Building a new family at Hyland

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to pack up everything you own and go on an adventure?

My Journey starts back in fall of 2010. I was 20 at that time, and I had recently graduated from school in Denmark. I finished school with a higher education in English. I remember that summer as being chaotic, because my parents had recently split up and lived separately. I decided to go live with my father and his future wife in Elyria.

Then, after staying in the U.S. for six months, I decided that, since my father was moving, I wanted to join him and study here in the U.S. The following year, I started at Lorain County Community College.

People often ask me “What is the biggest difference Denmark and the U.S.?”

I always answer, “Everything.” Everything from people, to cars, to education.

Changes

In 2013, after being at the college for a few years, I remember getting a phone call from my brothers in late April. My mother, who was 48, had fallen in Denmark and had to be rushed to the hospital. She had gotten a bad infection in her body and, because of her condition, she might not make it.

Three weeks later, she passed away on May 4th, the day the Allies liberated Denmark from the Germans in WWII. Losing my mom was the most painful thing in the world at that time.

My father said to me, “We will always find a way to survive, and everything will be ok.”

I decided that year I wanted to change my major from Archaeology to Computer Science so my dad and I could be more connected. It was a big decision for me to give up Archaeology. It had been something I loved since I was a little boy, but I came to the realization that computer science is my true passion. My father and I grew closer as I took more and more computer classes. I started to understand some of the expressions he used when he would talk about his work as an Oracle DBA.

Opportunity

In the early spring of 2016, I signed up for a tour of Hyland. People told me that it was a software company that actually cared about its employees, a place where people felt valuable and treated each other like family.

I must say, it did not disappoint. Like a wave of joy that rushes through your body when you go down a new rollercoaster for the first time, I was amazed about this place. I remember standing in front of President and CEO Bill Premier’s office in Building 1, looking at the annual meeting mural, which depicts not only milestones and culture, but also a roadmap for a successful future.

It was at that moment I decided that no matter what it takes, I wanted to work for Hyland, and I wanted to do anything I could to make sure that I got the opportunity.

A single dream is more powerful than a thousand realities.

– J.R.R. Tolkien, maybe

That spring, I had a long conversation with a Hyland recruiter about different opportunities that might arise at Hyland the coming year. Little did I know, that summer, my life would change forever.

On June 22, while everyone else was celebrating the city of Cleveland’s first NBA title, I lost my father. I remember coming home from work around 3 p.m. I went upstairs to my room to watch the soccer World Cup. I remember my dad screaming my name. I ran downstairs to see him hunched over on the couch having trouble breathing.

I grabbed his phone and called 911. Before the paramedics came to the house, my father died in my arms. I revived him once before the ambulance arrived and the paramedics revived him again.

I was standing in the driveway thinking to myself, “Why aren’t they leaving?”

That’s when one of the paramedics came out and said to me, “It is very serious and we will have to rush him to the hospital right away. Do not follow us. Meet us there.”

I remember panicking, calling my brother 8,000 miles away back in Denmark and telling him our dad had been rushed to the hospital. That afternoon I lost my best friend, my father, my inspiration, my rock, while people were cheering in the streets.

My life has never been the same since. That summer is all a blur; I do not remember a lot. I know my family came over to the States to mourn our loss.

While the dust was settling from the storm, I looked at the Hyland careers website to see if there were any internships available, and to my surprise there were a bunch. I started to apply for anything I had experience in, anything from sales to marketing to QA.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t hired for any of the positions I applied for. It started to feel like my dream about working for Hyland was diminishing.

A few days later, another emailed ticked in, and I thought, “Another email from Hyland, I wonder if it’s another rejection.”

Building a new family

To my surprise, the email was inviting me to set up an interview in October! Overwhelmed with joy, I could barely stand being in my own body because of excitement. The only thing that was on my mind was that I wanted to make my dad proud and prove to myself that I was smart enough to be at a place like Hyland.

When I arrived for my interview, I was as nervous as when I kissed a girl for the first time. Michael Nelko and Mark Baltz interviewed me and made the setting as comfortable as the first day of spring (if you do not have allergies).

During the interview, Michael asked me, “Is programming art or science?”

I replied that he should imagine programming is like painting a picture and that the painting was the art, and the brush was the technology, or science, he used to create it. Hyland hired me that November as an intern.

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.

– Eleanor Roosevelt

Since I started working at Hyland, I have never looked back. And my coworkers have helped me overcome the death of my father. They have helped me in so many different ways. I love going to work every morning and its one of the things I look the most forward to everyday. As I now know all about things like regression testing, project execution and project delivery, I think my dad would be proud.

So to everyone at Hyland, thank you for creating such an amazing atmosphere, thank you for being such wonderful people, and thank you for accepting me into the Hyland family.

Nick Flor Johansen

Nick Flor Johansen is an intern in Hyland’s Quality Assurance department. He was born and raised in Denmark. He moved to the U.S. to attend college and live the American dream.

2 Responses

  1. This was an amazing article. I am so sorry for your loss. Very glad you found the family of Hyland.

  2. Josh Ivans says:

    Thanks for sharing Nick! Glad to have you at Hyland as part of the family!

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