On Our Minds

Working with so many organizations across multiple issue areas gives us a unique view into what’s happening in the social sector. This is where we share our insights and ruminations.
Author's photos with the "Why we chose to work at On-Ramps" caption
Why we chose to work at On-Ramps

by Talei Tarakinikini (she/her), Scarlyn Cuevas (she/they), and Andrew Sun (he/him)

“In conversation with On-Ramps” is a series that captures some of the internal discussions our team has as we sort through issues facing today’s social sector workers and hiring managers. In this edition, our newest search analysts, Talei Tarakinikini, Scarlyn Cuevas, and Andrew Sun—who have been at On-Ramps about four months—discuss why they chose On-Ramps during their job search.

Talei: When I saw On-Ramps’ core values of impact, excellence, DEI, integrity, collaboration, and balance—right there on their website, no fluff about it—I felt this company might actually be about what they say they're about. I loved how they said that they were passionate about talent but also about social change and that they cared about making sure the right person went to the right position. 

Scarlyn: For me, it was similar. I was also really looking to work at a small organization so that those collaborative pieces could actually translate better. Because I think when you work at a bigger organization, there’s a lot more delegation.

Andrew: I heard about On-Ramps two times before I applied and knew they had a good, positive reputation. They're really honest about their efforts to try to work on diversity, equity, and inclusion. I don't think any organization is perfect. But, it's that acknowledgement of saying, “This is where our strengths are, and this is where our areas of growth are.” I think that’s important, and it’s what drew me into learning more about On-Ramps and eventually joining.
Talei: I honestly thought it would be too ambitious to look for an organization with diversity, where the compensation was where I needed it to be, and where I could surround myself with people who are smarter than me so that I could be challenged. I didn't want to be in a role where I felt people were complacent or nobody really cared about solving the problems that we were having on a daily basis. So, once I saw that On-Ramps was passionate about social change and that diversity, equity, inclusion was also important, I felt they were going above and beyond for me.

Scarlyn: It was surprising, or refreshing I think, that in a lot of our conversations, especially about social issues, no one was sugarcoating. That was very helpful, because how do we bring authentic solutions to these problems if we can't even have an authentic conversation? Those conversations have been very open. I appreciate that. I think the initiative and the desire to want to have those conversations in a more open and genuine way is important.

Andrew: I feel you can tell during an interview process what the vibe is at an organization. And, I actually grew to like On-Ramps more as I interviewed. The interactions were great, and I really enjoyed it. I felt as a candidate on the other end, it was a positive experience. 

Scarlyn: The interview process was very smooth. I had conversations across a diverse range of topics with On-Rampers ranging from associates to the leadership team and got to speak to people that were in the position that I am in now. That gave me a well-rounded point of view of what it would feel like to work here, and that's what I found attractive.

Talei: I just also felt really seen during the process. From partners to associates, everyone is on equal ground. They really tried their best to treat everybody equally, and nobody's over here inflating themselves. Everybody's treated with respect.

Andrew: One of the parts that I really liked about the interview process was speaking with folks who were analysts and associates. I really liked just being able to get a sense of how folks operated from different levels. But also, I felt I would be able to grow. When we onboarded, I felt the training was very intentional, and everyone made sure that we were set up for success. The relationship building was there from the start. 

Talei: Something I really appreciate about the process was that the onboarding
wasn't rushed. I knew even though it was a lot, they would give us the time to learn, and if we had clarifying questions, there would always be someone there to answer them. During our weekly check ins, we were always asked which parts we enjoyed but also which parts we felt they could improve on. They're always asking for input, trying to improve their process which is very important. From the interview process through to the onboarding, they really make sure they're giving you all the resources to be successful.

Scarlyn: I always feel we have someone that acknowledges the fact that we're still new. But, I still feel I'm being given ownership of the things that I'm responsible for, and I'm trusted for the work that I'm doing. So, there's that good balance of the two.

Andrew: On-Ramps is also interesting because it has more of a flat structure. We work a lot in teams. Sometimes responsibilities are shared, people step in and out of roles. So, learning to be able to work within the matrix of this organization is new, but it's really a way of doing things that more organizations should adopt, because when you work in a hierarchical structure, a lot of things tend to be siloed. Here, it’s about collaboration, so that's been a positive learning experience too.

Scarlyn: I feel in terms of management and organizational aspects of how I'm trying to develop my career, I felt On-Ramps would give me good insight. I wanted a role that would allow me to focus on my people skills and work on relationship building.
Andrew: This organization and this role really hit all the marks I was looking for in the next steps of my career, the main theme being social change. I wanted to explore different parts of recruiting. On-Ramps has a really good range of clients that we work with, so I can build different skill sets. 

Talei: Meeting everyone in person has also been so much fun. Working virtually, I already loved everybody. But once we met in-person at our meet-ups, you realize everybody really is genuine, and everybody gets along. People are just really welcoming. Everyone’s equal, and everybody's treated with respect. 

Scarlyn: It didn't surprise me that people were just as personable in person, because it's how we are at work, too. This is just what the culture is. You wouldn't know who's the partner or who's the associate with the conversations we have, because it's just very open and everyone's just themselves. 

Andrew: I feel the same, and I think that you can definitely tell that On-Rampers work really hard, but then in a more casual setting, we want to have fun. So, it's definitely really clear that On-Ramps tries to prioritize balance. 

Scarlyn: All the pieces align in terms of what we, as an organization, value and in our process for hiring people and working with our clients. But, it's also reflected internally how everyone is treated, and especially when it comes to our core values. I feel balance and integrity are what are highlighted the most for me. Because with the help of collaboration, just the culture and everything, I feel this is something that is actually really honestly and genuinely reflected in the way that everyone speaks to you.
Talei: That comes down to passion for the work as well. I don't think you're going to enjoy the job if you're not passionate about the social sector.

Andrew: Definitely. I feel it's non-negotiable. We have to be big advocates for the clients that we work with and be able to really convey that, because we are representing them at the end of the day. So, really having that is central, I feel, to being an On-Ramper. You know that you're making an impact.