Best Places to Work in Delaware in 2013: Advice for Young Grads

Guidance for recent graduates with regards to finding the right job.



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Internships will expose University of Delaware sophomore Courtney Wing to a range of work environments. During those internships, she’ll learn what to look for in her first job as a dietitian. She’ll succeed if her employers recognize her specific contributions and put her passions to work. It’s a two-way street—she learned that at age 15, when she was hired to straighten racks at the Bridal & Tuxedo Shoppe in Newark. Wing loved helping clients. The owners soon took note, then trained and promoted her to bridal consultant. “They put a lot of trust in me and took a chance,” Wing says, “and that felt great.”

Wing is typical of her peers in putting a premium on environments that nurture growth and development, according to the 2013 ConnectEDU’s Best Places to Work for Recent Grads. Lucky for Wing and her cohort, 96 percent of companies on the list include growth and development opportunities in their recruitment and retention strategy. 

The growth opportunities at a software leader like SAP America attracts all kinds of people, and makes it a great place for young employees at the beginning of their careers, says Patricia Pettinati, its human resources director. Being at the forefront means working at a fast pace, she says, so SAP looks for people who can figure things out on the fly and adapt to change easily. The younger generation especially likes that environment. The company does a lot to attract them, from targeted branding to attractive electronic employee networking. Its workplace processes like “coffee corners” allows senior leadership to hear ideas from employees in casual settings. Leaders wisely capture fresh ideas and ignite young staffers’ ambitions and energy.

The biggest thing SAP can do, Pettinati says, is listen, understand and facilitate success: “They have no fear. They want to roll up their sleeves and jump in. They want to learn. They want a voice. They want recognition.”

John Gardener agrees. And the 25-year old has a great story to illustrate that at W.L. Gore & Associates. When he was new to the company, he was involved in testing a product application. He was successful and liked it well enough. But he wanted to get into the creative side of the business and told his sponsor. Within months, she came back with an invitation to join an early prototyping project. “It was exactly what I asked for and they made it happen,” says Gardener.

Great places to work, like Gore, which perennially makes it onto CNN Money’s Top 100 Places to Work, spend a lot of time perfecting their hiring process to recruit the best candidates. Managers know what they’re looking for, says Mary Tilley, global leader of human resources. “We look for people who are flexible—not concerned with titles—are self-motivated, and get the job done.” 

There are several great companies for recent grads to consider in Delaware, according to ConnectEDU’s top 25 list. Allstate values diversity and wellness, and offers development and well-being programs. It also boasts a culture that encourages all employees to bring their “whole selves” to work. Accenture provides a dynamic, supportive environment for young employees to develop professionally and in their personal lives, and is committed to creating a more sustainable world both socially and environmentally. AT&T focuses on equipping employees to be successful, with instructor-led classes, self-paced e-learning, and web conferences. Capital One Financial Corp. has competitive compensation and benefits packages, paid time off, and career development and training. Verizon Communications Inc. offers flexible work arrangements and a “portfolio of total rewards,” including a “best-in-class” 401(k), tuition assistance, maternity leave and an employee discount program.

So what can millennials do to improve their chances of scoring a position in a great workplace? Start with the obvious: Embrace networking and get relevant experience through internships. Become a volunteer. Join campus clubs, says Robin Marks, associate director at the University of Delaware’s Career Services Office.

But the first step is to know yourself. Finding a great place to work is ultimately about the right fit. That’s why UD’s career counseling starts with taking an honest look at a student’s interests, skills, personality and values, then comparing them to the jobs he or she is interested in. 

“If you target a career with a rigorous schedule but you really value work-life balance, you have to choose which is more important,” says Marks. 

Don’t miss any opportunity to learn, says Milbrey Hendrix, a grad student in Boston who grew up in Greenville. “A lot of college students view their part-time jobs as little more than a way to earn a few bucks,” she says—at least that’s how she saw it when she first became a bartender. But Hendrix soon concluded that she was learning skills that would help her in her future career as a nurse practitioner—and in life.

