For our partnership with Business NH Magazine on the Rising Stars Awards, this year we awarded the “Coolest Mid-Sized Company” to the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) based in Portsmouth, NH. They’re “the largest and most comprehensive global information privacy community and resource, helping practitioners develop and advance their careers and organizations manage and protect their data. More than just a professional association, the IAPP provides a home for privacy professionals around the world to gather, share experiences and enrich their knowledge. Founded in 2000, the IAPP is a not-for-profit association with more than 10,000 members in 70 countries. The IAPP helps define, support and improve the privacy profession through networking, education and certification.”
Why is it important to you to work for a company like IAPP who is so supportive of internships?
Internships are a fantastic way to gain work experience and insight into different career paths, and I’m happy that the IAPP offers the great intern program we do. The experience our interns gain is a valuable commodity when applying for jobs after school, as they have real, working knowledge that can be applied elsewhere. Even if they’re interning in a field they decide isn’t for them, the experience and knowledge they’ve gained here are assets. Additionally, our intern program has helped with recruiting efforts. We brought an events intern of three years on board full time, and now she helps to coordinate some of the company’s largest events worldwide.
In addition to our events intern, we usually have one or two law externs working on our certification and publications teams. It is a great way for these individuals to get some hands-on experience in the field of privacy and meet some of the top experts in the field. In fact, a former law extern now works as our legal publications manager—the result of a successful extern relationship.
What is your favorite part about the unconventional office atmosphere?
The IAPP provides a fantastic work environment. We’re a fair bit different than most offices in that we allow dogs to roam the desks, the ice cream truck comes on sunny days and we have monthly birthday parties. It is difficult to choose one aspect of the office that is my favorite, but I think it is the dogs. If you’re having a stressful day, walking around and saying hello to the dogs—and their owners—is a nice way to relax and refocus.
Do you ever take advantage of the awesome benefits provided (yoga classes, beach cruisers, and overall flexibility) to help make your life more “whole”?
The overall flexibility is certainly one of the cultural benefits I enjoy the most. The IAPP encourages you to have a healthy work-life balance. When I need some R&R, I’m encouraged to take paid time off, and in some instances I can take advantage of business travel to explore and vacation abroad. This April after one of our European events, I took a few extra days to tour London. It was just what I needed. Additionally, I recently had a relative come into town unexpectedly, and she needed help getting around Boston. On very short notice, I was able to take a day and a half to go down to Boston to see her. Both times it was nice to be able to get away for a little bit and have a change of pace and refresh.
If you could describe IAPP in 5 words, what would they be?
Fun, driven people, exceeding expectations.
Scott Colati is the Executive Coordinator & Liaison for the IAPP.