Spanish Paralympic Skier Inspires Madrid Team with Success Story

It’s not everyday Olympic athletes visit your office. The highly decorated Jon Santacana and Miguel Galindo, the Spanish Paralympic skier and his guide, stopped by to speak with our team in Madrid and share their story about how they’ve become the fastest pair in the world.

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At eight-years-old, Jon was diagnosed with Stargardt disease, an inherited juvenile macular degeneration that causes vision loss. Jon began skiing competitively when he was 17-years-old and in 2000, he joined the Spain national team along with his guide, Miguel, who is always by his side.

The biggest takeaway for HomeAway employees was their example of humbleness and dedication. Also, a positive attitude and believing in yourself while pushing the limits means everything. Sonia Carro, Talent Acquisition Specialist, said, “It was interesting to hear them discuss how everything they do is possible because they work together and there is confidence and communication between them.”

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“I don’t know if I am able to achieve everything, but for sure I am able to try it!” - Jon Santacana.

Jon and Miguel shared an inspiring story about how to overcome issues that can work in all areas of life. In the early stages of their careers, they noticed that they were doing well in competitions that required technique, but not in the competitions that required speed. Their first step was to identify what was hindering their speed. They soon discovered communication was the issue and they started to investigate how they could solve the problem.

Through an iterative test and learn process, they found a solution that improved their communication significantly. They grew faster over time and eventually won gold in the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Paralympics. Team HomeAway loved this story specifically because it was a great example of how they embraced Scientific Mindset, one of our core values.

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Jon said he feels lucky despite the limitations he faces every day.


"I feel like a lucky person because I have the disability that I have. I know that what I am saying might seem a bit strange, but it’s true. I don’t mind continuing to suffer from this disease. If the medicine evolves and a cure arrives, great, but I feel fulfilled despite the limitations that I have.”


Jon emphasizes trust as a fundamental value, in himself and in his guide Miguel, who he refers to as his “other self.” Of course there is an amount of fear that comes with moving at 120 kilometers per hour with only 5% visual acuity, but Jon assures that these adversities can only be broken down based on trust.

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“When you’re facing a challenge, you can only do two things, stay there or go ahead.” - Jon Santacana

"Trust, first in me, that I can get things that seem difficult and then, from that moment, projecting that trust on others - my environment and my work team.”

This value is, in his opinion, the most decisive when reaching for your goals.

"In the top level sport and in the business world, self-confidence is the key to success."

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Celebrating Mardi Gras with Team HomeAway

It’s Mardi Gras season and who knows how to celebrate Fat Tuesday better than Louisianans? These employees may live in Austin now, but they never stray far from their Cajun roots. Meredith, Shaler and Katie are sharing how they celebrate the holiday with their favorite traditions and foods.

If you’re not familiar with the history of Mardi Gras, you can learn more here.

The Urban Achievers Brass Band celebrating Mardi Gras with Team HomeAway in our Austin office.

The Urban Achievers Brass Band celebrating Mardi Gras with Team HomeAway in our Austin office.

What is your favorite Mardi Gras memory?

My step-brother and I decided that we were going to be the unofficial Bacchus parade commentators a couple of years ago. We sat on our parents’ front porch with a PA system and commented on all of the different floats, bands and other parade happenings. It was fun, but for some reason we haven’t been asked to do it again…  - Meredith Cranch, Employee Events Specialist

It was the Mardi Gras right after Hurricane Katrina. Everything was still a mess and there were barely any tourists, but the locals were out in full regalia and in full party mode. - Shaler Wells, Software Engineer

Mardi Gras is more than a party. It’s a holiday tradition for my family (much like Christmas!) and something my family has been actively involved in for 40 years. I’m from a smaller town outside of New Orleans and growing up, I remember going to our family friend’s house each year to watch the parades. I had this feeling of pride seeing my dad ride on the float. He would always be sure to find us in the crowd and throw something special just for us. Most recently, I was able to take my 3-year old daughter back to that same house for her first Mardi Gras parade and watch her uncle (my brother) and her own dad ride and throw something special just for her. - Katie Terry, Global Traveler Product Marketing Manager


Now that you live in Austin, how do you celebrate Fat Tuesday?

