Why I Work at Penrod - Nickolas

November 16th, 2017 • 4 min read

Nickolas Engstrand // Business Development Representative


I work at Penrod as a Business Development Representative. Penrod was one of my first jobs out of college.

If you're straight out of college and thinking about where you want to work, you have some decisions to make about the kind of company you want to be a part of. You might be thinking about a big company, or a small company, or the type of culture that’s important to you. I know I was.

After graduating college, I had no knowledge about startups and I was lucky enough to be guided to Penrod. The opportunity to work for this startup has been amazing.

I can honestly say that I've learned and grown more as an individual working at Penrod than during much of my educational career. Not to put a damper on education, as that is something that opens doors to some individuals and is a step in the right direction for bettering yourself.

However, it's amazing to see how a company works from all these different aspects, in particular the people you get to work with and the part you get to play.

The People You Get To Work With

There’s a quote from Jack Ma, the CEO of Alibaba, in this video that has stuck with me. He said, “In a larger company you learn a process, you're part of a machine... but when you go [to] a small company you learn passion, you learn the dream."

Personally, here at Penrod I see the dream. I see the drive and compassion of my coworkers all the time. That might mean putting in extra time to get the job done, studying and learning together, or brainstorming and bringing their individual talents to the table. People at Penrod go above and beyond (and outside of their job description) to set the company up for success.

You find some of the brightest and most innovative minds at a startup. In my experience, when you work for a startup, no process or way of doing things is ever fully finalized.

The people that make up startups think outside the box, rework solutions, find new and better ways of doing business. Penrod’s founders promote this way of thinking and help encourage ideas that move us forward. Working at a startup means you are constantly growing, learning, and figuring out what works best.

We don’t take ourselves too seriously, though. Employees are encouraged to express themselves without fear. You’re able to share your personality and passions with your teammates. Whether it's an external passion outside of the company or something directly related to your job, there is room to be yourself.

Many of the people I work with bring humor and optimism to the workplace every day. I’d describe the atmosphere as a home away from home and I truly think that contributes to why people love coming to work.

I would not be where I am professionally if it were not for the experience of working at Penrod.

Nickolas Engstrand

The Part You Get To Play

At Penrod, we make sure to congratulate and celebrate each other on our accomplishments (big or small). The sense of purpose and positivity that celebrating individual and team accomplishments helps motivate you and gives you the feeling of purpose and understanding that the positivity you're receiving from others cheering you on is to help push themselves to be better.

When you work at Penrod, you have the opportunity to play a role in the growth of the company and the growth of your own career. I’ve learned to be resourceful, to perfect skills, and to find purpose. I think that knowing and understanding your purpose is a huge motivator and helps drive the company. It's clear that success comes from everyone working together as a team.

I would not be where I am professionally if it were not for the experience of working at Penrod.

I write this article in response to why Penrod is one of the greatest startups in the Midwest and to thank my CEO, Joseph Taylor, and my COO, Chris Widmayer for giving me a chance. Also to thank each individual person at Penrod for being a second family.

That is why I work at Penrod.


Director’s Commentary

What is your favorite Penrod event, and why?

The Yearly Kick-Off event. It's a celebration of the whole work year at Penrod and all the offices come together. I love getting to see everyone!

What is your favorite snack in the pantry?

My favorite snack would have to be the breakfast sandwiches.

What advice do you have for anyone who wants to work at Penrod? 

My advice for anyone that wants to work at Penrod would be to begin to learn about Salesforce and understand what our culture is about.