Whether you’re an intern, a recent grad, or a seasoned vet of the consulting world, Aptitive prides ourselves on hiring the best and brightest. Recently, one of our former interns (and future team member), Michael Migliore, sent us this essay he wrote about his experience working at Aptitive over the summer. We loved how Michael’s essay captures the culture of curiosity, learning, and excellence that Aptitive strives to create.
Thank you Michael for your essay and we can’t wait to have you back with the rest of the “Da Vincis”!
Michael’s Essay: A Company Full of Da Vincis
At the beginning of the summer, on the recommendation of Bill Gates’ reading list, I began reading Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson, a biography of the book’s namesake. Always having been a fan of history, especially the Renaissance, I expected to learn about a fascinating man and gain further insight into a time period of particular interest. What I did not expect was to be enlightened about Aptitive, its employees, and the its culture.
Da Vinci was a man that always searched out knowledge and loved to learn. Not being schooled in Latin or Greek made learning quite difficult at the time. Nonetheless, when a particular question or object sparked an interest, his lack of formal education could not deter his curiosity. Whether through observation, reading, experimentation, experience, or even dissection, Da Vinci strived to become a expert at whatever topic he wanted to expand his breadth of knowledge in. With the same mindset, Aptitive was built for people to be curious, learn everyday, expand their skills, and push their mind to new limits.
Da Vinci would sell himself as whatever occupation the job required because knew that he could figure out the challenge at hand. A trained artist, he would also describe himself as an engineer, scientist, inventor, architect, and mathematician. In the same way, Aptitvians do not specialize in any one particular area, but rather learn whatever is necessary for a project. They use vast array of skills to create meaningful, valuable work and exceed all expectations. No project is ever too big or too complex to tackle when one can learn, adapt, and deliver.
Along with his love of learning, Da Vinci also had a profound dislike of complacency. He believed that there was always a new subject that he could explore or new skills he could master. In a company of Da Vincis, this manifest itself in people going above and beyond what they is required of a project, challenging and pushing themself out of their comfort zone for the sake of learning. Rolling off of a client account does not mean a break or a lightened workload, but rather an opportunity to add to the repertoire of knowledge for the company or take on an internal project. A project that entails having to use a new programming language, platform, or visualization tool, is considered a treat because it is a chance to expand their “toolbelt”. Engrained in company culture is the idea that one never stops learning and should continuously improve.
The hunger for knowledge and contempt for complacency manifest in a perfectionist approach to each project. Da Vinci was known for over shooting deadlines and leaving his works unfinished. These characteristics were a result of his dissatisfaction with his work and a desire to improve in any way regardless of how long it would take. Instead of settling for less than what he knew he could achieve, Da Vinci asked for different perspectives and took time to learn more about his subject. While more reliable at completing projects on time, the same perfectionist attitude shines at Aptitive. Every solution is analyzed, debated, and tested as to cover all bases and points of failure.
In some cases, having too much of the same thing can be counterproductive. There may be a clash of personalities that result in conflict and stalemate. The beauty of a company full of Da Vincis is not that everyone is the same however. Rather, it provides common ground for understanding of each other and enables teams to be more dynamic and productive. Everyone brings a different perspective and personality while having the same mindset. The curiosity, passion for learning, dislike for complacency, and perfectionism of each person ensures that the company will continue to thrive as a whole. Even Da Vinci needed to surround himself with like-minded, driven people to push himself to be the best he could be.
If this seems like the kind of culture you’re interested in being a part of, learn more and apply here.
Paul Corning is CEO of Aptitive. As a seasoned technology leader with strong management experience, Paul brings a wide range of knowledge on all aspects of IT functions and business process improvement to organizations of all sizes.