Why I joined Asana: Cristina Gavin, Employee Onboarding Lead
August 28th, 2020
Cristina Gavin is our Employee Onboarding Lead, based out of San Francisco. The Onboarding team is responsible for setting the stage for every new Asana’s journey, inspiring and enabling our newest teammates to do great work and feel at home—something Cristina has been doing at Asana for over 6 years! Get to know Cristina and why she joined #teamasana.
What was your journey to becoming an Onboarding Lead?
I started my career working in fashion, and despite my passion, I decided it wasn’t for me. After leaving the fashion world, I had a long stint in the service industry while I went back to school. When I moved to San Francisco on a whim in early 2014, I started working at various tech companies, getting exposure to the industry. I decided to interview at Asana, and while I didn’t know much about the company, I gravitated toward the team and knew that I wanted to be part of it. I joined as our first receptionist when the company was just one office, now we have 9 and I’m responsible for the onboarding program across the globe! I’ve worn many hats, and built countless programs and processes from the ground up. Onboarding new team members has really captured my heart, and the opportunity it provided to make a lasting impact on new Asanas and their journey.
How have you felt supported in your career journey & growth at Asana?
In my six years at Asana, I’ve had amazing managers and mentors who have supported me in so many ways; from growing into new roles, to making the switch from the Workplace team to the People team, to most recently becoming a manager. Every step of my journey has been welcomed with new learning opportunities and projects that have allowed me to take risks, learn from my mistakes, and ultimately embrace all the change that has happened over the last 6 years.
Describe a day on the San Francisco team.
When I first joined Asana, we were a pretty small company. We sat on one floor, and at lunch, you would sit in any seat that was open. Since then, we’ve grown immensely from our little cafe space to two cafes, with the office spanning 7 floors in San Francisco, and 9 offices globally. Despite that fact, it still feels like the same Asana, with the same culture guiding us. Our heart is just a little bigger these days. 🙂 Although we’re all working remotely now, we still stay connected through fun chat conversations, virtual events, and town halls. I also love the occasional virtual coffee catch up, or a quick video call from a coworker who would normally swing by my desk for a casual chat. It makes me feel excited for when we’re all able to be together again.
What is something unique about the team you are on?
The Onboarding team is a part of the Employee Communications and Experience team, and it’s such a special team to be part of! We all have varying professional backgrounds, and although our roles are different from one another, we share a lot of similarities. The nature of our work is very cross-functional, and we have a huge opportunity to build working relationships with people across every region and team within the company. We also run high-visibility, employee-centric programs that span Learning & Development to Operations to Communications. My team is very supportive of each other and the work we do, and I love being part of it.
How do you use Asana in your day-to-day work?
We onboard new hires in multiple offices weekly and run a monthly global onboarding event called Asanapalooza, so we have a million moving pieces that are in flight at all times. We would not be able to run the program with such high efficiency without using Asana. When start dates change, we leverage Forms with Automation to make sure a task never goes unassigned. For our monthly onboarding event, we use a template that helps us confirm our roster and schedule, with all necessary prep and follow-up tasks.
For every new hire that joins Asana, we create a new hire checklist from an Asana template that’s updated weekly with the most up to date information on the company.
What does Asana’s mission mean to you?
Our mission is near and dear to my heart, now more than ever. I strongly believe that collaboration is the key to solving the world’s biggest challenges. Working at Asana gives me the chance to help teams tackle some of the world’s biggest tasks, even if it’s in a small way by preparing our incoming new hires with the tools they need to succeed.
How does Asana practice inclusion?
I’m very appreciative of Asana’s commitment to inclusiveness and creating an environment that’s in a permanent state of growth and learning. From resources on how to become a better ally, to our Employee Resource Groups, to providing spaces for employees to be real about the things happening around us, and giving us tools to approach difficult conversations, Asana’s efforts are not only tangible, but continuously in a state of striving to be better.
I don’t have a traditional tech background, but that’s never held me back at Asana. My team has complete trust in my abilities, and that’s been a huge motivator for me, especially when I’ve doubted myself. I also appreciate how welcoming the LatinX community at Asana is. I’ve never really connected with the LatinX community in an impactful way outside of my family, because I always felt that I wasn’t “Latina enough”. Having a way to connect with LatinX Asanas has been really important to me as I grow and embrace my full identity.
What’s your mantra and where did you develop it?
It’s kind of cheesy, but something I do often when I’m feeling overwhelmed or stuck is to find a place where I can have a moment alone, take a deep breath and say “you can do this”. There is no shortage of things to do, and this helps me gather my thoughts so I can recharge.
One of Asana’s values is “be real”, which means I can bring the best parts of myself to work each day, as well as the parts that make me human, and celebrate all of it. Being creative and collaborative is just as important as the part of me that needs to recharge, and Asana has encouraged me to find and embrace that balance.
If you could give a new Asana one piece of advice, what would it be?
Ask questions and be curious. If you see an opportunity for improvement, don’t be afraid to share it. Everyone at Asana has a strong growth mindset, and knows that we can only achieve our mission when we work together. Sometimes that means evolving how we do things and bringing fresh perspectives, so bring yours!
Work with Cristina—join our team!
No matter what team you join at Asana, you’ll no doubt connect with Cristina, and she can’t wait to meet you! Check out opportunities to join the People Team.