General Question

MrBlogger's avatar

What's it like working for Apple?

Asked by MrBlogger (382 points ) September 19th, 2008

I’ve always wondered. Do they treat you well? Do you have fun? How’s Steve doing? :p

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

27 Answers

Apple's avatar

Apple employees are not permitted to discuss their job with others.

gailcalled's avatar

Hmm. Don’t Mizar and Iwamoto talk about theirs’?

Apple's avatar

They are not permitted to talk about their jobs at Apple Inc. Headquarters.

gailcalled's avatar

@?: You’d better let them know.

tWrex's avatar

Someones bustin’ them out! Bogus!

iwamoto's avatar

i don’t work at apple inc., i work at an authorised reseller, i might work for apple HQ one day though, at least, i’d love to :D even this has it’s good sides, macbook pro from work, discounts etc…

Apple's avatar

I’m glad you feel that way. Maybe one day we’ll see you here in San Francisco.

basp's avatar

I don’t work for apple. Gezzzz, I barely know how to use my iPhone!!!!

MrMontpetit's avatar

I’d love to work at apple. Apple discounts = Win.

iwamoto's avatar

nah, the discount is a nice extra, but ofcourse the real….god…the real…win…is that you get to work at a great company, doing what you do best, and helping people get the best out their product, in the end, work is not about helping yourself but about helping other people…

MrMontpetit's avatar

I’m pretty sure it’s about helping yourself, but that was pretty deep.

Seesul's avatar

@? Apple HQ is not in S F. Busted.
interesting GA pattern as well

tWrex's avatar

I actually have been thinking about applying for a Genius position in Chicago. I got approached by a recruiter – it was odd – about a year or so ago, but turned it down because I had a sweet gig then. Now that I’m goin’ back to College, I’m thinkin’ about doin’ the Genius thing. Only reason I thought of it was cause I was at the apple store a week or two ago screwin’ around on an imac and the lady came up and asked me what I was doing. So after explainin’ it to her for a few minutes, she was like, wow you know more than me… Hmmmm… Me thinks either you’re not qualified or I am. I’m hoping that my experience as a Linux admin will give me a shoe in. Seriously… Who the f*** else knows where to locate cups’ web interface on a whim?

ninjaxmarc's avatar

rated as one of the top companies to work for. I can imagine that it ain’t too shabby. ;)

Skyrail's avatar

Apple employees aren’t allowed to talk about their job? What? It’s not as if they work as an SAS soldier. Sure, I can understand not being allowed to talk about what you do in detail, i.e. projects you’re working on, but not being able to talk about the job…what kind of stuck up fool enforced that rule?

Harp's avatar

Just for historical interest:

My wife worked at Apple’s european headquarters in Paris for a few years back in the 80’s. She was an administrative assistant in the legal department. Those were fat years for Apple, and there was a lot of hubrus; the Mac had just come out and was causing a revolution, Windows had yet to emerge as a serious competitor, stock was zooming upward…

Employees were treated to the latest versions of Macs as they were released. Her first was a Mac 128K, considered huge a the time. By the time she left, she’d been upgraded to a 1000K. All of them are still down in our basement.

Employees got stock options and other financial windfalls. We were constantly getting whatwe called “free money”, little unexpected paycheck add-ons that we didn’t really understand.

What I remember best were the over-the-top Christmas bashes. Apple once rented an entire train to haul the whole crew up to the Normandy coast for a night at the Deauville casinos. Another year they rented a chateau for the night. My wife and I found these excesses to be pretty distastful, and we stopped going after awhile.

Pretty soon after she left in the late 80’s, reality took over and it became clear that the party wouldn’t last forever. Things got considerably more austere from that point on.

Seesul's avatar

@tWrex: Were you talking a Genius? The sales reps aren’t usually the same knowledge level, otherwise, they’d be Geniuses (if they wanted to be). Not questioning whether you are qualified or not, just pointing that out.

And ninja; Someone was pulling your leg. As I stated above, Apple HQ is not in SF and if they worked there, they’d know that. Sometimes SF is used for people out of the area, SF is used to give a general location, but if the statement above wouldn’t be written that way for someone who really worked for Apple. It’s pretty common knowledge where the headquarters are. Not only is it listed on every product sold, but if you try to set the time in California, it comes up as a selection. Silicon Valley is not SF, it’s below SF, actually the Santa Clara Valley, and it’s major city is San Jose. Apple HQ is located in a what started out as a bedroom community of SJ. Silicon Valley is considered part of the SF Bay Area, but the way the statement was made, is indicative that the poster is not a local and didn’t know that.

gailcalled's avatar

@Seesul gets the Sherlock Holmes award-of-the-day. ? joined yesterday.

Deerstalker cap and meerschaum on their way.

tWrex's avatar

@Seesul No she wasn’t a Genius and I def see what you’re saying. I was there because my mother-in-law was having issues with her iPhone. She wanted me to come with, but she never had me look at it. (tard) I made a suggestion to the Genius and he was like, “Good idea.” It ended up fixin’ it, so it was a total waste of time, but I got to go to the apple store so I guess it was a good day.

Apple's avatar

I’m sorry my mistake. I’m an Apple employee that lives in San Francisco. I meant to say Cupertino.

Seesul's avatar

So how long does the commute take you?
nice try, you finally read the box

Apple's avatar

Listen I don’t really see the point in this. I’m just trying to help peoples problems on Fluther. The drive is around 45 minutes which really doesn’t bother me at all since I’ve grown accustom to long drives and since I’m working for a great company I have no problem.

