Oct 4, 2018

Getting on Board: a Language Specialist Reflects

Federica Lorefice
Team Lead, Localization

Federica, Italian Language Specialist, joined the Localization team over the summer. As a member of the Localization team, she helps bring our products to customers in their local language.  In today’s post she shares her onboarding experience and how her team supported her learning process.


When did you join GYG?

I joined the Localization Team at GetYourGuide in June 2018 as an Italian Language Specialist.

How was your first day?

I’ll never forget. It was one of the first warm days in Berlin, so I wanted to dress comfortably, but also properly for my first day at work. I picked trousers and a white, long-sleeved shirt. Once I arrived, I met Fran from the IT department who was wearing shorts and a very colorful shirt. He told me, “we wear colorful outfits on Friday, you should join the trend.” That was the moment I realised I had chosen the right company to work for... but unfortunately the wrong outfit to start.

How did the team welcome you?

After setting up all my company accounts with IT, it was finally time to meet my team. Surprisingly, my GetYourGuide buddy Edvina (Swedish Language Specialist) had organized lunch with the whole team in a very cool place near the office. We had a nice time together, chatting and relaxing in the sun. A pretty warm welcome, I would say!

How were the following two weeks?

In three words: busy, exciting, and rewarding! My onboarding schedule was packed with meetings and shadowing tasks. I learned how we manage freelancers from Melanie, German Language Specialist; from Kris, Norwegian Language Specialist, I learned how we localize our customer newsletter; from Diana Spanish Language Specialist, I learned how we localize our marketing copy to appeal to non-English speaking markets; and so on. Each person really took the time to share their knowledge with me and made sure I understood my role fully.

I found this approach very efficient and fun - You’re given the time and access you need to familiarize yourself with the environment and processes. Training was fast-paced without being rushed and was designed to give me the opportunity to easily jump into my work routine as soon as it was complete.

Did you ever feel overwhelmed during the first few days?

No matter how great a company is and how nice your coworkers might be, there’s always that unavoidable adrenaline rush (we may call it fear) when starting a new job. So, of course there were moments where I felt overwhelmed. I needed to learn a lot, as quickly as possible while also wanting to prove my skills and value to the team.

After my training weeks, I was afraid I couldn’t retain all the information I had received and start working on my own, but it helped knowing my whole team was there to support me. They were often checking in on me, asking me if I was feeling comfortable, taking me to lunch, and so on. Chatting with them always relaxed me and I knew I could count on their help when I needed it.

What was your favorite part of the onboarding process?

I really enjoyed meeting new people from different departments, learning about their teams and, seeing how their tasks related to my job. I also appreciated being asked for my opinion on the processes to which I was being introduced. Throughout the entire onboarding process, there was never a moment of just passive listening.

When did your onboarding end?

After three weeks I was invited to the famous Welcome Days - a company organized two-day event for the new hires of that month, packed with inspiring and informative presentations and activities. During the Welcome Days I had the chance to visit HQ, learn even more about the other departments, meet new people and, finally, hear from our CEO, Johannes. For me, the Welcome Days marked the end of my onboarding cycle.

But, does it ever really end? I live by the motto “every day is a school day.” So, this is what I’m still doing, day by day: learning new skills, embracing new tasks, and facing new challenges - just the way I like it.

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