These Interns are Having the Best Summer Ever

Our first group of Partner Success interns recently started in Madrid and London and let’s just say they are in for a wild summer. Ok, maybe not “bachelorette party wild,” but there will definitely be some unique learning opportunities mixed in with travel and other fun events. One of their first assignments was to interview HomeAway President, John Kim, and pick his brain on the future of e-commerce.

Vicky W., a Partner Success Intern in Madrid said, “The interview with JK was truly amazing and inspiring. He is full of knowledge and very open and truthful about the direction that HomeAway is going. It was an honor to meet him and I am convinced there is so much to learn from him.”

Naomi V., also in Madrid agreed and added that "it set the tone for the rest of our internship.”

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Louise R. is an intern in London currently finishing her master’s degree at the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands.  She said, "It was an amazing opportunity to meet and interview JK. During the interview I got a lot of insight about his strategic view on digital disruption, which is very useful input for my thesis. I really appreciate that he was very open and honest.”

Louise took a risk and accepted the internship without ever visiting London, but she knew it was the right fit.

When asked why she chose an internship in a different country she said, “I really like to be challenged and go after new opportunities, and this internship gives me the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone. What I enjoy most about HomeAway is the environment and the culture, it’s not something I’m used to in the traditional finance world.”

 Louise exploring Notting Hill.

Louise exploring Notting Hill.

Louise is a sixth generation jeweler and her family owns a 200-year-old jewelry store back home in Holland. They encouraged her to pursue new experiences outside of the family business and she’s learning a lot about e-commerce at her university and HomeAway.

Even though she just recently started her internship, her public speaking skills are already improving. Just last week Louise flew to Madrid to give a presentation in front of 200 HomeAway employees and she called it “a great achievement!”

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Rafaela F., another Partner Success Intern in Madrid, is fully embracing Openness (one of our core values) and says it’s what makes coming to work so fun.

“What I enjoy most about working at HomeAway are the daily opportunities to improve myself within a motivational and international environment. They provide us with a diverse work structure and besides that, they are truly making it a ‘HomeAway’ from home.”

We love our interns around the world and we can’t wait to share more of their stories with you. Stay tuned for content this summer about the HomeAway Internship Program and HomeAway University!

Are you interested in interning with HomeAway? Visit our careers page to explore open opportunities.

A Weekend in Pittsburgh with NSBE

Our recruiters and engineers just got back from Pittsburgh and they simply can’t stop raving about the 44th Annual National Association of Black Engineers (NSBE) Convention. Team HomeAway returned for a second year to recruit college engineers and share their career stories, but this time around they brought someone extra special.

HomeAway President, John Kim, attended the convention and hosted an invitation-only dinner for a small group of engineering students, allowing them to dig deep and inquire more about life at HomeAway. JK also presented his popular session from SXSW, “Love in the Age of Machine Learning.”

The small, group dinner was the highlight for Team HomeAway and students alike because of the valuable one-on-one time they got to spend together.

 Team HomeAway at dinner in Pittsburgh with NSBE students.

Team HomeAway at dinner in Pittsburgh with NSBE students.

Trey Briggs, Sr. Software Engineer, said, “I enjoyed hearing students talk about their collegiate experiences during dinner and seeing the students` interest in HomeAway rise throughout the night.”

For Dottie Tosan, Partner Success Account Manager, bonding with other Nigerian engineers made the evening extra personal.

The following day at the general session, attendees were hanging on to every word as JK shared personal stories and talked about how love is surprisingly the key ingredient when it comes to a successful career in technology.

Dottie said, “JK’s session was definitely the ‘bomb.’ He gave the audience a lot to think about in terms of where the world is going and how they can stay competitive. Also, I appreciated his humility in staying afterward to interact with the participants, it spoke a lot to his character.”

When asked if they would be excited to attend the NSBE Convention again, it was a unanimous “yes” among Team HomeAway. The authentic connections and passion for engineering made this the ultimate event for our team to meet bright students who are ready for their next opportunity after college.

Want to join Team HomeAway or check out other cool perks we offer? Visit our careers page!

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Affinity Group Series: Latin@s at HomeAway

This group isn’t even a year old and their list of appearances and accomplishments is already a mile long. The Latin@s at HomeAway group launched in 2017 under the leadership of Gretel Perera, Jacob Rosales and Miguel Bernal. Gretel Perera, Global Public Relations Manager, shares more about what they have planned for 2018.

