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Me and Merkle, a Love Story

Have you ever fallen in love at first sight? I have. While unfortunately none of these romantic instances ended happily ever after, this phenomenon did work out in my career. I fell in love with Merkle when I knew nothing about it! I know it’s hard to believe. ... Here is my unlikely story and what I learned from my “relationship” with Merkle.

I almost missed him!

When the Merkle analytics campus hire team came to Northwestern University, I wasn’t interested. I didn’t sign up for the interview or even attend the Merkle information session. I was at another recruiting event when the Cupid caught me — I picked up the Merkle culture book left on a seat. Business is personal ... principles over rules ... speak the brutal truth ... My heart started racing when I read through the seven cultural beliefs. “Who wrote these? Who are these people? How could they believe in the same things I strive for in life? ”

It felt as though I was hit by lightning. I rushed out the door and ran as fast as I could to the career office in the wintry Chicago wind. When I got there, I was shaking and anxious, “Do you ... still have any openings ... for the Merkle interview tomorrow?”

Although it was about three years ago, I still vividly remember what happened that afternoon as lovers always remember the day they fell in love!

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Like every relationship, Merkle and I have had our ups and downs, successes and struggles. What I love most about this relationship is I can apply what I learned at work to all aspects of my life. 

Don’t marry or work for money.

We all know that we shouldn’t marry for money. So why work solely for money? You must think I am insane — after all, money is why most people work! Here is my reasoning: there’s nothing in my life more important than my happiness. Since I spend more than one third of my life on the job, why shouldn’t I have a job that makes me happy?

Many of my classmates joined big-name companies and are making a lot of money. Have I thought of following their paths? Oh, absolutely, many times. But giving up a job that makes me want to get up and drive 45 minutes to join the excitement of learning and growing just for money — that simply doesn’t match my core beliefs in life. 

(Allow me to make a note to my managers here — I am not saying I don’t need a raise!)

It’s all about the chemistry

Have you tried going on a second date when you didn’t feel a connection on the first one? It always ends up horribly, doesn’t it? The same principle applies to work. I have been trying to figure out what is the one thing about Merkle that keeps me hooked. What is the source of the chemistry? I’ve asked many people and everyone said the same word “culture.” Yes, but culture is such a big word and it embodies so many components. In this year’s company Summer Tour Presentation, when David Williams, CEO of Merkle, said, “We are an ambitious company and we have ambitious goals,” a lightbulb went off in my head. Yes! That’s it! It’s the ambition, the drive, and the relentless desire to excel that connects with my core belief of living the best of my life.

People always say, “I want to have someone who makes me a better person.” For me, it means to have someone who makes me the person I want to be. Luckily, my job does that.