A sabbatical to travel Southeast Asia: Magdalena’s employee story
Posted Aug 15, 2018
For Adjust’s longest serving members, the chance of an extended break to rethink, recharge and gain a little more perspective can be an incredibly enriching experience. As such, employees are given the option to take a sabbatical if they’ve been with Adjust for a few years.
Magdalena Opitz, our Global Director of Events, has been at Adjust for quite a while, and took two months away from the office to travel. We caught up with Magda to hear more about her trip during her time off, her role at Adjust, and the exciting things the events team are working on at the moment.
You're an Adjust veteran, having been here almost since the beginning. Can you walk us through your time here, and how your role has evolved in the past few years?
I joined Adjust over five years ago, as a Marketing Manager. I was actually the first marketing hire, so my scope was very wide - I did everything from events to newsletters. Then, as the company grew and new people joined the team, the roles became more defined and specialized. I decided to focus purely on events, and it was very much an organic growth. I became the Head of Events in July 2016, and have been the Global Director of Events since February this year.
I manage a team of seven, spread across Berlin, San Francisco, Beijing and Tokyo. In fact, more than half of my team isn’t even in the same time zone as me! Together, we produce all of Adjust’s events. That includes our external client-facing ones, such as our bi-annual Mobile Spree conference, and our own internal events for employees - our winter and summer parties, for example, and our legendary annual company retreat. So far, we’ve taken Adjusters to Mexico, Thailand, the Dominican Republic and Mauritius.
Magdalena's employee story
You recently took a sabbatical - can you tell us a bit more about it?
Sure. As the company grew, so did the need for more events, and things became busier and busier very quickly. It was a lot of fun, and incredible to see the company grow so fast. To be part of that journey was really special.
One year was particularly intense. In 12 months, we increased the number of events we held by over 40%. That’s a huge increase, especially when your team is still relatively small. When we produced our first Mobile Spree, for example, the marketing team had only six people in it - we’re now 25. That gives you an understanding of how much we used to do without the support of a wider team.
That year, after a period of such intense growth, I realized I needed a break. With some jobs, you can start to really dread going in in the morning. I never had those days at Adjust; there’s never a day when I don’t want to go to work. I’ve always loved what I do, but I knew I needed some time away to come back refreshed.
I asked for the sabbatical in December, and then took my two months leave in June. That gave me a half a year to plan and prepare everything before going away. It was really important to me that my team felt prepared and confident in my absence, and could carry on business as usual. Of course, it all worked out and my team did a brilliant job while I was off.
As for my break… I had an incredible time travelling through Indonesia, Cambodia and Laos. I filled my days with reading, hiking, yoga, exploring, riding mopeds and eating good food.
What does your day-to-day look like?
It’s a big mix of communication, research and production. We work with every department at Adjust, across its locations: sales, graphics, partnerships, account managers, admin, and the wider marketing team. Externally, we then work with partners, suppliers, venue providers and the hundreds of other people that go into creating an event or our awesome swag.
At the moment, our big focus is on finalizing everything for Mobile Spree San Francisco, which is coming up in October. We’re also working hard on planning our annual company retreat, which will take place in Summer 2019. People might think it’s crazy to be working so far in advance, but trying to get 350 people from all over the world to the one destination isn’t easy! Our annual retreat is one of Adjust’s most widely-anticipated events, so it’s great to plan it all. Naturally, we also have more space for creativity when it comes to planning our internal events, which is really fun.
Finally, what's the best part of your job?
Of course, there’s the satisfaction that comes with pulling off these huge conferences and retreats. But really, what motivates me most day-to-day is my team. They are all super productive, creative, and get things done. Most importantly, they’re fun to work with!