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In 2011, I joined Company ABC as a business development manager. A mining company, this experience gave me the opportunity to expand my knowledge and experiences beyond the realm of marketing. I enjoyed my work there greatly and learned a lot about both the mining and energy industries. In 2012, Company ABC transferred me to a sister company that was solely focused on coal mining. I accepted the transfer happily as I believed it would continue to offer opportunities to grow within the industry.
Additionally, the vast amount of resources and compensation from the company allowed me to engage in higher-level business with larger corporations. My primary responsibility at this time was to secure strategic partnerships and financial resources as a means of expanding our research and development programs and expanding our coal mining operations. I was also tasked with researching alternative renewable energy sources to more wholly develop the company’s projects.
I enjoyed a great deal of success at this time and, more importantly, able to save a great deal of money in preparation for my MBA. Despite the growth the company saw at this time and my own personal gains, I was faced with a very difficult decision. Often my superiors would encourage me to engage in unethical business practices to secure partnerships and contracts that were more lucrative. This included bribery, unethical consideration, or the giving of gifts to persuade clients and associates.
While the prospect of personal financial gain was very tempting to me, I knew that if I followed my superiors’ directives I could never be truly proud of my work. Against the advice of co-workers and family alike, I chose not to follow a path that would make me ashamed or guilty about my work. I decided to leave the company shortly after this problem arose choosing instead to follow a path I could be proud of. Shortly after leaving, I joined Company XYZ.
While the opportunity for growth within the company and the amount of compensation is much less, I know that the quality and proper nature of the work is much more fulfilling in the end. While I reflect on my time with Company ABC and their sister company, I have fond memories and will be grateful for the opportunity and amount of learning I enjoyed in such a short period. However, that experience also taught me there is no amount of money that can cover up a lack of pride in your work.