It was one year ago when Brafton Senior News and Content Writer Amanda Gross received an email from CEO Richard Pattinson, explaining an opportunity for an editor position at Brafton’s sister company, Castleford, in Auckland. Amanda knew it was the right move.
Fast forward to now, and Amanda has been living abroad and working at Castleford for six months. While her friends in our Boston office prepare for a white Christmas, Amanda is enjoying a much different, summertime holiday.
Here’s a look at what Amanda’s been up to in New Zealand:
Q: Had you ever considered working abroad before? Did you study abroad or travel a lot before you moved?
A: I had always kind of seen myself doing something like the Peacecorps or teaching English in Korea, but never seriously applied or looked into it. I studied abroad in South Africa and France during college and have been really lucky to have done a fair bit of travel growing up.
Q: What was it like to say goodbye to the Boston office to move to New Zealand?
A: Moving across the world was hands down the hardest thing I have ever done. I’m from Maine originally and saying goodbye there was tough, but after six years, Boston was my real home. I’ll never forget my amazing send-off from my fellow Braftonians!
Q: How would you describe Castleford?
A: Castleford is like a mini Brafton, or perhaps a really young Brafton. We’ve got tight-knit groups in Auckland and Sydney, and we are growing all the time! Our editorial departments – like Brafton - are split into industry-specific teams. We now have three teams and we recently hired our first graphic designer.
Q: What is your position like at Castleford in comparison to Brafton?
A: At Brafton I wrote for a few tricky clients and helped out with the editing on my team as a Senior Writer, and here at Castleford I head up the editorial department, managing three teams.
Q: What has your experience been like in New Zealand (both inside and outside work)?
A: It’s hard to believe I have been here for six months! I can’t decide whether it feels like I just got here or have been here forever. I’ve met some incredible people and gotten a chance to travel all over the country (plus the occasional business trip to Sydney!). It has been so fun to learn about the different culture down here. From the weird lingo (I reckon I’m keen for some capsicum and courgettes to get my rocket salad sorted – it’s going to be sweet as!), to the Maori traditions and strange summer Christmas customs. I love it all!
“What I learned at Brafton is immeasurable. It’s hard to pinpoint the most important things I brought with me because I use little bits and pieces of what I learned every single day in my role at Castleford.”
Q: What are some of the most important things you learned at Brafton that you brought with you to Castleford?
A: What I learned at Brafton is immeasurable. It’s hard to pinpoint the most important things I brought with me because I use little bits and pieces of what I learned every single day in my role at Castleford. From client demands and writer needs to time and people management, my Brafton experience supports me every day.
Q: Overall, what has the experience been like to work abroad?
A: I would recommend this experience to anyone. A great piece of advice I got was, “You won’t regret going – you’ll regret not going.”
As is the case with most of life’s more challenging experiences, the process of packing up and moving to the other side of the world all by myself was the most rewarding.
Q: What are some of the things you miss about the Boston office?
A: Of course I miss all of my coworkers! I also miss the doormen at 1 Winthrop Square, John and Joanel. Wednesday doughnuts. Last but never least, team Fridays at Foley’s.
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