Want to Change Your Career? Elena Will Help You Make that Decision
Elena Zhurkova joined us a few years ago, coming from an non-profit NGO where she worked as a project manager and customer relations manager. The big step she took moving forward in her career—and one of the greatest challenges in her life—was called Web Factory. She was given the opportunity to become a project manager, she invested time in education to become Scrum master and Product Owner, successfully released her first production app after several months, and is now working on her PMP certification. Meet Elena and learn her story at Web Factory.
What is your role at Web Factory?
My role is a Project Manager. My day to day responsibilities are to lead projects, assist the team and the client in all phases of the project. Gather requirements, analyse them, suggest improvements, build documentation and reach ours and client expectations.
At the moment I am leading 2 projects for Japan and the UK. It is my responsibility to be available in multiple time zones and work with different cultures. You will be amazed by the difference in the work culture in these countries.
How has Web Factory helped you in your career development?
Web Factory has been a turning point in my life. Here I was given an opportunity to completely change my career, and grow myself as an individual on both personal and professional level.
I do not have any technical background nor have I been part of an IT company before, which was really challenging for me. I have learned everything I know now about software development processes from these unselfish and patient people in the company.
Elena enjoying some coffee with her friends in Novi Sad, Serbia
What do you find the most challenging at Web Factory?
I would have to mention again, not having a technical background and experience before coming to Web Factory, was the biggest challenge for me. Actually, getting used to and understanding all the phrases and expressions developers use was the biggest challenge.
It’s funny that actually they’ve become part of my dictionary now and I am using some of them so naturally like they have always been there :)
What’s been the most memorable experience during your tenure so far at the company?
Workwise would be the first production release I had with the team. It was such an exhilarating experience! Being able to see all that work we have done for a whole year going live and used by real users, was such a fulfilling and satisfying experience.
I couldn’t sleep for days until it was all done. But that is what makes this job so exciting. There hasn't been a boring day so far, always something to do.
Apart from work, every party and gathering organized in the company is very memorable ☺ These people know how to have fun!
How do you describe your work personality vs. your home life personality?
There are many similarities in both, I consider myself as a friendly and easily approachable person both in my home life as well as at work. However, at work I am very focused, disciplined and organized, whereas at home I am way looser and easily distracted, which is normal I suppose ☺
How do you define success in life?
Success has a different meaning for everyone. I would say for me being happy equals being successful. Success for me is having support from your family, true friends and enjoying what you are doing and feeling that what you are doing has a purpose. If you have all of these, you have achieved quite a success.
How do you spend your time outside of the office?
I love being outdoors and spending any chance I have in nature. Other than that, spending time with friends and family and also with my colleagues whenever we can. I love travelling and I look forward to getting back to normal in this world so I can explore some more exciting places.
What is the first concert you attended? How was it?
I cannot recall exactly, but it was probably Archangel's concert, a Macedonian rock band. It was a great experience to be with a large group of friends among so many fans and listening in live to the songs that you love. Maybe I don’t recall exactly my first one but I clearly remember the last one, though ☺ It was Eros Ramazzotti’s. A dream came true for me ☺
Elena on a rooftop dinner with her friends in Singapore
If you were stuck on an island what three things would you bring?
I know there is no right answer for this, but in order to survive and have good time there I would choose:
- An infinite supply of drinking water
- A Swiss army multi-tool (with magnifying glass if possible, so I can try to start some fire)
- A hammock: I guess there will be lots of time to enjoy as well ☺
Tell us something that no one knows about you in the Web Factory?
It would probably be that I used to be a huuuge Formula 1 fan! (unfortunately not anymore) I used to watch every race and gathered all kinds of props and souvenirs I could find.
The highlight of my life in that period would probably be attending a Formula 1 race. It was a long time ago, Michael Schumacher won. Another dream came true :)
What did you want to be when growing up?
I loved science and biology while growing up, and was very certain I wanted to become a cardiologist one day. However, along the way I figured that eventually I will have to face failures and unsuccessful surgeries, which would mean losing people’s lives. So, I gave up the idea.
Learn more about how Elena, in just few months, excelled in project management
She moved from an nonprofit organization to the tech industry and within just a few months started to lead teams and projects. Elena can help you if you are thinking of changing your career and moving to the IT world. Reach out to us and we will make sure you get that!
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