Moving Across the Pond to Establish Egnyte EMEA

For the people that don’t know me, I’m the kind of guy that can quickly adapt to my work environment; however, it takes a long time to feel at ease if the change is within my personal life. That’s why it was a huge surprise for my family and friends to see me make the trek across the pond to help start up Egnyte EMEA.I started at Egnyte in January 2014 as a Professional Services consultant at our headquarters in Mountain View, California. As an IT consultant, you’re typically a lone wolf, but here at Egnyte, we operate as a pack. We strive to lift each other up as far as we can, ensuring we are all successful. The comradery between our teammates and across business units is phenomenal. Having said that, all good things must come to an end. Or does it?

Moving Across the Pond to Establish Egnyte EMEA - Egnyte Blog

Shortly after I started working with Egnyte, my wife was approached by her manager for an opportunity for her to relocate to London. The experience of working internationally and the opportunity to travel around Europe sold my wife. We were excited for her, but being with Egnyte for only two months at that point was unsettling. How do you tell your boss two months into the job that you’re going to leave, especially after the full embrace from everyone around me???Luckily, Egnyte was extremely supportive. After securing our Series D funding round with a plan to expand operations in the U.K. and EMEA, this was a great opportunity to continue working for Egnyte, just on the other side of the pond. While the transition approval was pretty seamless, I had to get ready for a completely different culture and add an additional role to include Sales Engineering, all the while my wife was establishing our new home in London.All I could think about at that time was, “How can she leave me to clean up the place all by myself!?” Being a very reasonable wife, her response was, “It’s because all the time you traveled for your job, all the cleaning was left for me!” The next few months were a total blur as I started to close down my life in the U.S. and began preparing for my life in U.K. It truly sums up your life experiences when you have to move thousands of miles away and all worldly possessions you hold dear to you fit within three suitcases.The first few days, I pretty much worked like a consultant. I sat at a desk that felt uncomfortable and cleaned up after myself so others could use the seat after I left, thinking that I’ll just sit in another seat tomorrow. After a few days, new people joined Egnyte EMEA, and people started to come into the office, feeling just as uncomfortable as I did. We quickly bonded over a few beers during the “Thirsty Thursdays,” and we finally felt like a team when our VP of EMEA presented at our first Egnyte EMEA sales meeting. Feeling focused and ready to execute, my peers viewed me as the veteran of Egnyte and started to challenge me in ways I never felt before. Such compassion and energy reminded me again why I’m at Egnyte and why I was willing to move halfway around the world to help start this team.Now that I’m in London (been here since October!), it definitely still feels like a new phase for me. I have met new friends, new work colleagues, and new weather patterns. The big things are now easy to deal with, as you see it coming. While some of the small things that I’m familiar with from the States are still a struggle - like breakfast sausages, Vietnamese Pho, and driving in the right lane, the importance of these things lessen as days goes on.However, it’s been such a wonderful beginning of a new chapter, and I appreciate that I get to work for such a supportive company. Being part of the initial building blocks for Egnyte EMEA, it truly gives you perspective on the internal DNA of a Silicon Valley technology company. We are fast; we are nimble; and we are passionate. There’s not a sense of self when it comes to our customers, and there’s no sense of team without each other. We are the “younger sibling” to our U.S. team; yet, we have strong determination and competitive spirit to grow faster than our U.S team. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Egnyte in the U.K. and across all of our global offices.

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Michael Kueh

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