President, John Kim, recognizes the importance of spending time developing talent within HomeAway. With his President’s Apprentice program, he’s dedicating his personal time to help existing and future HomeAway leaders broaden their leadership footprint. These employees recently graduated from the program and they’re sharing the advice and learnings they took with them.
Q: What is something that you took away from your apprenticeship that you’re applying to your current role?
“The ability to form a better argument. As a group, we’ve been working on building a business case for HomeAway to implement. The process of forming a thesis, supporting facts and getting buy-in is very tough, but the skills and insights I’ve learned from John Kim have helped me suggest and support arguments to my team.” - Trey Briggs, Senior Software Engineer
“Do your research, then do some more! This program showed me how critical it is to dig in to understanding any problem you’re trying to solve with a scientific mindset and feverish curiosity. I use this daily to lead my team and we lean on the data and research to have more meaningful conversations with our partners.“ - Megan Hunter, Lead Account Manager
“Since participating in the Apprenticeship program, my role at HomeAway has changed significantly. Some of the most impactful takeaways were the power of leading with logic, being an organizer of thought and always encouraging others to poke holes in my argument. If I’m ever feeling stuck, I can hear JK saying, ‘Ok, what is the job to be done here? What do I want to accomplish?’ He said this so often that it became sort of a running joke amongst the group, but it’s such simple and sound wisdom! Starting with the end in mind allows me to build stronger branches of logic and have a vision that isn’t muddied by an infinite number of possible outcomes. - Sarah Wilson, Customer Experience Specialist
Q: What’s the nomination process like and how you found out you were accepted?
“I was nominated by my director at the time. After the nominations, we were interviewed by Arin Bryan from the Learning & Development team, who asked us questions about our experience and what our career aspirations were. I then had a call with John Kim to discuss the program and see if I would be a good fit based on what his goals were. Then I was notified that I had been selected to participate in the first junior cohort at HomeAway and I was super excited!” -Katie Winland, Partner Success Team Lead
Q: What was your experience like working directly with HomeAway President, John Kim?
“John Kim says things that make you think differently for the rest of your life. I remember him asking us how we were feeling about our final presentation in which I answered ‘I just want it to be awesome!’ He then said to me, ‘That’s a fixed mindset.’ We read the book Mindset by Carol Dweck which honestly changed me mentally for a couple weeks in that I constantly counted the times in which my mind was in a fixed state rather than a growth state. I’m better for it only because John Kim called it how it is. You need to be open to the feedback and understand that he wants you to be the best version of yourself and a great leader.” - Seleena Hoban, Global Operations Program Coordinator
“JK inspired me to evaluate how I ‘show up’ for my job every day and how important it is to understand how you are doing now, then set up a plan to measure how you will continue to grow moving forward. It’s not enough to say, ‘I want to get better at x, y, or z.’ You have to put the time in and then figure out how to quantify the results and keep yourself in check!” -Megan Hunter, Lead Account Manager
Q: How did the career coaching session impact your personal career goals?
“The coaching sessions with John Kim and Learning & Development Specialist, Kylie Robin were incredibly insightful. John showed me how to be more intentional with my career by writing down my aspirations, what I want my reputation to be and how to align my week-to-week actions to get there. This helped me reevaluate where I was at in my career at the time and led me to work with my director to set goals. My sessions with Kylie helped me gain insights for daily self-improvement. Her general knowledge and thoughtful consideration for coaching me on leadership opened me up to new skills like communicating with confidence and compassionate directness. These sessions were invaluable and allowed me to take intentional steps to achieving my personal goals.” - Trey Briggs, Senior Software Engineer
Q: Did you work on a specific assignment during the program?
“Our main project was creating our vision of ‘The Future of Sales and Service.’ I know...so meta. I can remember exactly where I was sitting the day JK gave us feedback. It wasn’t pretty, but to be fair, this was the very first time any of us had ever attempted to create a strategic vision. After gathering information from some of the brilliant minds at HomeAway (and going through countless iterations), we presented our thesis to leadership and an audience of over 300. I’m immensely proud of what we accomplished! It’ll be an ongoing goal of mine to emulate JK’s seemingly effortless ability to deconstruct a pile of dirt and rebuild it into diamond.” - Sarah Wilson, Customer Experience Specialist
Q: Did you meet new coworkers during the program?
“The first junior cohort was from Customer Experience and Partner Success. A few of us knew each other prior to the program, but this experience really brought us together as a group. We still connect with each other in and out of work, I feel like we have become a family. We spent a lot of hours together preparing for our sessions and final presentation and we created lasting friendships. I’m so grateful for this experience it really taught me a lot about collaboration and I made friends that I’ll have for the rest of my life. -Katie Winland, Partner Success Team Lead
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