  Team HomeAway at the Latinos in Tech event at Google

Team HomeAway at the Latinos in Tech event at Google

Q: How and why was Latin@s at HomeAway founded?

GP: We started the organization in 2017 with a simple goal of connecting the Latino employees working at HomeAway. A few of us connected and we slowly began growing the community through various events and activities. Our core activities are centered around monthly gatherings that include “lunch & learn” sessions and happy hours.

Latin@s at HomeAway now has more than 130 members, representing all areas of the business, including engineering, marketing, sales, human resources and customer support. We have employees from Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Spain, Tejas, Venezuela and the U.S.

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Q: That’s crazy growth for a new group! What were some things the group accomplished in 2017?

GP: Well first, we launched Latin@s at HomeAway! We also hosted two internal happy hours, two lunch & learn sessions, and the first Affinity Group Happy Hour with HomeAway President, John Kim. Our members also volunteered at HomeAway University to recruit more Latino candidates.

Outside of HomeAway, we partnered with 10 tech companies to bring together the Latinos in Tech community in Austin. Mari Rylander, Global Director of Talent Acquisition, participated in several panel discussions, including the inaugural Latinos in Tech event at Indeed during Hispanic Heritage Month. Our group participated in the Latinas in Tech Silicon Valley Summit & Women’s Empowerment Luncheon. One of the coolest things we did last year was host the“Latinos in Tech Austin End-of-Year Fiesta at our Domain office, with 150 participants from 10 tech companies and local non-profits.

Q: What an exciting time to be a Latina at HomeAway! What events do you have planned for 2018?

GP: We will be introducing different activities under our three key areas of focus:

  • Building an inclusive culture

  • Developing a talent pipeline

  • Giving back to the community

We are hosting the Latinitas Game Chica conference at our Domain office on April 28. Marisela Rylander is speaking at another panel, this time at a SXSW event in Austin. We also have more lunch & learns scheduled throughout the year. We recently did one with our Brazilian colleagues to learn more about their country, how HomeAway operates in Brazil, and even some fun Portuguese words—all while enjoying delicious Brazilian cuisine. We hope to get involved in more training workshops, mentorship programs, participate in industry events and give back to the community.

  The HomeAway Brazil team joined us for a meeting and even taught us some Portuguese!

The HomeAway Brazil team joined us for a meeting and even taught us some Portuguese!

Q: What does it mean to you to be a leader of Latin@s at HomeAway?

GP: It’s been exciting to get to know my coworkers, participate in events together, and introduce new people to the organization. I enjoy connecting with our Latino community and building a strong network within HomeAway.

Q: Do you connect with other Latino groups outside of HomeAway?

GP: Yes, we actually started a Latinos in Tech community that includes more than 14 tech companies in Austin. We host events every two months at different offices. The first one was at Indeed in September 2017 during Hispanic Heritage Month, then we hosted the end-of-the-year fiesta in December. We recently met at Dell to share best practices among the tech companies of our Latino Employee Resource Groups.

  Gretel (right) hosting the Latinos in Tech SXSW panel.

Gretel (right) hosting the Latinos in Tech SXSW panel.

Q: How can people get involved with Latin@s at HomeAway and learn more about what the group is doing?

HomeAway employees can find information on our meeting schedule and events on our official Wiki page. If you don’t work at HomeAway, the Life at HomeAway Facebook and Instagram are the best places to find out about upcoming community events.

Want to join Team HomeAway or check out other cool perks we offer? Visit our careers page!

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Affinity Group Series: Women in Tech

March is a significant month for women around the world with International Women’s Day on March 8. We have so many innovative and powerful women right here at HomeAway, there’s no better time to shine a light on on the work they are doing for our Women in Tech Affinity Group.

Q: How and why was HomeAway Women in Tech founded?

“I was inspired to start the Women in Tech group at HomeAway while attending my first Grace Hopper Conference in 2016.  Mingling with 15,000 female technologists and leaders under one roof was an incredible experience, especially when I considered that they all had one goal: to empower and help women progress in their careers.

