Every month, Anne Maren and Kristoffer interview a Making Waves employee. This month, they spoke with Zachary Graceffa from the Making Waves Chicago office. He is currently working in Oslo as a part of our employee exchange program. Right now, he's working on a project for Standard Norge as a Solutions Developer.
A few quick questions
Role: Solutions Developer
How long have you been working at Making Waves?
I've worked at Making Waves for about 3 years, and I've been at the Oslo office for around 7 weeks.
Which project are you currently working on, and what's your role there?
I'm selling the standardization of Norway (laughs). In short terms, Standard Norway is responsible for standardisation activities in all areas, and each year they publish about 1200 new Norwegian standards. I'm full time on the project as an e-commerce optimalization specialist. Making Waves is currently working on developing a new Episerver Commerce online store for Standard Norway, and I have extensive experience with similar projects, so it was the perfect fit for me.
Why did you come to the Oslo office?
After the merge between Nansen and Making Waves, Oslo and Krakow became a part of our exchange program, in addition to Stockholm. Since both Oslo and Stockholm are two big Nordic cities, they seemed like two very appealing and interesting places to explore, work and live in for me.
How is the transition between the US and Norway?
People don't toast their bread here (laughs)! No, but seriously there are some differences, mostly random stuff like there being random ticket scanning on trains, which I find weird. I've also been trying to learn the language by using different phone apps, but everybody here is so good at English, so the whole language barrier thing doesn't really exist.
The main thing I've learned is that when working abroad like I'm doing now, you have to be willing to do more on your own and of course be more talkative and outgoing. If you go the extra mile in this way, you will have a great experience.
How is it to work on projects here in Oslo compared to Chicago?
I have a bigger role here, which means I also learn more - that is something I find very positive. Other than that it's pretty much similar. I work on a great delivery team, and the client is fun to work with.
How do you think this exchange experience will be an advantage for your future career?
Since I have a bigger role on the project I'm working on here in Oslo, I will definitely travel back home with more knowledge and experience. Since I'm in a new workplace in a foreign country, I have to be more outgoing and talkative - this has made me as a person more extroverted and as a result I've become more involved in social work happenings.
Why should the best people in the business start at Making Waves?
The work environment at Making Waves is amazing, people are really fun, and since we continuously do great work, it's less pressure than at other work places. In addition, the company activities are really great, and we have things such as:
- After work football
- An exchange program to Stockholm, Krakow, Oslo and Chicago (where I'm from)
- "Wintercamp", where we travel to remote destinations to work on innovating and hacking together (and drinking and eating good food together too!)
Making Waves is an exciting, international, and fun place to work - anyone would be lucky to work here in my opinion!