We launched our New Hire Foundation Day – and it was awesome!
Earlier this year, the Atlassian Foundation awarded four grants to San Francisco Bay Area non-profits transforming the lives of students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Students Rising Above is one of the four grant recipients we believe best supports the Atlassian Foundation vision of giving youth of the world access to a world-class education to break the poverty cycle.
The Students Rising Above mission
“Students Rising Above invests in low-income, first generation college students who have demonstrated a deep commitment to education and strength of character in overcoming tremendous odds of poverty, homelessness, and neglect. We help each student to realize his or her potential by guiding and supporting them through college graduation, and into the workforce. Our graduates are breaking the cycle of poverty within their own families, serving their communities, providing a new generation of employees and leaders from diverse backgrounds, and accelerating positive change.”
What we did
We hosted our first New Hire Foundation event in conjunction with Students Rising Above (SRA). Beginning with a breakfast meet and greet, the day included an office tour, two hours of ‘speed-networking’, and time to socialize with Atlassians. The students were most impressed with the game room and dogs in the office, but our open seating plan and lack of cubicles, ample collaboration space and casual environment made many excited about working in tech.
That’s partly because the Atlassian Experience team is dedicated to creating a bad-ass office environment, but also because many of the students had never seen the inside of a tech company and their expectations were formed largely by what they’d see on TV. While success sometimes involves a fancy suit and a corner office, we let them in on a little secret or two about how awesome it can be to work for a software company that’s focused on innovation and advancing humanity. We saw some big smiles.
After their tour, Atlassian new hires and SRA students took part in a speed networking activity designed to introduce the students to new and different career paths. New Atlassians were asked to discuss their educational backgrounds, careers and goals. Students came away with a broadened understanding of what a successful career path can look like in the ‘real world’, and new Atlassians got to know each other better.
Win-win for students and staff alike
With such great participation rates and feedback from students and staff alike, we’re already thinking about our next New Hire Foundation Day. We hope to foster relationships between new hires, encourage participation in our Atlassian Foundation Day program (every full-time Atlassian gets five days a year to volunteer for their charity of choice), and make an impact with one of our Foundation grant recipients. In addition to helping our new hires learn how great of an experience it can be to use their Foundation time, we also hope to encourage future mentors for SRA.
Want to help?
SRA’s “Mentor a Student” program offers a unique and rewarding opportunity to give support and guidance to students on a one-to-one basis. You can also volunteer to help students with career guidance, summer internships, fundraising events and even access to healthcare.
Check out the SRA website for more information!