Astero StarFish

Employees Share 9 Surprises About Working in StarFish

working in StarFishStarting a new job can be risky. Interviews reflect everyone on their best behavior. What will it really be like a few months down the line? StarFish is full of company culture. While preparing our January issue on medtech careers and recruiting, our employees shared their biggest surprises about working at StarFish Medical.

Here are the top 9 surprises our employees noticed when they started working in StarFish.

Thoroughness. There’s a huge number of things that need to be done in a medical device development company. Most organizations shortcut something. Many things get pushed off, ignored and then fall off the table altogether. But StarFish seems to be really good at knowing what needs to be done and making sure all of it is on the list and doesn’t get dropped.

People are open to improvements. When I started 10 years ago, I think the first surprise was how open people were to change and getting better. I came from working with chemists and scientists. They would always say, “this is how I’ve been doing it for the last 20 years, why would I change?” With StarFish engineers, it’s quite different. You come up with an idea, they take it, then they go another five steps and make it even better than you were proposing. That was a really pleasant surprise for me.

People are generally nice, pleasant. I started working here from university. First as a co-op and then I was hired out of that engagement. I didn’t have any surprises that were not related to being a young person starting their career. But one thing I noticed is that people are generally nice, pleasant. If we don’t agree with someone, we have a good discussion and that’s that.

The amount of collaboration. I work in Toronto and was surprised at the amount of collaboration that happened between Toronto and Victoria. There’s a lot of teamwork when working at StarFish. There’s a transparency and no hidden agenda within the teams because everything’s open. You can comment, you can discuss, you can fight, you can do anything for the benefit of the project.

The organization is quite flat. I found it surprising how many ways the organization is flat. I could walk into Scott’s office and just have a conversation with him. I could walk into John’s office and have a conversation with him. If you told me I could walk into a company of over 100 people and speak to the CEO or president just because I wanted to, I would be quite shocked. I like the fact that they’re open, available and willing to listen when you have an idea. I think that’s fantastic and not true of a lot of organizations, big or small.

Making clients happy is a priority. I was surprised by how much effort StarFish puts into really making sure clients are happy with what we do. I think sometimes we go above and beyond to make the clients happy. This is quite unusual.

StarFish puts a lot in hiring the right people. Obviously, you need to have education and skills, but the cultural fit is very important. There are lots of training and learning opportunities where you learn things that you need in order to become “StarFish”. And the examples are train the trainer courses, college, and leadership courses. You would think they are open only to a certain number of people. That is not true. They are open to everybody. So we are building people skills.

StarFish is a privately owned company. The management does not have an obligation to inform us about financials, how we are doing, etc. It is purely by choice and founder vision that we know exactly how we are doing. StarFish is nice because you can see that when something makes sense, you can get it.

Profit-Sharing. I came from government. There’s no such thing as profit share.

If you like the surprises our employees have shared about working at StarFish, then check out our Career page. You’ll probably like working with us and vice versa.

Astero StarFish is the attributed author of StarFish Medical team blogs.  We value teamwork and collaborate on all of our medical device development projects.

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