November 6th, 2014
Vistaprint is Sending Chris to Hawaii
Author: Stephanie Berenson
We’ve found that top talent knows top talent. That’s why we believe so passionately in our Employee Referral Program (ERP) and in making it worthwhile for our Vistaprinters to refer someone they know is qualified for an available position. We always encourage referrals, but over the past few months, we’ve turned up the excitement – or rather, heat – around our ERP program. We decided to send someone on an all-expenses paid trip to Hawaii!
That lucky team member is Chris Osborn. We spoke to him about his win, his referral, and his upcoming travel plans.
What do you do here at Vistaprint?
I am a Sr. Software Engineer in the Product Manufacturing Integration squad. As a team, we enable new printing technologies for new products, and we extend the capabilities of existing presses for improvements to those products. Personally, I was the sole FD developer in the regionally specific resizing of our business card offerings, and most recently worked on a project to integrate new T-shirt printing technology into the plants.
How did it feel to win the trip to Hawaii?
I am over the moon, honestly. It’s been a dream of mine to go to Hawaii since I was just a kid watching Reading Rainbow, learning about the two basic kinds of lava flows: ʻaʻā and pāhoehoe. I admit that I may have been easily impressionable, but it’s a thing that’s stuck with me.
The feeling of winning is a little difficult to describe. When the wheel was spinning, I looked around and around it for my name, but I couldn’t find it. Once the wheel slowed down, and the tension in the crowd had reached its max, I decided to concentrate on the pointer. Name after name clacked by, and I finally saw mine, only three away from the pointer. It was slowing down, but… nah, there was no way it would land on me. It would surely sail right past. But the pointer bent on the wheel’s post after my name, and sprung back. Do you know about semantic satiation? Like how you can read a word over and over again until it loses its meaning; it just becomes a collection of shapes. That’s what my name was when I looked at it. Just a collection of shapes. It wasn’t until a few seconds later – though it felt like an hour – that I realized it read “Chris O.”
After that is really kind of a blur. I do remember carrying the novelty-sized boarding pass back to my desk and taking a picture of it to share with my coworkers on Facebook.
What do you plan to do on your trip?
Ha, what don’t I plan to do? Actually, that’s a good question. I’ve been interested in surfing for a while, but New England isn’t the best place for that. Hawaii kind of is the best place for that, I think. I definitely plan to come back with a tan, so I’ll have to spend some quality time on several beaches. It won’t take much convincing.
Why do you like working at Vistaprint, and why were you happy to refer?
I like working at Vistaprint in large part because I solve real problems. I’ve worked before in places where the largest engineering concern was how to get people to click on ads, and I’ve had more than enough of that.
Vistaprint recognizes that technology is fundamental to running a modern business, and we as a company place the right amount of importance on such matters. Some other companies treat technology as simply “the cost of doing business” or “something we have to do,” but with Vistaprint’s focus on World-Class Engineering and software quality, we know that we’re never going to be left by the wayside.
It’s not simply knowing that there will always be work to do, but also that there will always be meaningful and challenging work to do. How could I not have been happy to introduce an underemployed, dissatisfied friend to exactly that kind of environment?
How did you meet your referral?
Oh, golly. He joined a comedy troupe that I was a member of in college, called Empty Set. I think we first met after a performance of the troupe’s radio play Benjamin Franklin, Dinosaur Hunter. He was attending a different school at the time, but had been so intrigued by the title that he trekked all the way across Worcester (which is farther than it sounds) to see what the heck it could be about. The rest just seemed to work itself out.
Know someone at Vistaprint? Drop them a line to make an introduction and a referral. Don’t know someone at Vistaprint? Drop us a line, we love to hear from people interested in working with us.