This innovative company is changing the game -- employers everywhere, take note

Patrina Agosta, United Shore team member and B.I.G. Program graduate.
Patrina Agosta, United Shore team member and B.I.G. Program graduate. (United Shore)

No matter where you are in your career -- just figuring out what you want to do or well established in your field -- it’s always smart to know what’s out there in the professional world.

What if you’re just bored altogether of your work life? Or maybe you’re tired of doing the same thing you’ve been doing for the last 15 years. Perhaps you’re just out of college and pondering what your future looks like.

United Shore, the parent company of United Wholesale Mortgage, is in the business of empowering more people to own homes across the country by working with a mortgage broker. The company, which is based in Pontiac, Michigan, is hiring for all kinds of positions on any given day, but you don’t necessarily need to know what job you want before diving in.

That’s because United Shore has an innovative way of curating its family of workers into the job best suited for them. They also know what makes their team members happy. Employers everywhere should take note of these five things United Shore does.

1. You can come from any professional background (or none at all).

There are handfuls of areas of expertise under the United Shore roof, but your previous experience doesn’t have to pave your path within the company. What the company is looking for above all else is positivity, a strong work ethic and kindness. And the demographic spans from 18-year-olds with high school diplomas to seasoned professionals looking to lead the company into the next decade.

Patrina Agosta, who now works as a team leader in operations, worked in the automotive industry before starting her career with United Shore. She said working with people from different backgrounds has been a real asset in her job now.

“Before coming to UWM, I was surrounded with people all like me,” she said. "When I came here, it was kind of a culture shock, but being able to work with so many people -- teachers, lawyers, coffee baristas, a whole different mix -- being able to interact with people of such different styles and backgrounds and experiences really opened my eyes to the fact that there’s always something more. There’s a lot to be learned from other people who think differently than you.

She said she now seeks out differences instead of always looking to people who think the same. She uses everyone’s strengths to build up the team.

Justin White, who now works in marketing for United Shore, was a sports broadcaster for almost 16 years.

“You can come here and really set a new path for yourself,” White said. “It doesn’t matter what you did previously."

2. They invest in their employees.

Through United Shore’s Business Innovative Group, or B.I.G. program, select hires are paid to learn for an entire year. Throughout the year, those employees provide feedback that the company uses so they can continuously improve.

This year, B.I.G. team members took part in a collective 1,920 hours of instruction through a number of curriculums and monthly trainings created specifically for members of the program.

“The fact that the people at UWM who are genuinely interested in your journey and success during and after the program was mind blowing to me and incredibly humbling,” Agosta said. “The investment that leaders and team members gave me through my year in the program has helped mold the leader I am growing into every day.”

Agosta said during her time participating in the B.I.G. program, she learned a lot more about herself.

“It’s an investment to bring someone in for a year,” White said. “You show what you can do and help the company find out how it can get better.”

Training isn’t reserved just for members of the B.I.G. program. The rest of the almost 5,000 team members at United Shore regularly have access to ongoing training opportunities, including paid training for all new hires.

3. You can experience every job under the roof before settling in.

We must say this loud and clear: You don’t need to have previous mortgage experience to work at United Shore. Through the B.I.G. program, team members get a unique perspective as they learn about the mortgage process by working on several different teams and aspects of the business. They come out of the program with an understanding of all roles within the company. That includes human resources, information technology, sales, underwriting, marketing, operations and more.

“It forces you to step outside of your comfort zone,” Agosta said.

She added that she learned a ton about the mortgage industry during her year in the program.

“It’s all about what you put into it. There’s a lot of freedom to mold the year exactly how you want it to go,” Agosta said.

All team members who walk away from the B.I.G. program at the end of the year do so with a vast understanding of how the mortgage process works.

4. They let you find the path you’re best suited for.

White said he dived right into the B.I.G. program and got to experience every single facet of the company.

“I realized I could pursue any career,” he said.

During the program, the company pays close attention to the strengths and weaknesses of the team members. They see where people fit best and put them there.

“They do a really good job of seeing what somebody’s strengths are and capitalizing on that,” White said.

It was no surprise to him that he ended up in marketing. He said it was clearly the best fit.

After Agosta’s time in the B.I.G. program, she said she knew she wanted to be in a leadership role.

Because of that desire, once she was done with the program, she was placed in a position working for the company’s chief operating officer, Melinda Wilner.

“One of the things I wanted out of the program was to continue to learn,” Agosta said. “I wanted to learn from someone I could watch day in and day out and pick up on everything. Taking three months with her and soaking in everything was an incredible experience. That’s what really pushed me to be able to say, ‘I’m ready for this.’”

5. They let their employees get comfortable being uncomfortable.

One of the messages the company likes to send to those in the B.I.G. program is to keep an open mind and expect to dive into areas that you may not think would be a fit for you. And you never know what you might learn about yourself along the way.

White said of the B.I.G. program: “During that year-long journey, I realized I could reinvent myself. The road I am on now did not yet exist.”

Agosta couldn’t express enough how much she and other employees have benefitted from and appreciate what they learned through the B.I.G program.

She said she lives every day by words her COO said in a podcast the company produces.

“The phrase is ‘be direct, but fair and kind,’” Agosta said. "I have (it) written on a sticky note at my desk to this day.”

Consider how much time you’ve put into someone or something else. Could it be time to let someone else invest in you?

Learn more and check out United Shore’s various career opportunities today at unitedshore.com.