I’ve lived in Austin for over 10 years now, and I try to at least eat some King Cake, wear beads and rock purple, green and gold on Mardi Gras day. This year, I’m excited that I’m getting to celebrate with Team HomeAway at the Culture Week closing party at our office! - Meredith C.

I’ve been away from Louisiana a long time, but we still do beads with the kids, and make it back when we can. - Shaler W.

After 14 years in Austin, I still order a King Cake each year from my favorite bakery, Haydel’s Bakery, and have it delivered to work. This year I’ll be in Louisiana for Mardi Gras! - Katie T.

Meredith enjoying the Mardi Gras festivities at our office party in Austin.

Meredith enjoying the Mardi Gras festivities at our office party in Austin.

What are your favorite traditions and foods?

KING CAKE! JAMBALAYA! GUMBO! - Meredith C.

King Cake, Gumbo, Shrimp PoBoys - Shaler W.

Listening to Mardi Gras music and eating lots and lots of king cake (and seeing who gets the baby, of course)!!!! Mardi Gras Mambo, anyone? - Katie T.

Red beans and rice and Randazzo King Cake - Matt Carboni, Recruiter

Matt Carboni representing his alma mater, Louisiana State University.

Matt Carboni representing his alma mater, Louisiana State University.

What do you miss most about Louisiana?

Getting days off for Mardi Gras! And reasonably priced boiled crawfish… - Meredith C.

The food, the architecture, the slower pace of life. The fact that every neighborhood has its own unique culture. - Shaler W.

Absolutely the food and getting days off for Mardi Gras, but also in my area of Louisiana, I would have to say the people. Everyone there seems to genuinely care about each other and the community. Cajuns are a tight-knit group. You can’t go to a grocery store without striking up a conversation with someone in the checkout line. They always wish you and your family the best and do it all while calling you “cher” (pronounced “sha”) - Katie T.

Want to join Team HomeAway or learn more about what it’s like to work here? Visit our careers page!

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Talk Techie to me - HomeAway Career Exploration Program

The Career Exploration Program (CEP) is one of the newest concepts created by our Learning & Development team aimed at helping employees navigate and accelerate their career at HomeAway. This program is ideal for employees who are interested in exploring another career path, but lack the skills to join a programming team. Hear from the first CEP group and find out what it takes to succeed in this engineering crash course.

What made you want to apply for the Career Exploration Program?

I already had an interest in pursuing a career change as a developer, so it really was a no brainer since HomeAway was willing to help me along the way. Opportunities like this are almost unheard of. - Sam Soheylee

I’ve always been fascinated with computers; I even attended summer camp for game development when I was younger. Once I could afford it, I went through the Full Stack Program at University of Texas, Austin and now I’m continuing my journey with this program! I really wanted to learn how to bring my ideas and concepts to life, start to finish. - Dylan Rutter

For years now, I have been wanting to pursue the path of development and struggled to balance life commitments with exploring a new endeavor. The CEP provided that opportunity and I immediately knew that this was my chance! I am a lifelong learner and web development is ever-changing; this is what really drew me to this field. Let the adventure begin! - Kristen Fyffe

In high school, I spent long nights reading tutorials on how to change my Myspace theme. I remember coming up with new designs and features that made my page stand out. Ever since then, I saw coding as a career. A few years ago, I noticed coding boot camps were becoming popular, but I was concerned about the time commitment. The CEP has been an amazing opportunity that I am so grateful to be part of. I’ve learned more than I could ever imagine in a short period of time. I’m more confident at problem solving and I’m excited about this career path! - Tatiana Nino

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2. What are your career goals?

