Meet our colleague: Sebastian Velez Torres
by Tribes Inspiring Workplaces, on 3 Jul 2020
Sebastian Vélez Torres you will mostly find him close to the sea, at the Bajau. The Bajau is a Tribe from the Philippines/Indonesia and it’s the inspiration for Tribes Brussels Central Station. Sebastian started as a Chief in September 2019 and he’s responsible for the sales and operational activities. As a Chief, you are responsible for bringing in new tenants and making sure everything runs smoothly within the location. With this versatile feature, you need to be customer-friendly, be able to shift gears and build a nice community at your center. The members of Tribes location Brussels Central Station know Sebastian as a social, quick-witted and enthusiastic person. He takes care of everyone in his center and will always find a (creative) solution. In his personal time Sebastian is busy with music, travels, daydreaming but mostly a lot of social activities with his family, friends and his dog Nacho.
He has been in the workplaces business for years. Although he has not worked at Tribes for more than a year, he definitely is having a memorable time at Tribes. He already made nice memories and there’s definitely more to come. For example: the last annual meeting and the digital zoom meetings we have with all the Tribes colleagues, where he did a performance on Latin dancing. This is a nice way to keep in touch with the others. For Sebastian achieving targets is a great feeling but for him it is also the process and the quality time with his colleagues and members that are very valuable.
Furthermore, Sebastian is sometimes depicted as the most Sagittarius person around.
“I guess because I’m free-spirited, frank, fearless and optimistic. I do have to own up for the negative traits as well such as being anxious at times and often feeling the need to speak out; always truthful but not always diplomatic.”
We are very curious how your workday looks like and what do you like the most?
“A normal day at the office starts by checking on my team and members. After the daily stuff, I lift my spirit up with a good cup of coffee. Then I go on the hunt for the targets of the day. Probably sounds more fun that the reality, but why not add a magical touch to things and make it all more exciting. No day is the same, nothing is a guarantee but still all worth the effort and energy.”
So what is the best part of the job to you?
“The best is for a big part its people and the shared vision. The concept is something to be proud of and a solution to so many people from different areas. The potential of Tribes is enormous and there is so much more to be achieved. Step by step but aiming for the stars”
100% business nomad
Sebastian made clear he is a business nomad as he lived and worked in different countries and always moves around. The position as a Chief at Tribes suits Sebastian very well, as a background he has travelled a lot and has a lot of experience working in business centers.
“I have worked in central China, Tokyo, Bogotá and we’ll see what the future holds for me. I am grateful the winds of life have kept carrying me across the globe. Living in Spain, China and Japan and visiting numerous countries around the globe has been a magical reality.”
Tell us something about those travels?
“Well, I have actually also been seeking thrills like bungee jumping, trekking through a jungle in Colombia, paragliding in Nepal, what not? This sometimes got me into tricky situations. Like when I walked alone through the haunted Aokigahara forest at night for hours or when I climbed mount Fuji. A bit of an extreme way of getting out of my comfort zone, but then again, ‘bad experiences make great stories’ hehe.”
It was clear to Sebastian that he was looking for a new challenge and ended up at Tribes.
“Although seemingly I was working in a comfortable place, it also had hidden boundaries and I didn’t want to feel trapped like a bird in a golden cage. So, I broke out and looked for a new environment where I could play more to my strengths.”
He met Karin Hardon from operations and Chief Casper Klap. Where did you meet them? How did this happen?
“I was originally invited for a meeting with Eduard and Karin at the X-Tribe in Amsterdam and also met Casper. I had this gut feeling telling me I just had to go and shouldn’t think too much about it. So a couple of days later I was on my way to the Netherlands.Our paths crossed and there was an instant connection with all of them, I loved the vibe and the company vision.”
Background of Sebastian
He has already learned a lot about the nomadic tribes here at Tribes like most and is particularly interested in different cultures. We understand why he likes Tribes Secoya and Bajau. Of all the Tribes locations in Brussels, the sea nomads (Bajau) are his favourite. As for the Tribe Secoya, which comes from South America, this probably has to do with his background. Sebastian was born in Colombia, in the vibrant and colourful highlands of Medellín, but raised in the calm and medieval city of Bruges where he lived for 12 years.
“Having foundations in very different worlds can be somewhat confusing for your environment and even yourself. Despite the many challenges, I embraced the gift of having a rich cultural background and held onto the strengths of it. This also motivated me to discover more about different cultures and philosophies. In a quest for knowledge I specialized in intercultural studies for my Master’s Multilingual Communication. Feeling like Indiana Jones, I was more than ready to unravel more mysteries around the world.”