Happy Birthday to US, Insentra!
As I'm writing this blog, it's exactly one year since I first walked into the Insentra office in Sydney and so much has happened since that day. I no longer work in the office as I have moved into a new role(s), becoming part of a truly global team, and learning new areas of the business. I now work 100% remotely, have travelled the world, moved countries and most importantly, grown so much. But my story is not a story of being lucky, it’s a story of a company living its values, investing in their people, and daring to be different. It’s a story of accountability, persistence and knowing what you want and not backing down when challenged…now hold onto your hats because the Insentra Train is leaving the station, and you’re in for a heck of a ride.
Let us start from the very beginning. Just over a year ago I was living in Brisbane and had quit my job after making the decision to move to Sydney (I didn't have a new job or a plan at this stage). I mentioned it to a few people and asked if anyone knew of any vacancy’s in Sydney. Lucky for me, it turned out someone knew someone who needed someone like me! A few emails were sent, a bunch of interviews were held and by the stars aligning in the most incredible way, I boarded the Insentra train as a Delivery Manager for the Modern Workplace and Modern Platforms team ten days after quitting my old job. I packed up my life, farewelled my friends and drove down to Sydney to start a new chapter of my life.
The journey started off in our Sydney office, where I immediately fell in love with the role, the atmosphere, the people and the company straight away. I have never felt so at home so quickly. My team was (is) great and I was very excited for the road ahead and all the new things I was learning along the way. Unfortunately, this dream was too good to be true and visa complications impacted my ability to stay in Australia shortly after I boarded the train. The leadership team supported me in every way possible, going above and beyond to help me find a solution to stay. Sadly, the result had me leaving Australia (for now). Yet again I packed up my life.
C-Tomorrow with Aaron Parker and Craig Pringle
Being the kind of company that does not leave their people at the station, Insentra offered me to keep working remotely for another two months to assist in my unexpected transition. I accepted the offer and based myself in a convenient time zone (which happened to be Bali...), where I could effectively interact with my team along with our customers and partners. In Bali, while working on closing out projects, I was providing guidance to my replacement, Fiona. On one hand I was excited to get to know Fiona and felt confident things would be left in good hands. On the other, I felt sad as my time was coming to an end with the company and the role I enjoyed so much, or at least that’s what I thought...
Work / life balance in Bali
Halfway through my two-month handover phase, one of my colleagues, Andy in the US Team, was going on leave for an extended period. In an attempt to delay my departure off the Insentra train, I volunteered to provide coverage for this duration – resulting in a contract extension! As someone who loves a good adventure, I embraced this opportunity and based myself in San Francisco for the month (how convenient SF had always been on my to do list). Arriving in San Francisco late September, the US team welcomed me with open arms and their brilliant support allowed me to quickly settle into the role. Spending time in San Francisco was a valuable experience and among the things I learnt were:
- A small burrito is in fact, not small at all
- The hills are as steep as they look in the movies
- Napa Valley is probably one of the happiest places on earth
- 4 glasses of wine equate to $85
- Silicon Valley is just as cool as I thought, and I definitely looked like the biggest nerd smiling from ear to ear as I walked across the Google Campus
Sunset over SF
Apart from eating burritos and drinking wine, I got the opportunity to work with our incredible Managed Services team, interact with our US partners and customers, and deliver a heap of migration projects. The stars aligned yet again, and with the growth of the UK and US, I was offered a role working across both regions! In a seamless transition, I became a permanent part of these teams, allowing me to keep the flexibility of working 100% remotely. I celebrated with working from Spain for a month and may have overindulged on sangria during this time.
Sangria, sunrises and sightseeing in Spain (and some work in between…)
Operating in the Managed Services space for the first time was very exciting and the role allows me to work with not only the UK and US based teams, but the entire global team daily. It always amazes me how well connected we are and the level of collaboration skills our teams have while being spread across the globe. To continue the yearly review, in December I went home to Sweden for Christmas, but I quickly had enough of the cold. Off to Mexico I went to welcome 2020 (which now feels quite un-welcomed...). After a few weeks of sunshine and one too many margaritas I left Mexico and headed over to Orlando for Citrix Summit. Seeing familiar faces from the Australian office was just what the doctor ordered, and I got to meet the entire US team face to face for the first time. We spent a couple of great days at the conference meeting new and current partners before heading over to New Orleans for a UK / US offsite with the rest of the global team. It's incredible how you can get to know someone by working with them every day but never actually meet them, so it was lovely to finally meet the entire teams in person.
Sweden --> Mexico City --> Citrix Summit
As the offsite came to an end, so did my world tour. In New York one-night, I was reflecting on the previous whirlwind 6-month journey I had experienced, and how grateful I was for it. But the craving for routine and stability kicked in, so after my Saturday dinner I booked and boarded a one-way trip to London (where I live now) and woke up just in time for Sunday breakfast. It is safe to say my journey have been a wild one and I am forever grateful for the life experiences gained and the flexibility Insentra has provided me.
London expectation vs. reality
At Insentra we focus on output, whether the input is created on a beach in Bali, at the office in Sydney or from our bedroom. It doesn’t matter provided our service excellence value is held to the highest standard for our partners and customers. In the modern day with never ending tools to stay connected, I believe in the importance of a business trusting its crew to do a great job wherever they are. Attracting the best talent should not be bound by time and place and I’m proud to be part of a company that is a living example of it. The Insentra train keeps rolling and I absolutely appreciate the (many) opportunities to stay onboard!