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Ateesha Gersch shuts the laptop

Living life – and career – with intention and adventure


Career switch-up

Coming from a retail background, Ateesha had been working to figure out what was next for her, honing in on her love of people development and management, and a knack for leadership. She engaged with a career advisor and a skills development inventory steered her toward HR. Soon thereafter, she was referred to Nintex.

Ateesha, excited in that nervous way, waltzed into an impressive Nintex Melbourne office – her first time in any corporate space like that. She enjoyed an easy conversation about a line of work she was incredibly curious about, with someone she connected with – Jacqueline “Jaq” Anderson. “I’d love to take you on as an intern one day a week,” Jaq shared, but Ateesha couldn’t make just a single weekday work with her current employer.

So, six weeks later, Ateesha took a big risk. She quit.

“I took on a new retail job that would let me work at Nintex once a week to explore a career in HR. This turned into a casual role a few days weekly, then five months later, it became a full-time gig. I was hired on as an HR Coordinator while completing studies for an HR certification to ensure I had a solid foundation in this new journey.”

At the time, Nintex was a third of its current size globally and Ateesha had the opportunity to grow with it. Shortly prior to the pandemic, she earned a well-deserved promotion to an HR Generalist role to support that growth that soon followed. Concurrently, though, Ateesha was experiencing one of the toughest times of her life to date. 

Life happens – and it can hit hard

When Ateesha’s marriage ended right before COVID-19 hit, the early stages of the pandemic became a forced time of reflection and isolation, which eased a little once Ateesha was able to move in with her best friend, Lauren. In their friendship, she found healing and plenty of fun which helped her begin a two-year journey to emerge from that cocoon of raw emotion. But, she was good hands with Lauren, and she was in good hands with Nintex too.

Jaq, Ateesha’s manager since the beginning and now our organization’s senior global head of HR, was unwaveringly supportive through a tough time. Ateesha enjoyed a great deal of flexibility and support that gave her adequate time and resources to heal. She really leaned into work as well – her role in human resources provided her an outlet to push through grief healthily and even earn herself a second promotion.

A supportive journey

As soon as lockdowns started, the talent team in Australia connected every single day and as it grew – in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Auckland, New Zealand – the connection continued.

Every day. Five days a week. They connected.

And it hasn’t let up – the team still makes time for chit chat and relationship-building twice weekly. And there’s one prevailing rule: no work talk – anything else is fair game.

“This regular connection has helped us build psychological safety and trust. We’ve had so much growth in our team that many of us haven’t even met in person, but we have bonded, grown together, and supported each other. We have each other’s backs.”

It’s this connection that made leaving for a month’s vacation in the U.S. that much easier on everyone – not just Ateesha – who literally left her laptop at home and removed all work notifications from her phone for the duration of the trip. A teammate of hers did something similar earlier in the year – for six weeks. And this tone isn’t just set by the team’s managers – it’s set right at the top too.

“Jaq values the team prioritizing ourselves over work, and emphasizes the importance of us all refreshing, revitalizing, and living our lives. It’s never been in question whether our team should put ourselves and our personal needs ahead of our jobs. In fact, it’s an expectation.”

And going away for a month? It really wasn’t even a question. Not only is she supported by a team that values the importance of a reset, she also experiences leadership that respects setting personal boundaries. And Ateesha certainly knows hers. She never checks emails on the weekends and doesn’t feel pressure to ever do so.

Nor did she feel that pressure to check-in on a month-long vacation.

This U.S. tour was precipitated not just by a supportive team and leadership, but also by meeting an American during lockdown and falling in love. And after three years of missing his family because of lockdowns, Ateesha’s partner finally got to travel home.

So Ateesha shut the laptop, left it in Melbourne, and joined her partner in reuniting with family and friends across his home country.

Taking on the U.S. with a “local”

New England eats: Spent time with her partner’s parents in Marblehead, Massachusetts, visiting galleries, splashing in the pool, and eating delicious new food, like lobster and clams – all the typical New England “fruits of the sea” for this former vegetarian.

Parades and festivals: A friend with a seaside shack put up the pair on the coast of Maine. They hiked, swam, indulged in an actual lobster festival, and attended a parade about which Ateesha says, “nothing tells you about the local people more than a parade!”

A ‘proper’ log cabin: Mooselookmeguntic Lake in Maine, owned by family since the 70s, was “a proper log cabin,” Ateesha exclaims, from which they kayaked on the lake, did a section of the Appalachian Trail, and went blueberry picking.

Outdoor living: Burlington, Vermont really spoke to the couple’s passions – people were active, outdoors, and hiking, biking, kayaking – you name it. They hiked, discovered homemade butter, swam in ponds and rivers, and enjoyed vintage shopping.

Transit trifecta: A train ride to Brooklyn led to a city bike tour of the borough, the Brooklyn Bridge, and a ferry trip. They commemorated Ateesha’s birthday with a Michelin star meal in Manhattan, a visit to MOMA and the Guggenheim, and an immersive theatre experience.

Guzzy T: The two picked up a transit van in San Francisco which they fondly named “Guzzy T” for its gas guzzling qualities, and drove to Sonoma.

Wineries and waterfalls: A stay with friends to experience the region’s oldest wineries led the pair next to Yosemite, which welcomed them with an incredible hazy sunrise and a valley hike with two beautiful waterfalls.

RV park halibut: A more remote and technical hike the following day rewarded them with an unmatched view of the long horizon north and south and a crystal clear, freezing cold lake. And the menu that followed? Their RV park neighbor’s fresh-caught grilled halibut.

Homecoming: No, not the American kind… It was time to fly home and upon reentering Australia, Ateesha was reminded fondly of home – with Qantas Airlines’ airing the comforting tune, “I still call Australia home.”

What’s next for Ateesha?

While having been at Nintex for five years, Ateesha has enjoyed a handful of responsibilities and promotions, after having been in her current role just shy of a year. And she’s always preparing thoughtfully for what’s next.

“I see myself going the coaching and development route in the future – whether it’s on my own or doing that for an organization. Nintex is helping me grow this way with my engagement in workforce strategy and our manager development program. I’m also seeking out some exposure to executive coaching.”

While she can find the opportunities to grow that she needs at Nintex, Ateesha finds it somewhat challenging at times to be part of a global company – not just the time zones, but also the cultural and policy differences in the HR space from country to country. This is particularly true in benefits and employee relations.

“Just in keeping my options open and considering what life might hold for me next, I’m mindful that my partner is not from here and perhaps one day we’ll live for a period where he grew up calling “home.” It’s important that I understand the HR landscape in the U.S. and luckily, I’ll find no shortage of mentors for that right here at Nintex.”

With her partner being American, Ateesha may also have a bit of a multicultural edge and insight into this complex piece of the global HR puzzle, right at home. And in pairing this with the skillset she’s nurtured the most and what landed her in HR in the first place – coaching – she’s fulfilled and prepared for the possibilities ahead – at Nintex and beyond.



Seeking adventure? Find it in life – and career – at Nintex.  



Leila Shamas

Leila Shamas is based in Colorado, U.S and is a member of our corporate marketing and communications team. As our global head of talent brand, Leila relishes in seeking out and sharing the unique stories of remarkable people and programs at Nintex, while managing and marketing our brand and who we are as an employer.

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