Owning the ‘trail’ – through life and work
“There’s no need to be special or extraordinary. You just have to do what speaks to you the most to push your boundaries and potential far enough.”
Tech worker? Check!
Climber and hiker? Check!
While Nintex digital marketing manager, Alex Valdesuso-Pinney, may be your predictably adventurous, outdoor-loving, tech industry Colorado transplant, he is anything but typical.
Just a few years back, Alex thought he might find himself in reality television. No, not in front of the camera. Behind it. Far, far behind it.
“I studied at a liberal arts college to become a psychology researcher,” shares Alex. With a focus on social psychology, he completed a psych research summer internship to determine whether it was a worthy career choice.
It wasn’t everything he thought it’d be.
Several classes in art and animation, paired with two years of website management for his university satirical newspaper website led Alex to a marketing internship at Nintex. “It was a great experience at that time in my life, constantly exploring the city, living in the city, working in the office day-to-day, it was awesome.”
Then came Covid.
His entire life, he’d worked, lived, and played in the city. “Covid helped me harness power over what I do in life. It’s what helped me discover the outdoors,” Alex shares. Working side-by-side with his best friend in their apartment, then hiking, backpacking or camping every weekend as an alternative to his shut-down city, Alex found his real calling.
As Alex completed his bachelor’s degree, his roommate inspired a crazy idea. “Ever think about leaving Seattle?”
Ready to grow
Alex’s first instinct was to explore options with Nintex. In August 2021, as vaccines were introduced and things were beginning to open up again, he started the process of transferring with Nintex to Auckland, New Zealand.
But within weeks of securing the move, Alex’s plans were upended by the Delta variant and consequently, a revoked visa. Alex remained determined to discover something new.
He shared with his manager, “We’re remote, I’d like to take advantage of that. Would you support me working on the road as I move to San Francisco?” The answer was a fervent “yes” and he set his sights on a first stop in Oregon.
For a week, he explored Crater Lake, OR, then settled in a month-long rental near the iconic Golden Gate Park of San Francisco. He set out to connect with coworkers and reignite friendships from his high school and university days.
But it didn’t hit the mark.
“I lacked physical access and mental connectivity to the mountains and outdoor life I’d recently grown to love. It was too important to me to give up on.”
Over the course of about two months, Alex hung out on the Oregon coast, headed to Los Angeles, made a stop in Joshua Tree, then found himself a worthy homebase in Flagstaff, AZ providing him access to the national park sanctuary that is Southern Utah, before landing at his permanent post in Denver, CO.
Couch-surfing or car camping in a cramped Subaru Impreza hatchback, Alex hooked up his hotspot to continue working amid his adventures – working sporadic hours for tasks and projects while hopping on scheduled meetings.
“Many work remotely at kitchen tables or bedside desks. I remote-worked while road-tripping and visiting national parks. Moab, Bryce Canyon, Zion…. I’d login at campsite benches, mountains surrounding me.”
Alex had developed a lust for exploration.
“I’m not sure I relate to the person I used to be.”
Alex grew up comfortably, within a big, stable Hispanic community, school and family continuity, little change and no real adventure. “Forcing myself out on my own accord pushed me to have to make new connections and build community myself.”
“I challenged myself to get uncomfortable, traveling like I did for those four months. And I often found myself in crazy situations that created even more discomfort throughout.”
An extrovert who loves to be around people and make friends, there were times he was forced into isolation. Like the three days he was stuck in a storm in Flagstaff. Alone. He found it difficult to be isolated with his thoughts.
Then again, in Bryce Canyon, he was snowed in. “I was able to get out of the car only through the trunk. I took a long hike around the canyon. I sat in the middle of that canyon, reflecting on my solitude, connecting with no-one but myself. It was sort of a personal revelation.”
That revelation? No holding back.
For Alex, the Nintex mantra “don’t wait” goes far beyond his professional life. “Every step I took after leaving Seattle pushed the boundaries of who I was and how I thought of myself. I’ve become a lot more affirmative in my decisions and in how I approach my life. I commit to not hesitating with experiences that will help me grow.”
The work doesn’t come first. Growth does.
Alex is motivated to leverage his successes and opportunities at work to explore his outdoor passions, sharing; “What I gain from the outdoors, in turn, actually fuels my professional growth and desire to succeed at work.”
Alex is driven by connecting with his environment as well as connecting with the people called to the mountains the way he is. His job at Nintex and the people he works with day to day enable this, providing him sanity, opportunity, stability, and the chance to explore.
His desire to push his boundaries via adventure is nurtured at Nintex.
“There’s not a single person here at Nintex that’s not had a positive impact on me. I have upper management that supports me, a manager who fights for me and invests in my skills and career growth. I feel comforted and able to grow safely. All parts of me are supported.”
This summer, Alex will seek to conquer the John Muir Trail – something he’s had his heart set on for the last four years. His trek will take the better part of a month.
And unlike his four-month road trip, this time, he won’t be taking a hotspot.
He’ll focus on his own growth – through the challenge of solitude, discomfort of the elements, and magnificence of mountains.
Ready for the next step in your growth? Check out careers at Nintex.