Fortune's Best Companies #9: Qualcomm

qualcommI spoke with some employees of Qualcomm to gain their views on working at the wireless telecommunications company. It sounds like Qualcomm is a pretty awesome place to work, deserving of the accolade of being the ninth best company to work for in America.

Karen Marchetti, a Qualcomm marketing consultant liked that "it seemed we were constantly breaking new ground in marketing, and doing things that hadn't been done before. In some cases, there weren't any examples to follow from other companies [for example: direct mail in China]. When we had successes in marketing, they were big successes."

Karen had great things to say about Qualcomm's people and teams. "Qualcomm always hires the best, including [marketing and communication] pros and product managers. There was an incredibly high caliber of people in every position at Qualcomm."

Karen related that the diversity of cultures was one of the wonderful things about working at Qualcomm. "Walking the halls of Qualcomm, you pass offices with employee names that seemingly represent just about every country around the world."

No job is perfect. Karen also revealed some frustrations and downsides of working at Qualcomm. "Qualcomm is first and foremost an engineering company, created by engineers, run by engineers and most fond of engineers. It was a constant challenge to have marketing get a seat at the strategy table and involved in product development. Some nights were tough, when I was almost the last car to leave the parking lot."

Since Karen suggested that Qualcomm is primarily an engineering company, I wanted to talk to someone from the technical side of the business. A product management engineer (name withheld) also shared positive experiences with Qualcomm, because the company "employs lots of dedicated, talented engineers. The company has an easygoing corporate environment. There's lots of opportunities and support for training."

Our engineering friend also mentioned that Qualcomm offers "fully sponsored medical benefits, workout facilities, free vending machine beverages, elegant corporate parties, competitive pay and promotes work-life balance. Qualcomm also offers bonus/merit increase possibilities every six months."

And the downside of working at Qualcomm? "Working on weekends may be expected, depending upon the project," according to Qualcomm's engineering project manager.

Finally, a software engineer related one of the most surprising things about working at Qualcomm: no cubicles. "The office atmosphere is very nice. Everyone gets an office with a door that closes. The people are generally vital and energetic, and as a result there is a very positive energy throughout the company."

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