My Degenkolb: Dan Sloat
Design Engineer
Seattle

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Life & Culture at Degenkolb

How would you describe the culture at Degenkolb?

Degenkolb is a community of professionals with a unique passion not just for their work, but also for their profession and its role in society. When I first started, the level of engagement was astonishing to me. Almost every week, a coworker would invite me to an event. From code committees and professional societies to mentorship and volunteer opportunities, Degenkolb has employees actively involved in pursing their passion. My coworkers have helped me to become involved in professional activities from the first day on the job, which is truly a unique opportunity.

I also enjoy the open flow of ideas at Degenkolb. Whenever I communicate with a coworker, whether from fellow Designers to Principals, it is always a two-way conversation. Employees listen to each other’s' ideas and provide their own suggestions, which creates an environment of trust and improves the effectiveness of the design process. My coworkers are also enthusiastic about sharing their expertise and their passions, which provides younger employees like me with the opportunity to gain valuable knowledge and develop their own professional interests.

Why did you choose Degenkolb?

I became interested in Degenkolb for the level of technical expertise the company strives for. As someone who sets high standards for myself, I was interested in working for a company with equally driven people. During the interview process, I discovered the company's unique culture, which became the biggest draw for me. Debenkolb provides the flexibility and resources I need to pursue my passions, both in my professional and personal lives. I can run home to let my dog out at lunch when I need to, and I always have at least 1 coworker walking with me to the SEAW Earthquake Engineering Committee meetings, if not more. I was also attracted to the employee-owned structure at Degenkolb. I feel that it gets employees at all levels invested not just in the quality of their work, but also in the well-being of their coworkers and the company as a whole.

On the Job

What are you like on the job?

I strive for constant improvement in the workplace. I frequently collaborate with my coworkers to discover new ways to use spreadsheets and design software more effectively. As a young member of the company, I make every effort to take advantage of the knowledge base around me to improve the quality of my work. I also enjoy talking to coworkers about challenges they face on their projects day-to-day. This provides an opportunity for more casual conversation, and serves as a low-stress way to provide one another with suggestions. When I get back to my desk, I am very focused, particularly when I face a challenging design task. I typically have  a lot of tabs open on my computer and plenty of folders laying on my desk, as I like to have all of the pertinent information for my task readily available. It may look like chaos at times, but to me, it strikes just the right balance.