Many of BirchStreet’s employees spend a lot of time on the road conducting sales presentations, meetings, implementations and trainings. This blog is the fourth in an ongoing series focused on encounters around the world from different perspectives and positions within BirchStreet.
Length of time at BirchStreet: 1 year
Connie, one of our fantastic trainers here at BirchStreet, recently came home after being on the road and flying many miles in the air. After a few days back in Southern California, we were able to ask Connie her view of the world as a BirchStreet Trainer.
Born in San Diego, CA, Connie did not picture herself as a world traveler and had actually only travelled several times prior to her working here. She is a recent graduate of UC Irvine with a degree in Public Health Policy and originally wanted to find a job in Student Affairs. That drastically changed when she accepted a job at BirchStreet! Now, she claims to know just about every snack in airport shops.
After several months of in depth training, Connie’s first trip was to Arkansas to visit a casino with another trainer. After that, she flew to Chicago on her first solo trip where it was -9 degrees and very, very cold. Coming from sunny Newport Beach, she was not prepared for the drastic freezing weather, and fortunately had even borrowed a friend’s snow jacket but had no gloves. In fact, it was so cold that the customer had closed down for the day, so Connie’s adventurous spirit led her to explore the city in the bitter cold. Returning back, flights were delayed due to the weather, but, she survived.
Her next trip was much warmer with a visit to the Virgin Islands, filled with sunshine, warm breezes and white sand beaches in a tropical setting. As her first international experience, it was quite an adventure to get there with several airport stops and even a ferry to get to the island.
The last two months proved to be the busiest yet, with back-to-back trips to both Toronto and Vancouver, Canada, then San Antonio, TX, with a next stop in Charlotte, SC before heading down under to Brisbane, Surfer’s Paradise and Perth in Australia. The difficult part of all this travel besides navigating through many airports and customs, is being a little disoriented in the hotels and time zones, as every hotel is different. The payoff is great when you get to experience different cultures, visit new places and build relationships. One of the best things about training a customer, is that Connie is usually spending a full week with that customer and they being to feel like family.
One of the highlights of her travels was being in Australia and learning new words. For example, in Australia, “chips” actually means “French fries” if you’re from the US while “crisps” mean “chips.” Similarly, in the US, we call a “bathroom” or “restroom” while in Canada they call it a “washroom” and in Australia it is a “loo.” She also enjoys learning how different clients work differently and being able to adapt and change. Some users have never used a computer before (yes, this actually happened on the last trip!) while others become super users. Juggling all types of users is a talent in itself that requires patience, flexibility and the ability to switch gears at a moment’s notice.
There is a bit of nostalgia of family and home when gone for long periods of time so Connie likes to listen to old music and watch old episodes of some of her favorite shows like Bob’s Burgers. Connie mentioned one of her favorite things about returning home from her travels is to be around familiar people and eat at In and Out Burger.
Connie hopes her BirchStreet travels take her to Vietnam, China and Europe next. Each trip provides a learning experience and new memories and she looks forward to more adventures.