Mike looked at me, “Ben, how’s your German?”
So exactly a week later, German phrasebook in hand and 8 working days into my job, I found myself on a plane heading to Berlin for the first time in my life.
Now is a good time to tell you that I don’t speak much German. Any, in fact. So when I learned the whole event was to be in German, I wasn’t exactly brimming with confidence.
Thankfully, I had an advantage: our technology, Glisser, actually did what it said. It was intuitive, and the event went off without a hitch.
On the plane back later that evening, I finally had a minute to myself to process the last 12 hours. I had flown out the country for business (for the first time), to help run an international event (also a first), all in my second week on the job.
For what had been advertised as a Copywriting & Social Media internship, things weren’t going too badly.
One of my favourite aspects of a startup is its ability to move fast, and Glisser was no exception. I quickly went from crafting content to practicing pitches - moving from Social Media to Sales in the span of a few months.
With Glisser being such a widely-applicable tool, our clients are as diverse as they come. And as I brought in more business, more opportunities followed.
I visited Brussels for a technology conference.
Las Vegas for an events roadshow.
Tallinn for a design summit.
Within my first 9 months at the company, I already had experience running international events, learning a breadth of skills from Copywriting to Coding, and getting an insight into what it takes to run a well-oiled startup machine. I was loving it.
Then came the big one.
March 17th, 2017. My 6 month full-time review.
Since graduating from an intern to Business Development Manager in September, I’d been working to expand Glisser’s client base. 6 months later, my performance review with my manager, Jamie, was going as expected for the most part.
That was until, with 10 minutes to go, Jamie asked me: “How would you like to go to New York?”
I’ll write here that I kept a cool head, didn’t overreact, and said I’d get back to him soon. Jamie may tell you otherwise.
I was well aware that being offered the chance to establish my company’s international office wasn’t something that came around often. This company was different. I couldn’t say no.
So 6 months later, after a *few* bits of VISA paperwork, I found myself on another plane, this time bound for the Big Apple. My life was packed into two suitcases down below, and I knew a grand total of one person in New York: our US Managing Director, Meaghan.
As I left my friends, family and life behind, I couldn’t help but think back to that first plane to Berlin. Same situation, different game. The stakes were raised, and I was going intercontinental.
While it was a fresh set of faces, the sentiment was the same: grow the Glisser brand. So that’s what we did.
In the 10 short months I’ve been here, I’ve watched us move into a bigger office, overachieve on our revenue targets, and secure a number of big names.
I’ve learned how to successfully negotiate, manage large clients, and beat resistance with persistence.
In a 3 week period, I travelled to Las Vegas, Chicago, Detroit, and then finally to Niagara Falls. Our US team even managed to squeeze a trip back to London in between.
If you told me just over 2 years ago where I’d be now, I’d laugh. But as I write this from our Manhattan office, I’m wearing a smile. Glisser has given me countless great opportunities so far, and I’m incredibly thankful for it.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a flight to catch.