Voices of : In this series, we highlight the people that make flexible work, work: our employees! is a global company with more than 4,000 employees worldwide; these are their stories.
Originally from Zambia, Wilson Mazimba spent his childhood moving around with his family. But whether he was residing in Ethiopia, Kenya, Belgium, or somewhere in-between, two things remained constant – friendship with his five sisters and a fascination with technology. Will’s story in the United States starts in 2007, but to appreciate the magnitude of his wins, let’s scroll back to his pre-college days.
Will, tell me about your history and yourself.
My dad grew up in a poor village in northern Zambia and was next in line to be the village chief, but he wanted to go to university to finish his masters instead. He was committed to us getting a great education as well. When my dad was looking for high schools for my oldest sister, The White Mountains School in Northern New Hampshire was open with how they prepped kids for real life outside of education as functioning adults. That resonated with him. He sent my sister, Angel as the test case and from there it became a legacy; the rest of us went too.
My dad used to be a Diplomat in the Diplomatic service, so we’ve been all over the place. My sisters and I came to the US virtually every two years because there was a two-year gap between all of in school.
When I was young, I took apart my electric scooter engine just to mess around with it. I like to tinker with things and understand how technology works.
From left to right: Bupe Mazimba (sister,) Jamie Mazimba (sister,) Justina Mazimba (mom,) Wilson Mazimba Sr. (dad,) Sharon Mazimba (sister,) and Angela Mazimba (sister)
Four years out of your six-year career in tech have been at . What has kept you at the company?
The company culture is unique. We are one of the first companies that was all in on remote work. In today’s landscape many with that concept, but for us it’s second nature. My team – The Care Support Platform – is considered one of the most remote teams the company because we have people in Boston, Budapest, and the West Coast – to name a few.
I’m big on personal and professional development, and the way that handles new initiatives and offers opportunities to maintain a growth mindset is another factor for me. But it’s also how opens spaces – in the form of employee resource groups (ERGs) – for employees of different backgrounds to have a voice; not many companies do that.
There’s always room for improvement and ways to keep things growing at , but it’s a solid baseline and there’s only room for expansion from here.
Photo taken by Will at Monument Circle in Indianapolis, IN
What does a mean to you?
It’s encompassing of people who like to take initiative. A encapsulates a mentality of, ‘Hey, here’s a challenge. How are we going to tackle it collaboratively with all voices included, because no one person can hold up an entire company?’ It’s an effort of the collective.
When I first started at my team and I had never worked on anything chatbot related. But the minute the pandemic started everybody was all deck, and we rolled out six chatbots in a week and a half. That perfectly sums up what a would be doing here.
You mentioned you’re big on personal and professional development. Can you share an example?
I was given the opportunity to spearhead a new initiative and lead a request for proposal (RFP) for the first time – from the RFP process all the way into the demo process, then from vendor vetting and requirement gathering to delivery. I gained a better understanding and appreciation for how much actually goes into it.
Captured: Will and his wife, Kristen Shirley
Having grown up in multiple places and traveling a lot, I never had one place I could call home. The last time I returned to Zambia was in 2013, but I finally bought a house in New Orleans before I turned 30. I’ve wanted to be a landlord and have income producing properties. My wife and I have had this dream for a long time, and this is one big step in that direction.
Despite all the change that happens at , what is one thing you feel has remained a constant here?
We’ve had a lot of change with acquisitions, but the most consistent piece is the attitude that maintain. Whether you’ve been here four years or a week and a half, there’s that red thread all the way through that people are passionate about what they do, and consistently want the company to succeed. And then you have the people who leave and come back and they’re like, ‘The place I just went to is nothing like , and I enjoyed working here a lot more than I thought,’ which I think speaks for itself. For anybody here at , don’t be afraid to speak up and go forward. It’s easy to get comfortable and lose sight of your personal development, pay, or ways to take on new challenges. Don’t forget to find ways to keep going.