Since 2008, Underground Elephant (UE) has matured into one of the San Diego Business Journals Best Places to Work, and one of San Diego’s fastest growing private companies. From its modest beginnings in Mission Valley with only a few employees to a flourishing business with nearly 100 employees, cultivating talent has been essential to the success of UE. A good example is Amy Zebrowski, PHR, who started out as an HR Generalist in 2014 and now manages all HR and recruitment initiatives as UE’s Human Resource Business Partner.
Recently, Amy was featured in an article by the San Diego Business Journal regarding what local companies are doing to create a work environment that attracts talented people and what gets them to stay. Amy highlighted the fast-paced and lively atmosphere, the opportunities for professional development, and the UE Forum Program as some of the many ways to keep people happy in the workplace. We sat down to discuss her career goals after college, and her experience working at UE.
Q: I understand you graduated from the University of San Diego in 2012 with a degree in Communications- what were your career goals coming out of school?
Amy: I started in HR while I was attending USD and working part-time at SeaWorld. Initially, I was brought on board to help hire employees for the busy summer season. While this was supposed to be a temporary assignment, I continued in my HR role at SeaWorld through the remainder of my time at USD. I really enjoyed helping people find jobs and setting them up for success as new employees. After graduating, my ultimate goal was to integrate my experience in HR and my academic background in communications, and to join a marketing agency as a Human Resource specialist.
Q: How did you get started at UE?
Amy: I got an interview at UE because I reached out to the Director of Operations on LinkedIn to express my desire to be part of the organization. Rather than just submitting an application online, I went the extra step to make a personal connection.
Q: What are some future projects that are you excited about?
Amy: One project that I’m working on now is building out a more formalized internship program at UE. Ask almost anyone at our company about their experience working here and most of them will tell you that you will learn more in six months at Underground Elephant than you will in two years in any other job. We recognize this as a unique benefit of working at UE, and want to expand this learning environment to benefit the external community as well in the form of internship opportunities.
Q: What advice do you have for people looking to starting their careers?
Amy: I cannot stress enough how important it is to build your own professional network. Our employees are one of the best resources we have for finding talent, because they know what it takes to be successful at the company. My advice is to take advantage of networking opportunities both in and after college, because you never how your connections may be able to help you achieve your professional goals now or in the future.
To learn more about Amy and her career path, head over to her LinkedIn profile here.