With Online Job & Internship Week (OJIW) coming up on March 27-31, I thought it’d be great to get some background and advice from the real people who work for the companies looking for you. I had the chance to hear from Meredith Friedman of CubeSmart; one of the many companies you can apply to during OJIW, to get some inside advice on what it’s like to work at CubeSmart as well as some helpful tips to get you ready for the Week!
So, who are you and what do you do?
Meredith: I’m the Director of Talent at CubeSmart. I am responsible for efforts to attract, retain, & develop talent at the company. We’re a rapidly growing Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) company focused on storage and extraordinary customer service. We find that people who need storage are often going through a life transition – maybe they’re downsizing, moving, going through some other big life change.
What’s it like working at a growing company like CubeSmart?
Meredith: Just to give you an idea of how rapidly we are growing, when I started here two years ago, we had 500 stores; now we’re at over 800 stores in over 30 states. It’s a very dynamic business and we are doing a lot of recruiting.
I was reading a bit about CubeSmart and came across the “WOW philosophy” could you talk a little bit more about that?
Meredith: So, it’s our culture of surprising and delighting our customers – that recognition that our customers are going through some life transition. It’s little things like opening the door to the store when customers approach, smiling, and shaking hands.
I also read about the rebranding of CubeSmart in 2011, what should students know about the future of CubeSmart?
Meredith: It’s exciting. We are a real estate company first. All of the buildings are well lit and clean and have great landscaping. We are trying to redefine the industry. We have cutting edge revenue management analytics and state of the art technology. It’s a very innovative approach.
How does CubeSmart survey and identify talent?
Meredith: We are big on teammate referrals. We try to be visible in the community – that’s why we’re Campus Philly partners. Exposure to universities and college is a must. We attend many college job fairs. We also use available technology like Indeed and Zip Recruiter.
Continuing with the student and finding talent theme: What do you think are some great qualities of a hopeful intern/employee?
Meredith: Someone who is open to learning. Someone who’s responsible over the summer. The more they can be a sponge, the better. Have a willingness to do new and different things, be exposed to different parts of a business, and share some ideas they’ve learned in class because we too can learn from them.
I know landing a job after college can be a challenge. What are some things students should keep in mind when applying for a job straight out of college?
Meredith: I can’t overstate the importance of networking – it’s critical. Showing up to events like Campus Philly’s summer party gives students more exposure to network.The volume of applicants with technology is staggering. Sometimes, it is overwhelming. It’s important through LinkedIn to have connections; maybe you have a connection at the company. Have a resume that is grammatically correct, be polite, and send thank you emails after an interview. These things set people apart, especially if you’re interviewing at a company like ours where customer service is a top priority.
How does someone stand out in a digital landscape such as Online Job & Internship Week?
Meredith: Cover letters are one way to stand out – even if it’s just a paragraph describing how their skills and interests align with the position. This tells us “Why do they want to spend their summer working us?” For example – we have a bunch of internships at our call center in the summer, someone can convey in their cover letter that they enjoy helping people over the phone; it’s hard to know that through a resume.
Awesome, well I think we covered a lot on a range of topics. Thank you so much for you time!
If you like what you’ve read, check out CubeSmart’s employer page during OJIW and apply to their open positions. How to prepare for Online Job + Internship Week:
1. Create your account in a few minutes on campusphilly.org/launch.
2. Complete your profile and show off your personality!
3. Starting Monday, March 27, log on to start your search.
4. Return every day; new positions will be posted all week.