May agrees. “Looking back,” he says, “there were managers I thought were talking down to me. Now I see they were trying to teach me something.”

» Click here, for more from the Novemeber issue. 
» Click here to return to the Best Places to Work homepage. 

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February 2018

This community-curated exhibition brings together three painters—Alan Soffer, Brian Dickerson, and Moe Brooker—who are attuned to harmonies and contrasts in abstract forms. Each artist...

Cost: Free with Museum admission

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
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The area’s largest sale of gently used books has been scheduled by the Wilmington branch of the American Association of University Women. The 49th annual Dollars for Scholars Used Book Sale, to...

Cost: free

Where:
Concord Mall
4737 Concord Pike
North Wilmington, DE  19803
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Sponsor: American Association of University Women
Telephone: 302-428-0939

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Cost: Varies

Where:
Delaware Theatre Company
200 Water Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Cost: $29 online, $35 door

Where:
Crooked Hammock Brewery
36707 Crooked Hammock Way
Lewes, DE  19958
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Sponsor: Crooked Hammock Brewery
Telephone: 302-644-7837
Contact Name: Jon Schorah
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Cost: Free

Where:
Loudis Recital Hall
110 Orchard Rd
Newark, DE  19716
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Sponsor: University of Delaware Department of Music
Telephone: 130-283-12578
Contact Name: Megan Everhart
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Cost: Free

Where:
2nd and 3rd Streets
Wilmington, DE  19801


Sponsor: Notbybreadalone Outreach Ministries
Telephone: 442-0440
Contact Name: Ministers Wayne and Stephanie Dumpson
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Cost: Call for cost.

Where:
Nanticoke Memorial Hospital
801 Middleford Road
Seaford, DE  19973
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Telephone: 302-629-6611 x2288
Contact Name: Nanticoke's Diabetes Education Department
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Cost: $15 adults; $10 UD faculty/staff/alumni & seniors; $5 students

Where:
Gore Recital Hall
110 Orchard Rd
Newark, DE  19716
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Sponsor: University of Delaware Department of Music
Telephone: 130-283-12578
Contact Name: Megan Everhart
Website »

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This community-curated exhibition brings together three painters—Alan Soffer, Brian Dickerson, and Moe Brooker—who are attuned to harmonies and contrasts in abstract forms. Each artist...

Cost: Free with Museum admission

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: FREE

Where:
Faith Victory Christian Center
301 Commonwealth Avenue
Claymont, DE  19703
View map »


Sponsor: Faith Victory Christian Center
Telephone: 302.354.6726
Contact Name: Alvin Walker
Website »

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Clearing the mind and learning to think not thinking is Zen awareness. Taking the appropriate action in this moment is Zen. Once you know this in your body, walking, standing, sitting down,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Newark
420 Willa Road
Newark, DE  19711
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Sponsor: UUFN
Telephone: 302.368.2984
Contact Name: Richard Field
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An ensemble of five dynamic and brilliant players in their own right, Christiana Winds explores the exciting and unique tradition of wind chamber music from the 18th century to the present. In...

Cost: $15 adults; $10 UD faculty/staff/alumni & seniors; $5 students

Where:
Gore Recital Hall
110 Orchard Rd
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Department of Music
Telephone: 130-283-12578
Contact Name: Megan Everhart
Website »

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This community-curated exhibition brings together three painters—Alan Soffer, Brian Dickerson, and Moe Brooker—who are attuned to harmonies and contrasts in abstract forms. Each artist...

Cost: Free with Museum admission

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

Francesca Russello Ammon will explore the decades following World War II when rapid growth and construction in the United States coincided with a time of large-scale destruction. This author talk...

Cost: Free

Where:
Hagley Museum Soda House
298 Buck Road
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Hagley Museum and Library
Telephone: 302-658-2400
Contact Name: Carol Lockman
Website »

More information

Francesca Russello Ammon will explore the decades following World War II when rapid growth and construction in the United States coincided with a time of large-scale destruction. This author talk...

