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Oct 01
How we use our company education stipends

How we use our company education stipends

Choozle’s culture is built around supporting our employees and making sure they have every opportunity to feel happy when they come to work. From our cabinets filled with delicious snacks to our regular team bonding events, Choozle prioritizes our employees’ happiness and growth to inform our company culture.

Among the unique team member perks we provide, we encourage everyone to use their $250 education stipend each quarter to enroll in courses, classes, or workshops to further their personal and/or professional knowledge. We aim to add more value to our employees’ lives by allowing them to grow however they see fit. Whether they use their education stipend to get into a new hobby or build on their professional knowledge for their position at Choozle, we always want to celebrate our employees becoming the best versions of themselves.

We checked in with just a few of our employees utilizing their quarterly education stipends for some exciting activities and educational opportunities.

Julia Hansen – Growth Account Coordinator
I joined a floral design class at Ladybird Poppy in Sunnyside! The class was “Floral Design Workshop 101” and it was a group of six students. It was hands-on, which I loved. We learned the fundamentals of floral design while actually building a bouquet to take home. My mom took a similar class when she was younger and I’ve always appreciated how she’s been able to bring her flower garden inside by creating bouquets. I’ve always wanted to be able to create my own.

This class taught me that local is always better. The teacher, Sarah, explained that flowers you buy from local farms will last much longer than ones you can buy at the grocery store. One of my favorite things about floral design is that there are no rules and no wrong way to do it. It’s been fun just trying things out! Each flower is different so each design will be different. I’ll keep trying it out on my own, but maybe I’ll take another class at some point! I think I’ll primarily use this for my own home, birthdays, and other occasions where I might want to show appreciation to someone!

Hunter Phillps – Director, Solutions & Partnerships
I participated in a group wine-making class at a shop called Wine & Whey in the River North neighborhood of Denver. The session lasted about three hours during which time we sampled several wine and cheese pairings, learned about the entire process from grape to bottle, and all contributed to the initial fermentation process. Two months later, after the fermentation and clearing processes were complete, we returned to rack off the final sediment and bottle our wine to take home.

I decided to take this class because I’ve always been a wine lover but admittedly knew very little about it. I was curious to learn more about how it is made, what to look for when tasting or shopping for wine, and how differences in geography and climate dictate the type and flavor of the wine. I had brewed a few small batches of beer at home prior to taking this class but never wine. There were some similarities to the process, but for the most part, it was all new to me.

There were two major takeaways from this experience for me. The first was to take time to learn about things you might otherwise take for granted. After taking this class, I have a heightened appreciation for the effort that goes into winemaking, and understanding all of the factors that contribute to the flavor makes drinking wine that much more enjoyable. Secondly, this class reiterated the importance of patience for me. After we completed the initial steps, there was a two-month fermentation period before bottling and we were encouraged to age our wine for another six months after that. Whenever I learn new things I’m usually excited to put them to practice as soon as possible, but in this case, I was reminded that good things don’t come overnight.

As someone who works in marketing, I’ve always had a bit of an affinity for creative branding. I’ll even admit to purchasing bottles of wine based solely on the label in the past. At Wine & Whey, they let you send them custom label designs which they will print for you and provide during the bottling process. I think coming up with the label designs was one of the most fun parts of the process for me.

I’ve actually made a few different batches of wine at home since taking this class. I’ve even experimented with other fruits like cranberries and blueberries, which both turned out pretty well. I’d love to do a private Choozle label batch, I’d call it something like Click-Through-Grape or Real-Vine-Bidding.

Kim Boshart – Product Marketing Specialist
I joined an open workshop where you can essentially build whatever you want. I decided to make a new dining room table. It was technically a group setting but the instructors walked around and helped you individually. They help you select your pieces of wood and teach you how to use the power tools necessary for whatever project you’re working on.

I’m getting married this year and I wanted to build something special with my fiance that would last for (hopefully) decades. It’s something we could even pass down to our kids.

I’ve taken old pieces of furniture, stripped them down, and resealed them or repainted and I’ve built a small coffee table before, but I hadn’t done anything of this magnitude before. And I took a small woodshop class at camp as a kid and I thought it was the coolest thing ever, so I’ve definitely been interested in woodworking for at least ten years.

Woodworking teaches you to slow down and be extremely attentive. It’s a high-stakes hobby in that you could easily lose a finger or do some serious damage to yourself if you’re careless. I think it’s also a good reminder of the benefits of having some digital disconnect. There’s something relaxing about working with organic materials and doing something manually for hours at a time without checking your phone or watching TV.

Woodworking, in general, is so rewarding because in the world we live in, there aren’t a lot of opportunities to do something old-fashioned, so I thoroughly enjoy the time spent just listening to music and working away. There is also the feeling of accomplishment in looking at something you’ve built and knowing the hard work it took to make it. There’s just something therapeutic about working with your hands whether it’s small-stakes crafting like embroidery or high-stakes woodworking.

I’ll absolutely be doing this again. This will not be my last project, and my goal for the future is to have some kind of woodshop out of my garage.

We constantly want to prioritize our team’s growth and balance in life, and by providing unique learning opportunities for everyone we hope that personal growth allows everyone to thrive both in and outside of the office.

We couldn’t imagine growing this company with a better group of people.

Think you’ll love it here? (We think so, too.) Check out our job openings.

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