My goals at this point are to start an internship and then move on to front-end developer and continue strengthening my tech skills. I hope to continue my journey at HomeAway and guide others who are trying to make similar transitions. - Dylan Rutter

Long-term goal is to be able to call myself a full-stack web development engineer. In the short-term, I want to be useful to my team and continue to learn as much as I can.  - Trent Ingram

My current goal is to learn as much as possible from this experience to improve my skill set in tech and hopefully begin a career as back-end/full stack software developer. - Alfredo Ficcadenti

3. What was your biggest takeaway during the boot camp?

The only thing that can hold me back is myself and I understand more than I thought I did. The scariest part was figuring things out that I didn’t fully understand yet. However, that was arguably the most important part of the bootcamp, learning HOW to learn! - Sam Soheylee

Confidence! I always pride myself on having positive energy and being able to create a positive work environment as well. This time around I really wanted to focus on my technical aspect and it was nice to see in the end that I am making progress and moving closer to my goals every day. - Dylan Rutter

Learning how to be comfortable with constantly not knowing. Quickly learning to work toward the small victories and how the struggles of not knowing were responsible for the amazing feeling of accomplishment. - Jason Jiron

I figured I’d learn a lot about web development, and I did.  But I didn’t expect to learn a lot about myself too. - Trent Ingram

Boot camp opened my eyes to how big web development is and how quickly things are evolving. Every new thing I found interesting and wanted to further explore; it made me realize that you will never be all-knowing. The great thing is, developers are willing to share their knowledge and collaborate. - Kristen Fyffe

There are so many things to learn! Becoming a software developer requires focus to deeply learn new concepts and techniques but to also be flexible to find solutions for a new problem. Sometimes the problems look similar, but it needs a different approach and in general every problem can have different solutions. - Alfredo Ficcadenti

Miguel B transitioned from a Customer Experience role to a full-time position as an Associate Software Engineer.

Miguel B transitioned from a Customer Experience role to a full-time position as an Associate Software Engineer.

4. Any advice for other people trying to make a career transition into tech?

My advice for anyone looking to start a career transition into tech is to take a deep breath and start. It’s a long journey, but if you take it one step after persistent step, you’ll get there. - Miguel Bernal

Don’t feel intimidated. The beauty of this field is you learn new things everyday. Whether you’re new, or a seasoned developer, everyday is an opportunity to improve your skills. - Jason Jiron

Perseverance:  Web development is a big subject, and there’s a lot to learn.  Try to keep momentum by setting small tasks to accomplish every day, or every week.  Over time you’ll start to notice progress. - Trent Ingram

Be passionate. Take the first step and be constant. Invest your free time in learning because if it is something that you like, you will know immediately. - Alfredo Ficcadenti

Start now and don’t wait to be told to learn basic Javascript. It’s the foundation to ALL of the Javascript libraries you will learn and those libraries aren’t going anywhere any time soon. Coding takes patience like you wouldn’t believe and the problems you encounter can be hard, but hang in there. Every problem solved is a new milestone and something learned. - Shell Branch

5. What qualities does someone need to have to be successful in the CEP?

You have to WANT it. It should excite you to discuss the topics and discover new aspects to the technology you use. 12-hour days won’t feel enough and you will always want more. It should make you happy doing it. - Sam Soheylee

Problem solving, problem solving and problem solving. - Alfredo Ficcadenti

I believe that learning to code is something that anyone can do as long as you’re passionate, have an open mind and a positive attitude when something doesn't work out as planned. - Tatiana Nino


Want to join Team HomeAway or learn more about what it’s like to work here? Visit our careers page!

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Friends to Coworkers: A Referral Story

Everyone thinks their friends are amazing, smart, and fun, but would you actually want to work with them every day? Zach Bird, eCommerce Optimization & Sales Coach does! He referred his friend Josh Ziman, now Sr. UX Designer and they are the self-proclaimed referral kings of HomeAway. They are sharing why they love their jobs and how they are helping their friends work here too.

Zach taking a selfie in front of the birdhouse meeting rooms at our Penn Field office in Austin.

Zach taking a selfie in front of the birdhouse meeting rooms at our Penn Field office in Austin.

Zach and Josh met at The University of Texas, Austin and have stayed friends in their postgrad years. When it came time for Josh to leave startup life, he asked Zach about his HomeAway experience.

When Zach describes his role he says, “Before I was a sales team lead at a startup, but now I’m in a sales coaching role and I work with 34 of our reps on soft skills, training and delivery. There are several things I love about working at HomeAway — it’s a bigger company, we have great incentive programs, and even more resources since the Expedia acquisition.”

