Greetings and salutations, dear DevriX blog readers!
This time around, we’ll be meeting with the community manager of DevriX – Hristina Dimova.
Read on to find out more about her daily responsibilities, if first impressions are always right, and why she loved going to Hawaii.
But before we proceed to the interview, make sure you check out the previous episode of “A day in the life of…”
- A Front-End Developer
- A Recruiter
- A Back-End Developer
- A Project Coordinator
- A Front-End Team Lead
- A Marketing Coordinator
- A Graphic Designer
A Day in the Life of a Community Manager
Hello, Hrisi! Thank you for this interview. Could you please share something about yourself to begin with?
Hello, Denis, thanks for the invitation. I went to high school in the School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences Acad. Nikola Obreshkov in Burgas, where I’m from. After that I continued my studies at the University of National and World Economy, Sofia, majoring in Business Economy. Next, I got a Master’s degree in Organizational and Social Psychology.
Regarding my education, my goal was always to study something business-related. That’s how I chose my Master’s degree – I was interested in learning more about organizing and how to work with people, to understand them better and coordinate work processes.
Oh, I also love folklore dances, they fill my heart with joy. Additionally, I like skiing.
Organizing and working with people is surely a challenge.
Yes. It was also a pleasure because I met different types of people, many with businesses and various forms of management styles.
I had colleagues that were pilots, others had a background in psychology, it was always exciting to go to university, knowing that I would encounter those people, and get to know them both professionally and personally.
The teachers were also cool and very interesting. We had various training sessions on topics like how to handle negotiations. Many of the classes had purely practical focus, which I liked. I should also note here that I still haven’t graduated. I have yet to write my thesis. I need to conduct research with a minimum of 50 people regarding their work in a business organization. Right now, I’m still thinking about how and what to do.
Cool. So, we’re waiting for an invitation to the post-graduate party someday.
Actually, you (colleagues) could be involved in my research (laughing).
No problem. Your role, as a company community manager, sees you handling a lot of different tasks – administrative, marketing, accounting, etc. What is the work-related thing that you enjoy doing the most, though?
It’s most interesting for me when the organization of an event begins, especially when it’s internal. It’s a creative and positive process, as I have to think about how to make their experience pleasant. And quite challenging, since there are a lot of details that need to be thought about before the actual event. What’s more, I have the possibility to communicate with all team leaders in the company, which is a great experience for me.
You’re definitely a person who enjoys challenges, needless to say. Tell me, in your mind, what would be the perfect workplace environment? How do you imagine it?
The place should be cozy with a nice smell – calm and pleasant-looking. Clean and welcoming. I would also prefer, like it is here, to have colleagues working in the same room as me. For me, it’s also important to be with pleasant people who enjoy their job. Communication should be at a good level. Also, you should be able to rely on the departments to finish their tasks in a timely manner, without having to remind them of it too much – the organizational culture should follow high standards.
To sum it up, the perfect workplace environment should be positive, cozy, and communicative?
Yes, and people should be motivated and happy to do their jobs, so the results are beneficial to all.
Awesome. My next question is connected to the topic: as an extrovert, who enjoys meeting and interacting with people, can you share, what are the qualities that you like seeing in people?
In all honesty, sometimes, I can be an introvert, depending on the situation and the other person, as well. I like it when I see happy and positive people, open to communication. It makes me more relaxed, and ready to talk. I would say that it’s more intuitive than anything, since when you meet someone you don’t know, you usually rely more on your intuition, because you don’t know them or their qualities yet.
I prefer calm people, and I don’t like insolent ones. I would say my behavior is a reflection of how a person approaches me.
So, you’re mostly relying on the infamous feminine intuition?
Well, yes. I also rely on my first impression. In most cases, I approach people with positivism.
Ultimately, the first impression is the most important, or so the cliché goes?
Yes. A lot of times, the first impression I had was correct, but I’ve had cases where I was proved wrong. I have a friend with whom my first impression was that I wouldn’t get along with him, but eventually we became close, and I love talking to him.
Okay, so the first impression is not always right?
Not always, but I want to add the clarification that the first impression is before you start up a conversation. After that, other things will come up to show if the conversation, and the relationship with that person, will be gratifying.
