From Revolut to the World and Back Again: Sonia’s boomerang story
People · 18 August 2023Alex Carril
At Revolut, we pride ourselves on nurturing a work environment that fosters growth — both personally and professionally. Product Designer Sonia Bała shares her story that includes traveling Asia for 1,5 years before returning to Revolut later on with a renewed sense of ambition.
How did you learn about Revolut in the first place?
I was told about Revolut by a close friend who shared a passion for traveling. She encouraged me to open an account right before my trip to Mexico in 2018. That’s how I found out how cool our product was! Soon after coming back from this holiday, I was looking for a job and found an offer from Revolut — as I already knew and loved the product, I applied and started my adventure with the company.
What made you apply for a job here and how was this first term at Revolut?
Since I already knew the product, I applied to a posting I found right away. I had just graduated from university and wanted to work in a fast-paced environment filled with the energy of young, motivated people. That’s exactly what I found here when I started my role as a Support Customer Specialist. I really enjoyed the energy of the Support Team and the familiar atmosphere, as the company was maybe around 300 people at this time.
We know people here are not afraid to think big! You decided to take a break from work and spend almost 1,5 years traveling Asia. How did working at Revolut have an impact on that decision?
Actually I was considering such a trip even before graduating, but I knew that first I needed to raise funds. So I decided to kick off my career first and started at Revolut. When I made a decision to leave the company to fulfil my personal goals, it was not easy. I really enjoyed working here, was aware of great career opportunities within the company, and had already made a bunch of amazing friends. But I felt a lot of support from my colleagues and they were also excited about my trip and my managers were very understanding of my choice to fulfil a lifetime dream.
Tell us a bit about your travels and what made you come back to Revolut.
I trekked across 17 countries of Asia, mostly overland and choosing hitch-hiking as my primary transportation mode. That allowed me to reach unique places off the beaten track, meet extraordinarily welcoming people, and see the unspoiled beauty of nature. The trip started in Central Asia, then I went through China to Pakistan, next India and Nepal. From there I flew to South-East Asia, where I spent the next year, crossing all the countries: from Myanmar, through Indonesia to Philippines. I’ve hiked one of the most pristine mountain ranges on our planet, seen animals I didn’t know existed, ate a ton of delicious food, dived with mantas and sharks, drove on motorcycle in Himalayas, rode a horse in Kyrgyzstan — just to mention a few of the most memorable moments of this amazing adventure.
After such an experience it was not easy to come back to ordinary life. So I decided not to keep it too “ordinary.” By this time I also focused on shifting my professional career towards Product Design and decided that I would look for a company that offers fully remote work, so I could continue traveling while developing my career. Again I encountered an offer from Revolut, which is well known from its amazing design team. I was also looking forward to going back to the energetic environment of the company — something that didn’t change despite the huge change in company size and structure since I left it.
Do you consider Revolut as an inspirational workplace for both personal and professional growth? If so, how?
Revolut is definitely a place where you can meet highly motivated and very talented people. Such an environment is very nourishing and motivating. We are also a very diverse company, where people of different backgrounds, cultures, and languages work together. I think it helps to notice how different the perspectives, goals, and needs of each individual may be and what varied life paths people may choose. That's inspiring!
At Revolut, we believe our employees are our greatest asset, and that’s why we welcome back those who leave us to explore new paths. Whether you leave to pursue your dreams or simply take a break, we encourage Revoluters’ personal and professional growth. We can’t wait to hear about your adventures and welcome you back when you’re ready.