A Role That Makes a Difference
By Francesca, Human Resources
By Francesca, Human Resources
I love this quote I once read in a book: “Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.” How true! My career path has presented a lot of good moments and learnings but also big challenges, which also taught me something.
I got my undergraduate degree in foreign languages in Italy, and then I decided to move to the UK to improve my English. I got a job in retail customer service, but my goal was to continue specializing in foreign languages and work as a translator.
However, as time passed and I gained work experience, I realized that I am a people person and that I wanted to be a point of contact for the people and colleagues around me! Specifically, mental health has always been an important topic to me. So I decided to go for a master’s in human resources management, and I did my dissertation on mental health. Because this was during the pandemic, I especially wanted to use my free time for something I wanted to pursue. Mental health struggles were even more common during this time, and I found myself gravitating toward a field that would allow me to make more of a difference in this area.
After completing my master’s, I started looking for a job in HR. I sent a lot of CVs, most of which were rejected, which can sometimes be demotivating. But with time I understood that better things, and a better company, were waiting for me.
One day I was looking on LinkedIn and saw that MathWorks Cambridge was looking for an HR administrator. I had some friends who worked at MathWorks who always had good things to say about their job, so I applied. A few days later, the recruiter reached out to schedule the first interview. I was super happy but nervous at the same time, because I did not have work experience in HR and I wondered whether that would have been a problem for them. On the contrary!
The first interview and the ones that came after made me feel at home. I felt like I was talking to friends, and that no one was judging or putting me under a lens. I loved the fact that we shared the same values. I knew MathWorks was the perfect company for me and I hoped they could see me as the perfect fit. Everything went smoothly; they valued my previous experiences, my skills, and me as a person, and I appreciated that they saw the potential I had. Even if I hadn’t gotten an offer, the interview experience was amazing, but the outcome was positive and I joined this wonderful family.
In my role, I act as a point of contact for any HR-related questions that people may have; I love helping them and providing them with speedy support. I also regularly inform staff about benefits information, resources we provide for mental health support, and even details about groups and clubs they can join. My best reward is when people recognize the passion I have for this job. One time, a staff member brought me a box of chocolates to say thanks for the support I had provided to him. That made me feel so good!
I also love the collaborative work culture here. From day 1, I felt so welcomed; everyone was so nice and ready to support me and answer all the questions I had. People are valued as workers, but first as individuals; their health comes first, and we promote a good work-life balance. This is one of the best benefits in my opinion; one example is that staff can work from a location other than their home or office for four weeks per year. Having that flexibility allows me to focus on my private life but also to go and see my family in Italy when I miss them.
Mental health continues to be very important to me. As someone who has experienced anxiety, I love talking about mental health issues in order to break the stigma around them. I try to create an environment in which the people around me and my coworkers feel free to come and talk to me or someone else in the company about any issues they’re having.
I believe that MathWorks is the right place to keep developing this culture. Within the HR team, we always make sure people feel heard, and we are working on new projects that give more space to mental health issues. There is always room for improvement! And this is just one of the many initiatives we promote at MathWorks.