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  1. Blog
  2. Partners in Diversity
  3. June 14, 2023

Why You Should Work for a Company with a Growth Mindset

In-house learning opportunities? How very Clever

Growth mindset photo
Photo courtesy of vadim kaipov

This article is part of InHerSight's Partners in Diversity series. Discover companies partnering with InHerSight to better support women in the workplace.

You’ve calculated your ideal salary. You’ve considered how paid time off, health care, and flexible work hours could affect your life and career. What other benefits should you tack on to your workplace must-haves?

Whether you have ambitious career aspirations, you aren’t quite sure of your long-term path, or you fall somewhere in between, one often-overlooked company perk is Learning Opportunities. Education platform subscriptions, upskilling programs, conferences, and more can help you level up in a career-safe way (aka, while still working at the company)—just ask the women working at Clever.

Clever is a digital learning platform for K-12 schools, and their team is as education-focused as their product. “Always a Student” is even one of their core tenets. Cleverites (that’s what they call themselves) are lifelong learners dedicated to growing in both their personal and professional lives. 

“It starts with our CEO Trish Sparks,” says Bhagya Sodem, senior director of customer success. “She instilled a growth mindset in our teams by prioritizing professional development for our leadership team as well as employees. Trish cares deeply about developing and growing the careers of our employees to ensure that every day spent at Clever is valuable and enriching.” 

According to Sodem, Clever’s People Operations team has invested deeply in learning programs, career development, and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives for employees. “Whether an employee is at the early or later stages of their career, the leaders at Clever invest in building their skills and creating pathways for career growth,” she says. 

And intentionally creating opportunities for employees to grow has made a huge difference in how women move through the organization—some have changed careers, others rethink how they communicate with their teams. We spoke to three women Cleverites about how the company’s focus on growth, learning, and internal mobility has affected their trajectory at the company. Learn from them why an employer with learning opportunities—and supportive management and leadership teams—can foster a curiosity-led career that helps you find and reach your goals.

Clever Inc.

Clever is a digital learning platform for K12 schools! This San Francisco-based employer has perfect ratings for its top three metrics—Paid Time Off, Flexible Work Hours, and Equal Opportunities for Women and Men—and 100 percent of raters say they feel they were paid fairly from the start. Click to explore Clever’s ratings, benefits, and jobs now!

Learn more ›

3 Cleverites on why you should work for a company with learning opportunities and a growth mindset

Clever offers a number of learning opportunities that underline its culture tenet of “Always a Student.” Which learning benefit has impacted you the most and why?

Mary Shepherd: “Learning is a core value of mine, and I appreciate working for Clever, where that’s embedded in the organization’s culture. To me, ‘Always a Student’ means approaching people, conversations, and challenges with a lens of curiosity and openness. There’s so much we can learn from each other’s diverse backgrounds and experiences, and from the world as a whole. To me, that’s exciting, and I love being able to show up to work every day and, without a doubt, learn something new.

Clever’s Learning and Development program offers a wide array of offerings, including live group workshops, 1:1 coaching, and self-paced content. These flexible options are catered for employees based on their skill interests, growth goals, learning styles, and bandwidth. These, along with Clever’s professional development budget, have allowed me to grow both personally and professionally. I’m grateful for Clever’s leadership team, who are invested in supporting employees’ learning and development, and I’m happy to play a part in enabling and guiding employees to own their career growth, whatever that may look like for each individual.”

Jessica Humphrey: “Clever’s professional development budget has been the most impactful on my career. I was able to attend the Indeed Futureworks conference last year. At this conference, I learned about ways to ensure the future of work is inclusive for all and how to bring humanity into the interview process. Attending this conference also gave me the opportunity to connect with my remote coworkers in person and build stronger relationships.”

Bhagya Sodem: “I’ve benefited greatly from several learning benefits at Clever, including Learning and Development (L&D) offerings, LinkedIn training courses, and 1:1 leadership coaching. One of my favorite learning programs has been the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) foundational training series (as a part of the L&D program). I learned a lot through this training and my appreciation of the DEI cause deepened. I gained a better understanding of the BIPOC employee experience and was able to adapt my leadership and coaching style to enhance our diverse team’s experience at Clever. This program, along with other L&D programs, enriched my knowledge and had a deep impact on my leadership journey.”

How have you experienced career advancement or growth at Clever?

Mary: “I joined Clever as a people operations coordinator, where I ran Clever’s new hire onboarding, benefits, perks and wellness, leave management, compliance, and offboarding programs. In this role, I learned about all of the ‘ins and outs'’ of HR and wore many hats, which helped me understand all of the stages of the employee lifecycle. During my first two years, I kept note of what projects motivated me and inspired me the most. They involved relationship-building, employee engagement, training and development, and feedback and performance. My goal was to one day specialize in those areas. After two years in a more general people operations role, I moved into a Program Manager role, where I am now able to focus my time and efforts on areas that excite me the most—creating and driving employee engagement and development. I bring a growth mindset and passion for people to work each day and aim to build a positive employee experience by promoting a culture of growth, learning, and wellbeing.”

Jessica: “I began my career at Clever in our Customer Success department as a technical support specialist. For two years, I provided outstanding customer service to our school district and application partners through fast, friendly, and personalized technical support. I transitioned to our Recruiting team in 2022, where I was able to make a huge impact thanks to my background in customer support. Utilizing skills from my previous and current role, I am able to impact our hiring goals by building relationships with hiring managers, interview teams, and prospective Cleverites.”

Bhagya: “I came to Clever in Q3 of 2020 to lead the district success teams and since then had the opportunity to lead the technical implementation teams and the application partner success teams. My Clever journey has been an enriching learning experience thanks to the amazing mentors and peers at Clever! They help me grow as an employee and leader every day.”

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