Different Perspectives, One Common Goal: An Employee Talks Community at 3M
Dec 2, 2019

3M is made up of employees with diverse backgrounds who are united by one goal: improving lives. Though it’s a large company, this common goal creates a strong sense of community. This is one of the reasons employees love working here, and those closest to them have noticed.

Semra Colak Atan, research specialist at 3M’s Corporate Research Materials Laboratory, considers the community at 3M invaluable, and her husband Ahmet agrees. Hear what he has to say about Semra’s community at 3M:

The Value of a Diverse Community

Prior to her eight years as a 3Mer, Semra worked as a graduate research assistant at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, the same place where she earned her doctorate in polymer science and engineering. Though her education helps her immensely in her job every day, the community that she works with at 3M is what has helped her projects be successful.

Through personal connections, such as alumni networks and employee resource networks, she has gotten to know her coworkers, but the strongest connections have been forged by collaborating with others on projects. “The tougher the problems we were trying to solve, the better we got to know each other,” Semra says. “Working on truly innovative programs, which inherently brings challenges, has been the basis for getting to know my coworkers on a personal level and build friendships that last long after the project is complete.”

One thing her husband has noticed most about Semra’s coworkers is their connectedness to 3M. Semra agrees. “The ability to reach out to anyone, and I mean anyone, at 3M and ask them for their time or something you need from them and to never get an answer other than ‘Yes, I’d be happy to meet with you,’ tells me a lot about community at 3M. Though there are many small communities here, we all make up one large community working towards the same goal.”

Semra adds, “Regardless of the path taken to meet people, building a personal network has been one of the most fulfilling parts of my job at 3M and I very much enjoy getting to know people on a personal level. I do believe that everyone has something to offer and I can learn a lot from each 3Mer I meet.”

Semra has learned so much from other 3Mers because of the different perspectives they bring. She says, “By listening to different perspectives and understanding where someone else is coming from, I can understand my own biases and open my mind to see things differently so that I can think about the work and research I do and the problems I’m trying to solve in a different way. It helps me be more creative and more understanding if things don’t go the way I envisioned.”

Interested in a career at 3M? Learn more about working here by visiting 3m.com/careers.

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