Europe, Asia and back to California: Business travel is second nature to Denise Ruffner. The Covid 19 pandemic has made her rethink her approach. Read what she will do differently.
Denise Ruffner leads Worldwide Business Development for IonQ who offers the highest performing quantum computer in the industry. In this role, she is responsible for all sales and strategy for this new technology.
Denise is a top evangelist for quantum computing worldwide, and featured at many events. She is an Advisor to the OneQuantum organization, President of Women in Quantum, and co-hosts a weekly podcast “Quantum World Detangled”. Prior to IonQ, Denise was Chief Business Officer at Cambridge Quantum Computing. Denise spent 18 years at IBM, and in her last role was responsible for the Startup Program, Ambassador Program and sales strategy for IBM Quantum.
She has a MS in Neurobiology and Genomics, and a long time interest in understanding the mechanisms of learning and memory.
Typically, I travel full time for business, circling the globe once a month. I start in Europe, continue on to Asia and finally, return home to Southern California. My normal conscientious outlook extends to my business travel: When traveling, I feel a great responsibility to work hard and make the most out of every day. Each day is filled with appointments and meetings. I allow myself one hour, per week, as a break to do something fun.
The pandemic has given me a new perspective
This past year, while at home during the pandemic, I pondered my past business trips. I researched some of my favorite places to travel and realized that while I enjoyed being in a foreign city, I never took the time to experience it. I was so caught up in working that I had missed out learning about the city and experiencing its unique features.
Now that I am starting to think about business travel again, I realize that I can be diligent and maximize my work time in each city, yet also take time to experience something new. One hour a week of free time is simply not enough.
I need to give myself permission to experience each foreign city by trying new things.
Denise Ruffner, VP Worldwide Business Development, IonQ Inc., USA
I will personalize my business travel
Being deprived of travel has made me realize just how much I loved it – and how I need to change how I’ve been doing it. I need to spend more time in the moment, enjoying the culture and the environment rather than only worrying about the next meeting or deadline. I would like to come home with more stories and experiences.
I look forward to the meeting in Berlin — to challenging myself to not only enjoy the meeting but also to experience new parts of the city. I believe this will open a new way for me to combine business with experiential travel – and I can’t wait!