This was enough to pique Josh’s interest and begin the application process. Now that Josh is officially part of Team HomeAway, it’s much easier for him to give insight about the day-to-day on the engineering and product teams.

“Before HomeAway, I was the sole UX designer at a eight person startup in travel and hospitality. We built products for hostels and backpacker transportation in Latin America. On a small team, my work spanned many disciplines, which is what I preferred at the time.

HomeAway allows me to focus and ‘go deep,’ which is what I wanted next. We have a large team of expert designers, prototypers, researchers, and writers — a diverse group of people who grow and teach one another everyday. It’s a fantastic place to think scientifically, challenge ideas, learn new processes and improve my craft.” - Josh Z.

So how are these two friends handling future referrals? Josh and Zach made an arrangement to split bonuses because they have so many mutual friends who also want to work at HomeAway!

While combing your LinkedIn connections and following up with hiring managers may sound tedious, these two swear it pays off.

Josh joined Team HomeAway as a Sr. Experience Designer in 2018.

Josh joined Team HomeAway as a Sr. Experience Designer in 2018.

Zach says, “I love using LinkedIn to promote job postings from HomeAway. The referral bonus is fantastic and well worth the extra effort of sharing job postings and following up with people.”

They even have a system in place to decide who should talk to each referral.

“It’s easy to talk to a wide array of people about working at HomeAway because our roles are so different. If they are pursuing a more technical role (developer, UI/UX) that’s right in Josh’s wheelhouse. We also have a number of contacts in the sales space here in Austin, so when we come across someone who’s more aligned for that, I come in as the resident sales coach. I think we both have a lot of insight into the recruiting and hiring process as well and will often try to help folks navigate the process altogether. In fact, I know that Josh is reviewing the resume of one of our mutual friends right now!” - Zach

You might not be a personal acquaintance of Josh or Zach, but they have some recommendations on how to get someone in your corner to advocate for you.

Zach says, “First, you need to be qualified for the job, make sure you have a good track record with the person you’re asking to refer you, it’s really that easy.”

Whether you’re looking for a new job or looking for referrals to join Team HomeAway, it’s always easier with friends, just ask these two!

Want to join Team HomeAway or learn more about what it’s like to work here? Visit our careers page!

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Inside John Kim's Exclusive Career Development Cohort

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.

(The Alpha class from the Customer Experience and Partner Success teams. From left: Seleena Hoban, Shawn Stoller, Drew Cross, John Kim, Katie Winland, and Sarah Wilson)

(The Alpha class from the Customer Experience and Partner Success teams. From left: Seleena Hoban, Shawn Stoller, Drew Cross, John Kim, Katie Winland, and Sarah Wilson)

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

Beta Class from left: Trey Briggs (Engineering), Julie Bosshart-Lammers (Marketing), Megan Hunter (Partner Success), Andrew Cunningham (Product), Joshua White (Customer Experience)

Beta Class from left: Trey Briggs (Engineering), Julie Bosshart-Lammers (Marketing), Megan Hunter (Partner Success), Andrew Cunningham (Product), Joshua White (Customer Experience)

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

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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

Want to join Team HomeAway or learn more about what it’s like to work here? Visit our careers page!

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A Day in the Life of a HomeAway Events Specialist

Meredith’s job is unique, so unique in fact she refers to it as the “unicorn role.” Positions like this are posted few and far between so when she found out HomeAway was hiring for an Employee Events Specialist role she immediately envisioned herself in HomeAway blue. While most new employees hope for a relaxing transition and plenty of time to get acclimated, Meredith jumped in head first on day one. Why? One of our biggest events was right around the corner, Austin City Limits Music Festival. She’s sharing her experience coordinating the HomeAway Hospitality Tent at ACL and tips for scoring a dream job like hers.


Q: How would you sum up your role in one sentence?

MC: I plan activities and events that contribute to the many reasons why Team HomeAway wants to come to work instead of having to come to work.

Q: What types of events do you help with?

MC: My first two big events were Day of Caring and the HomeAway hospitality tent at Austin City Limits. Next up is the Level Up Games.

