Employee Spotlight: Giulia Setticasi

Giulia Setticasi is one of the few people here at WhiteWater who’s had the privilege of being part of both the WhiteWater team in Europe and the team in Vancouver. Originally from Sicily, Italy, Giulia is part of our Slide Path team and gets to create thrilling, out-of-this-world slides that go from being imaginary to reality in a few not-so-small and not-so-simple steps.

Please tell us a bit about yourself

I was born and raised in Agrigento, a beautiful town in Sicily that is well known for its ancient Greek ruins. When I was 18, I moved to Milan to study Industrial Design and since then, my life has taken an interesting path, leading to increasing challenges and opportunities. After successfully completing my Master’s Degree in Industrial Design in 2013, I was hired by WhiteWater as the Sales Coordinator for the European Office in Barcelona. After 3 successful years at the European office, I had the opportunity to return to my design fundamentals and put my design education and abilities to work at the Slide Path team. That’s what pushed me to take the plunge and make a huge move—coming to work at the Vancouver head office.

What do you do at WhiteWater?

I started as the Sales Coordinator in the European office, where my role was to collaborate with the RVP to develop a regional sales strategy, research and develop a regional marketing plan aimed at increasing brand awareness, and to provide sales support to clients and the sales team. Now, as a slide path designer, I work with the sales team and customers to fully understand the project requirements, find the very best possible design solutions, and prepare 3D models for slide towers.

What do you love about working at WhiteWater?

I love the excitement I feel when I see that a slide tower that I designed has been fully installed, is working, and making people happy. I still remember the first time I saw a slide complex that I had designed in real life. It was not particularly ground-breaking, as it was just a multi-lane, two body slides, and an inner tube, but yet the park guests were having such a great time going down the slides. In that moment, I felt extremely proud of myself and what we do as a company, and this is what gives me the motivation every day to keep doing a great job. Since then, I’ve gotten into the habit of keeping a list of all the slides I’ve designed that have been built around the world. My goal is to one day ride them all (especially the slides at Mirabilandia, which is in my home country). Most of all, I enjoy the people—working with people who are passionate about what they do.

What’s your favourite WhiteWater product?

I have always been a huge fan of roller coasters because I love the zero gravity sensation one feels in vertical drops and the crazy high velocities. This I why I love the Master Blaster, our own version of a roller coaster.

What’s on your bucket list?

I’ve been lucky enough to have seen many places, but I have never been to Latin America. I would love to have the time (and budget) to explore that part of the world. Plus, as a Spanish speaker, it would be a great opportunity to practice my language skills again.

Do you have a hidden talent? Tell us about it!

If I tell you, it will not be hidden anymore! Jokes aside, if this can be considered a hidden talent, I am not afraid of jumping into jobs, situations, and tasks that force me out of my comfort zone. It is with this attitude that, newly graduated, I took WhiteWater’s offer to work at the Barcelona office. It’s also the same attitude that brought me to Canada, halfway around the world to start a completely new career.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

This is a hard question. I have never actively planned my life the traditional way, as I usually follow opportunities that present themselves. This has so far worked very well for me. In the near future, I would definitely hope to keep on growing professionally and get more design experience in our industry. You take over the world one step at a time!

What do you do outside of work? What’s your favourite past time?

I have always loved art and I really enjoy going to art exhibitions. Free admission Tuesdays at the Vancouver Art Gallery are a must. I am also an avid reader of novels, especially those in the fiction genre. I am a huge fan of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and have read everything that he’s published. However, since I moved to Vancouver, I’ve also started to go hiking—a very popular Vancouver hobby. It is a great opportunity to work out and at the same time, take in all the beautiful Canadian landscapes.

What is the most interesting place you’ve visited and why?

In August, 2015, I took a three week road trip to Morocco. I visited Marrakech, Casablanca, and Fez, home to lots of tanneries and intricate medinas. I then visited some cities on the coast, such as Essaouira and Asilah, which are a paradise for windsurfers, thanks to the endless beaches and strong winds. It is a unique country, very colourful and full of life. However, I do not recommend visiting in August (like I did), unless you want to melt in the 50°C heat!

Dawn Kirby