You never know what you will find when interviewing people. I guess the answers you get depend to a great extent on people’s personalities. When I interviewed Diana, I was very surprised and excited to have a conversation where she shared so many details and fun stories, from a trip to the other side of the world to her everyday life. She even anticipated some of my questions and connected in an incredible way all her ideas. Here is her story:
“Is the message we think we are giving, the message people receive”
Can you please tell me about your role and the story of your career, from when you started at Belatrix, to your position today?
I started working at Belatrix 14 years ago. My responsibilities involved designing and programming a website for a client. Then I became the leader of one of Belatrix’s oldest accounts. I worked there for many years until I wondered if I needed a change. I remember Luis Robbio, Belatrix´s CEO, announcing we were going to start a project in China, so I talked to my leader into letting me participate in it. I am glad I showed my eagerness to go because I ended up living and working in China for 6 months. I remember arriving at the hotel after a 36-hour flight; I saw our President and Co-founder, Alex Robbio, at the lobby of the hotel interviewing a Chinese boy in English. I was shocked when I found out I didn’t understand a word of what the boy was saying because he had a very strong accent. Probably, the language was one of the biggest barriers to recruiting people.
When I returned, Hubert Smits, a well-known industry Scrum trainer, certified many of us in Scrum and Agile practices. After taking a hiatus to take care of my children, I returned to the account where I was a Scrum Master, this time as an engagement lead, a role that allowed us to align with the strategic decisions of the client. In August 2018, I became the account director of the project.
How has Belatrix helped you achieve your career goals?
I am very grateful for how I have been growing in the company. I have had the opportunity to be part of several roles, which is something that has taught me a lot. Regarding this new role as account director, I am excited to fulfill the expectations of people and to identify how we can further improve. I am sure this will be an opportunity to analyze and discover where we need new roles.
What do you love most about your job?
What I love the most is the work team that we have built. I love the fact that although we are so diverse (thanks to our different locations in the US, Perú, Colombia, and Argentina) we have been able to maintain and spread Belatrix’s company culture across locations. It has definitely been one of the biggest challenges for our company and I hope we can maintain our culture even as we grow to thousands of employees.
It is worth noting that part of our company culture consists of companionship. Here, you care about people even beyond professional aspects. At Belatrix, you don’t only see a number when evaluating the performance; you see a human being working every day, facing challenges.
What has been your most memorable moment at Belatrix?
Definitely my first days at the Chacras offices, in Mendoza, Argentina. When I arrived at the office, I saw everyone in the hall planning how they were going to celebrate “Friend’s day”. I was very surprised to see this spirit of friendship and fellowship. The second day it was my birthday and I remember being seated in front of my desk, feeling a little scared because I was the new girl. Then I felt someone’s hand on my shoulder; when I turned around, I saw all my coworkers with gifts in their hands for me. I felt so flattered and happy. They made me feel at home.
What do you do in your spare time? Is there a connection between your hobby and your work?
I have always liked sports. I used to run and play volleyball with some of my friends from Belatrix. Many of my dearest friendships were born in the company and many of us share the passion for spending time outdoors. Now it is more complicated for me to organize my time; family and children change your schedule and activities but I love spending time with them.
I also love traveling, and it is actually one of the reasons why I applied to work at Belatrix. I knew the company offered opportunities to work abroad. I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to work in China. It was an incredible experience where I learned how crucial it is to understand other people’s workflows to better communicate. I remember I had to train and introduce a Chinese boy to one of our projects. I explained to him his responsibilities, and when I returned to check his work, he had done something completely different. So I decided to change the dynamic, and started to work with him on one single subject per day, and validate his work on the go. On another occasion, I wanted to be able to order a dish with words, instead of just pointing it out on the menu. So I asked a Chinese girl to teach me how to order eggplants in Mandarin. Then, I went to the hotel’s restaurant and made the order. I felt proud of it. Unfortunately, the waiter brought me cucumber, not eggplants. So I realized that after all, I wasn’t able to communicate my ideas to the Chinese girl in the first place. This taught me an important lesson. I wondered to what extent the message we are giving is the message people receive. Communication is key and we need to make sure we are properly expressing what we want to say. This is important not only for work but in all aspects of our lives.