Having lived in the Bay Area (and with my parents) for the past 19 years, coming to Boston was a completely new experience for me. On the first day of arriving, I felt like I had entered an entirely new world. The culture at a financial company is very different from the casual tech culture found in the Bay Area. There were no micro-kitchens loaded with snacks or arcade rooms on every floor. We sat in cubicles, bought our own lunches, and were only allowed to wear jeans on Fridays.
But there are a lot of factors that go into determining what kind of company is the right fit for you. My twin sister was simultaneously interning at Google in Los Angeles that same summer and we got to exchange our daily work experiences. She would leave work at 7, I would leave at 4. She could only explore the city on weekends, I would grab the T right after work and go meet someone for an early dinner.
While the culture at Fidelity is certainly conservative and old-fashioned, one of the major things that struck me was how kind everyone was. It was so easy (and honestly, expected) for me to email someone and ask if they’d like to have coffee. I found two awesome mentors that I still talk to today, who not only offer me great advice but also great conversations.
A major con of working at Fidelity was how slow everything was. Because our team was scattered around the country, it was hard to schedule meetings. Plus, things always had to get approved and someone didn’t have access to another thing, which in general just slowed everything down. I feel like I could have accomplished a lot more in the summer if it were not for that.
And while this may not be a con for most people, I found it hard to adjust to the formal attire. As you know, I love fashion and trying new things, but Fidelity required me to wear blouses and pants each day. Some days, when I didn’t have too many meetings, I could sneak in wearing Converse, but it was a risk and I’d sometimes get strange looks.
that’s it for now - stay tuned for some more posts!