Three days from now I will be joining an amazing group of people from Symantec offices the world over, coming together in Turkey to form the Symantec Service Corps 2015, or as we have dubbed ourselves, “Team Ilerleme” – Turkish for Progress. If you’ve read what Rachel and Patty, Sohini and Patricia have written before me, you know that we will be working with three grassroots non-profit organizations based in Ankara.
Even before I begin it, I am unshakably certain that this will be the most amazing journey. So how do I start writing about this! Hmm … the engineer in me wants to break the overwhelming feelings down into small blocks. To begin with, I am overcome with the feeling of gratitude. Gratitude towards Symantec, which even in times of change is standing by its corporate responsibility and investing in the global community. Gratitude towards Pyxera Global and the CSR team at Symantec who have been preparing us for the past seven weeks and have converted 9 people, geographically distributed, into a close knit team – thanks Eric, Dan, Ashley, Patricia and team … these are the only 7am conference calls that I will miss 🙂 I am also grateful to the 8 other people on our team who have generously taken the time from their lives to contribute to such amazing causes. And lastly I am thankful to my team at Symantec, who happily agreed to pick up the slack while I am out.
Next time you log into the Symantec VPN with a push notification or a six digit code, these are the folks that made it happen 🙂
The next bucket of feelings is excitement. This is going to be a phenomenal learning opportunity. We will all be stepping outside our comfort zones, both from a cultural as well as skill set perspective. We will be working with a very different set of constraints than what we are used to and I am certain that we will all come out of it enriched in more ways than we can imagine. This next month will be a time of self discovery – am excited to figure myself out a bit better. To top it all off, Turkey is a beautiful, colorful, culturally and historically rich country. I have been reading Orhan Pamuk’s, Istanbul – Memories and the City. It paints a mesmerizing picture of Istanbul; cant wait to walk the streets which have seen the steps of the Persian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires! Oh and of course, sample the cuisine.
Next up is a small dose of trepidation! Not so much the fear of the unknown, but the feeling that I might take more from this experience than be able to contribute to the cause that we are going to work for. Also, this will be the longest that I will be away from work. I might go through a work withdrawal phase!
And before I close this out, of things I will miss; its just a month, but still – happy hour with friends, the gym at Symantec, a big bowl of green leafy salad and others that I am sure I will find out once I am there!
Onwards it is for us … follow along.