How did you get into the tech world?
It was rather by accident than a conscious decision. After studying Law at university, I moved to Budapest and worked as a lawyer for two years. However, decisions linked to my personal life, rather than my career meant that I took a leap of faith and moved to London. At this point I knew nothing about the tech industry! My first role in the sector was in access control at Epam, providing second level support. It was there that my line manager saw my potential and helped me transition to Junior Business Analyst. It was a mix of hard work and luck, but it got me to where I am today!
What does a typical day look like as Product Owner for Quest Marine Cargo?
I’m responsible for understanding business and customer needs and translating them into deliverables for our developers. You’ll often find me collaborating with the wider product team. My day usually consists of meetings with developers, assessing our requirements for the next few weeks and finding solutions to issues that arise. Business needs can have many different technical solutions and we have to weigh up both time and cost implications in a pragmatic way. At work it’s important to find a balance between being approachable and getting things done. There can be many distractions so it’s vital to focus on key deliverables and maintain productivity.
What does Agile working mean to you?
The word ‘Agile’ can be dismissed as just a buzzword, however Agile ways of working should be the norm. Not just as a company but as a society. Being Agile is all about transparency, communication and delivering what's really needed. It’s vital in technology as everything is constantly evolving. I think every company needs an advocate for Agile ways of working and I’d like to believe I am one of those in Concirrus.
What is your favourite part about working at Concirrus?
I love the freedom you get here. The flexibility of being able to work from home when it’s needed. I think a lot of companies are reluctant to provide their employees this privilege out of fear, however working from home can be super productive. I feel totally supported and trusted, I know what needs to be done for me to be productive. It’s nice to be in an environment where everyone wants to help one another. An important factor for me personally is having a healthy work life balance. There will always be periods in your work life where you have to invest more, and this is always recognised and appreciated at Concirrus.
What do you get up to outside of work?
My interests have changed a lot since entering my thirties! I find pleasure in the simple things in life. I love cooking as it’s where I can express my creative side. My favourite dish to cook currently is Moroccan lamb. Both my parents are great cooks, growing up my father would never tell me his recipes. He instead always told me “use your instincts, don’t follow a recipe. If it goes wrong, it goes wrong”. I am also passionate about yoga as it’s important for both physical and mental health. I try and go to Zumba as much as I can as I always say it’s like partying without the alcohol!
Tell us about some of the challenges you’ve faced in your career and how you overcame them?
Moving to a new country where English wasn’t my first language was a big challenge for me. I’d learnt English at school, but it’s a completely different experience when you put it into practice! I used to get really nervous answering the phone at work as I would worry that my English wasn’t good enough. Overcoming this is one of the things I'm most proud of. I’ve realised that learning never stops, you should never shy away from asking questions!
What would you say to your 18-year-old self?
When I was younger, I remember being naturally carefree and confident, however when I went to university, I became quite introverted and shy. Moving to the other side of the country was a big change for me and I noticed myself becoming more reserved and self-conscious. I would love to tell that 18-year-old girl now to enjoy herself, get out there and meet new people. They’re not going to judge, the people around you are in the same situation! It’s funny as I was recently speaking to one of my friends about how she remembers me when I was 18. Speaking to her, I realised that my perception of myself was all wrong. I was way too self-critical; we need to be kinder to ourselves.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years' time?
Most importantly, happy and healthy. Since moving to London from Hungary, I've realised how important health and family really are. Alongside that, I want to ensure I continue to develop and learn throughout my career. I always have a two-year plan comprised of goals I want to achieve. I don’t want to ever feel like I'm done with developing new skills, especially working in an industry that never stands still.
What gives you confidence?
I truly believe that self-confidence comes from within. You can’t rely on anyone else to give you confidence. This can take time but whatever your circumstances it’s important to look within yourself and realise what you stand for and know your worth. I thought in my twenties that if I dressed well that would change how I felt about myself but that doesn’t always work, its temporary confidence! I've discovered that you have to find what makes you feel good, trust your instincts and always acknowledge your achievements.
What advice would you give to someone looking to get into your field?
Learn as much as you can in your own time. I know from experience that there are so many free resources online that you can take advantage of to learn new skills. It can be hard to prioritise, especially if your friends are going out all the time. You’ve got to find a balance. Today we expect instant gratification, however nothing comes easy. You have to get out there and be proactive.
"I'd like to say a huge thank you to all the women that took part in our ‘Concirrus women in tech’ series this year. It has been fascinating to hear so many insights and experiences from you all. I have been extremely inspired and hope those who have taken the time to read our interviews feel the same!”