Work From Anywhere: Tori's Go Global Adventure
Part of Guidewire's uniqueness stems from its global presence and flexible work environment. Our Work From (almost) Anywhere Program allows for our employees to have wonderful personal and professional journeys while traveling abroad. Read about Tori's adventurous two months throughout Europe, and how she used the opportunity for growth, professional development, and fun.
Unexpectedly Leaping Further
A little over a year ago, a lovely recruiter reached out to me on LinkedIn with an open Employer Brand Specialist role at Guidewire. When I opened Guidewire’s career site, I was immediately impressed and knew that this was a company that cared about their employer brand. Everywhere that I searched for information about Guidewire, I could find stories and videos from real employees talking about their experiences. And everyone seemed to be having a great experience at Guidewire!
I saw authenticity in these employee stories, and to me that authenticity and honesty is the most important part of a brand. The open Employer Brand Specialist role was not only a perfect fit for my skill set, but the role also offered the opportunity to work in the stable yet exciting industry of Insurtech. I started my career in marketing at an ATS (applicant tracking system) software company, which gave me a blended understanding of both People Teams/recruiting and marketing. This experience then transitioned me into my first employer brand role at another software company. Guidewire then came after that.
Once I interviewed, I knew it was a perfect match, especially because of the wonderful and intelligent people I met throughout my interview process.
Digging Deeper Into Guidewire's Flexibility
Over a year later I’m still here, and I’ve grown both personally and professionally in ways that I never could have imagined. I’ve learned so much about overall employer brand strategy, and the many creative ways of activating an audience. I’ve been able to flex and accelerate my skills in copywriting, social media marketing, graphic design, web design, project/task management, recruitment marketing, and have learned the ins and outs of both candidate and employee journeys. There’s so much about employer brand that I’m continuing to learn each and every day, as well as the value and advantage of companies with a strong employer brand.
Guidewire is great in providing flexibility to branch out and work on any other areas of interest I might have. Platforms such as Degreed have allowed me to look closely at my strengths and interests, and tailor my career experience accordingly.
A Team That Cares
Because Guidewire offers opportunities to pursue what really interests me, each day is engaging and exciting! I love that I get to be creative, and no idea is too small. My team always supports me to try new things, and encourages my learning and development.
The best part of my role is definitely the people I get to work with. Everyone from the TA (Talent Attraction) team, to the wider People Team, to our small but mighty Employer Brand Team, they’re all incredible teammates that are an absolute joy to collaborate with.
Guidewire also offers flexibility in terms of when and where I am able to work. This flexibility led to my amazing “Work From Anywhere” experience, something truly unique that you can’t find at most other companies.
The Adventure of a Lifetime
I participated in the Go Flex Global program (work from almost anywhere for up to 30 workdays per 12-month period.) I spent approximately two months in Italy, but my overall itinerary branched further. I visited: London, Florence, Rome, Dublin, Milan, Sorrento, and Naples. I never had a lot of opportunities to travel growing up, and I always worried that I would never get the chance to travel in my adulthood either because of the typical 9-5 grind. While I am American, I come from Italian heritage, and it was always a dream of mine to visit Italy. I wanted so badly to reconnect with my roots, and see where my family came from.
Thanks to Guidewire’s flexibility, I was able to spend a fantastic two months abroad, and set my own schedule to work with both my AMER (Americas) and EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) teammates. I work most productively early in the mornings and in the evenings, which was excellent so that I could take care of EMEA meetings in the morning, explore the world in the afternoon, and then sync with AMER in the evenings.
Guidewire is a global workforce, which has advantages! I got to visit my Dublin office to see my EMEA Talent Attraction teammates for our quarterly planning, and also spent an incredible week with my manager who lives in Milan and my other employer brand teammate who came to spend the week with us in Milan. I will #DigDeeper into the work aspect of my trip later, but I explored hard as much as I worked hard!
Work Hard, Play Hard
I wanted to make the most of these two months abroad, so I really did my best to make this a trip of a lifetime. I saw the major tourist sites in each city I visited: The Colosseum, The Vatican, Florence’s Duomo Cathedral, and so much more. However, my most notable experiences were outside of the typical tourist attractions. My favorite day was when I visited the countryside of Tuscany. I had a cooking class on an Italian family’s farm, using all ingredients grown locally. I then toured the Martelli pasta factory, and met the Martelli family who worked in the factory. I brought home about 10 pounds of pasta and I can vouch that it is some of the most delicious and high quality pasta I have ever eaten. I explored the village of Orvieto, and enjoyed every part of it from the beautiful and old architecture to the cobblestone streets and the sounds of people talking passionately over espresso.
Another significant day was my visit to Civita di Bagnoreigo (“the city that dies”), thanks to my Italian manager’s recommendation. It was one of the most magical places I have ever visited, and I will forever hold the memory of the beautiful sights of hills and the sound of the wind on top of the little city.
I used PTO (Personal Time Off) for the last week of my trip, and spent a meaningful week with my mom visiting Sorrento, Naples, and Capri. We hiked the “Path of the Gods” and explored the beautiful waters surrounding Capri. We finished off the trip with a horseback ride in Vesuvius National Park. The fact that I was able to spend this week with my mom is so important. We all sometimes get so caught up in our day-to-day work and forget about the importance of family and loved ones.
There were so many more experiences and adventures that I didn’t touch on, but I really did spend those two months living each day to the fullest.
Staying Clever While Adventuring Abroad
My key takeaway from my “Work From Anywhere” experience was that it’s so valuable to have supportive people all around you, not only in your personal life but also in the workplace.
While I was abroad, I also was able to have some productive and meaningful time with coworkers. Italy is an easy flight over to Ireland, which allowed for the perfect opportunity to visit our Dublin office. While I was only in Dublin for a few short days, I was able to conquer some essential quarterly planning that would have been far more difficult to facilitate over a Zoom call, and attended our Talent Attraction Quarterly Planning sessions. I typically work remotely, and while I love the flexibility of remote work, the face-to-face interaction I got with my teammates that week sparked some new energy and life in me. I was able to conduct conversations and working sessions to propel our Employer Brand and overall Talent Attraction strategies.
After my few days in Dublin, I spent a full week in Milan where my manager, Cristina, resides. My teammate Shauna joined us in Milan and we had not only one of the most productive weeks work-wise, but also one of the most exciting weeks in terms of fun! There were equal amounts of work and play to be had, and of course plenty of wine to be consumed. We were able to shape our entire Employer Brand strategy for the year, a task that is quite challenging at times to complete through a Zoom call.
I think being face-to-face in an office abroad allows for you to connect with your coworkers on another level that simply can’t be obtained through Zoom. There’s no “Can you hear me?”, “Can you see my screen?”, “Sorry I was on mute.”, and most importantly “Sorry it’s so late/early in your time zone!”
Teammates That #StandTogether Across the Globe
My team and my manager supported me throughout the entire Work From Anywhere program by allowing me to have very flexible hours. While they were pretty weird hours, it actually worked out great for me. I was also able to sprinkle in PTO not only at the end of my trip, but in between some days that I was abroad so that I could enjoy each city I visited while keeping up with work.
I will absolutely participate in the Work From Anywhere program again, it’s not something that every company will let you do and it is entirely worth traveling if you are able to. I was able to take away valuable experiences that I will have memories of for the rest of my life. I hope to go somewhere in the APAC (Asia Pacific) region next!
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