My first day at HA was Monday, August 11th in Seattle, not my home base NYC. I was all set to spend two weeks immersing myself in the people, culture, and work, and to find out what makes HA tick, which is something I could only do on the ground. Except for one tiny thing. When my alarm went off on day one, no matter how hard I tried to fight it, all the memories came rushing back from when I was the new kid starting third grade coming from a foreign country. As I was being shown to my desk, I successfully reasoned with myself that going from Manhattan to Seattle as an adult is nothing compared to going from Milan to Boston as an eight-year-old girl. But the nervousness of starting up with all of these very cool "kids" still had me feeling pangs of unease.
I'm happy to report that my nerves were worked up for nothing. Not only was the day easier than I ever thought, but it is one I will never forget. Sure most companies put forth their best foot with new employees, but HA's best foot was on a very thoughtful red carpet laid out for my arrival. Let’s start with the goodies at my desk: a bag of Seattle’s finest delicacies, a journal worthy of keeping (I plead forgiveness for the snobbery; I'm a designer and avid note taker, after all), photo documentation of the entire staff (informative, brilliant AND empathetic), a detailed schedule outlining my two weeks (yes, organization!) and a very, thoughtful welcome card from the staff. As if this wasn't enough, every single person in the company (except for myself, what with not being in on the memo) was wearing a celebratory HA NY black tee to make me feel welcome, and very much at home.
HA NY themed T-shirt to celebrate new studio opening.
If any doubt is left in your mind about my first impressions, I'll just say it. I felt very lucky and grateful to be joining forces with a team that's not only brimming with talent, but also caring. Go ahead, read the card; this is special isn't it?
Welcome note from HA staff.