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初入通用汽车感觉如何?这里没有996

McKenna Moore 2019年07月04日

这位员工分享了自己在轮岗期间的经历和得到的收获。

图片来源:Courtesy of Jessica Shen, Getty Images (2), GM

《财富》杂志的Entry/Level专栏专门为寻找初级岗位以及目前从事初级岗位人们开设。我们采访初级岗位的员工,了解工作情况,如何入职以及下一步想做什么等等。为行文清晰起见,主人公的回答经过编辑。

2018年5月杰西卡·沈毕业于弗吉尼亚理工大学电气工程专业。现在,她正在通用汽车的两年轮岗计划TRACK中从事软件开发工作。毕业后,她从弗吉尼亚州阿灵顿的家乡搬到底特律,同年9月开始工作。

以下是沈的介绍:

通用汽车的轮岗计划:

跟其他许多大公司一样,通用汽车也有毕业生轮岗计划。轮岗对我来说很有吸引力,因为刚毕业找工作,一下就确定自己想从事的领域很困难。通用汽车的轮岗计划名为“TRACK”,是Technical Rotation and Career Knowledge(技术轮岗和职业知识)的缩写,通常要经过两年,期间轮岗三次,每次八个月,也可以轮岗一年或四个月,取决于具体的工作任务。如果你不喜欢某个岗位,可以早点换。如果找到了真心喜欢的岗位,也有留下来不继续轮岗的情况。

目前的岗位:

我现在是第一次轮岗,已经快满8个月,7月换到下个岗位。我是软件工程师,负责开发汽车信息娱乐软件,特别是卡车和SUV的拖车应用。我们在为2022年的车型开发,很可能等我完成轮岗项目以后很长时间都完不成。但这项工作还是挺酷的,因为在几年之后能够见到实际应用。

日常生活:

部门里的每个人都在早上9点或9点半左右上班,下午5点过一点下班,有时候要到6点,工作氛围挺轻松。我每天早上8点左右起床,能睡个好觉。早上9点半,开会同步工作进度。部门里有块信息板,每个人写上自己正在负责的工作,然后在办公室里讨论昨天做了什么和今天的计划,明确每个人的职责,同步会大约要开15分钟。办公室布局是开放式的,但我们都坐在自己的办公桌旁,不会经常走动,因为屋里有一堆测试设备。办公桌上都有车的零件,测试软件时不必用真车,在办公桌上测试就行了。我主要负责修复小的软件缺陷,多数时候都坐在办公桌前写代码,也有一部分工作内容是车辆测试。我们有一批2019年款测试车,能开出去,里面安装了新开发的软件。

没有经验:

我在软件岗位上几乎没有什么经验,因为电气工程专业不太涉及写代码。所以我特别怕自己作不出多少贡献,但团队一直都非常理解我,也常帮助我。每当我遇到问题,他们都会毫不犹豫地坐下来帮我解决。这是轮岗中非常有价值的收获。

轮岗岗位:

几乎每个轮岗周期都有一个小型招聘会。在换岗的几个月以前,可以跟不同部门的经理交谈,寻找感兴趣的岗位。还会有一项调查帮着找合适的工作。

在通用汽车的下一个岗位:

虽然软件工程很酷,但我当然希望接触更多跟电气有关的工作,比如硬件和布线等,因为我的专业就是电气工程。所以,我在关注叫“创新电气”的岗位,职责是开发概念车或很酷的新创意之类,然后提供给其他部门开发,就像个创业公司。这个团队负责开发概念和原型,迅速构建模型,然后向其他部门解释概念。如果公司里其他人看好某个创意,就会拿过来应用在生产中,也会继续开发。听上去真的很酷,而且与众不同,因为其他大多数轮岗更多关于生产或典型制造周期什么的。我喜欢开发新东西,哪怕可能不会实际生产。我感兴趣的另一项工作是系统工程,主要负责Wi-Fi、蓝牙和网络连接。很多此类技术并不是为汽车开发,而是用在电视和电脑上,所以要做很多修改。另一个记下的岗位是车辆测试,我感觉这个岗位的职责是监测通话质量,看看在车里用蓝牙通话时,有没有通话质量很糟糕、有回声或类似问题。

