I just finished freshman year at the University of Texas at Austin as an environmental science major. As my first year of college wrapped up, I began to look for a summer job. I wanted to find something that would be worthwhile and with a company that has strong core values. I have grown up with The Container Store, as both of my parents have worked at the company for a combined 40 years. My father is the Store Facilities Director and my mother is the Logistics Director. Dinner table conversations would often lead to what was going on around the workplace and they always had exciting stories to tell. I’m continually enthralled by their enthusiasm for where they work! I decided that this summer I wanted to apply to work at The Container Store to experience this highly spoken of culture firsthand.
I was hired as part of the Customer Solutions team at the home office and I couldn’t wait to start. My first week of work consisted of training, starting out with a few days of discussion about the 7 Foundation Principles. A few of these include: “Communication is Leadership” and “1 Great Person= 3 Good People”. It was amazing to learn about what The Container Store is all about and understand more clearly what my parents have been talking about nearly my whole life! I have really enjoyed working here for the past two and a half months and I have learned many things that I hope to carry over into my school life and into future occupations.
I was surprised how many similarities I found between working in Customer Solutions and what I would be doing as an environmental scientist in the field or a lab. As I graduate I hope to find a company or organization that is as welcoming and committed to its values as The Container Store. Teamwork is an integral part of the company’s culture, as well as in an environmental field: a single person will not solve environmental issues; changes will only be made by working together. I will strive to find a company that embodies similar foundation principles, a company that communicates well and employs great team members.
A letter my dad wrote to Kip Tindell, Chairman and CEO, was mentioned in Kip’s book Uncontainable. The letter explains the passion my parents have for this company and that they hope their children find a company that treats their employees as well as The Container Store – you can read the letter below. I am overjoyed that I have had the opportunity to work for this company and I look forward to hopefully having the opportunity to come back on school holidays!
“Throughout my children’s lifetime, they have only known our life as The Container Store. They see the passion we’ve had for this company and the people we work with. We’ve raised our kids with the same philosophy that we run our company with – hard work, dedication, do what’s right, and do it with intent and purpose, but, most importantly, love what you do and do it with passion.
As my children get older, they are getting ready for the real world. I have been reflecting a lot on their future and wondering, Will they have the same sense of purpose and love for what they do? Will they be treated as well as we have been? And that’s when I get an uneasy feeling. The chance that they will have what we’ve had is pretty rare. Even I sometimes take for granted what we have, that it’s like this everywhere. It’s NOT! We have expressed this to both of our children, telling them that everything they see that we have as a result of working for this company is not “normal.” I fear they’ve been sheltered from the real world because of this “Utopia” type place they have come to know.”