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Gabriela Orjuela: Landing her first tech job

Our People

14 September 2021

Gabriela Orjuela: Landing her first tech job

Gabriela Orjuela immigrated to the U.S. from Colombia 5 years ago. We caught her for a short chat about opportunities


Gabriela Orjuela was somewhat surprised when a Wix recruiter called her in early April 2021. A week earlier, she applied for an Account Associate role at Wix Partners, but she didn’t have very high hopes. Without any experience in the tech industry, and being a pretty fresh immigrant - she moved to Miami from Bogota, Colombia 5 years ago - she didn’t think that she’d get a chance.


“From the first moment that recruiter called me, I understood that something about the culture here was different from what I was used to,” Gabriela recalls. “I saw that Wix is very open minded, that open communication is key, and that the company encourages their employees to be very creative, very innovative, very open, and that there’s no judgment at all. I'm an immigrant. I came to this country five years ago from Colombia, and to be honest with you, I never thought it would be possible for me to get a job in a big and innovative tech company. Wix opened the doors for me, and after my interviews with a few managers, gave me the opportunity. I’m very grateful for that.”



Were you confident you’d get hired?

“I felt they wanted to hire someone authentic. The culture here is all about being yourself - I understood that from the start. You know, there’s the accent and maybe some cultural barriers like not having the same background and education as people who were born here [in the United States]. My insecurities are probably because of where I grew up. In Latin America, the workplace culture is very judgmental and hierarchical. You’re judged on your background, where you grew up, and where you went to school. If you’re in a junior position, you’re going to be treated very differently from a person in a senior position. I said to myself that although my dream was getting a job in a tech company, it may not be possible since I didn’t live here my entire life. Some companies hire people who come from the same background, but Wix does things differently and looks at who you are and not at your background. When I understood that was part of the company’s values, I was optimistic.


“After I started, I realized that the hiring managers at Wix do a great job at accepting people who accept others. They’re not going to let someone who judges other people get into Wix.”


How was your onboarding at Wix and your first few months here? What should new employees expect?

“I think all of us know that starting a new job is a challenge. You have to have to be energized, positive, and willing to learn. At Wix, this process feels very smooth since you’re given the feeling that you’re at home with your family. Onboarding takes 3 weeks, and during that time you’re encouraged to learn and there’s no pressure on you. Most companies don't do that - they throw you in the water and tell you to do your job. At Wix, you’re given time to learn about the product, the company, and the people. They want you to feel more comfortable in your role once you really start it.


“Another thing that I liked during these first few weeks was that Wix prioritizes two important things: customer satisfaction and employee success. I think these things go hand in hand because if you have happy employees, you're going to have happy customers. I really, really value that.”


Could you tell us a little bit about your role?

“Sure. I am part of the Account Associates team specializing in eCommerce users. I work directly with users who are using Wix to create an online store. In my day to day, I have conversations with users who are looking to grow their online presence. I’ve come across all types of businesses - from entrepreneurs who are looking to create an online clothing boutique to artists who want to sell their artwork online.


“It’s not only my first tech job, it’s pretty much my first sales job since working in sales in retail is very different from doing it in a tech company. Wix knew about my background and my experience and they gave me the opportunity anyway. You know what one of the recruiters told me? He said: ’We believe you're a bright star and you have a lot of potential, and you can keep growing because there’s room to grow at Wix.’ A lot of companies say that, but at Wix I was already asked a few times by my managers where I see myself in a year, and what I’d like to be doing. I was never asked those types of questions in other jobs. Wix wants you to work your way to the top from the very beginning.


“I had other jobs in the U.S. before joining Wix, but this is the first time I have a feeling that I want to stay here for a long time. Wix gives you the tools to grow and accompanies you in whatever you want to get better at, but you’re always told that it’s up to you if you want to be in a leadership position.”


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