If you’re a Command Alkoner who works at our headquarters in Birmingham, AL, you’ve probably already had the chance to meet Taylor Northern. He’s always making his rounds in the office; providing a friendly smile, and oftentimes, a hilarious story.
Taylor is part of Command Alkon’s Graduate Development Program, which is a program created for graduates of the CIM Program. The Graduate Development Program helps Taylor to realize his strengths and develop new strengths, which will help him figure out what he wants to do in the industry. Taylor has nearly completed his first year in the 2-year program, and once he is finished, Command Alkon will try to find a permanent position for him in the company.
The cool thing about the program is that Taylor rotates between different departments, allowing him to discover the areas where he most thrives. Because he gets a flavor for what each department or product team does, he truly gains insight and opportunities that even some Command Alkon veterans who have been with the company for years don’t get the chance to experience.
He’s become a teacher in his own right; not only being able to bring knowledge to other teams about the things that he’s already learned during his rotation, but he actually had the opportunity to teach a training class for our COMMANDbatch product on the Precision Water System.
Taylor’s favorite part about the program is meeting new people in each department and soaking in all of the expertise that they have in their specific roles. Doing so allows him to take what he’s learned and apply that within other departments of the company.
He’s also able to approach some of the most influential people in our company to get their insight on how he can ensure success in this industry. Most young graduates don't get the chance to learn from executive-level leaders in the infancy of their careers, which is something that makes the program very unique.
Contrary to popular belief, Taylor isn’t an intern who is “shadowing” different people to learn about the way they perform their job. He’s actually getting hands-on experience where he can plan and execute projects and help make decisions for the respective teams that he is part of at the time. Recently, Taylor worked on a big project – a real-time reporting system for our Customer Service team. He was able to define how the system works and collaborate with other departments to create it.
A piece of advice that he has for recent graduates who are interested in a career at Command Alkon is to ask as many questions as you can.
“Ask people to tell you their story, because you will learn a lot from their journey,” says Taylor. “There’s been many circumstances where very successful people within the company have told me about the mistakes that they made in the past, which empowers me to avoid making those same mistakes. They already know what works and what doesn’t.”
A couple of fun facts about Taylor is that he played college football, and actually had four different surgeries due to injuries that he acquired by giving his all in the game that he loves.
He’s also very good at impersonations – whether it’s a cowardly Scooby Doo, a barbarous pirate, or my personal favorite – Stitch from Disney’s Lilo and Stitch. If you see him walking around in the office, you should stop him and ask him to do it for you. It won’t disappoint.
Despite the urban legend that red heads can’t swim, Taylor teaches swim lessons and has been doing so for five years now. He mostly works with young children, but if any of you need a refresher on the butterfly stroke or the backstroke, I'm sure Taylor will cut you a deal!
Best of luck to Taylor as he continues to discover his passions in this industry. I have no doubt he will do wonderful things! For more information about the Graduate Development Program, click here!