Welcome to My Kiwi story! This is the first in an ongoing series about our dedicated employees and their lives at Kiwi.com.
In this episode, we chat with our Senior Global Partnerships Manager, Helena Torres and her path to Kiwi.com, what motivates her and the challenges she faces.
Hi Helena, you joined Kiwi.com 2 years ago. Could you tell us something more about your journey with the company?
When I joined, I was managing the team that builds our relationships with travel agencies and air content aggregators worldwide. One year later, we decided to merge with the Airlines Team to become the Travel Content Acquisition team, aiming to source the best flights at the best prices. I was the Head of Travel Content Acquisition till I realized I needed a change. Together, we created a position that met my needs and the company’s strategy. It was a co-creation process!
My focus now, as Senior Global Partnerships Manager, is towards making Kiwi.com ‘top of mind’ in the defined countries we wish to solidify our presence. I am very grateful for Kiwi.com’s support in this decision!
What I love the most about my job is my multicultural and diverse team. We work hard and play harder and we are able to bond regularly, beyond cultural and personal differences.
You have been working for impressive global companies before Kiwi.com (Amadeus, Consolidador.com). What brought you to our company?
Kiwi.com was my first online travel agency customer. I was invited to the 6th company birthday party in Brno. When I saw the Headquarters… I instantly wanted to be part of it! The people were so young and vibrant, in their flip flops, moving with their laptops from meeting to meeting.
The smell of cooked food in the kitchen, the sound and warmth of the dogs running around, and all of this while you’re discussing a couple of million euros with your colleague! Really impressive. I just had this feeling of how a workplace could feel so familiar and modern, merging personal and professional, bringing people together in a more human, informal and natural way.
What are the challenges you face and how do you overcome them?
I would say that making deals in order for a business to grow is an every-day challenge. We are super collaborative when trying to overcome these challenges but sometimes it’s difficult to find your way in new platforms like GDrive. It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the number of people tagging you in different documents or Slack channels, as opposed to receiving an email for a meeting to discuss something.
At Kiwi.com, we debate, discuss and decide mostly in digital documents and platforms. How do we overcome this? I guess the culture has something to do with it. I could easily feel disconnected and frustrated (especially coming alone to a new country) but fortunately, all my Kiwi colleagues are there for me and willing to help. We call it our Kiwi Family, our group of colleagues that becomes friends and supporters, the ones you can call when you manage to lock yourself outside of your home, for example!