Have you ever found yourself dreaming of adventure?
There are few things as exciting and rewarding as moving to a new country and experiencing a brand new culture. K2’s Foreign Exchange Program (FXP) allows our people to do just that.
All you need to be eligible for the FXP is an adventurous spirit, curiosity, and an eagerness to push yourself beyond your comfort zone. We support anyone who wishes to take part throughout the whole process. From developing a tailored business development plan to helping out with finding accommodation.
The FXP is a truly rewarding experience, both personally and professionally. Someone who recently took the plunge and took part in the FXP is Sebastian Fernandez, our IT Support Team Leader, who moved from Mexico to K2’s Madrid office this year.
Here is his story:
Tell us a little about yourself and your career at K2
I’ve been working at K2 for almost four years. I started in July 2018 and at the moment I’m the IT Support Team Leader. Since the beginning of my K2 career, I’ve worked hard to provide support to all regions.
Why did you decide to take part in the FXP?
Since I was a child, I always dreamt about going on adventures around the world. Europe always appealed to me The culture, history, art, and architecture, not to mention its ideology and open-mindedness, are amazing.
So when my manager, Valerio, asked me if I wanted to move to Madrid it was a no-brainer. I was more than open to starting to live out my dream.
What has been your experience of living and working in a new country?
I was born and raised in Mexico with a multicultural family. I’ve found that my multicultural and varied background makes it easier for me to travel and immerse myself in different cultures.
Now that I live in Spain I can say that it was a smooth transition. Also, my colleagues at the office really made me feel like part of the K2 Madrid family straight away.
Adapting to new cultural rules and idiosyncrasies is not always smooth sailing. It’s challenging to uproot your life and start from scratch in a new place you’ve only ever seen in books, TV, or movies. Having said that, it helps you to grow as a person and to improve your professional skills hugely. So, as the saying goes, ‘Challenge accepted’!
How has K2 supported and guided you throughout your FXP experience?
K2 has been amazing throughout my entire FXP experience. They guided me through the process and answered all my questions. I really wouldn’t have had such a good experience if I hadn’t had the support from the company and my colleagues.
K2 provided me with everything I needed and they continue to support me to finish my transition into this new chapter of my life.
What advice would you give to another K2 associate who may be thinking about taking part in the FXP?
That’s a good question. First of all, you shouldn’t be afraid. If you want to do it, do it with passion and take the plunge! In the end, you will see the results.
Fear is a common emotion. It can be the biggest hindrance in making a change in your life. If you’re brave and go for it, when you look back you will see the path that you worked hard to forge and how far you have come.