Since this is a new role, we’re still working out the events where I will take lead and/or collaborate with other teams like Diversity & Inclusion, Facilities, Expedia Group, etc. We’re also working on the 2019 calendar and hoping to add some new internal events and other engagement opportunities into the mix!

Meredith and her manager, Jaime M. posing in the photo booth for Halloween.

Meredith and her manager, Jaime M. posing in the photo booth for Halloween.

Q: Give us two tips for someone wanting to start a career in events?

MC: First, volunteer to help out with as many events as you can! Then you’ll be top of mind if there is a need for an official events role. Second, no matter how much time and effort you put into producing an event, somebody has to get out on the dance floor to really get the party started. Don’t be afraid to be that person!

First time visiting the Expedia Group office in Bellevue, Washington.

First time visiting the Expedia Group office in Bellevue, Washington.

Q: What’s been your favorite thing about working at HomeAway so far?

MC: ACL was hard work, but amazing! Both of Nelly’s St. Lunatics gave me high fives during his show on the HomeAway stage, so I think that officially makes me a St. Lunatic now.

I also enjoyed seeing all of my talented teammates who submitted videos to the HomeAway’s Got Talent competition. It’s the first time we’ve done a competition like this where employees vote on the different acts and the winners get to perform at our annual holiday party in Austin. I’m looking forward to the live performances and hope that we get to do something similar again!

Interested in learning more about what it’s like to be part of Team HomeAway? Follow us on social media or visit our careers page!

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My 5 TakeAways from the Texas Conference for Women

Written by Jennifer Haston, HomeAway Customer Support Supervisor

I was privileged to attend the 2018 Texas Conference for Women thanks to HomeAway. It's my dream to speak there someday, but one step at a time folks!

One of the many things I love about Expedia Group and HomeAway is their commitment to knowledge and learning. Many programs are offered internally that allow for professional and personal development. It’s such a joy to be able to take advantage of these programs and the opportunity to attend conferences like this. 

There were 7,500 people in attendance at this year’s conference. Take a minute, drink that in.

7,500 attendees (mostly women) and it was great to see some men as well! 

The day started with a breakfast session with (Anne Grady) about balance being bogus. It really set the tone for my day because my normal habit in an environment like this is to take copious notes (which I never look at again) and really MISS out on the opportunity to BE there.

Luvvie Ajayi and I after her session.

Luvvie Ajayi and I after her session.

Anne asked us to think about what we would do to really BE at the conference. 

Some suggestions in the room were:

I was fed, motivated and ready to start the day.

There were so many takeaways from this conference, but for time’s sake I’ll share my favorite highlights.

  1. Always be early. This ensures that you’ll snag a good seat and it allows time to review the conference guide.

  2. "We need accomplices, not allies."- Luvvie Ajayi

  3. “Small Potential is the limited success we can attain alone. Big potential is what we can achieve together.” - Shawn Achor

  4. "Choose discomfort over resentment." - Brené Brown It's not comfortable to say no, especially for women. We want to do it all, have it all and be ALL things. If you say no, you will be uncomfortable in the moment, but you won't resent the person you shouldn’t have said "yes" to in the first place.

  5. Be bold and ask questions, it often leads to great discussion! This applies to individual networking, local meetings, and conferences.

If there is a conference for women in your state, I highly recommend attending. Also, encourage your company to sponsor employees to attend or sponsor a booth like HomeAway did at the 2017 conference!

Interested in learning more about what it’s like to be part of Team HomeAway? Follow us on social media or visit our careers page!

Fast Track Your Career From Entry Level to Next Level

Working at the front desk is the perfect career launchpad to many departments within HomeAway. Why? As a front desk assistant, you’re “in the know” with office happenings, open roles, and it’s a chance to connect with everyone from the president to the security guards. Kylie Saurage, Emily Swansey, and Tiffany Lee share how their careers have changed since working at the front desk and how you can take the next step too!

Q: What originally interested you in working at HomeAway?

Kylie working at the font desk at our Domain office.

Kylie working at the font desk at our Domain office.