Attending the inspirational keynote sessions at Grace Hopper, I thought to myself: “If not me, then who? If not now, when?” I immediately messaged two of my female colleagues back in Austin and presented the idea of starting a Women in Tech group. That evening, I put together a proposal with a summary of our mission and goals for the group and shared the proposal with our HR team. The next day I set up a monthly meeting schedule and began inviting women at HomeAway. Our main goal was to attract and retain top tech female employees at HomeAway. We also agreed we needed to engage in community efforts for promoting STEM-related activities in schools.”

- Anita D., Sr. Director of Engineering

 First HAWIT meeting in Madrid.

First HAWIT meeting in Madrid.

Q: What does it mean to you to be a leader of HAWIT?

“I believe leadership comes from everywhere. All HAWIT members are leaders and responsible for making a difference. Personally, being a leader of HAWIT means having control over the narrative, being positioned in a place where I know I can make an impact, and positively influence and support other women in the technology sector.”

- Denise N., Dir. of Engineering

Q: What’s something you learned since joining the group?

“We started sharing stories during our monthly meetings. Just a few minutes towards the end where you can raise your hand and talk about your career journey or influences in your life. I’ve learned that we have so many women at HomeAway with non-traditional backgrounds or paths to technology. Military spouses, fine arts, women who have climbed out of difficult personal circumstances, and women without traditional engineering degrees. I’ve worked alongside these individuals for several years, but I don’t necessarily know their stories and I think sharing has made me feel more personally connected to the group. The diversity of perspective it brings to the business, our decision making, and our work product is so unique.”

- Abby L., Project Manager, Global Dev Team

 Girls Day at the University of Texas, Austin.

Girls Day at the University of Texas, Austin.

Q: It’s been two years since HAWIT was founded and the group has a huge membership. What was a win for your group in 2017?

“The largest win I can think of is that we are “talking” about issues that affect women at work.  Women feeling comfortable to talk about issues that are at the top of their minds - from asking questions about gender statistics and pay parity to sexual harassment and implicit bias.

We got budget and part of that was to sponsor some amazing women to attend conferences like Society of Women Engineers and Grace Hopper. We also asked and got free sanitary products in the women’s bathrooms!”

- Anita D., Sr. Director of Engineering

 International Women’s Day breakfast in London.

International Women’s Day breakfast in London.

Q: What does HAWIT have planned for 2018?

“Our main goal is to go global starting with the EU. We also want to host more meetups and volunteer opportunities for STEM-related outreach projects.”

- Anita D., Sr. Director of Engineering


Q: Do you connect with other Women in Tech groups outside of HomeAway?

“I’m an active member of the Women Who Code organisation. As part of WWC, I run introductory HTML/CSS coding workshops for women of all ages and backgrounds. I believe it’s a big responsibility to teach introductory coding skills, as most students are usually considering pursuing a career in tech but unsure of their ability to do so. My workshop follows an inclusive and empathetic narrative so all students can build the confidence necessary to code!

HAWIT also recently partnered with Next Tech Girls in London where we hosted two young girls for a ‘work experience’ week.”

- Denise N., Director of Engineering

 Denise N. presenting the WWC Coding Workshop.

Denise N. presenting the WWC Coding Workshop.

 Next Tech Girls presenting to the Search Landing Pages team in London.

Next Tech Girls presenting to the Search Landing Pages team in London.

Q: How can everyone learn more about what HAWIT is doing?

"For employees, a great place to start is the wiki page or you can attend one of the monthly meetings. You can also join the discussion or find out about volunteer opportunities on the #hawit slack channel. For non-employees, the Life at HomeAway Facebook and Instagram are the best places to find out about upcoming community events."

- Martta H., Sr. Manager Product Operations

Want to join Team HomeAway or check out other cool perks we offer? Visit our careers page!

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Affinity Group Series: HomeAway Pride

Trailblazers, innovators, activists—all words that can be used to describe the employees who make up our affinity groups at HomeAway. What is an affinity group you ask? A group of people uniting for a specific goal or interest, typically an underrepresented population. This month we are highlighting each of our affinity groups at HomeAway, starting with HomeAway Pride. You'll be blown away by the impact these groups have on our company and local communities!

 HomeAway Pride at the 2017 Austin Pride Parade.

HomeAway Pride at the 2017 Austin Pride Parade.

