“The meeting will take place in Mervyn‘s”. “I’ll meet you outside of Dillard’s”. “There’s free food by JC Penney.” Phrases like these are heard several times each day at The Castle in San Antonio, and many people have no idea where those places are. The reason for not knowing where these places are? Most of us never came here when this place was actually a mall. More to the point, the majority of Rackers aren’t from San Antonio.
Although we like to have “homegrown talent” from San Antonio, Rackspace continues to hire from outside of the city, state, and even the country. What is it about Rackspace that draws talent from around the globe to San Antonio? I wanted to find out what caused so many people to pack up and make the move to “Military Town, USA”. The easiest way to start this process was to write from personal experience because my wife and I are part of the large group of non-local talent to make the move.
It’s a tale as old as time. Boy graduates from college and gets his ideal job as a high school English teacher in his hometown. Boy meets girl and gets married. Boy loses job because of cuts to education across the state and has no prospects for a new job because no schools are hiring.
At that point I was very worried about what I would do. Luckily, a family member had been talking to my wife about a company called Rackspace that was hiring. We started doing some research on the company and were big fans of their Core values and what they seemed to be all about. We thought it was awesome that a company was all about treating employees like friends and family and being transparent. I’ve heard of companies that aren’t always open about what’s going on with their business, so this was a very nice surprise. The thought of a company that was open about things, both positive and negative, was incredibly enticing.
The other part that initially sparked my interest was Rack Gives Back. Being a teacher, I loved working with students and helping people out. When I found out that Rackspace had adopted a school district and regularly donated time and money to worthy causes, I was truly excited. I wanted to be a part of a company that excelled in business and used that to help the community around them.
And if that wasn’t enough, then we got to see The Castle. When I heard that Rackspace bought a mall as their headquarters, I didn’t believe it. There was no way that one company would use more than a million square feet. Then I came to San Antonio and saw it for myself. Wow! Walking in and seeing the sheer magnitude of the building was incredible. Then, seeing the pictures of what the building used to be and how much work went in to changing the mall to an office building was amazing. To then hear that this building had been used basically as a control center and housing during Hurricane Katrina further showed the commitment to helping others.
As we were touring the building, we talked to my wife’s uncle about how he felt about the company to get an employee’s perspective. He told us about the outings, the parties, events and how much fun it was to work at Rackspace. He also showed us the soda machines, onsite chiropractor, and the flags over people’s desks. Then he showed us where leadership sat; I couldn’t believe that they had desks just like everyone else. He explained that leadership was just like every other Racker and didn’t want an office secluded from the company. He said how great the company was, and that even though there were times where things were strenuous, it was worth it because of how much he believed in the company.
At that point my wife and I knew that this would be a great place to work. We both went through the interview process and were hired into the company. That’s when I really felt the Rackspace love. I received several emails from my team members the day I was hired. Not long after, we received a gift basket from Rackspace with some San Antonio favorites such as BBQ sauce from Rudy’s. The best thing in the basket was a flash drive with a message from Lanham Napier, the CEO, welcoming us to the company and giving us his contact information. I know that he filmed that as a general message and that all Rackers likely get them, but it was the fact that the CEO was welcoming us into the Rackspace family. It truly made us feel wanted, appreciated, and welcomed.
Since moving to San Antonio, we’ve acclimated ourselves pretty well. We love the fact that things in San Antonio are so spread out; despite it being the seventh most populated city in the US, residents can still have the small town feel. Everything we need is within a three-mile drive. That being said, if we want the big city feel we can go down town. There are so many concerts, attractions, and events that there is always something to do here.
As for work, I’m an account manager in the ever-changing Cloud. I have triumphed over the dragon migrations (inside joke) and welcome the next step into the Open Cloud. I also have two shows on K-RACK, our internal Racker radio station. My wife is a network security technical recruiter and has received a ton of praise from her hiring managers. We are also both bloggers for Racker Talent and are enjoying what we do. It’s been incredibly easy to get involved in so many different things at Rackspace. For us, the move to San Antonio was the right one.
Category: Uncategorized Tags: Castle, Relocating, San Antonio