Working for a giant engineering company appeals to a lot of people, but there are some clear advantages to working for a company that is smaller in scale. AJA Video Systems is a great example. AJA manufactures high-quality and cost-effective technology solutions for professionals in television broadcast, production, post-production and ProAV – all designed and assembled in Grass Valley, California.
A Sense of Ownership
The company has been around for 24 years and employs just over 200 people worldwide. If you work in the video industry, chances are you have worked with an AJA product – the company has a great reputation in the industry. This reputation is due to a number of factors, and the company’s size definitely contributes to their success. Steve Holyhead is a 45-year-old Product Manager who moved from Los Angeles to work at AJA after using AJA equipment in previous jobs. “Working for a company of this size, everyone has a sense of ownership,” he said. “You are directly connected to what you are making and shipping, and what it costs.”
Access to a Wealth of Knowledge – and the Ability to Contribute
Daniel Morgos is a 37-year-old Product Manager at AJA. Like Holyhead, he sees the benefits of working for a small company. “It’s easy to talk to the managers and even the owner,” he said. “Because it’s a smaller company, they are very open and receptive to ideas on how to improve products.” And those managers and owners are some of the best engineers in the business. Matt Anderson, Hardware Engineer, puts it in perspective: “Some AJA engineers have been in the industry for 40 plus years — they invented it,” he said. “The wealth of knowledge is astronomical, humbling.” Anderson, 34, was born and raised in Nevada County, and he doesn’t see any reason to leave.
The Only Thing Missing is the Traffic
It helps that the daily commute is so pleasant, especially when you contrast it with Orange County, where Daniel Morgos moved from. “The biggest thing for me is there is no traffic at all,” said Morgos. “I came from an hour and a half commute one way.” Steve Holyhead doesn’t miss the cultural offerings of L.A., because it was too difficult to enjoy them. It’s different in Nevada County. “On date night, we can have dinner, and then dessert, then go to a play, and not have to drive anywhere,” he said. Holyhead also takes advantage of the thriving music and arts community, which includes a local sculpting shop and a VR Meet-up group. Gricel Guerrero, a 34-year old Manufacturing Engineer, prefers the abundant outdoor activities in the area: “I love the outdoors, mountain biking, hiking, swimming, learning to rock climb, camping. It’s heaven for outdoor activities.”
Photo features: Steve Holyhead and Daniel Morgos of AJA Video