Kylie: The first time I heard of HomeAway was when we had a stage at the Austin City Limits Music Festival in 2015. I started as a contractor picking up shifts for the front desk here and there. I thought the atmosphere, company culture, and the people were super rad.

Emily: I also started working at HomeAway as a contractor covering the front desk back in 2012. That eventually led to an opportunity to work for the HomeAway Software team. When my contract with HomeAway Software ended in late 2012, I was crushed because I genuinely loved working for HomeAway. I worked for another company for nine months, applying to various roles at HomeAway, before finally finding my way back as a full-time front desk coordinator.

Q: How did working at the front desk prepare you for your current role?

Kylie: It allowed me to interact with many different people at HomeAway so when I became a recruiting coordinator, I already had great relationships established with many of the hiring managers. There were also a lot of ad-hoc projects I worked on at the front desk that prepared me for all of the coordination I do now.

Tiffany with another former front desk assistant.

Tiffany with another former front desk assistant.

Tiffany: When I was a front desk coordinator, we were still a small startup. We had 65 employees in Austin and had just acquired a company with 60 employees in another city. I was responsible for many things outside the regular duties of answering the phone, office upkeep, and greeting visitors. For example, I organized our first food drive by pitting different departments against each other. The result was almost four tons of food! We had to rent U-Haul trucks to get it to the food bank. Also, when there was an executive fire, I got to help put it out. The best though? Knowing everyone in the company. That visibility is how I transitioned into a marketing role in just one year without any formal marketing experience. Now I’m the Employer Brand Manager. The rest is history.

Kat and team at Spredfast Summit in Austin.

Kat and team at Spredfast Summit in Austin.

Emily: It paved the way for me to transition to the social media  team at HomeAway. We have several offices in Austin and I think it’s easy for people to feel trapped and unfamiliar with other departments. Being at the front desk allowed me to network with employees and learn where my interests were, but the work didn’t stop there. I reached out to employees to get additional insight on their roles and departments. I also offered to work on side projects in my free time. In the process, I learned a lot more about the company and how genuinely nice and caring #TeamHomeAway is.

What are your tips for someone who wants to get a job at HomeAway?

Kylie: General tips for job hunting would be to make sure your resume is in tip-top shape. Bad grammar and spelling are red flags. Also, be courteous to everyone you interact with at HomeAway from your coordinator to the front desk person. Everyone will let the recruiter know if someone is acting up!

Tiffany dressed up for her first HomeAway Halloween.

Tiffany dressed up for her first HomeAway Halloween.


Tiffany: Be diligent. Understand your skill set and how it might provide value to HomeAway. Be able to articulate that. Be yourself. If it’s not a fit right now, it could be later. Listen to the feedback and apply it to your next career move so you can come back with those skills and try again. Persist. Believe in yourself and the value you bring.


Emily: If you’re already working at HomeAway and you’re interested in another team, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Reach out and ask an employee to meet you for coffee or maybe chat over a bowl of snacks in the bistro. There is also an amazing mentor program available now that makes it easier to connect with other teams.

Tiffany (center) showing off her t-shirt quilt made from HomeAway shirts she’s collected during her 11 years with the company.

Tiffany (center) showing off her t-shirt quilt made from HomeAway shirts she’s collected during her 11 years with the company.

How does the position you’re currently in resonate with your skills?

Tiffany: I love connecting with employees and potential employees to share the mission, goals and values of HomeAway and Expedia Group. Talent Brand offers many channels for me to help employees tell their HomeAway stories and to make those connections with people considering HomeAway for their next career move.

Emily’s creativity and love for social media extends beyond her role at HomeAway. View her photography on  Instagram .

Emily’s creativity and love for social media extends beyond her role at HomeAway. View her photography on Instagram.

Emily: As a millennial, I’ve always had the internet at my fingertips. I grew up in a small town where there was very little going on and the internet, specifically social media (hello MySpace and Friendster), was an awesome way for me to connect with people in other states or countries. When the opportunity opened up on the social media team, I knew I had to jump on it. I handle all of our-day to-day conversations with travelers and partners on Twitter and Facebook. It’s so interesting to see how people interact with us as a brand.

Want to join Team HomeAway or learn more about our benefits and perks? Visit our careers page!

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