“Hi, this is Erin from iiNet. Am I speaking with Samuel?”
That’s how one of the coolest nerdy experiences of my life started: To spend a week at iiNet HQ in Perth, all expenses paid with 4 other people who are among the nicest strangers I’ve met.
The cake is not a lie!
I didn’t set many expectations for the trip, other than getting to see how iiNet operates, which for me was awesome in itself, and cake. Well, I got to see iiNet, and there was cake, but there was even more than I expected!
Upon arrival in Perth, I was picked up by one of the new Perth London Taxis which are equipped with free on-board iiNet WiFi! Then at the hotel a very snazzy bag was waiting for me filled with iiNet branded merch, an iiNet 4G MobiiHotspot for blazing fast Wifi in Perth, and a brand new Samsung Galaxy Camera. Best bag of goodies. Ever.
Later on Monday I met the remaining #insiiders, who turned out to be a bunch of great people, with a mutual interest in free things, cake and coffee from a small coffee bar called Milktooth, introduced to us by @iiTalW.
Some of my favourite things…
The week in Perth was jam packed with loads of cool nerdy experiences, such as a tour of the Pawsey Centre in Perth, to see the fastest supercomputer in the southern hemisphere, getting a glimpse into the iiNet Operations Centre, attending various iiNet O Week sessions about different up and coming technologies and discussions in the IT space.
But it wasn’t all nerding to the max. We also had the opportunity to meet the people behind the brand. There are a number of people who made a special impact on me. David Buckingham and Steve Dalby. Both men come across as down to earth, and are really nice people to talk with. They aren’t the high-and-mighty type of people you might expect to meet in such roles, but are happy to listen and talk to you.
A lady by the name of Grace really stood out to me though. Grace works in the call centre assisting customers with their queries. The point of difference is that Grace is blind! Grace utilises various tools and software to help her do her job, to which she meets the same level of customer service and satisfaction as any other call centre representative.
On our final day, the week was topped off by watching a Perth Wildcats game in the iiNet suite at Perth Arena. The view was spectacular, the atmosphere alive and the night overall a really good time.
A culture of cake, fun and success (not necessarily in that order)
Considering everything I saw during my week at iiNet, from meeting David Buckingham and Steve Dalby, to hanging out in the call centre, to meeting the various department and business managers, to even the lady pushing the free drinks cart, there was one common thread I noticed: culture.
I observed a culture at iiNet different to that which I expected. It wasn’t a greedy corporate gains culture, but one of everyone working to make a better workplace, a better product, and a better day all round, and just to have fun. The iiNet culture isn’t something pinned up in the corporate boardroom and rattled off by the marketing department, it’s something that each staff member seems to live. It a culture of family, one that I very quickly came to feel a part of during my week at iiNet.
iiNet isn’t the easiest place to work. You can’t just cruise through. But because everyone has a mutual understanding and respect that things need to get done, the team is able to work towards the common goal of happy customers and a profitable business whilst still having fun.
These are the droids you’re looking for
If you have the opportunity, next year I encourage you to attend the iiNet Open Day (or Open Week if it runs again) and take a look to see for yourself the culture and people behind the brand.