Vladimira Georgieva is a Technical Project Manager at Strypes and has been with us for the past two and a half years. Vladi is a very social person and one of her personal values is to have good communication with her colleagues. Her career started as a developer, working between Sofia and Lisbon. At some point, she decided she wanted to come back to Sofia and become a project manager.
A friend of hers tells her about Strypes and that the core strength of the company is its people. Shortly after she becomes part of the company. "I can say that my friend's words were true. The people here are amazing. My team is outstanding. We've managed to bond during those two and a half years so much. We help each other and we are working as a team, doing things together. It's hard to find a team like that!"
Vladi describes that asking for help is essential when it comes to teamwork. If someone wants to grow within the company, the natural thing to do is to seek help from more senior colleagues. And at Strypes we have many senior professionals. They are the people who sit with less experienced colleagues and teach them what's a correct approach and why. People are looking for ways to improve their skills and knowledge and this is how a team grows. It can't be done only with reading.
"When I came to Strypes, there were one or two people who were irreplaceable. This is not only at Strypes, many companies face this issue. When a person becomes irreplaceable and goes on holiday, the work stops. This was the first thing I discussed with my group manager. A project manager shouldn't let teams have irreplaceable people who have and keep all the knowledge to themselves. Two years later, the knowledge is shared with everyone in the team and we help each other."
She is a natural leader who knows how to raise the team spirit while organising daily stand-ups, refinements, planning meetings, and retrospects. At first, people in the team resisted her approach and insisted on having stand-ups only two or three times a week, but Vladi manages to convince them with persistence. She then proceeds with implementing the planning and retrospect meetings.
"I wanted to let them see the positive side of this way of work, which is why I was persistent and took it one step at a time. The people who saw and appreciated the benefits of this stayed. There are some who left the team and went to a different one, but it's impossible to please everyone."
Vladi is a natural leader, she just knows what needs to be done and how to communicate with people. She also strives to constantly develop her skills so that she can improve as a professional. "My husband told me that I'm like a small Japanese tractor. I work all the time and at full power." She also believes in being straightforward, even when it might be perceived as harsh sometimes. If the situation is sugar-coated, then people can't correct course and learn from their mistakes.
"One of my biggest strengths is the relationship with the customer, no matter if it's remotely or locally. I'm proud that my Strypes team now has a collaborative, supportive, extremely funny spirit that is crucial for success."
Now her vision is to help create a more defined career path, which is challenging in a fast-growing organisation. Vladi sees herself as a senior and then possibly a group manager in the future.
You recently got married. Can you tell us something about your personal life that your colleagues don't know about you?
We had a very unusual wedding. All of us wore sneakers and it was a very smart-casual event with our closest friends and relatives. This reflected our personalities and that the wedding was not what made us a family. We wanted it to be a party. I didn't feel any tension as a bride. In both my personal and work life, I like to be cheerful and positive, to look on the bright side of life.
Our honeymoon was in Africa and this was our dream. We have been talking about this for many years and we needed an occasion to do it. We went to Zanzibar, Tanzania. I noticed how people there were very happy, despite living in poverty. Here, we are too focused on making money and improving our living standard and so there are things we miss seeing. We also made a friend, a maasai who lives in the Serengeti in Kenya. We still keep in touch and he sends me photos of wild animals and festivities from his village.
Tell us more about your hobbies.
I love skiing. It helps me switch off and not think about problems. All I notice is the snow and the beautiful landscapes in front of me. My husband introduced me to this sport and I am very grateful to him.
What is your favourite book?
I love reading. "East of Eden" from John Steinbeck, Fredrik Backman's books, I also loved Rozmari de Meo's book on the Bulgarian roots and traditions.