对意料之外的事情持开放态度:

老实说,我原来没有太考虑过通用汽车,都没怎么留意过。

当时学校举行了大型的工程领域招聘会,我排着队想跟实习过的一家公司谈谈,只是想打个招呼,跟招聘人员聊两句。说完话离开时,我路过通用汽车的展台,他们有一大批招聘人员,其中一位跟我说话,后来变成我去找他们。他拿了我的简历,当场给了我面试机会,这对我来说很重要,因为我在招聘会上运气向来不太好,现场环境令人焦虑,所有人都在互相竞争。通用汽车的展台非常友好,让人很放松。

面试过程:

校园招聘会结束后的第二天,我去参加了面试,只是为了大致了解我。几星期后,我收到了一份现场面试邀请,然后我飞去底特律,面试过程很棒,开了一堆车,非常有趣。

接受工作:

几个星期以后,我拿到了聘用通知书,通用汽车给了我两周的答复时间。快到答复最后期限我才决定接受,因为之前我从来没想过搬去密歇根州,也没想过要做汽车行业,感觉怪怪的,心里不是很肯定。

大四刚开始就找到工作的感觉:

说实话,感觉有点怪。我认识许多很快找到工作的人,整个学年里都非常轻松,我却受到妈妈和许多好友的质疑。妈妈不希望我搬到底特律,她想让我去西雅图或旧金山之类的科技大城市。所以刚开始的时候感觉不是太好。我的很多朋友都要去科技大城市工作,每次别人问“毕业后你要去哪”,都有点尴尬。我一说“密歇根”,对方经常立刻说,“哦,那里太冷了”或是“你为什么要去那?”我在脑子里很满意自己的决定,觉得通用汽车是值得我去工作的好公司,但听到很多人的质疑后,我不是很舒服。

人们慢慢开始接受:

到最后,大家还是开始慢慢地接受了,但我自己花了大半年时间才觉得决定没错。我感觉向妈妈详细解释项目安排后,她才终于满意了。现在我来到这里,跟她分享和同事们的故事,她开始认为我在这有可能成功,不一定非得去个大城市。不过我是实际搬过来,感觉做的事确实很酷之后,才开始放下心结。

找到住处:

我的室友于去年7月开始在通用汽车工作,他也是从弗吉尼亚理工大学毕业的。我们来这里的时候,他就快要入职,于是我们四处找房子。他妈妈研究了很多周边社区和住哪比较合适的信息,然后我们根据信息看了几个地方,然后签了租约。我住在斯特林高地,离市区大概10英里(16公里)。住处离工作的地方很近,早上开车10分钟就能到。我们租的是一栋联排别墅,总租金为1550美元,每人分摊775美元,屋里空间非常大,足够住了。

搬家:

搬家过程很顺利,通用汽车给了我一大笔搬家费,直接把车运过来,还能租辆搬家卡车。我想,如果当时我要求请搬运工,他们也会同意。但是,自己开车搬家有三四百美元的奖金,所以我还是选择自己开车。搬家费要到发工资时才会给,我想尽快拿到那笔钱。

底特律:

从小到大,我总是听说底特律非常可怕和危险。因此我一直以来的印象都是,底特律不适合年轻专业人士居住。但我搬来以后才发现,这里其实氛围很积极,有各种有趣的社区活动,让我很惊喜。

关于薪酬:

我的工资肯定够花了,手头的钱挺充裕,而且以我的生活方式也花不了多少钱。我花的钱大部分都是搭飞机回家看妈妈,我经常回家。不过我还是存了很多钱,因为现在花不了太多。

公司文化:

我非常喜欢通用汽车的公司文化,轮岗的人有很多社交活动。所以,轮换到新岗位时不会有什么不适。之前我最害怕的事情是搬来以后会交不上朋友,但其实真的很容易,年纪长一些的同事们都超级友好。能与同事和睦相处是很重要的,哪怕我在通用汽车或其他公司找到了梦寐以求的工作,如果跟同事相处不愉快也会很无趣。

跟上司的关系:

