There are a lot of factors that I considered when looking at internships this summer: location, pay, job duties, etc. But one thing that I placed high importance on was corporate responsibility – how was each company helping out the environment and the communities they’re in? What is the culture like around the office? Are they considered a “good” company or a “bad” company to the outside world?
These aren’t just questions that I have when I’m job searching; they’re questions that more and more workforce entrants have when evaluating companies.
Unlike during the recession, when baby boomers made up most of the workforce in America and millennials were the first to leave and the last to get hired, today, millennials make up the majority of the workforce.
I know there’s a lot of talk about millennial trends and lifestyles, but as a millennial, I have a pretty good feel for the behaviors of my friends and myself when it comes to workplace considerations.
The millennials in my life seem to place a lot of value in recycling, eating gluten/dairy/sugar/everything-free, buying organic, and posting about social injustices on Facebook. Yes, this is a bit of an exaggeration, but it translates into our job searches.
We want wholesome companies that go on volunteer trips and recycle and reduce their GHG emissions. We also want workplaces that are fun, technologically-advanced, and focused on our wants and needs. Alliance Data caught my eye when I researched them in my job search, and with their recently-released 2015 Corporate Responsibility Report, I’ve learned about even more ways that Alliance Data is a responsible corporation.
One of the coolest aspects of Alliance Data that impresses me and makes me proud to call myself an Alliance Data intern is the Federation of Internet Alerts (FIA). This system, started by Conversant (a subsidiary of Alliance Data), works with law enforcement to geo-target AMBER Alert information directly to phones and computers in the areas where a missing child was last seen, replacing the advertisements that would normally show up on apps and web pages. They issued 300 million AMBER alert messages last year – no big deal.
Similarly, FIA was used in coordination with the National Weather Service to issue over 3 million tornado warnings directly to people in the paths of potentially dangerous storms. Being a Tornado Alley native myself, I can tell you that I appreciate this program immensely.
Alliance Data also impressed me with their workplace culture. I thought banana Tuesday and popcorn Friday were cool – but apparently, those are just the tip of the iceberg.
I’ve noticed the incredibly welcoming attitude of the people here at corporate, and Fortune Magazine has apparently noticed the outstanding way that Alliance Data associates are treated too. We were named one of the 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials, 50 Best Workplaces for Diversity, and 100 Best Workplaces for Women in 2015.
A big part of my internship is working with non-profit and community relations, and this is something that made applying to Alliance Data a no-brainer. In 2015 alone, we invested $9.4 million in charitable causes in the communities that we operate in, and our associates also spent 25,000 hours volunteering. Already, in the first week of my internship, I lead my team in a can construction competition that donated all the cans to hungry kids in Dallas.
When it comes to the environment, my millennial friends and I compost, recycle, use paperless technology, and more. Alliance Data impressed me with their environmental efforts, as well. In 2015, we not only reduced our emissions by 53% since 2014, but we also created 1 million kilowatts of solar power at LoyaltyOne’s Mississauga, Ontario customer care center, to name a couple of efforts.
All in all, I think I made the right choice in applying for an internship with Alliance Data this summer, and my friends and I will definitely be looking out for these same qualities in our future full-time employers next spring. It’ll be hard to find a company that sets the bar higher than Alliance Data already has for me!