StellarAirman's avatar

I worked in an Apple store for 2 years and really really enjoyed it. It’s a really great company with really great people, at least in my experience. The pay is decent considering it’s retail. There is also a great stock purchase plan where you can put 10% of your pay check towards purchasing stock. It is purchased every 6 months for 15% less than the lowest price it was at the beginning or end of that six month period. So, basically you are automatically making money unless the stock just tanks, which it doesn’t do. The employee discount is 25% off any computer for personal use (1 per year) and 15% off for family and friends. Most third-party accessories are 10% off. Some of the best deals came in reselling old demo units though. Not long after the black MacBooks came out I picked up a demo unit for $700 when the new ones were still going for $1500. We also got additional special discounts with third-party suppliers and tons of free software that people would give us in hopes that we would recommend it to customers. We’d also get little bonuses here and there like free iPods for Christmas and every Apple employee got an iPhone when they first came out.

The work environment was very upbeat and positive for the most part. I really liked 99% of the people I worked with and making friends was easy considering you all had a major interest in common: Apple products. Of course that depends on which store you work at and the people that work at more than anything, but I made some really good friends at my store. They made everything fun from sales contests to quarterly meetings that we had in the store with fancy video presentations, food, prizes, etc.

I was a Mac Genius Admin at the store, which basically means I worked in the back assisting the regular Geniuses with administrative tasks like swapping out iPods, handling part orders, shipping the laptops back and forth to the repair facility, researching problems when they didn’t have time to, doing data transfers, calling customers, doing simple repairs, and sometimes helping out at the Genius Bar if they got behind. I started out in a sales position but didn’t do very well because I really don’t like selling people things they don’t need like .Mac and ProCare, etc. As soon as the Genius Admin position came open though I jumped on it and it was perfect for me. I got to work in the back all day doing technical stuff without having to deal with the customers very often. The Genius Admin position is basically there to make the Genius’ job easier, which they are very appreciative for if you do it well.

Apple is open to suggestions for improving processes and things. There were several tools that we used in the back that were developed by retail employees in retail stores. While I was there I streamlined a lot of processes and created an internal web site that we used at our store to lookup part numbers more quickly and access other frequently used information.

Many of the people there are experts in their respective fields but choose to work for Apple part time for fun and for the discounts. The store I worked at had a lot of professional sound engineers, musicians, school teachers, programmers, network engineers, graphic designers, photographers, web designers, etc. This was especially true when the store first opened. Our initial team was very impressive. As time went on we seemed to hire a lot more students for part-time sales positions and some of the more experienced people left or were promoted, but a lot of them still stayed around.

It is definitely true that the Mac Specialist (sales) positions are not technical at all. Some of our sales people didn’t even own Macs. I guess they figure it is easier to teach people about Apple products or teach them where to find answers than it is to teach them to be good, friendly, outgoing sales people. Everyone knew the other employees enough to be able to send a customer to a different person to get their answers though. If someone had a technical question about Garageband or Logic I knew which musician to send them to. If someone had a question about web design or games people knew to send them to me. It was great for the customers and allowed them to almost always find their answers.

There are only a few downsides that I can think of. The main one being customers, which sounds bad I guess since we wouldn’t have jobs without customers. But, we had to deal with some really really nasty people on a daily basis. We were sued multiple times and it seems like every day there was some jerk customer that was causing problems. On multiple occasions some of the female sales staff would come to the back in tears from the way they were treated by a customer. One bad customer can really ruin your day and take down the morale of the entire store pretty quickly.

Another problem is career progression. Since it’s a retail job the career opportunities are a little more limited. Most people start out as Mac Specialists working part-time, just to get their foot in the door. From there you can move up to a couple of full-time specialist positions, lead Mac Specialist, or assistant manager/manager and eventually regional manager. You can also branch out to the Creative position, which are experts in the pro apps like Final Cut Pro and Logic, or move to the Genius position for the technical side. There are a few other positions like Inventory Control Specialist and the Business Consultant, but that’s about it for most stores. You can become a Lead Genius and then eventually probably move up to other Genius positions covering more stores, but that is about it. It can be a foot in the door to move to Apple HQ though, which is where you’d really want to be for a career. They even had a program where they picked some retail employees and moved them to Cupertino for 3 months on a trial basis. Someone from our store was selected for this and ended up getting hired permanently out there, so he now works at Apple HQ in California, from a retail store on the other side of the country.

I really enjoyed my time there though and the only reason I left is that I decided to join the Air Force to get the education and other benefits that it provides.

jkwells1's avatar

I worked at apple for 6 months back in 1999, right as they were bringing in the Apple Store in House from MacWharehouse. I was 26 young and dumb to think that working for Apple would be like joining the Major Leagues. I have some great memories from that time, but during my tour of duty I was a miserable soul. I was nick-named the “email-terrorist” in my department. Ha!

jballou's avatar

The question should be clarified as working for Apple in one of their corporate offices is probably not at all the same as working in one of their retail stores.

crisedwards's avatar

I was on the original iPhone sales and support team and later worked on the UK/Ireland support team and I loved it. Great company, great benefits, really awesome and polite people. All of my supers were friendly. It’s a rare corp that has policies I actually, personally stood behind because they were fair and reasonable. I never thought I’d want to work in a call center but I really did like it.

Only138's avatar

I don’t work at Apple,,,,or Orange.

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