Zendesk staffer: ‘It’s nice to have options other than Epic’

Posted: October 1, 2014 at 7:52 am


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As Justin Smith was nearing graduation from UW-Madison, he met with a career counselor to see what job options were out there for a pony-tailed guy from Waukesha with a degree in East Asian religious studies.

During the meeting, the counselor asked if Smith had ever heard of Zendesk, the San Francisco-based company that makes help desk software for handling customer service issues. The firm was hiring people for its new office in Madison.

Since Smith had an interest in Zen Buddhism, he was intrigued with the company name and ended up applying.

On Wednesday afternoon, Smith was enjoying a bottle of craft beer while working in the new Zendesk offices in the Glass Bank building at 1 S. Pinckney St. on the Square.

Just look at the view, he said, gazing down East Washington Avenue from the sixth floor offices.

Smith, 23, is one of about 60 employees working for Zendesk in Madison. Its the largest office for the company outside of San Francisco and the primary support center for customers around the world.

Zendesk has now joined Google, Microsoft and Dell in mining for tech savvy graduates coming out of UW-Madison. But rather than relocating staffers to the company headquarters, firms are finding it easier and in many cases less expensive to simply to open a satellite office here.

Zendesk CEO and founder Mikkel Svane says he isnt sure how much the company is paying to rent the swanky space in the Glass Bank.

But Im pretty sure its less than in San Francisco, he says during a tour Wednesday of the new office space.

Getting more firms like Zendesk to take a look at Madison raises the standard for every other employer in town in terms of office perks and community benefits, says downtown Ald. Scott Resnick.

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Zendesk staffer: 'It's nice to have options other than Epic'

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Written by simmons |

October 1st, 2014 at 7:52 am

Posted in Zen Buddhism