Watson Story – Accountant Natalia Santana

I’ve been at Watson here for six years now… Six years! I started in Accounts Receivable and worked my way up through three different positions to Accountant.

I’ve been lucky to hold a few roles since I’ve been here where I was able to get experience in various areas in the Accounting Department – I had the opportunity to handle payment applications in Accounts Receivable, then gained experience in Accounts Payable, then promoted to Junior Accountant where the scope of my accounting exposure grew to the point where I am now holding the Accountant position.

Watson Gloves’ AGM Boat Cruise *Circa 2022

It’s been a wild six years, honestly. But it’s been easier because of the support within Watson. We’ve created our own little family here in the accounting department. We love to laugh and we’re just a lively bunch! I think we’re very different than many other accounting teams out there.

Different how?

We went through a time when we would try to sneak up and scare each other. Sometimes, we would find funny pranks to pull off – one time we gift wrapped an entire desk in paper, and another time, we shrink wrapped a whole cubicle and filled it with balloons!

Watson Gloves’ AGM Boat Cruise *Circa 2018

In 2018 we made Halloween into a new tradition in the accounting department where a few of us would coordinate a group costume.

The first year we dressed up as the monkeys from the Bruno Mars song. We had the monkey masks and everything, it was pretty good, but that wasn’t our best. The best costume was when we all dressed up as dinosaurs – THAT was the ultimate costume and we had so much fun with it.

Halloween at Watson Gloves *Circa 2018

Five of us got inflatable T-Rex costumes. At one point in the day we needed to go over to our other building for a Halloween get-together so that meant that we needed to cross the street in our costumes. Our manager had to go out and stop traffic for us because we couldn’t walk properly. Then, at the other building we had to go in through the warehouse bay doors because the costumes were too big. We made a big commotion as we entered the building and our warehouse team started videotaping, clapping and cheering and it was all just so good!

Is this what you imagined when you started your career?

I definitely never imagined T-Rexes! My initial plan was to become an architect or maybe something in civil engineering. But life had other plans, and here I am. I always had an aptitude for numbers, so when architecture didn’t pan out, accounting seemed like the next best fit.

Then I needed a job, BUT I never actually applied to Watson!

WHAT!? Tell me more!

Yeah, I was looking for an entry level accounts receivable position because that’s usually where accountants start. I decided to start my search on Indeed and I uploaded my resume to apply for jobs, but what I didn’t realize is that I made my resume public! It was my first time using the platform and I didn’t understand there was public and private. But then I got this call from someone in HR from Watson Gloves, and she said that there was a position open, and they thought I’d be a good fit. We talked for an hour, and it was a great interview!

Just a random phone interview with a company I didn’t apply to – so kind of a funny story.

They invited me in for an in-person interview, and I did just that, then the rest is history! But that’s Watson, we’re always looking for the right people to join our team, I think that’s how our accounting department has stayed such a close-knit family.

Now six years later and four different positions, have you learned anything fun along the way?

Some companies don’t really give you an idea or road-plan for where you’re going, but it’s different here at Watson. Management cares, they asked me what I want, and they helped create a career path for me and with me, so I always knew what I was working towards.

Last year I had a meeting with Rebecca (VP, Talent & Culture), and she asked what I wanted to do. We talked, and she listened. Together we decided that the next step in my growth journey was to develop my leadership skills and approved me to attend leadership training, something I never thought I’d do, but now it’s opened so many more doors for me.

And this all trickles down, I have one co-worker who has been here for five years, just one less than me, and we have been growing in our positions here. I’ve been training her in my last position, so we’re always working together, like a real family, passing down what we’ve learned.

Accounting Team up to their typical Halloween shenanigans – Natalia Santana, Hazel Galang, Cerensa-Lee Tylor, Raisha Pandey, Alicia Rodriguez

So now that you’re becoming more of a leader, what leadership style do you like?

Whatever Henry, our Controller, is doing, hahaha! We all love Henry, he’s just the best. He’s very patient! If something’s not exactly going well or right, and I start getting frustrated or even upset, he’s always very calm and patient with me. So that makes me feel very comfortable that we’re able to talk through issues and find solutions together. That’s great leadership!

What’s your proudest moment?

Other than the T-Rex costumes? Watson really makes you feel welcome right from your first day. There’s a lot of people, and three offices across Canada, but you still feel like family. The year after I was hired, I won the Outstanding Achievement Award. That was one of my proudest moments. Yeah, I remember being so surprised because I was so relatively new, and I definitely wasn’t expecting to win anything. It was so nice to be recognized by the leadership team.

Any final thoughts?

I’ve had countless moments here, many fun, some challenging. But it’s the people that make all the difference. Always.

Halloween at Watson Gloves *Circa 2019