Colleen Lucksinger is a Sales Learning & Programs Lead based in Denver, Colorado. Shona McMoran is a Senior Manager, Global License Compliance Audit Services based in Boston, Massachusetts. The two met at Autodesk’s Denver office back in December 2009 – and they’ve been best friends ever since!
“Colleen and I were on different teams in the company when we were assigned to work together on a very difficult initiative,” Shona says. “This project sure tested our brain powers! We quickly realized the importance of working hard, but also getting to know each other and having fun.”
“Shona’s brains understood my vision,” says Colleen. “This, combined with our tenacity and joy, equaled an instant connection!”
From their work on this challenging project, Colleen and Shona decided to start a Fun Committee in the Denver office to provide an outlet for others to get to know each other and have the social aspect that is critical to many.
“Personally, I was in awe of Colleen and, as an introvert early in my career, I aspired to learn as much as I could from her,” Shona says.
Taking things offline
Colleen and Shona soon discovered they had a lot in common, so they started to do activities together outside of the office. Over the years, they’ve enjoyed listening to live music, exercising at Zumba or FIT36, getting massages (“followed by light beer and a salad!”), and spending nights out dancing or at the theater.
Their relationship has grown from mentor-mentee to team members to sponsors and sounding boards. They share their professional difficulties and exciting ideas for each other’s input.
“When you have a problem, Shona will solve it,” Colleen says. “When you need to get a break from life, she’ll plan the entire getaway where you’ll smile, laugh and cry, all at the same time together. And when you need a costume partner, she’s the one!”
“Through all my life experiences, Colleen has been there for me, reminding me to be resilient and strong and to celebrate small achievements while leaning on others,” says Shona.
“We commit to each other to be there to appreciate life together and to pick each other up in the hard times. We’ve celebrated promotions, finding love, buying houses, and hitting fitness goals! From big to small, good to bad, we share it all.”
A culture of belonging
“Autodesk creates an environment where people can be themselves, championing values like humility, integrity, and courage – which are also critical in personal relationships,” Shona says. “My favorite thing about Autodesk is the people.”
Colleen echoes Shona’s thoughts, “with the benefits as a very close second.” She says these two reasons alone are why everyone should consider working at Autodesk. “Over my 12 years here, I’ve worked with people who have raised me up as an impactful person, and led me to my most favorite job I’ve ever had!”
“Not only is Autodesk a place where you can truly be yourself, count on others to help you achieve goals, and experience personal growth, but it is also a place where you can have fun,” Shona replies. “Autodesk walks the walk when it comes to caring about employees’ wellness holistically and making a difference in the world. To me, that is everything!”
Friendship knows no bounds
A few years ago, Shona moved from Denver to Boston. Their relationship has changed since the move, but the two have become even more intentional about their friendship because of it.
“Colleen threw me a ‘Peace Out’ party when I left Denver,” Shona laughs. “When I arrived in Boston she came, notebook in hand, with a list of pros and cons to start our Massachusetts tour in search of my new home!”
Traveling back and forth between Denver and Boston and virtual happy hours are now the main ways the two friends keep in touch.
“I am planning a birthday trip to Paris in the fall, and everyone who is coming is also an Autodesker,” Shona says. “My core circle of friends has gradually become mostly Autodesk people, which is not surprising.”
“And yes – Colleen will be there!”