With hundreds of Parchment members from across the country attending Parchment’s user conference, Parchment Connect National, there are many opportunities to get inspired and learn how to make your dreams a reality.
This isn’t just something we say. It is actually happening! As in the case of Loma Linda University. Their VP for Enrollment Management and Student Services, Dr. Rick Williams attended the conference in 2014 in Denver. As part of the program, Dr. Rodney Parks from Elon University had just finished developed his first iteration of Elon’s Experiences Transcript.
Dr. Parks discussed how Elon went about creating their Experiences Transcript, including how the information is collected, verified, and stored within their SIS. He covered the factors that went into the design of the new transcript as well as their choices on how they would distribute it to their students. All of these details got Dr. Williams thinking about how they could develop and an experiences, or co-curricular, transcript at Loma Linda.
He went back to campus and immediately started making the connections needed to create a distributed verification workflow across campus. They worked with a developer to create an easy to use interface to manage the process. Then designed their experiences transcript and started distributing to their students. Within 18 months from hearing about the idea, Loma Linda had a brand new credential type that is helping their students represent a host of service, research, and leadership activities that were previously obscure.
In 2016, Dr. Williams and his team returned to present their work at the Parchment Connect National held in Washington, D.C.
With so much activity and interest around the innovation of credentials, the opportunity to attend Parchment Connect National is a great way to connect with peers and innovators from across the country. Meet the people who are actually doing the projects that you are interested in. Talk to them about the challenges they’ve faced, and the rewards they’ve reaped.
If you have been doing a project – no matter what stage you are in – share your story! So many people are just getting started and need your insight and expertise as they decide how to improve their office and help their students. The insights you can impart cannot be overstated.
We hope to see you at Parchment Connect 2018! You never know what inspiration you will find.
A new year means new beginnings and resolutions to keep. If yours includes looking for a new job, it’s time to give Parchment a look.
Founded over 14 years ago, venture-backed, and growing fast, Parchment’s mission is to turn credentials into opportunities for those who earn them. More than 160 employees—or “Parchies,” as we call ourselves—are working hard to make good on this promise daily, and we’re looking for more to join our team. It’s challenging but rewarding work: we partner with thousands of schools and serve million of students, and we’ve delivered over 20 million digital credentials so far.
But we’re also just getting started, which is why we’re hiring talented staff in several key areas. What it would be like to work here? We asked a number of current employees to weigh in and they identified four attributes that makes life as a Parchie interesting.
- Parchies work hard and play hard
Of all the words Parchies use to describe the company, none come up more often than fun. Whether it’s salsa dancing and piñatas for Cinco de Mayo, or taking a break to challenge a co-worker to a game of Mario Kart, or finding a creative and fun way to do the job, Parchment’s leaders understand and support the need to de-stress after long hours and difficult deadlines. Keeping the workplace fun achieves that.
“The people is where the fun starts. The leaders I have met challenge you in a light hearted way and make sure that you see the fun that can be had [in work], even when we are focusing on something that not everyone considers a sexy product … digital credentials,” says one Parchie who works in digital marketing.
- Parchment is breaking new ground
Others consider it important to be working on technology that’s not only important to our most treasured institutions—schools and universities—but which also is transforming how learners get value from the credentials they spend tens of thousands of dollars to obtain. Think of the recent political science graduate whose groundbreaking research into campaign finance would qualify her for much more than an internship on K Street in Washington, D/C. A digital co-curricular transcript could more accurately communicate her expertise in a secure and shareable way. The promise of bringing this sort of breakthrough to market gets Parchies excited.
“Look for a company that has a history of solid growth and is innovating its market in a way that no other company has done. Look for a place where you feel like you are building something, as opposed to pulling a lever every day in order to earn a paycheck. We’re fortunate to have that here,” says a Parchie who serves a number of large accounts as a program manager for the southeast U.S.
- Parchies are encouraged to take risks and learn from failure
Innovation is neither cheap nor easy, and you can’t get it without breaking a few eggs. Parchment leadership understands this and has created a culture that values and rewards experimentation. Teams are always seeking to break new ground as a result, sharing progress, results, and even missteps at the Every Other Tuesday all-company meeting.
“We’re allowed to push the envelope of our creativity, realizing that when we fail—because we all will at one point—we will at least fail together and have a good laugh. Nothing is better than knowing the risk you take that doesn’t pay off will be something everyone gets a laugh at … and we’ve learned something for our next try,” says the digital marketing specialist.
