Hot Jobs, Cool Companies - Dealer.com
You probably thought that the days of having recess during the middle of your day was over once you got older. Especially once you got a job in the real world, right?
Well recess is still very much part of the day for the employees of Dealer.com in Burlington. Dealer.com is a web design and operations company that builds and maintains websites for car dealerships. That might not sound exciting but if you asked anyone what it was like to work there about their day, they would tell you different. Factor in that web design companies are some of the hottest jobs in the country and you have great opportunities right here in the heart of Burlington.
Mike Lane, the Chief Operations Officer and co-founder of the company, always loved Vermont. After working in the computer field for years, he and a few fellow colleagues decided to start the company. The great thing about web-based companies is that they can be set up anywhere. You don’t need to be in a big city to be successful.
Because of this Lane was glad to be able to work in place that offered all of the outdoor activities after work that he loved to do as well. The company has now grown to one of the top firms in their field, and as such, Lane has found himself in charge of a business that was much larger than he initially thought it would be. He travels across the country often, and is charge of an operation that employs hundreds of staff, incorporating many different types of jobs including software developers, research and development, and product management.
The most interesting feature about Dealer.com is not the work being done there, but the perks that come along with a job there. There is a full gym on-site that includes all of the treadmills and weight machines one could ask for. Not only that, but there is a full sized indoor tennis and basketball facility to be used by employees looking to decompress during the day. Throw in a ping pong table for good measure, and you have recess during the day. Along with the activities. Dealer.com also boasts a cafeteria stocked with delicious local food selections on site, as well as a coffee bar.
It’s not just the activities that set them apart from other companies. The workspace at Dealer.com is truly unique. When the company expanded into their current space, they looked to give their employees tons of room, and a funky design. It makes it an interesting place to work for the over 204 employees that are there all day. Not that it even feels like half of that number actually work there given the amount of space.
The main purpose for all of these designs is to build a creative culture for the employees working at Dealer. If they enjoy their space, then they will be free to focus on their work without worrying about when they can fit in a trip to the gym or where to grab lunch that day. This is clear when you start talking to Dealer.com employees.
When Callie Burgess was graduating from the University of Vermont she had many different options going forward. She had just completed the business and entrepreneurship program and had started her own small business. She needed a real world job though, and she started looking.
Like many UVM students she looked in Boston and New York as well as in Vermont for positions. Burgess wanted desperately to stay in Vermont however, so she was hoping an opportunity would present itself. Through her diligence, she found a position in product management at Dealer.
Burgess has been happy with the decision to work at Dealer.com since her start. She enjoys Vermont and is glad that she was able to stay and work in place that she likes, and a city she enjoys. She likes the environment around Burlington. She regularly takes part in the local music scene and enjoys all of the outdoor activities that are just around the corner. These are things big cities are not able to offer.
But when she wants the big city atmosphere, New York, Boston, and Montreal are all a short trip away, so she gets the best of both worlds.
Burgess and Lane had advice for those looking to get into the software development field. Play around on the computer. Right now you probably have access to one, and just getting on and exploring is often one of the best ways to learn. Math and science are both classes that will help get you the skills you might need. The key thing is to be proactive. Like many positions, Burgess was one of many applicants for the job she obtained at Dealer, but she felt her proactive resume as well as her attitude is what sealed the deal.
She also made sure that she had several options when she was job hunting, so that she did not put all of her hopes in one place. This is a key to job searching. Because she had so many options Burgess was able to find just the right fit, and stay in the area she loved.
Dealer.com is not the only software company out there either. Right now there are dozens of software development companies all over Vermont offering many types of positions and opportunities. Like any field though, the key to landing or starting one of these companies are internships while at school to gain experience, and focusing your studies in the field you feel is the right fit for you. If you follow the advice of Burgess and Lane and stay proactive, then you too might be able to love where you work and live.