Q: How and why was the HomeAway Pride group founded?

The HomeAway Pride group can trace its roots to the summer of 2016, the first year a group of employees self-organized to participate in Austin Pride and HomeAway sponsored our parade entry. In 2017,  we formally organized under the HomeAway Affinity Group umbrella, with the following goals:

      • Foster an environment of inclusion, safety, and understanding at HomeAway.

      • Provide an anchor in the community to advocate and educate our colleagues at HomeAway and in those in our local communities.

      • Promote diversity and recognize the value each person brings to the team.

      • Attract and retain a diverse workforce.

      • Give back to the Austin community through service projects, hosting events at our offices, and other inclusive activities.

- Cory Lowder, Senior Manager, Program Management

 Celebrating at the 2017 Austin Pride parade.

Celebrating at the 2017 Austin Pride parade.

Q: Ah, from humble beginnings to a group of over 100 members now! What were some of your wins in 2017?

As a result of hosting the Maven LGBTQ Youth Tech Camp for the third year in a row, the bathrooms on the first floor at our Domain office are now gender neutral. HomeAway also sponsored our entry in the Austin Pride Parade for the second year in a row. Lastly, we had a big turnout at the Pride parade even though it was rescheduled! We had 3X more people join our Pride Slack channel after hearing about our participation in the parade.

- Cory Lowder, Senior Manager, Program Management

 The 2017 Maven Youth Tech Camp group.

The 2017 Maven Youth Tech Camp group.

Q: Congratulations, those are some big accomplishments! What does the Homeaway Pride group have planned for 2018?

The Pride group is going to walk in the Austin Pride Parade again in August. It will be even bigger and better than last year. We’re also taking our celebration international and participating in the London Pride parade for the first time! We’re hosting the Startout Hackathon at HomeAway—one of the only LGBTQ hackathons in the country. We’ll be hosting the Maven LGBTQ Youth Tech Camp again in June; it’s a great opportunity to provide a safe and encouraging space for youth interested in STEM.

- Juliana Leon, Software Engineer

Q: Any employee can join HomeAway Pride, with that said, why is it important that allies join as well?

It's important for any group to have allies supporting it, as there is power in numbers and one shouldn't have to identify as “X” in order to appreciate the value of people who identify as “X.” Great social movements typically experience their tipping points when people in a majority recognize the positions of people in a minority and actively express their support for that minority group. So I think it's important to be vocal and active as an ally because I'm supporting my friends, family, and colleagues; there's no better way to show I care than to put myself on the front lines with them.

- Dan Driscoll, Mobile Product Manager

 James Cassidy, Senior Director, EU Sales and Supply, tabling during Culture Week at HomeAway.

James Cassidy, Senior Director, EU Sales and Supply, tabling during Culture Week at HomeAway.

Q: Do you connect with other Pride groups outside of HomeAway?

We partner with other Pride groups as often as we can. We’ve had members of our affinity group speak on panels at Facebook during their LGBT meetup. Later this year, we will be hosting a citywide meetup in Austin for other tech pride groups.

- Layne Box, Talent Acquisition Event Specialist

Q: How has this group helped you feel more comfortable working at HomeAway?

The HomeAway Pride group has helped me become a better person and more self-aware. My coworkers have accepted me since my first day at HomeAway and I want to extend that same warm welcome to others regardless of sexuality or gender. Every day I look forward to coming to work and getting updates from my friends in Pride and talking to them in our #HAPride Slack channel.

- Jeffrey Lord, Customer Service Representative

 Juliana Leon, Rustan Valino, and Layne Box tabling for HomeAway Pride.

Juliana Leon, Rustan Valino, and Layne Box tabling for HomeAway Pride.

Q: How can we learn more about what the HomeAway Pride group is doing?

Employees can visit our wiki page for more information about the group, upcoming events, and membership. Team HomeAway can also join the #hapride Slack channel. We are always looking for employees to spearhead events and we encourage people to attend our monthly planning meetings to propose new ideas. If you don’t work at HomeAway, the Life at HomeAway Facebook and Instagram are the best places to find out about upcoming community events.

- Juliana Leon, Software Engineer

Want to join Team HomeAway or check out other cool perks we offer? Visit our careers page!

