Q&A: 10 Years at NSTAR
May 18, 2020
By Elizabeth Prochaska
It’s official: I’ve been with NSTAR Global Services for 10 years! The time has flown by, and so much has changed this past decade. To celebrate this occasion, my colleagues compiled 10 questions they have for me and I’ve answered them below, accompanied by some throwback photos.
1 – What was your experience like 10 years ago when you walked into the interview?
I remember getting the call from my future manager, Julia Weeks, to interview for a junior recruiter role at NSTAR. I was so excited and nervous for the interview. I prepped with my dad before going in, trying to recite all of the perfect interview answers, and dressed in my best business suit.
I interviewed with Julia and longtime NSTAR legend, L. J. Hirnikel, that morning. From the minute I sat down with the both of them, they made me feel right at home. After answering a few questions around why I wanted to join the NSTAR team, we immediately jumped into talking about my student-athlete experience, from playing fast-pitch softball in college. It turned out that L. J.’s daughters played softball too, so we spent the remainder of the interview talking about sports. I felt really good when I left the interview, knowing that NSTAR would be a great place to start my career.
Picture 1: The Clayton recruiting team, in 2013. NSTAR has always felt like family, after all of these years. See our old logo on the right?
2 – How has NSTAR changed since you started here 10 years ago?
NSTAR has only gotten better since working here over 10 years. When I joined the team, there were only about 10 of us internally. So, we have grown tremendously in all departments, with roughly 30 corporate employees now, to support NSTAR’s growing business, which is always great. Even our branding has changed dramatically, with a new logo implemented, and the retirement of our animated wafer “Chip” mascot.
Picture 2: A big thumbs up from “Chip”, our now retired wafer chip mascot.
Also, when I started, Tim Hare and Darrell McDaniel were my business development sales managers, for whom I recruited semiconductor field service engineers to directly sell to clients. Now, Darrell is the president/CEO and Tim is the COO. It’s been really impactful to develop these relationships and have their support over the last 10 years, as we’ve grown alongside each other. They have both been wonderful mentors to me.
Picture 3: Tim, Darrell, myself, and Randy Nelson from our NSOURCE℠ direct hire team at the 2017 ScaleUp Summit.
3- What is your favorite memory at NSTAR?
My favorite memory at NSTAR was our divestiture from M+W Group, in the summer of 2018. I started my NSTAR journey in 2010, which was the same year the company was acquired by M+W Group. It was such an exciting journey to redefine and reshape our company culture, alongside other influential thought leaders who really care so much about NSTAR. There was a lot of excitement and buy-in from all employees about where we would all take this company in the future. Fun times!
4 – What accomplishment are you most proud of from the last 10 years?
I’m most proud of the growth I’ve had with NSTAR from the past 10 years. I started straight out of college as a junior recruiter at NSTAR. Now, 10 years later, I’m the lead manager of the recruiting division. I feel that, in this role, I get to play a part in the personal and professional development of the recruiters who join our team.
It’s rewarding to serve as a mentor to our team members, especially because my mentors early on at NSTAR really helped shape me into the person I am today. I had a lot of mentors whom I looked up to, and I hope the mentorship I’ve provided our team has positively impacted them.
5 – Tell us about your favorite part of your job. How have your career and role developed?
My favorite part of my job is being able to take someone—like myself when I started, who has no knowledge of the semiconductor industry—and shape them into an expert. We train them on all of the vocabulary and tool sets to be able to not only recruit, but hunt, negotiate and sell these positions to develop NSTAR’s next workforce. It’s a very neat feeling to look back after a year of training and see how far a teammate has grown, as I did when I joined NSTAR.
My other favorite part of my job is the opportunities NSTAR has given me to learn not only about the technical industry, but also to interact with people all over the world. We truly do live up to our name of NSTAR Global Services, because our candidates and clients are located around the world. I’ve enjoyed building lasting relationships worldwide that I might never have gotten the chance to experience if it weren’t for NSTAR.
Picture 4: I’m extremely thankful for the friendships I’ve made these last 10 years. Here is Emily Dupree, our marketing specialist, and me back in 2012.
6 – What does NSTAR culture look like to you?
NSTAR culture is a special thing to me, and why I call all of my co-workers my work family. We are a tight-knit community of dedicated individuals and leaders who care about each other, our company and our employees deeply.
Picture 5: We’re such a tight-knit team that sometimes we accidentally show up to work in perfect coordination! We like to call that, “twinning”! Here is me and Kristi Leff, the lead generator from our NSOURCE team.
Giving back to the community is a core value of ours, and we do so consistently. We also share company traditions, like participating in team potlucks, along with celebrating special occasions. I think this attracts many new employees, as they can see that we truly care about each other. It’s an honor to be part of the work we’re doing to make an impact on others’ lives. Whether it be our community, our employees or our clients, they’re all equally as important. It’s a great place to work.
Picture 6: Me and Felicia Hinton, our financial analyst, volunteering at Habitat for Humanity.
7 – What’s a fun fact that people may not know about you?
On my team, it’s a given that we’re going to work hard and play hard, daily. We have a few fun traditions on our recruiting team. For example, I have a love of all things spicy and I like to challenge all of my co-workers to a pepper-eating contest whenever they’re feeling up to it! I also like to do impersonations of other people. You can ask my team: I’m frequently making them laugh with my latest best attempt (or failing miserably at it). Either way, I keep them laughing with my silliness.
8 – As a recruiting manager who works with so many global individuals, what’s the best communication tip you recommend?
Match your partner—in mood, energy level, language and body language. Also, listen intently, and ALWAYS follow up and thank them for their time. One thing both of my parents always taught me to do no matter what is to, “try your best, but most importantly, make them remember you.” The best way to do that with communication is to follow up and thank someone for their time. Unfortunately, that’s a rarity these days, and it should never be, it should be expected and should be the standard.
Picture 7: I’ve learned so much at NSTAR, from a technical perspective, but also through those whom I’ve met. One of the most important things we can do is send follow-up notes and make yourself memorable.
9 – What’s the best piece of advice you can offer someone looking to start their career in recruiting/HR?
Be willing to take a chance. I knew I wanted my career to be sales and development related, but I didn’t know that recruiting would be my entry into that field. I took a chance on this position, and I’m so glad that I did, because where it’s led me in my career. You may have to take an unexpected chance to get your foot in the door, but when you do, take the leap and learn as much as you possibly can. Always ask to learn more and think outside of the box. Learning as much as you can and being proactive will open doors to additional opportunities.
Picture 8: Operations and business development team meeting, holiday 2018.
10 – What is your top tip for candidates looking to work for NSTAR?
We are always looking for energetic, talented candidates willing to go the extra mile, who are looking to take the next step in their career and want to join our awesome team at NSTAR. If you share our core values and are interested in joining a team of driven thought leaders who will take your career to the next level, please reach out and let’s talk!
Picture 9: Some of the NSTAR HQ team with our annual safety week commitments.