我的直属经理负责管大约18个人,所以我不太常见到他。他不是喜欢坐下来长篇大论的人,所以多数时候只会说上两三句话。他也不怎么发邮件,不是很容易沟通,但他是个好人。还有我的组长,严格来说他跟我的级别差不多,但他实际负责安排开发拖车应用时每个组员的任务。我和他之间的关系很轻松,可以大大方方地向他提出需求,或者向他求助。他也很忙,所以通常不会直接回答,但会给我指明正确的方向。如果我想请一天病假或是休假的话,也需要向他申请。

轮岗计划结束后,她想不想继续留在通用汽车:

我觉得应该会留下来。对我而言,这一点还很难说,主要看有没有找到喜欢的岗位。是的,我现在就是这么想的,这是个重大决定。

工作中遇到最大的难题:

做这份工作之前我没怎么写过代码,所以刚开始几个月很艰难。在工作和业余时间,我花了很多时间在线学习免费的计算机科学课程,想尽快地掌握工作需要的知识。我花了两个半还是三个月才真正做到独立工作。过渡阶段有点难熬,因为有太多东西要学,而且不知道从哪入手。

工作最令人喜欢的部分:

车辆测试。我坐在办公桌前写代码时总感觉有点脱节,因为我从来没有开过卡车,也没有拖过什么东西。有时候很难凭空想象。当我真正坐在卡车里观察车辆工作时感觉真的很酷,理论终于结合了实际。

通用汽车的内部折扣:

有员工折扣,还有基于绩效的折扣。每年都会做一次绩效评估,然后根据绩效给出具体的金额,这是标准的员工折扣之外的额外折扣。每种车的折扣大概都不一样。对我们来说,某些型号的车会更优惠一些。

从前和现在的业余活动:

我加入了少数族裔工程师组织,亚洲科学家和工程师协会(Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers)。加入协会之后,我觉得为很多工作和生活上的事情做好了准备。协会的目标是教育亚裔学生,现在我明白了领导力的价值,因为领导岗位上的亚裔很少。

关于长期计划:

我将来肯定会从事技术工程工作。我知道很多人最终会进入管理层,但我肯定不想走那条路。

对从前的自己有何忠告:

不要自我设限。我觉得在大学里找工作时经常自我否定,还没有申请就先退缩了。我求职过程中不敢向某些公司投简历,因为感觉没有机会,这种态度太消极了。如果不去申请就永远不会知道结果,对吧?打开思路努力寻找机会,不要被动地等机会上门。(财富中文网)

译者:艾伦

审校:夏林

Fortune’s Entry/Level column is dedicated to people looking for and working in entry-level positions—read the full series here. We interview entry-levelers about their jobs, how they got them, what they want to do next, and more. The subject’s answers are edited for clarity.

Jessica Shen graduated with a degree in electrical engineering from Virginia Tech in May 2018. Now, she’s trying her hand at software development in GM‘s two-year rotational program, TRACK. She relocated from her hometown of Arlington, VA to Detroit to begin working at the automaker the September after graduation.

Here’s what Shen has to say about…

GM’s rotational program:

GM, like a lot of other big companies, has a new-graduate rotational program. That’s really what drew me in because it’s kind of hard to apply for a job and go in straight from college and know that’s where you want to work. GM’s program is called TRACK—it stands for Technical Rotation and Career Knowledge. Typically, you would do two years, three rotations of eight months each. But you can also have a year-long rotation or a four-month-long rotation, and it just depends on what your assignment is. If you don’t like it, you can exit early. Or if you have rotation you really like, there’s also been cases of people staying and not rotating anymore.

Her current role:

Right now I’m in my first rotation, and I’ve been here for about 8 months. I’m going to be moving in July. I’m a software engineer, working on infotainment in the car, specifically the trailering app for trucks and SUVs. Right now we’re working on the model year ’22. None of my stuff will be out until probably long after I’m done with the rotation program. But it’s still pretty cool because I can see them come to life in a few years.

