I recently moved from South Africa to join LeaseWeb as a Scrum Master. As expected, this was a big step filled with many challenges and sometimes overwhelming uncertainty.
My journey started with the interview process. After two online interviews, I was invited for a face to face interview at the LeaseWeb head office in the Netherlands. I experienced the company as honest and open. I immediately felt at home even though I hadn’t even received an offer.
When starting a new job in a new country, acceptance and belonging are important and this is the very much the experience I had with LeaseWeb from the get go. As soon as the contract was signed, I was welcomed and taken care of every step of the way.
When I was younger, I had always envisioned a career in the hospitality industry: luxury hotels, fine dining, and amazing locations where I would be the host to welcome guests. Little did I know 6 years ago that ‘hosting’ could have a completely different meaning.
After high school, I started my education with an MBO+ education in Amsterdam in hospitality management. Afterwards, I followed the ‘Fast Track’ bachelor curriculum at Hotelschool The Hague. And Just last week, I received my Master of Science in Management from the Nyenrode Business University where I was proudly 4th in my class. Over the course of my education I developed an interest in marketing. To me, marketing aim to influence consumer behavior in such a way that win-win situations are created. Ultimately, I see marketing as the department where I can help achieve goals and celebrate successes.
During the final steps of my master’s degree, I came in contact with LeaseWeb through a Facebook post where an internship with the marketing team was advertised. Even though my understanding of ‘hosting’ had been completely different, the position was interesting enough to contact a fellow Nyenrodian currently at the company. In September 2016 I was welcomed to LeaseWeb as an intern and instantly given my own responsibilities.
LeaseWeb kicked off its sixth quarterly Hackathon on Thursday, July 21st. The Hackathons are a chance for employees to step outside the usual routine and allow them to get creative, work together in new ways, and have fun. Participants are given two full days and nights to work on any kind of project whether it’s to solve a work problem, learn a new skill, or try out a personal project they’ve had in mind. Whatever it is, they have the complete freedom to try something new with the goal being to present a functional demo at the end of the second day.
Hackathons begin with a presentation where all of the participants gather to kick things off. Everyone receives a Hackathon t-shirt designed specifically for the event and then they hunker down to start work on their projects. Hackathon isn’t just for the engineering department and individuals from all parts of the company are encouraged to participate.
Perhaps someone in marketing has been thinking about a new tool that could help them do their job better. They might team up with an engineer to try and create that tool. New ideas and collaborations that might not have otherwise fit into the usual busy schedule are given the opportunity to be developed and tested. Several projects and tools that have been created during Hackathons have been integrated into day to day operations.
After working hard all day Thursday, participants took a break to have dinner and some fun. A barbecue spread was set out and there was plenty of chicken, burgers, salad, and beer to go around. A 45 meter inflatable obstacle course was set up in the parking lot and participants competed with each other to see who could get the best time. The winner completed the course in just over 30 seconds. After a bit more relaxation everyone was ready to get back to working on their projects. Some stayed late into the night and crashed at the office, others went home to grab some sleep before coming back in the next morning to finish up before the afternoon presentations.
Take 15 projects, 40 developers, 30 pizzas plus 20 NERF guns and what do you get? A whole lot of creativity and innovation, that’s what!
We have been segmenting our customer base for quite a while now. Why? Well, with over 15,000 customers and a growth rate of 45% year over year, we wanted to create a system that helps us continuously learn about market demands and our customer’s business priorities. There are many reasons why this is important to us, but let me try to formulate a few of them:
You may have read in our previous blog post that we were due to launch the new OCOM recruitment website. Well, our web design team has made the final touches, the HR department has populated the vacancy listings, and we are delighted to announce that the new website is now live from our own web hosting servers! Please visit http://www.ocomcareers.com and don’t forget to add us to your favorites!