Nexight is hiring! We’re looking for smart, interesting people to join our team. To find out more about what it’s like to work at Nexight, we sat down with two of our Research and Communications Analysts, Chrissy Sherman and Shruti Kuppa to learn about what drew them to Nexight and what it’s like to work here early in your career. Check out their video interview with their answers to a few questions, and read below for more in-depth answers to the full Q&A.
Q: What drew you to work at Nexight?
Shruti: I graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 2014 and continued working on projects I was passionate about for the next year. I initially applied to Nexight because I was looking to work at a company that would further my interests in environmental issues and valued my technical skills and experience. Based on my impression of larger companies, I hadn’t considered a consulting firm, but then I saw the job posting for Nexight and thought it could be a good fit. Through the interview process I was excited to learn about the fun workplace and individual investment in each employee Nexight Group provided.
Chrissy: I came across Nexight’s job posting online and was immediately excited by the job requirements it outlined. The work was diverse and demanding, and perfectly matched the skills I had and wanted to build on, including research design and data analysis, cross-stakeholder meeting facilitation, and writing. I was a little hesitant about applying because the company had very little work in my field of interest (international development), but I submitted my application and went in for the interview.
The interview solidified my passion for Nexight. The workspace was open and collaborative, the office was charged with a calm focus, and my (soon-to-be) supervisor and the company’s vice president (now CEO) engaged me in an exceptionally candid and rigorous interviewing process. Even at that time, Nexight’s commitment to excellence and thoughtful approach was evident in everything it did.
I ultimately took the position despite the limited opportunity for work in development. The company’s approach to problem-solving perfectly matched the approach I aimed to take in addressing global health and development issues. Their expertise perfectly aligned with the skills I needed to engage any of those solutions. And I knew Nexight offered a supportive and open environment which could possibly let me build out my own area of work, even if it wasn’t there already.
Q: What have you enjoyed most about working at Nexight?
Shruti: I love my coworkers! Nexight attracts diverse talent who are all driven to make amazing products. It is inspiring to work alongside people who take so much pride in what they do. We have so many unique hobbies within the company! From amazing cooks, beer aficionados, and even beekeeping, Nexight employees do some really cool things both in and out of the office.
Chrissy: I love the thrill of attending conferences and helping to facilitate conversations among the top experts in their field. I love that there’s always a chance I’ll be asked to take on a new and challenging piece of work, and I love how much my supervisors actively invest in me and my work.
Most importantly I love how much I’ve learned about how to facilitate, lead, and communicate effectively; how to pay attention to every detail without ‘sweating the small stuff;’ how to ask for help when I need it; how to work more productively without simply working longer; and how to be a good teammate to my coworkers.
Q: Did anything surprise you about working at Nexight?
Chrissy: I had a huge appreciation for the value of a good facilitator before coming to Nexight, but had never seen professional facilitation. When I first came here, Nexight’s facilitation capabilities were stunning to me. They were effective and time efficient and made workshops a stimulating and enjoyable process. I place the same value on facilitation as I always have, but have gained much stronger respect for the skill and complexity behind a truly effective facilitator.
Shruti: My opinion was valued from the beginning. My view of consulting firms was shaped by what I had heard from friends working at larger firms, but Nexight was completely different. I had the opportunity to work with the President and CEO on projects early on, and feel like the work I was doing was adding value to the projects.
Q: How do you see your time at Nexight influencing your career?
Chrissy: Nexight, without a doubt, has built my facilitation, communication, and analysis skills far beyond anything I expected. Through my time here, I have also gained much greater clarity about the key goals I want to pursue in my career. I remain committed to pursuing work in international development – specifically in community-based participatory development work. My passion lies in partnering with communities to identify their collective development concerns, working with them to develop community-wide solutions that address those concerns, and partnering with them to implement those solutions. I am further committed to developing metrics to assess different community-development approaches and to defining core standards for community-development work – to ultimately implement guidelines and systems that hold community development projects accountable to those basic standards of excellence.
Unfortunately, this takes me away from a career based in Nexight. Though I remain optimistic about collaborating with the company in the future, I will be going to graduate school in Geneva, Switzerland in the fall to gain much needed expertise in international development and in social science research methods. From there, I hope to pursue independent research into best practices and assessment tools for community-based participatory development.
Shruti: I used to have a very narrow view of careers I saw myself doing, but working at Nexight has really expanded the scope of possibilities. So I guess Nexight is influencing my career by encouraging me to stick around with them and keep learning new things!
Q: What advice would you give to applicants interested in working here?
Shruti: As you are searching for jobs, don’t be afraid to be selective about criteria for your ideal workplace. I found that small companies, like Nexight Group, could provide me with the perfect balance of autonomy and guidance I needed when starting out in my career, working on new projects, and developing new skills.
Chrissy: Be clear on your core skills and expertise areas, and articulate how they can support Nexight’s work. Get familiar with Nexight’s past work and approach, so you can speak intelligently about how your skills and interests align with theirs.
During the interview, be calm, honest, and direct. Even now, we want you to succeed, and we appreciate candor and honesty above anything else.
Get excited! You’re pursuing the chance to work with an extraordinary company, and it’s okay to get excited now.