Her day-to-day:

Everyone in department comes in around 9 a.m. or 9:30 a.m., and then works until a little past 5 p.m., maybe 6 p.m. some days. It’s pretty relaxed. I wake up around 8 every morning, which is pretty comfortable. We have a daily sync-up at 9:30. We have a board where everyone writes what they’re working on, then we go around the room and talk about what we did yesterday and what your plan is for today. It gives everyone accountability. That meeting is about 15 minutes. We have an open office layout, but we do stay at our desks. We don’t move around much because there’s a bunch of testing equipment. We have components of a car in our desks so if you’re testing software you don’t have to go to a car, you can just test it at your desk. I work mostly on doing little software defect-fixes. Most of the time, I’m sitting at my desk coding. But there are parts of my job where I get to go vehicle-testing. We have a bunch of model year ’19 vehicle systems that we’re allowed to drive out in public, but with our newer software installed inside.

Being inexperienced:

In this software role, I came in with little experience because as an electrical engineer, there’s not much coding involved. So I was really nervous I wouldn’t be able to contribute much, but my team has been super understanding and helpful. Anytime I have any questions, people have no hesitation to sit down and walk me through it. That’s been a really valuable part of the experience.

Rotating roles:

There’s a mini-career fair almost every rotation cycle. It’s a few months before the rotation date, and you talk to different managers to figure out what you want. And then there’s a survey to get you matched with a role.

Her next job at GM:

While software engineering is pretty cool, I definitely want to see more of the electrical side, like hardware and wiring and stuff, because I studied electrical engineering in college. So I was looking into this role called innovation electrical. They’re working on more of the concept cars or cool new ideas that they can give to other departments to flesh out. It’s almost start-up-like. They take concepts, prototype things, quickly mock up something, and then explain the concept to someone else. And if someone else at GM thinks it’s a good idea, then they’ll take it and run with it, and continue to develop. That sounds really cool to me. It’s different because most of the other rotations are more production-based or typical manufacturing cycle stuff. I like the idea of working on something new, and maybe something that wouldn’t be produced. Another job I was interested in was systems engineering, which would be working with wi-fi and bluetooth, and connectivity. Because a lot of those technologies weren’t developed to work with a car, but with TVs and computers. There are a lot of modifications that need to be done. And then I the other role I put down was vehicle testing. I think the specific role was to monitor the phone call quality if you make a bluetooth call in your car, just to see if it was horrible or echoey or that kind of thing.

Being open to something unexpected:

To be honest, I wasn’t really considering GM, it wasn’t really ever on my radar.

At my school’s big engineering career fair, I was waiting in line to talk to the company that I had interned with, just to say hi and catch up with the recruiter. I ended up passing by the GM Booth as I was leaving, and they had a ton of recruiters hanging out. One of them started a conversation and I ended up talking to them instead. He took my resume and gave me an interview on the spot, which was a big deal for me because I had never really had much luck with career fairs, because it’s kind of an anxious environment. Everyone is competing with each other. The GM Booth was very friendly and super-relaxed.

The interview process:

I got an interview the day after the career fair on campus at our career center. That one was just a get-to-know-me, and a few weeks later, I got an onsite interview invitation. So I flew out to Detroit and the interview was great. They let us drive a bunch of cars, it was really fun.

Accepting the job:

A few weeks later, I got the job offer. GM gave me two weeks to respond. I accepted at the end of that period because I was a little unsure, since it was a little of a weird move for me because I was never expecting to move to Michigan or to work on cars.

Having a job at the beginning of senior year:

To be honest, it was a little weird. I know a lot of people who got hired right away were super-relaxed throughout the school year. But I actually faced a lot of non-acceptance from my mom and a lot of my closer friends. My mom didn’t like the idea of moving me to Detroit. She wanted me to move to some big tech city like Seattle or San Francisco. So it didn’t really feel that positive right away. A lot of my friends were moving to big tech cities like that. So I felt super out of place when people asked, “Where are you going after graduation?” And I would say, “Michigan.” The first response was usually like, “oh, it’s so cold,” or, “why are you going there?” In my head, I felt comfortable with the decision, and I thought it was a good company to work for, but I didn’t feel that good for a lot of it, too.

Coming to terms with other people’s expectations:

Eventually, people started accepting it. But it took a good part of the year for me to feel like I was making the right choice. I think my mom eventually got comfortable with it when I explained to her the program I’m getting into. And now that I’m here, I share with her the stories of other people that are working with me, and she’s starting to see you can be successful here. It doesn’t have to be a big city. But it really took until I moved here and started to have that closure because I felt like I’m actually working on cool stuff.

