I look up to Greg, Horizon Holiday’s Managing Director, like an older brother. Aside from being a gifted athlete—he trained as a professional cyclist until his career was cut short due to a knee injury—he is kind, funny, intelligent, and extremely good at what he does. Being around him has been a positive experience because it has helped me improve my work ethic and drive and has also taught me a lot about being an executive. On most mornings when I arrive at the office at 6:30, Greg is already hard at work even though he usually stays at work until 7pm. His long work hours have made me realize that management-level positions are much harder than I had been led to believe by movies. Many actors, such as Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street, make CEO positions look glamorous, but they rarely show what it’s like behind the scenes–which makes sense because it probably wouldn’t be as interesting. However, in addition to the hours, I have come to realize that managing people is extremely difficult and time-consuming, especially when you need to do other things in the meantime and are being constantly interrupted. For example, when Greg isn’t working on something finance-related, he is likely handling a personnel issue or in a meeting with department heads. Because of this, he never gets to take a break because the company cannot move forward without him. Fortunately, working under him has taught me that I don’t want an upper-management position in marketing. No, I would much rather be a mid-level job where I have time to spend with my family and friends, but can still complete fulfilling work.
Working at Horizon has been an incredible experience for me to grow inside and outside of the office because of the amazing work/life balance.It is very easy to hang out with my managers and coworkers outside of work, despite its lack of any formal programs to foster staff relations because the entire office is open. This makes having conversations with coworkers and management easy and inevitable. Horizon’s philosophy is also very supportive of learning and management prides itself on being available to all employees at all times, so any time I want to learn about something or need a question answered, management is there for me. In addition to spending time with Greg, I have also become close with Sebastien and Mathieu, the head of marketing, because we often get drinks or lunch or go boating in the lagoon on the weekends. When I meet with management in a non-work environment, it really helps me to understand where they are coming from because I am able to see how much each manager has on his or her plate. When you are able to understand your managers, it makes doing the hard work a bit easier because you are that much more invested in the company. Since I only have a little while left in Mauritius, I am sad to leave, but the lessons I have been taught here will stay with me forever.