Twelve months into the Capita TI move to New York, Alicia von Achten reflects on what a year it’s been.
One year. A lot can happen in a year.
I will try to keep this brief, but I had no idea what the next 12 months had in store for me when I boarded my plane to New York in July 2019.
As a team, we have seen huge success and formed great relationships both professionally and personally since we arrived and I’m extremely proud of what we have achieved so far!
A big thank you must go out to my friends at St. George’s Society New York and British American Business – they welcomed me with open arms when I was unsure about how to network and felt lost in the city; I have met some truly amazing people through these associations and can’t wait to see them in the real world soon.
As well as this, we made some great connections at our WeWork office through socializing in the kitchen over coffee and through some of the many events that they host. The positivity of the staff and their continued support helped us to integrate our organization and selves into the city.
Sadly, as with the rest of the world, things changed for us on March 11th, 2020 – we left the office and haven’t returned to our work home since.
Shortly after this, I contracted Coronavirus and became unwell, quarantined, and had to navigate the US medical system for the first time; for someone who has always had access to the NHS, it felt daunting and overwhelming. As they say, “you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone”.
Whilst nothing could have prepared us for the Coronavirus Pandemic, one thing we were prepared for was remote working. As an organisation we have been capable of working on a remote model for a long time. Moving to a virtual world caused very little disruption to us and saw no impact on our customers – thank you IT guys, you rock!
During the pandemic we have of course had to adapt and expand our service offering.
The most exciting new service launched is our Remote Conference Interpreting solution.
Using this service, our customers have been able to host multilingual virtual training sessions, panel discussions, conferences, and webinars for large audiences and the solution continues to evolve.
Since lockdown restrictions have eased, we have been witness to protests and demonstrations surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement. This movement is close to my heart and whilst it has caused unrest in the city and surrounding areas, it has opened my eyes to the long-standing issues that people of colour face – I support this cause now and will continue to take action long into the future.
A year in New York. Not quite the year that we thought it was going to be, but one I will remember for the rest of my life. I am grateful for the team/friends who are here with me and have been on this crazy, fun, uncertain rollercoaster ride and I’m excited to see what the next 12 months has in store.