- Parchies laugh a lot
There are different types of “fun” work environments. Some stress work that’s fun in the sense that it’s never boring. Others stress fun in terms of games and company events. At Parchment, we work not only to make the lives of learners better, but we also strive to make our co-workers laugh. Because a staff that can laugh together can thrive, even when the stress of deadlines looms.
“It is okay to laugh, and loudly if that is your style. We can have a sense of humor and enjoy each other’s company. We laugh at YouTube videos that poke fun at our roles and memes can spread like wildfire throughout our internal memos. A spark of friendly competition on who can send the funniest email will have the team rolling. We are able to enjoy this environment, because at the same time, we all have each other’s back and know that while we are laughing, we are also working hard,” says an associate project manager who joined Parchment just under a year ago.
A business for the long run
Work hard, play hard. Innovate. Take risks and learn from failure. Laugh as loud as you want. These are the characteristics that define Parchies who, together, are working to make digital credentials a reality. It’s an important job. Credentials communicate expertise, and expertise leads to opportunity. Thus, when we make credentials digital and securely shareable, we help learners turn their expertise into real, verifiable economic opportunity. To us, that’s more than a good business—it’s a noble cause. Won’t you join us?
Every startup has the audacious goal to try and build something from nothing. At Parchment, we’re working from the ground up to change how the world values credentials, and we still find time to have fun.
“We’re a startup environment with a fun and engaging culture. We work hard and we play hard, as a team” says Gina Heller, Parchment Director of Human Resources. “We’re also a company that values technology, original thinkers, open communication and a great reputation in the marketplace.”
As of today, there are more than 150 employees — or Parchies, as we call ourselves — working to help transform transcripts, diplomas, certificates and other credentials into opportunities for the learners who collect them.
An Unprecedented Opportunity
We’ve made huge progress so far. Since our founding, institutions and learners have digitally exchanged more than 20 million transcripts and other credentials.
We expect that number to increase exponentially once every credential is made available digitally, as machine-readable data. And when we say every credential, we really mean every credential — from university transcripts and diplomas, to professional certifications, to online courses. Anything that expresses an earned skill should be made available in a portfolio so that learners can share what they know and how well they know it with employers and on social networks.
At Parchment, we provide this opportunity to learners and enabling technology to institutions, so they can confidently and securely issue digital credentials to the learners who earn them.
We think that’s a wonderful selling proposition, but we also have a long way to go to get everyone on board. Today Parchment reaches 25 percent of high school enrollments and 17 percent of postsecondary enrollments in the US to help learners collect, store and share their credentials. Hiring the right people is key to reaching more learners and institutions.
“We’re trying to create a culture where people are motivated by, and feel a fiduciary responsibility to, the impact we have [as a company],” says CEO Matthew Pittinsky. “We’re impacting people’s ability to translate education into opportunities.”
A Gathering of Mensches
Working at Parchment requires passion, drive and commitment. To be a Parchie means not only being start-up minded but also being willing to invest your time and talent to scale the world’s first digital credential service, and reach billions of lifelong learners in the process. To willingly accept an assignment of this magnitude is to be what Pittinsky calls a mensch — Yiddish for “people with integrity and honor”.
Of course, those who take on big challenges deserve big benefits. At Parchment:
- Every Friday we bring lunch in and dine together.
- We work hard, and we play hard. Our Culture Club plans themed events each quarter.
- We believe in a positive work environment and recognize each other in a job well done. In our EOT “Every Other Tuesday” all-hands company meeting, we share the FTGAPI, where employees recognize one another in the “Find the Good and Praise it.”
- We care about our Parchies and how they feel about their career, their role, and the company. Each quarter, we present the 5-5-4 survey where we ask five questions of each employee, five questions of each manager, four times per year to collect feedback. This allows us to make Parchment the best place to work.
- We love creative original thinkers. Our CEO has a literal open door policy. Want to run an idea by Matthew? He wants to hear from you.
- We have a supportive culture that not only seeks diverse ideas but also embraces them. For example, an internal group of female employees dubbed “ParchSHE” meets regulary to empower women to be architects of change at Parchment and beyond.
Want to join the Parchment family? To find out more about Parchment, and for a complete list of open positions, check the Careers page at Parchment.com.