Cost: Free

Where:
Hagley Museum Soda House
298 Buck Road
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-658-2400
Contact Name: Carol Lockman
Website »

More information

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Cokesbury Village White Elephant Sale March 2nd & 3rd, 2018 Furniture, clothing, jewelry, china, kitchenware, tools, appliances, pictures and picture frames, luggage, lamps, and books.

Cost: Free

Where:
Cokesbury Village
726 Loveville Rd
Hockessin, DE  19707
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Sponsor: Cokesbury Village Residents Association
Telephone: 302-235-8578
Contact Name: John Prince

More information

This community-curated exhibition brings together three painters—Alan Soffer, Brian Dickerson, and Moe Brooker—who are attuned to harmonies and contrasts in abstract forms. Each artist...

Cost: Free with Museum admission

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: Free to Members, $5 per child and one adult free for Non-Members

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »

More information

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Cost: $12 Members, $14 Non-Members

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
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Cost: Free and open to the public

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Delaware Center for Horticulture
1810 N. Dupont Street
Wilmington, DE  19806
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Sponsor: Art Loop Wilmington
Telephone: (302) 658-6262
Contact Name: Marcia Stephenson
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Cost: Free. Voluntary donations.

Where:
Aldersgate United Methodist Church
2301 Concord Pike
Wilmington, DE  19803
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Sponsor: Aldersgate Youth Players
Telephone: 302-478-2575
Contact Name: Church office staff
Website »

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Cost: 0.00

Where:
Bayhealth Kent General Hospital
640 S. State Street
Private Dining Room #3
Dover, DE  19901
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Telephone: 800-855-2CALLGA
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The Ruby Stanley One-Act Festival is a Drama League tradition.  Join us for a fun evening of one-act plays, and vote for your favorite to represent us at the regional festival.  Performances are...

Cost: $10.00

Where:
Wilmington Drama League
10 West Lea Blvd.
Wilmington, DE  19802
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Sponsor: Wilmington Drama League
Telephone: 302-764-1172
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Cokesbury Village White Elephant Sale March 2nd & 3rd, 2018 Furniture, clothing, jewelry, china, kitchenware, tools, appliances, pictures and picture frames, luggage, lamps, and books.

Cost: Free

Where:
Cokesbury Village
726 Loveville Rd
Hockessin, DE  19707
View map »


Sponsor: Cokesbury Village Residents Association
Telephone: 302-235-8578
Contact Name: John Prince

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Build a model ship at home and enter it into our home-build contest! Build your ship at the Copelane Maritime Center using our STEM-based design plans! Free-play area for all ages, plus many...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kalmar Nyckel Foundation
1124 E. 7th Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
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More information

This community-curated exhibition brings together three painters—Alan Soffer, Brian Dickerson, and Moe Brooker—who are attuned to harmonies and contrasts in abstract forms. Each artist...

Cost: Free with Museum admission

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

Based on the Dreamworks animated film, the adventures and antics of NYC zoo animals who escape and end up in Madagascar. Enjoy this rollicking youth musical.  Friday March 2nd at 7:00 p.m.,...

Cost: Free. Voluntary donations.

Where:
Aldersgate United Methodist Church
2301 Concord Pike
Wilmington, DE  19803
View map »


Sponsor: Aldersgate Youth Players
Telephone: 302-478-2575
Contact Name: Church office staff
Website »

More information

The Ruby Stanley One-Act Festival is a Drama League tradition.  Join us for a fun evening of one-act plays, and vote for your favorite to represent us at the regional festival.  Performances are...

Cost: $10.00

Where:
Wilmington Drama League
10 West Lea Blvd.
Wilmington, DE  19802
View map »


Sponsor: Wilmington Drama League
Telephone: 302-764-1172
Website »

More information

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Show Less...
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