"Bring Your _______ Self to Work" is an important pillar of our Box culture. We're a pretty mixed bag of different backgrounds and values around here, so the blank is different for each Box employee. In this series, we'll interview one of our own to give you a look at our diverse family of Boxers around the world. Our Boxer this week is Christina Louie, Program Manager for Box.org, based out of our Redwood City, CA headquarters.
I was a Community Development major in college and started my career as a teacher through Teach for America before joining the Box Recruiting team a little over 3 years ago. While hiring for many different teams at Box, I got involved in the ACT10x group (aimed towards growing employee engagement through altruism, community and technology) and had the honor of leading the HQ committee the last couple of years. Through that experience I worked closely with Box.org, and saw the power of connecting technology and nonprofits. I was hooked!
Then, a few months ago, I had the incredible opportunity to join the Box.org team full time as a Program Manager. My role falls into a few main buckets. The first is to develop a strategy and structure for building out our global social responsibility program. The second is to network with nonprofits, especially those local to our offices and whose missions fall into our four main pillars (youth enablement, social equity, health, and aid), to identify opportunities for us to engage with their work. The third is to help Boxers discover and fulfill their social missions by organizing volunteer events for teams and helping departments establish a Good Pledge, a specific pledge tied to a cause that the group will focus on for the year.
How does what you do contribute to the success of Box?
Box.org is proud to donate and discount Box for our nonprofit customers. We offer 10 free starter licenses and after that deeply discount the product by 50%. We also help to connect Boxers with opportunities that allow them to expand their experiences, take on new opportunities, and, ultimately, grow skillsets that they bring back to Box. I've been able to witness how much Boxers care and want to give back and it's always energizing to see how much this contributes to our overall culture. Volunteering is great for the individual's growth and great for Box's growth!
We've also begun to offer small sponsorships for nonprofits that fall into our four main pillars. This allows us to grow our connections and also network with other organizations who can benefit from our product. In Redwood City, CA, sponsorships have allowed us to be a better community partner rather than being seen as the giant brick building that popped up near Caltrain. Through student visits, nonprofit fairs, and donating our space for events, we've been able to open our doors, contributing to a more positive community brand in Redwood City.
What has been the most rewarding Box.org project you have worked on?
In line with bringing my teacher self to work, I love when we students of all ages visit our offices. We've hosted students from Eastside College Prep, Sequoia High, JobTrain, YearUp, Phase2Careers and soon Genesys Works, in addition to hosting the annual BUILD Bazaars. Students bring such a unique energy to the building and Boxers jump right in - volunteering with the groups, saying hi when new faces walk by, becoming mentors, and demonstrating the amazing culture we have here.
What do non-profits love about Box as a product?
Nonprofits are often excited about the security features we offer. Many of the organizations are dealing with sensitive information from their clients and need to know their information is secure. Collaboration and ease of sharing also comes up a lot, especially with our Microsoft and Google integrations. One of my favorite use cases is how our customers are able to use Box Capture in the field to capture and tag important information. Here is a fun matrix that shows use cases.
Not everything is sunshine and rainbows, what's been the most difficult challenge?
Box.org functions as a startup within the company. We’re an official team of 2 with an incredible group of volunteer leaders who have established local committees and lead Box.org efforts in their offices. With our rapid growth, one of most difficult challenges is making sure that each of the offices has sufficient support and resourcing for their activities.
Aaron is such a core part of this company, do you have a fun memory to share?
Last year during our annual toy drive we set a goal of raising 300 gifts. We were just 43 gifts away from that goal when I ran into Aaron in the elevator. He asked how the toy drive was going and I told him we were getting closer to our goal of 300. He then suggested that we increase our goal and offered to do magic tricks at our company Friday Lunch if we hit 500 gifts instead (with 3 days to go). The company rallied around this and collected 682 toys for the local community, over 2.5x the amount we had just 3 days before. I love this story because it is one of many that shows how involved Aaron is with all aspects of the company, as well as his talents beyond Box!