How Working in a Global Company Impacted my Career: Pamela Rodriguez, FC Barcelona
An interview series with junior candidates
One of my favourite things about working at Elliott Scott HR is that we are global. We have offices in Hong Kong, London, New York, Sao Paulo and Singapore and have made placements in over 30 countries. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m motivated by travel, and I’ve always been really interested in what’s going on in different parts of the world, it’s one of the reasons why I made the move from Melbourne to New York in 2016.
At Elliott Scott HR, though we may be in different offices, the wider global team is closely connected (through Slack, Skype etc.) and I have learnt a lot from them in the past two years. In June, I spent a week in our London office; it was great to spend time with the team and learn the subtle differences between the markets. I was able to see how my colleagues Kirstin Hunt and Agata Staszewska work and seeing them in action gave me some good tips to take home to New York, Agata and I attended a few candidate meetings together which was a great learning experience.
As we work with a number of our clients globally, I’ve found this reflected in my placements. I place junior candidates across the US and many of the placements I’ve made have been within global companies. Often these successful candidates have been given the chance to travel to other global offices and I enjoy hearing how these experiences have impacted their careers so far.
I recently sat down with one of these placements, Pamela Rodriguez, to hear how working in a global company has impacted her career.
Pamela Rodriguez, Office Manager/ HR Assistant @ FC Barcelona:
Pamela is the Office Manager for FC Barcelona’s New York Office. As part of a small team, she wears many hats. Her role encompasses all day-to-day operations of the US office - processing invoices, payroll, budget & forecasting, on-boarding new hires, and assisting with recruitment needs. Pamela was flown to Barcelona within her first 6 months with the company, and also has a trip to Hong Kong coming up.
How has working in a global company impacted your career so far?
I think it widens your perspective. I have worked in the Sports industry my whole life, but on a national level. Now working at an international level, you really see the difference. I didn’t interact with Soccer ever before, but going there and experiencing it in person, you understand why so many people are so crazy about it. I think it changed my perspective on the sport but also the industry; everybody thinks that FC Barcelona is such a cool brand, but they don’t see the amazing people behind it. It was really great for me to go there and see that for myself. I already know the kind of work we do here, but when I went there and saw all the people that it takes to create this amazing brand, it was pretty inspiring.
Tell me about your experience travelling to the office in Barcelona.
From a culture perspective you see a difference, for example they work longer hours there because they take long lunches. It’s such a great experience because you get that sense of family while working, and when you love your job and team it’s ok to stay there till 7pm. The way they work is so different than ours in the US, their mornings aren’t necessarily when they do most of their work. Whereas in New York you come in and mornings are quite pivotal. Over there they work hard but at their own pace, while New Yorkers work within certain time constraints. New Yorkers are all ‘now now now’.
I haven’t gone to the Hong Kong office yet but my co-worker has and he says that he loves it there. It’s crazy that despite the physical distance, the culture remains similar. We all speak multiple languages so it’s a fun team to be a part of. There are obviously differences in the way each office lives their day-to-day, but we all have the same core principles.
I also think it’s cool that you can think about our company working 24 hours a day, just because of the different time zones. When we’re sleeping, Hong Kong is working and vice versa, and then in the middle there is Barcelona that leads everything. I think that’s pretty interesting, because there’s always something happening.
What have you learnt from your colleagues in Barcelona?
For the Commercial Department, which is what we’re a part of, The Executive Assistant for the CCO does my role in Barcelona (they’re a much larger office than ours – about 500 people). She does similar work to what I do and so we support each other and communicate a lot, we text often, and I like that we have that kind of relationship. I’ve learnt a lot about global communication across time zones - I think it’s great that we can live in two different worlds but can still communicate with each other on that level. Same thing with my counterpart in Hong Kong, we work together a lot because we plan a lot of travel and manage everyone’s schedules, and it’s been great having that overlap and getting to know her.
What struck me most from my discussion with Pamela was the maturity with which she spoke about working with different cultures and across time zones – she has learnt a lot in just over a year at FC Barcelona. In my own experience I have also found that working with global teams widens your perspective and puts you on an exponential learning curve. It helps you stay creative in your approach to work, by remembering that there are always multiple ways of doing things.
In the coming months I’ll be sitting down with other placed candidates and close contacts of mine, who are also working in global teams, in other industries like Finance and Tech. I look forward to hearing and sharing their stories and learning the positive impact these experiences have had on junior HR candidates. If you have relevant experiences you would like to share please reach out to me at email@example.com