Software Engineer, Ben Pomerenke, spoke to Fundera about mentoring and training an entry-level employee. Ben also shared a few ideas on why entry-level professionals can be a huge benefit for any company.
Tell us a bit more about WWT Asynchrony Labs.
WWT Asynchrony Labs was founded as a dot.com startup back in the 90’s. As industry was changing around the dot.com era, the company started doing consulting. It had started as a company to help others build software for their organizations, and then evolved into more of a consulting company.
Can you estimate the percentage of the company’s positions that are entry-level?
The majority of our staff is highly experienced. We do have a small amount of entry-level jobs, but the nature of their work requires more advanced staff.
Why is it important to provide entry-level opportunities?
Most of the value of supporting entry-level people is that you get the talent at the early stage of their career, then you can develop it in a way that makes sense for their career. You also get to form their expertise so they can work well within the company culture. A secondary reason would be because of growth spurts — when the market gets saturated it can be tough to find top talent, so sometimes it’s good to have an entry-level category. A third reason is that entry-level people often have different perspectives in how to deliver software to customers. This diversification is ideal when trying to solve problems. This inevitably brings better results. They also can have a unique way of thinking: if there’s a question, they have no biases from past experience, so they cannot jump to conclusions or assume anything. No shortcuts. This is a fresh outlook that you can’t always get from people who’ve been there for years.
What are the strengths and challenges of having entry-level talent? Do you have any comments on how it may affect company culture?
I would say the challenges are that you are teaching them how to operate, but you’re also teaching them fundamentals for the job. In tech, there’s only so much you can learn in education (you mostly learn by doing) but entry-level employees don’t have a lot of the “doing” experience. Therefore, you need a higher level of investment to bring them up-to-speed to a productive state. This investment is from the company’s perspective and the individuals they work with. The staff members have to be prepared to provide a helping hand, and sometimes this causes stress for the experienced person given their existing work commitments. Another challenge (which doesn’t apply to everyone) is that there can be a lack of appreciation for how they do things because they’ve never done it before. In other words, when building software, the mistakes and lessons learned help you do it a better way — but often, entry-level employees never learned the worse/bad ways to do something.
What exciting initiatives do you see and hope for in the company’s future (legacy and impact, etc.)?
The biggest event would be our large-scale mission to be the best solutions provider in the world. This is the opportunity that we see: rather than giving people/clients what they ask for, we can give them solutions. It’s not just giving customers hardware, but also providing the whole gamut to help the business to become more intelligible in terms of tech. We see a lot of people working in different segments in the tech industry, and it’s essential to deliver more than just building software, hardware or licensing.
About Ben Pomerenke
Ben Pomerenke is the Office Lead for WWT Asynchrony Labs. He is also a Software Engineer for the company. For more information, visit www.asynchrony.com.