top of page

How FinTrU Employees are Making the Most of Their Sabbaticals

MONDAY 16 JANUARY 2023

The FinTrU Unplugged initiative entitles all employees to a four-week paid sabbatical after five years' service. Here's how Talent Acquisition Manager Kathy Bell made the most of hers...

Travel chic lol.jpg

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WITH FINTRU?

I have been working at FinTrU since early 2017. I joined as HR Business Partner and then moved into my current role in 2019.

 

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST THOUGHT WHEN YOU HEARD ABOUT FINTRU UNPLUGGED ?
Sheer and utter delight!  FinTrU had a sabbatical option already but I had never been able to take a year or more out of work unpaid so having the opportunity for a month seemed pretty perfect.  Also, it is a huge bonus that you are paid throughout so you have that peace of mind while you are off.

SO, WHAT DID YOU DO FOR UNPLUGGED?
I am a massive stand-up comedy nerd and regularly travel to arts festivals across the UK and Ireland.  In March 2020, I went to my first one abroad – in the Netherlands – and had my sights set on going further afield.

 

Just for Laughs in Montréal is considered to be one of the best comedy festivals in the world and was due to take place only a few months after my five-year anniversary at FinTrU; everything felt aligned!  JFL is only two weeks long so I worked in a quick trip to London first for a comedy festival then travelled up the East Coast of the US and into Montréal, before finishing up at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh. Told you I was a comedy nerd!

 

"It is something that I have wanted to do for a long time but could never see how to make it work, financially or timewise."

WHAT WAS THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR TRIP?
What an impossible question! Take your pick: going to the legendary Comedy Cellar in NYC; whale watching off the coast of Boston; crawling up the 'Rocky Steps' in Philly in 30°C+; watching the Red Sox play the Yankees at Yankee Stadium; being immersed in the Toronto Jazz Festival; seeing my favourite band [We Are Scientists] play in a tiny bar in DC; trying poutine for the first (and maybe last) time. 

WAS THIS SOMETHING YOU'D ALWAYS INTENDED TO DO?
It is something that I have wanted to do for a long time but could never see how to make it work, financially or timewise. The initiative thankfully left me with no excuses!

DID YOU HAVE ANY CONCERNS ABOUT BEING AWAY FROM WORK FOR SO LONG?

I had huge apprehension about leaving for that period of time. Less than 18 months before my planned leave, I was the entire Talent  

Acquisition team at FinTrU so the thought of being able to leave for so long and it not have an effect on our rapid growth plans was challenging to get my head around. 

 

However, in those 18 months, FinTrU had allowed me to build a great team who maintained our delivery levels in my absence without issue.  It gave me huge peace of mind to know that everything was covered and I wouldn’t be returning to anything scary when I opened my emails on my first day back.

Yankees
Yankees

press to zoom
Toronto
Toronto

press to zoom
Awards
Awards

press to zoom
Yankees
Yankees

press to zoom
1/10

HOW DID IT FEEL (HONESTLY!) TO COME BACK?

I can honestly say that I was ready to come back! I had a great time away and did everything that I planned (and more). I really enjoy my job and was ready to get stuck back in as I knew we had some exciting plans coming up.  Our Republic of Ireland expansion was announced in July, followed by news of our first office in Portugal. Just like my trip, there’s never a dull moment.


 

If you are interested in a career at FinTrU, you can find all our current opportunities here: Careers

bottom of page