Every company has its own path to the success. For some, success is only reaching the financial goals without considering the feelings and needs of their employees, and in this world full of monotonous routines, people very often forget about their dreams. Being scared to take risks, they just try to “fit in” in the society, so they don’t fight for what they want and they slowly but surely become prisoners and robots in that kind of companies. But fortunately not all the companies are like that. Some of them really believe that having happy employees is the path for long term success.
Luckily, we are part of that kind of IT company. In my opinion Vox Teneo is one of the rarest companies that despite the profits looks after their employes’ dreams and needs. It offers high quality knowledge not only to experienced people, but also to potential young talents (including me in this second group). Working for this company you get the chance to work on enormous projects, gather knowledge from experienced developers, learn best practices for the technology you are interested…. All you need is just to be ambitious, talented and interested in learning to be part of the team. They will guide you all the way after. They spend and invest time for training the employees, which is really important, especially if you are a beginner like me. In three months as an intern and three months as an employee I learned here more about mobile and web application development than I ever did during my studies, so i am really thankful for that.
And the good things do not stop with the trainings and providing knowledge to their employees. When they see that you are willing to collaborate and that you work hard, they will try to motivate you even more. Me and two of my colleagues got a chance to visit the office in Belgium. It was for work of course, but who does not like travelling? And it’s never forbidden to mix the work with pleasure (after working hours of course :P), is it?. Isn’t the feeling that someone is valuing your progress and work great? We got to meet people that we haven’t met before. All those Skype voices and pictures from previous Skype meetings and HipChat conversations finally got a real projection. Wanted or not the cultural differences make us different in some ways, but that’s a really good thing. We were given a chance to share knowledge, the different point of views, different habits, way of work etc. It was an amazing opportunity for us to upgrade our skills, our personality, to see diversity in the way of living. Yeah we learned a lot of things, shared a lot of things, but enough about that. Let’s get to the fun part of the trip.
“The stories that the people there are cold and not welcoming disappeared the moment we started getting to know each other.”
Thanks to the company we got the chance to work in the office in Belgium. And when someone gives you the chance to visit a country which is more evolved than your own, to see different traditions, to taste varieties of food you never stop exploring. Some of my colleagues were there for the first time, so they were even more excited. We even made a list of places we wanted to see in our three week visit there and of course we were already planning how to try as many types of beer as we can. So we packed our bags and on the second of August we were already there. I am not really a morning person, so the fact that the flight was super early in the morning was not something I was looking forward to. The moment we made a step on that airport we were making plans how to uncheck all the places from our list. On the first day we met everyone in the office. The stories that the people there are cold and not welcoming disappeared the moment we started getting to know each other. After two hours flight and one hour getting the baggage and passing all the control at the airport the only thing we needed was food. So we were so happy when we saw that our Belgian colleagues bought some food for us. We rested a little bit and went down to start the working day. That day, despite all the wish to start unchecking the places from our list, the tiredness defeat us. One thing I really liked about the apartment was that it was in the same building as the offices. Who does not want to get up only 15 minutes before the working hours and still be on time for work?
“You can’t say you were in Belgium if you don’t try as many kinds of beer as you can, can you?”
The first couple of days our colleagues showed us around. They helped us find the nearest shops, suggested nice places to eat and drink etc. After few days getting used to the new environment we were ready for exploring. And what better way to start exploring than with the famous Belgian beers? You can’t say you were in Belgium if you don’t try as many kinds of beer as you can, can you? So we immediately started working on it. We never ordered the same beer twice, so within our stay of three weeks I can say we tried maybe not all of the beers, but we got most of them.. I was really surprised how many different kinds of beer they have. From blonde to dark, from light and fruity to strong and bitter – there is a beer for every taste.
Another thing that was really different than Macedonia was the architecture. There was not a single bad looking building. Even the smallest ones had that special Belgian character. They were all charming small and most of them with brick facade. We were surprised that in some cities there are even rules how to build the houses, what materials to use etc. That was the case with the first city we visited, that was not on our list. It was a suggestion from our colleagues. It was a small student city named Louvain-la-Neuve. With it’s charm and the location (near our apartment) it was our choice to spend not only that night there, but several more. All the buildings had that orangey bricks and walls. On the other hand there is Brussels with more modern buildings and monuments. Our colleagues were showing us the beauty of Brussels: the cathedrals, monuments, the palace, the bars etc. The only thing we hate about Brussels are the annoying traffic jams. Too many people in little space. For me being hopeless romantic as I am, my favourite city there was Brugge. It is very similar to Venice with its water channels and boat tours. The amazing cathedrals, the good restaurants made me like the city even more. What is surprising there were more tourists than locals on the streets. My colleagues did not agree on this one with me, they prefered Gent. The architecture of the buildings, the nice people was the main reason why that city is their favourite one. Since it was summer why not visit the seaside? We were in a city called Knokke. That was a different city than the others we went to. The buildings were more modern, it was more crowded. The beaches and beach bars were amazing, but the water was too cold for us, because we as Macedonians are used to hot weather, so we didn’t dare to swim there.
The food is something that is very different as well. I’ve never tried that many different kinds of sauces(If there is meat, there is some special sauce, usually made with alcohol.), cheese and chocolate as I did there. Another thing that I never imagined that i would try is raw meat. Yeah you read right. Raw meat.. And on my surprise I really liked it. We tried the belgian waffles as well. And i found the secret ingredient which makes them that special – pearl sugar was the secret key guys. Tried to make them and I nailed it. 😀 It is true when they say, Belgium has the best chocolate in the world. I think they can make chocolate with flavours of everything that is eatable.
“History has made a great impact on the country”.
They speak different languages in different parts of the country, like we do in Macedonia as well.
We should not underestimate the party life as well. They know how to have fun. The pubs and bars are more than enough to have a good night out. The people may look a little bit cold at first sight, but when you start talking with someone that immediately changes.
Overall it was an amazing experience and we are really grateful that we got the chance to go there. We restored our batteries and are ready for new challenges and trips in future. Keeping the employees motivated is something very important for the overall progress and success of any company. And Vox Teneo in my opinion is on the right path to success. Who would not like to have a job and be able to travel and upgrade himself/herself and progress in the same time? If that’s what you are looking for it is really easy: check out our open job positions and be a step closer to joining the team and the new adventures.