Belfast Office
17a Ormeau Avenue
Northern Ireland

My first DA Retreat

Jasmin Winiarski

Retreat polaroids, including me right after I was dunked in an ice bath wearing a bunny onesie.

Being dunked in a 2ºC ice bath wearing a bunny onesie isn’t what comes to mind when you think of team building - yet it’s one of my favourite memories from my first DA retreat.

I’ve felt like part of the team from day one. Even coming straight out of university and having limited exposure to how office dynamics work, I knew immediately that we’re doing team culture right at DA.
It’s not something we really tried to bottle up and put into words, it always felt natural and we didn’t question it. So when team building activities like a retreat come up, you take it with a pinch of salt: “how much closer can a team get?”
Jordan puts it best:

On paper, it doesn’t make sense to spend four whole days away from client work, on company time and not doing any work. But sometimes counterintuitive things just make sense in their own kinda way.

Jordan Moore - CDO

We don’t always know how to put those things into words at DA, but once you join you do feel their effect. I suppose that’s what company culture is in the end, you can’t see it but you know when it’s working. I thought spending 4 days together will just be a good time to get to know everyone better without having to squeeze time in between meetings or work talk to overshadow getting to know each other. 

What I wasn’t expecting was how much I’m going to be out of my comfort zone, and what a safe space DA would create for me to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. 

“Ultimately you don’t know what you’re capable of until you push yourself way beyond what you thought was possible.”

Atte Miettinen

Atte Miettinen, our guest speaker uses his climb up Mount Everest as a metaphor for tackling your mountain, whatever it may be, and overcoming the fear that’s stopping you from achieving your goals. What we don’t mention when we talk about getting out of your comfort zone is the people that surround you when you do it. You can’t climb a mountain on your own, and it’s not enough to have someone to hold you accountable for you to succeed. You need people that want you to succeed and understand that sometimes life gets in the way.