I live on a tropical island called Puerto Rico. Have you heard of it? Beautiful beaches, festive music and summer weather year round; a place anyone would want to be. However, I left to work for a small consulting firm in Cincinnati, not once but twice. Crazy, right? Not to me.

Whether you work in a tropical climate or elsewhere, do you have the opportunity to create success for your company or are you just filling a position?

At AMEND, I get to do work that actually matters. During my first experience with AMEND I flew from Puerto Rico to Oklahoma. I know it sounds crazy, but it was the best decision I have ever made. There, I worked with the client that generated the most revenue for AMEND at the time. I, a young Puerto Rican who had never been more than two weeks in the continental USA, was trusted to act as the interim process engineer of our company’s largest client. Talk about nerve wracking!

I led trials to reduce high defect rates, analyzed data to determine optimal machine speeds, created metrics to improve downtime, monitored rejection rates and measured team project progress. I was responsible for project deadlines and was trusted to ensure repeat business with the client. If you were to tell me I was going to do all of that within four months I would not have believed you. Should I mention that this was my first internship ever?

At the end of my rotation, I flew back to Puerto Rico to continue my industrial engineering degree. That year, I applied to several Fortune 10 companies from which I received 3 offers. I accepted one, but returned to my AMEND roots soon after. Why? At AMEND, you come to work feeling like what you do matters, because it actually does. Every single one of us adds value to this organization. Sure, a larger company may have some unique benefits (depending on what your definition of “better” is), but most of those benefits get old, really quickly. You want more. You want excitement, you want possibilities and you want to feel that you are making a contribution. You want to work where there is room for creativity, innovation and spontaneity.

You may not know it, but you also want to work with people who care about you.

One of the most important reasons I came back was that AMEND really believes in work-life balance. Working at a larger company, my evaluations were about my projects and what I was able to accomplish. At AMEND our evaluation is an IDP (Individual Development Plan) discussion. We touch base on projects for a couple of minutes, but the main discussion is about my overall well-being. The question that persisted was: “How can AMEND help you?” Instead of overlooking this (where larger companies never even asked the question), AMEND asks me how I am really doing on a physical, mental, spiritual and social level. AMEND cares enough to really help you accomplish that work-life balance.

You tell me whether working in an environment where you are constantly challenged but are also taken care of is where you want to be. I am sure that it’s exactly where I want to be – and no beach or palm tree has been able to prove me otherwise.