Boxer Spotlight: Conor Sweeney, Chief of Staff to the CFO
At Box, we believe great ideas can come from anywhere in the company. We are committed to building a culture that supports personal and professional growth. In this new series, we are excited to spotlight Boxers across the entire organization, at various stages in their careers, to showcase what #LifeatBox is all about. With that, we’re excited to introduce you to Conor Sweeney, the Chief of Staff to our Co-Founder and CFO, Dylan Smith.
You interviewed with several companies. What made you choose Box?
I've been at Box for 10 months and joining this organization was one of the easiest decisions I've ever made. It really came down to the product itself and the people that work here. Regarding the product, I had used Box while working at my last company and loved its seamless nature of how the product worked and how easy it was for people to leverage as they were onboarding. The companies I worked at prior to that had people who griped and groaned about other file, sync, and share solutions and Box goes far beyond as a cloud content management system.
And as far as the people...well, it doesn't take being here very long to discover that there is something truly special about not only the people that work here, but the culture that keeps all of us grounded. It was the first time in my career that I came out of an interview process saying, wow, that was a really enjoyable interview because of the interactions I had with each person and how welcoming they were. It had also been the most seamless and fluid recruiting process I had been through. To find a company that truly lives and breathes its values from beginning to end is a rarity, and Box is among the few that does!
"To find a company that TRULY lives and breathes its values from beginning to end is a rarity, and Box is among the few that does!"
What stood out in your first few months here at Box?
I have never met a more collaborative, kind, innovative, and loyal group of working professionals anywhere else in my entire career. Simply put, Boxers love being Boxers and it's pretty contagious. It was also apparent with leadership. The experience that really stood out to me was during my New Hire Orientation, when Aaron, our Co-Founder and CEO, encouraged healthy debate and different points of views as it's a foundational part of our company growth. I see and experience that daily with other Boxers -- things can pivot very quickly because people are not afraid to speak up and share another opinion.
What are some exciting aspects of your role today?
What makes my role most exciting is how dynamic it is. I have the opportunity to partner with leadership to set goals and priorities for the quarter/year, spin up cross functional programs to deliver significant business impact, and so much more. No two days are the same in a Chief of Staff role.
How has your experience been with Box since the company transitioned to remote work back in March?
Box has handled this very challenging and dynamic situation incredibly well. There's so much to highlight here, but I want to emphasize is how well Box has recognized balance for employees through things like flexible work schedules and encouraging Boxers to take the time they need. Leaders trust Boxers to get work done. We have the autonomy to fail fast. They also enable Boxers to feel empowered to set boundaries while still recognizing the good work we do. I've been really inspired seeing what people are going through to balance their careers/family and what they can achieve at home. We encourage people to hop on Zooms with their dogs and babies because we want everyone to bring their full self to work, and who doesn’t love dogs and babies?!
Our rock-star Internal Communications team hit the ground running by partnering with leadership to help us all stay informed along the way. Our Employee Resource Communities have continued to drive incredibly engaging programming and our Technology & Trust and People & Communities teams have continued to provide Boxers with the tools they need to successfully operate in a fully virtual environment. The list goes on!
How has Box helped your career development?
Trust and autonomy enabled me to get to where I am today at Box. The leadership team has empowered me to take chances and get things done without the fear of being micromanaged. Operating with the proper balance of support and autonomy is tough to find, and now that I have it, it's allowed me to grow in amazing ways. Box's commitment to Learning & Development has also had a huge impact on my career development. Simply put, trainings at Box rock! I've been so impressed with the quality, level of engagement, and enthusiasm that I've experienced with the internal trainings here such as LearnFest, a global quarterly learning event that encourages Boxers to dedicate time to boost personal growth.
What advice would you give to someone who is looking to join Box?
At Box, people are everything. Authenticity is important. Who you are is who you are and how you bring your ___ self to work matters. It's a pretty amazing thing and as cliche as it sounds, it doesn't really exist in other places. Kindness and compassion are at the forefront of everything that we do, and we look to see that in all Boxers!
Thank you, Conor, for taking the time to be a part of our Boxer Spotlight series. We look forward to seeing what you'll do next at Box!