Finding a place:

My roommate started at GM in July and also graduated from Virginia Tech. We came here right before his start date, and then we just looked around. His mom had done a lot of research on neighborhoods and where to live. So we just kind of went from there, found a few places to check out, and signed. I live in Sterling Heights, like 10 miles from the city. Our place is really close to where I work, really just a 10 minute drive every morning. Our combined rent is $1,550, so $775 each for a townhouse with a lot of space. It’s way more space than we need.

Moving in:

The moving process was super nice. GM gave me a pretty big sum for relocation expenses. They also paid directly for the shipment of my car here, and for me to rent a moving truck. And I think if I had asked for movers, they would have given them to me as well. But there was like a self-drive reward, that was $300 or $400, so since I drove myself, I got that. The relocation money came later in our paycheck, and I wanted that bonus right away.

Detroit:

Growing up, I had always heard Detroit’s really scary and dangerous. So I always had this impression that it’s not a good place for a young professional to live. But I moved here and it’s actually a really up-and-coming area. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by all the fun community events that I’ve been going to.

What she’s paid:

I definitely make enough money. I have more money than I need, and for my lifestyle, I don’t really spend much. Most of my spending money ends up being for flights home. I fly home to see my mom every so often, stuff like that. But otherwise, I’ve just been saving a lot because I don’t really need to spend that much right now.

The company culture:

I like the company culture a lot. There’s a lot of social events for the rotation people. So it’s pretty comfortable when we transition into a job. The thing I was most scared of, moving here, was not meeting friends. But it’s been really easy and my older coworkers are all super-friendly. The people that I’m working with matter because even if I get my dream job, at GM or elsewhere, if you’re working with people you don’t like, it’s no fun.

Her relationship with her boss:

I don’t really see my direct manager often because he’s in charge of like 18 people. He’s not the type to sit down and talk, so a lot of our conversations have been maybe three sentences. He also doesn’t email very much. So he’s kind of hard to communicate with, but he’s a nice person. But there’s also my team leader, who’s technically the same level as me, but he’s really the person in charge of planning what everyone’s doing within our trailering app. My relationship with him is pretty relaxed. I feel comfortable asking him whatever I need or letting him know if I need help. He doesn’t usually directly answer because he’s also pretty busy, but he’ll point me in the right direction. He’s also the one I’ll ask if I need to take a sick day or if I’m going away on vacation.

If she wants to stay at GM after her rotational program:

I think so. It’s kind of hard for me to say since it really depends on if I find a role that I feel like, yes, this is for me because that’s a hard decision to make.

The hardest part of her job:

I hadn’t coded much before this job. So the first few months were pretty rough. I was spending a lot of time at and outside of work taking free online computer science courses, just trying to learn everything as fast as possible. Getting to the point where I could work on something independently took a whole two and a half, three months. That transition was a little hard, just because there’s so much to learn, and it was kind of hard to figure out where to start.

Her favorite part of the job:

Vehicle testing. I feel kind of disconnected when I’m sitting at my desk coding, especially because I never owned a truck or had the need to tow something. Sometimes it’s hard for me to visualize. It’s really cool when I get to sit in a truck and see it working and make that connection.

GM discounts:

There’s an employee discount, and then there’s also a performance-based discount. Every year, we do a performance evaluation and then there’s a numerical translation of how well you’re doing into some sum of money. That’s on top of our standard employee discount. I think it’s different for every car. Certain models are cheaper than others for us.

Her extracurriculars then and now:

I’ve been really involved in this minority engineering organization, the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE). That’s a big reason I feel I’m prepared for a lot of the work-life stuff. The goal is educating Asian students, so I know the value of leadership, because a lot of Asians are very underrepresented in leadership roles.

Her long-term plans:

I definitely see myself doing a technical engineering role in the future. I know a lot of people end up in management, but I definitely don’t want to go that route.

Advice to her younger self:

Don’t limit yourself. I think I spent a lot of time in my job search in college saying no before I even applied. In my application process, I wouldn’t apply to certain companies because I thought they wouldn’t take me. But that’s going into it with a negative attitude. You’ll never know if you don’t apply to it, right? Go in more open-minded and really look for opportunities instead of waiting for them to come to you.

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