Breaking News: Crain's Chicago Business names Lake Forest Graduate School of Management the 9th best place to work!
I've worked at Lake Forest Graduate School of Management for six weeks now and the one thing that's struck me more than anything else is how much the School cares about employees and wants us to look forward to coming to work each day.
During my interview process, during which I met with close to a dozen people, the final step was to meet with President & CEO John Popoli. In my entire career, I've never met with a CEO or managing partner during the interview process. In fact, during the seven years I worked for two major law firms in DC, I don't think I ever met the managing partner. Certainly, he wouldn't have known me by name. But not at LFGSM. John Popoli knows me by name and in my first six weeks has personally praised my performance and thanked me for a job well done on two occasions. That means a lot.
One of the other keys to LFGSM's success, as the Crain's article discusses, is the transparency of the administration. We have regular town hall meetings where we can ask any questions we want and we are sent minutes of the Management Board's weekly meetings. In my opinion, transparency is key to success and prevents the rumor mill that has been so alive in other businesses I have worked in.
LFGSM is also a fun place to work and works by the FISH! Philosophy. We offer weekly yoga classes, bring in cool speakers to help us be the best people we can be, do good work in the community, and have fun with Oscar and March Madness picks (the rumor that I was #1 in our pool was true until Butler and VCU ended my dreams with their Cinderella stories).
A few weeks ago, Jerry and Estella Hayes from season seven of The Biggest Loser came to motivate us to be our healthiest selves with their inspirational story of weight loss. Jerry lost 177 pounds and Estella lost 90 pounds AND they've kept it off for two years! Yes, that's me with Jerry and Estella. I've lost over 30 pounds and am working on another 25 by Memorial Day.
On April Fool's Day, one of my colleagues brought in "sushi" for the office. If it looks a little odd to you, it's because it's made with rice krispy treats, pound cake, gummy candy, frosting, and sprinkles.
Of course, we also work hard at LFGSM. But it's easy to work hard when our opinions are valued, we're encouraged to be the "CEOs of our own career," and we're treated like the valuable people we are.