From Application to Offer Letter – What It’s Really Like Working for this Unique Company

I’d been searching for the perfect job for quite some time before I came across an opening at Oriental Trading Company. As a recent college graduate with a business degree, I was hoping to find an employer that would give me opportunities to learn and grow in a fun, fast-paced environment. The more I researched OTC, the more I realized it could be a great place for me to launch my career.

OTC first caught my eye because of the incredibly vast variety of affordable products they offer. I mean, where else can you find everything from party supplies and toys to educational tools and wedding decorations? With over 40,000 products available, they really do live up to their motto of being “the corporate leader in value-priced party supplies, arts and crafts, toys and novelties, and school supplies.” I was fascinated thinking about the behind-the-scenes operations required to source and ship so many unique items. It seemed like a great place to gain experience in global supply chain management, procurement, inventory control, and other critical business functions.

Once I decided to apply, the process moved quickly. OTC’s online application was straightforward – I simply uploaded my resume and filled in some basic information about my background and interests. To my surprise and delight, I received a call to schedule a phone interview just a few days later. The interviewer was energetic and personable. She focused mainly on learning about my customer service skills and ability to multi-task in a fast-paced warehouse environment. I must have made a good impression, because within a week I was invited on-site to Omaha for a round of in-person interviews.

Stepping into OTC’s colorful headquarters was like walking into a wonderland! Product samples and decorations lined the halls and lobbies. The vibe was definitely more party than corporate. Everyone I met was friendly and seemed genuinely excited to work there. The series of interviews gave me a chance to talk with managers from several different departments. I was also given a tour of one of the distribution centers. It was bustling with activity as orders were carefully checked, packed and shipped out to eager customers around the world.

After an anxious week of waiting post-interviews, I received the offer letter! I was thrilled to join OTC’s marketing team as an entry-level content coordinator. The role would allow me to utilize my writing skills while learning about product development, merchandising, and brand management. It also came with a competitive salary and benefits package – which was a big perk right out of college.

My First Days on the Job

On my start date, I could barely contain my excitement as I walked through the front doors again – this time as an official OTC employee. The orientation sessions my first week were super helpful in getting me acclimated quickly. I learned all about the company’s history and culture, as well as practical information on policies, procedures, and benefits enrollment.

One thing that really stood out was the emphasis on OTC’s company values, which are:

It was great to see how these core values translated into everyday actions and decisions around the office. For example, OTC provides healthy snacks and coffee bars to keep employees fueled. There are also games and activities during breaks to help relieve stress and bring some playfulness into the workday. Coworkers were always willing to lend a hand when needed. The positive, collaborative energy was palpable.

Learning the Ropes in Marketing

I spent my first couple of weeks getting fully trained on all of the proprietary software and systems used by the marketing team. It was admittedly a bit overwhelming at first, but everyone assured me it would all come together with time and experience. They were absolutely right!

Once I became more comfortable with the tools, I was able to take on my own assignments. This involved things like:

No two days were ever the same. I loved the variety and creativity involved in effectively showcasing OTC’s massive product selection. It was also rewarding to apply my new knowledge to start optimizing content performance.

Expanding My Horizons

While the 9-to-5 kept me busy, I made it a point to explore other areas of the business outside of marketing. I regularly volunteered for special projects that connected me with coworkers in other departments. For example, I helped plan a holiday party for employees’ families. I also participated in the onboarding “buddy” program for new hires.

These experiences provided valuable exposure to functions like human resources, accounting, vendor relations, creative services, and more. It was eye-opening to see the enterprise-wide coordination required to delight customers and maintain OTC’s position as an industry leader. I realized just how many moving parts there were behind that carousel pony or lava lamp order placed on our website!

Professional Growth Opportunities

Around my six-month mark with OTC, I checked in with my manager about opportunities for more responsibility and continued career development. She was highly supportive, encouraging me to be proactive about seeking new challenges.

Some of the growth possibilities I chose to pursue included:

I appreciated how open managers were to employee input on designing individually tailored development plans, based on our unique skills and aspirations. The ability to continuously learn new things is one of my favorite aspects of working at OTC.

The OTC Family

While the work itself is engaging, it’s really the amazing people that make OTC feel like home for me. Despite rapid growth over the years, OTC has retained a small company culture where employees are treated like family.

My coworkers have become trusted friends. We celebrate birthdays, engage in volunteer projects, cheer on company sports teams, and swap stories from our weekends. There is a palpable camaraderie and concern for one another as real human beings.

It’s also inspiring to see so many individuals who have built lifelong careers here, myself included. The low turnover is a testament to OTC’s commitment to nurturing talent and helping employees thrive. I’m grateful this unique company took a chance on me as a fresh college grad. The possibilities still feel endless.

Final Thoughts

Stepping back, it’s incredible to think how far I’ve come in just one year with OTC. Their investment in my continued learning and development has been invaluable. I’ve acquired hands-on experience and knowledge that I know will serve me well throughout my career.

More importantly, I’ve found a professional home surrounded by encouraging, passionate people who take pride in their work. Being part of the enthusiastic OTC team has energized and motivated me in ways I never expected. I can’t wait to see what exciting new projects and opportunities are in store next on my journey here. For any job seekers considering OTC – I highly recommend taking the leap!

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