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Employee Spotlight: Dexter Whack

June 28, 2024
Employee Spotlight Portrait of Dexter Whack

Dexter Whack | Recruiter | Joined Penumbra in 2021

Q. What is your current role at Penumbra?

As a Recruiter at Penumbra, I am responsible for hiring top talent for our engineering positions in Alameda and Roseville, CA. The engineering departments I recruit for include Manufacturing, Quality, and R&D. I work closely with hiring managers to understand their business requirements and partner with key internal stakeholders from HR to ensure a streamlined and compliant hiring process. I also conduct initial phone screens with candidates, coordinate onsite and virtual interviews, organize interview feedback sessions, and prepare offer letters for prospective hires. Above all, I am committed to ensuring a seamless and positive candidate experience by providing regular updates at every stage of the recruiting process.

Q. What aspects of your job do you enjoy most?

Nothing beats the excitement of informing candidates that they’ve landed the job! Witnessing their elated response, whether over the phone or through email, is incredibly rewarding. The most fulfilling moments come when I have the chance to share the good news with recent graduates who are on the brink of starting their dream careers! I also enjoy connecting with new candidates, discovering their unique talents, and building meaningful connections. Engaging with fresh talent enables me to cultivate a pool of promising applicants and connect them with opportunities that align with their expertise.

Q. Describe a travel adventure that you’ll never forget.

I’ll always cherish the memories of my 2017 trip to England. Reconnecting with my mother’s side of the family after two decades and celebrating my cousin’s beautiful wedding made it truly unforgettable. I also had a blast exploring the charming streets of London with my mom, sister, niece, and great-nephew. I look forward to visiting again!

Q. What are three career lessons you’ve learned thus far?

  • Constructive feedback is the catalyst for personal growth and increased productivity. I am grateful for the feedback I have received throughout my career. It has been instrumental in fostering my personal and professional growth, enabling me to embrace new challenges, step out of my comfort zone, and improve my recruiting skills.
  • Listen to understand, not to respond. As a recruiter, it is essential for me to actively listen during meetings and interviews. Instead of rushing to give immediate responses, I am dedicated to really grasping the message being conveyed. This method helps me gather all the essential details, meet the business’s needs efficiently, and create the perfect connection between the candidate and the ideal job opportunity.
  • Patience is key when teaching others on the job. Every team member has their own unique learning journey for mastering new applications, systems, or processes, and that’s okay. As we guide and mentor our team members, it’s important to be empathetic and patient, pinpointing areas for improvement and customizing our approach to their learning styles. The goal is to empower every new team member with the skills and confidence to thrive in their role.

Q. What is your personal philosophy?

A personal philosophy that comes to mind is showing gratitude to those who support me throughout my journey. I truly believe that without the encouragement and guidance of my family, friends, and mentors, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Their unwavering support is crucial in shaping my personal and professional growth, allowing me to thrive and achieve my goals.

Q. What would people be surprised to learn about you?

When I first set foot in California, it wasn’t just a visit – it was the start of a new chapter in my life. The thought of living in The Golden State had always fascinated me, but it remained a distant dream. Then, one day, I decided to take a leap of faith and turn that dream into reality. I booked a one-way ticket to Sacramento and secured an apartment online, all while still in my home state of Maryland. Two months later, I found myself bidding farewell to my loved ones and heading to the BWI Airport to catch my flight. My decision to relocate to a new state was spontaneous, but it was one of the best choices I’ve ever made. And now, as I approach my 5th year anniversary in California, I can’t help but marvel at how far I’ve come and how much I’ve grown in this incredible state!

Q. Describe yourself at age 10. What career aspirations did you have at that age?

As a child, I was fascinated by the world of animals. I was captivated by the TV show “The Crocodile Hunter” with Steve Irwin, which sparked a deep-seated passion for veterinary science and zoology. Watching Steve’s incredible connection with animals on the Animal Planet channel inspired me and ignited my interest in pursuing a career working with animals. Despite not becoming a veterinarian or zoologist, my love for animals remains unwavering. The 10-year-old inside me still jumps with excitement at the chance to interact with any animal I come across, be it a friend’s pet, a service animal, or even a police dog.


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