In my three years working for AQUILA, we have been named one of the Austin Business Journal’s Best Places to Work each year and each year we have consistently climbed in the rankings. I couldn’t be more proud to say that AQUILA was this year named the #3 Best Place to Work in Austin, Texas. But what makes AQUILA such a great place to work? I thought about my own opinions and polled the office and here’s what it comes down to: It’s a solid combination of excellent leadership and mentorship, out of the box company benefits, a family vibe and a certain sense of pride.
1. Leaders who do what they say they are going to do.
AQUILA was founded by six of Austin’s top commercial real estate brokers who were sick of the red-tape and corporate culture that existed at their respective firms. They founded AQUILA with the mission of hiring the best and the brightest and allowing them to soar, without being held back by policy and procedures. And while the company has matured over the past (going on) ten years, the overarching structure remains the same.
Leadership maintains an open door policy for all employees. If a problem comes up, it is addressed. When they tell you they’re going to do something, they get it done.
2. You get to learn from the best.
Our brokers are great. We might even say the best. And we know they didn’t start off that way. They had to learn from someone and work their tails off to get where they are today. Our principals remember that and take the younger employees under their wing. We want our young brokers to succeed. We love seeing interns turn into junior brokers and eventually become leaders within the company. Our Corporate Services Platform Leader, Jon Wheless, began with AQUILA as an intern while still in college at the University of Texas. Now he is an ABJ Heavy Hitter and a leader within the company.
Not only do we have great brokers, but we’ve got a pretty amazing staff too. People who come in everyday with a smile on their face and an enthusiasm for the day. Our principals are picky about who they hire, and it is reflected in our team. Each person is not just good at what they do, but eager to learn more. Our leaders encourage employees to take on new responsibilities and continue learning through both internal and external training and education.
3. We get paid to work out.
We have all the traditional benefits, time-off, insurance, raises, bonuses, etc. and then we have the AQUILA benefits: birthday lunches, group workouts, team competitions, company parties and impromptu happy hours.
Twice a week, we participate in the AQUILA Corporate Wellness Program, where our personal trainer whips us into shape (a lot of bonding goes on when you’re getting your butt kicked). We have an AQUILA volleyball team that plays once a week through the spring and summer and culminates in the CBA tournament in October. Employees are also treated to birthday lunches, spur of the moment happy hours at the Mean Eyed Cat, Christmas parties complete with dance offs and push-up competitions and the event of the year, the AQUILA Open, an intra-company golf tournament entailing costumes, prizes and a good dose of competition.
4. It’s like one big (competitive) family.
People are our greatest asset here at AQUILA. The environment is that of a family, we do much more than work together – we laugh together and celebrate together, we comfort each other and we compete fiercely – like brothers and sisters.
At the most recent AQUILA wedding, nearly the entire office was in attendance. And not only did they show up, they stayed until they shut it down. We are a part of each other’s families, husbands and wives are just as loved and well known as the AQUILA team members themselves.
5. We’re pretty proud to be eagles.
There’s a lot of pride that comes with being an AQUILA Eagle. Be it in a pitch for new business, on the golf course or at an industry event, the “Dirty Birds” – our company’s sporty alter ego – are easy to spot. AQUILA is loud, proud and having a darn good time. We speak with confidence in the boardroom and play with a passion on the course (or court). There’s never been a spirit competition that we haven’t won.
I’m proud to call myself an AQUILA Eagle. And if I know us, we won’t stop until we are the Number One Best Place to Work in Austin. We already are in our hearts.
For more information on our internship program and careers at AQUILA please see our latest job postings.