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Thoughts From Random Coffee

The only thing better than a good cup of coffee is sharing it with a friend! After Software Engineers, Mihir Kothari and David Sumera discovered the idea of “random coffees” from a Forbes article, they started our very popular #random-coffee Slack channel to bring Team HomeAway together. They utilized the Donut function built into the Slack app and the main purpose is to randomly connect people in the channel every two weeks.  With offices located all over the world, it's just what we needed to foster new relationships within HomeAway.


Team HomeAway is sharing some memorable moments from their silly, thought-provoking, and always random, coffee meetups. 

 “Had an amazing time chatting with Mark about learning languages, traveling to Japan, and various sketchy buildings at The University of Texas.” - Michelle K.

“Had an amazing time chatting with Mark about learning languages, traveling to Japan, and various sketchy buildings at The University of Texas.” - Michelle K.

 “Martta and I enjoyed some tea and coffee chatting about travels and realized it took me almost two years to learn how our meeting rooms are organized on each floor!! (P.S. - they're alphabetically laid out, clockwise from the giant "A" conference rooms!)” - Sean G.

“Martta and I enjoyed some tea and coffee chatting about travels and realized it took me almost two years to learn how our meeting rooms are organized on each floor!! (P.S. - they're alphabetically laid out, clockwise from the giant "A" conference rooms!)” - Sean G.

 “I had the pleasure of meeting Ben this morning for my random coffee! This is such a neat way to meet new people and learn more about other teams at HomeAway.” - Riley C.

“I had the pleasure of meeting Ben this morning for my random coffee! This is such a neat way to meet new people and learn more about other teams at HomeAway.” - Riley C.

 “Super random coffee with Sharon, I loved it! We ended up talking about  Insights ,  the HomeAway Book Club , networking, and infinite swimming pools.” - Lola A. (Lola is based in Madrid and Sharon is in Austin so they met via video conferencing.)

“Super random coffee with Sharon, I loved it! We ended up talking about Insights, the HomeAway Book Club, networking, and infinite swimming pools.” - Lola A. (Lola is based in Madrid and Sharon is in Austin so they met via video conferencing.)

 Wonderful random coffee (and coke) with Christine O. today! We talked about everything from motherhood, cultural differences in the family unit between Kenya and the U.S., working in data and partner services at HomeAway, and how the marketing department is so popular and outgoing! - Abby S.

Wonderful random coffee (and coke) with Christine O. today! We talked about everything from motherhood, cultural differences in the family unit between Kenya and the U.S., working in data and partner services at HomeAway, and how the marketing department is so popular and outgoing! - Abby S.

 “Had a great chat with Shannon P. We talked about food, Austin’s real estate and life at HomeAway during our random lunch.” - Srinivas R.

“Had a great chat with Shannon P. We talked about food, Austin’s real estate and life at HomeAway during our random lunch.” - Srinivas R.

 “Phu P. and I had #randomthaifood for lunch today. We nerded out over card games and he inspired me to check out a Tuesday board game night at the new downtown library!” - Melissa C.

“Phu P. and I had #randomthaifood for lunch today. We nerded out over card games and he inspired me to check out a Tuesday board game night at the new downtown library!” - Melissa C.

 "Had a wonderful #random-coffee with Debi E. and talked about the HomeAway Passport program and tap dancing.” - Christina W.

"Had a wonderful #random-coffee with Debi E. and talked about the HomeAway Passport program and tap dancing.” - Christina W.

 “Great talking with Gregg B. and learning about how he’s conquered land, air and sea! Some really interesting stuff.” - Ryan L.

“Great talking with Gregg B. and learning about how he’s conquered land, air and sea! Some really interesting stuff.” - Ryan L.

 “Had a great office coffee with Helena C. whom I had never met before. We both have interesting stories on how we got to where we are now. She’s worked around the world including South Korea, Hong Kong, and London.” David S.

“Had a great office coffee with Helena C. whom I had never met before. We both have interesting stories on how we got to where we are now. She’s worked around the world including South Korea, Hong Kong, and London.” David S.



 

 “Talking about Seattle with my new friend Anish V.” - Vincent P.

“Talking about Seattle with my new friend Anish V.” - Vincent P.

Want to join Team HomeAway or check out other cool perks we offer? Visit our careers page!

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