Alright. Now, time for the classic question: how does a day in the life of a community manager look like?
I start off my working day by checking Asana and my email. I prioritize my tasks with a deadline, so I can prioritize and organize them in a timely manner, for example birthdays or DevriXversaries.
I also keep track of the gifts we prepare for our colleagues, and make sure that they receive them on time. I’m involved in the organization of events – I take care of the budget planning, I make suggestions, and coordinate, mainly with our team leads.
Another thing I’m in charge of is preparing invoices for our clients, as well as the bills we have to pay. These tasks are always high priority, since we have certain deadlines to meet, and I work closely with the PM team to ensure that all is good.
Part of my duties also involve other administrative work with documents, I work closely with our office assistant, HR, and the marketing team. That’s it, off the top of my head, but there’s probably other things I’m forgetting about right now.
Your responsibilities are definitely very important. As you said yourself, you are working with almost every, if not all, departments in the company.
You also mentioned events – you’re involved in coordinating and organizing most of the DevriX events. Being a community citizen is part of our core values, so I can’t help but ask – which are the events you’ve enjoyed the most?
One of the coolest events was in the office, on a Friday night. I had just started working at the company a few months previously – almost everyone attended, and I was pleasantly surprised to see people in a different light. Everyone had a good time, it was a great team building event.
Another awesome event was celebrating our CEOs (Mario Peshev) birthday. Again, it was fun and I think everyone enjoyed themselves.
A more recent event I really enjoyed was this summer, when we celebrated the birthday of DevriX. We were outside the office, it was a private party. Judging by the feedback afterwards, I think everyone was happy, and liked how it went. Personally, I was very excited and pleased, too, and I would say everyone had a great time.
The latest event we organized was for Halloween. It wasn’t a “party”, instead we carved pumpkins by teams, had a quiz, ate some treats, and watched some scary movies. It was very fun, and I was quite surprised at how creative everyone was, managing to carve their pumpkins in a very short amount of time, there were some genuine works of art. Throughout the whole day, everyone was in high spirits, so that’s another event I’m happy about.
He, who hasn’t organized an event before, doesn’t know this, but, organization is always peppered throughout with stress. After an event has been successful, to what extent would you say that these positive feelings of the accomplishment overrule the accumulated stress?
At the beginning, I’m always really excited. Of course, there are some stressful situations, involving due dates, planning, etc., but once I see that people are satisfied and enjoying the event, I feel great. When someone comes and tells me personally: “Good job, Hrisi”, or “It was great.”, that really warms my heart and soul. That really motivates me to continue doing my job with pleasure. All kinds of drama that existed during the planning stage becomes immediately forgotten.
Again, as a typical extrovert, you thrive on other people’s happiness.
(laughing) I want to add that ever since I was in high school, I don’t know why or how it started, but I’ve always taken the initiative to organize all sorts of activities. From gathering money for something, to organizing field trips, and so on.
What’s more, everyone was involved in the activities, which made me happy. That’s probably why our class remained very close even after graduation. I also organized some gatherings in university.
Organization is definitely something you’re good at. Something else I know you’re passionate about is travelling and experiencing new cultures – could you tell us where you’ve been so far?
Italy, Spain, Greece, Turkey, Serbia, Austria, the US, Sweden, Russia, Morocco, South Africa… there’s more, but I can’t remember all of them right now.
Alright. What’s your favorite destination from all these places mentioned?
I really like Italy. One of the most impressive places I’ve been to is Florence. I liked Rome a lot, too. I also enjoyed their winter resorts, because they have nice, wide ski slopes.
When I was in the United States, I went to a lot of places – one of them was Hawaii. It was just like in the movies – the palm trees, the high waves – I tried surfing there for the first time. My attempt to stay up on the board was successful, so I was extremely content (laughing). I really enjoyed Hawaii.
I was also in New York, but I have mixed feelings about it. Still, there is something magical about that city.
Where do you dream of going?
I want to visit Singapore. This desire came from a conversation with a family friend, who told us how organized it is, the rules they have, the local fruit, how the people live there… I don’t know, it just seemed quite interesting, and I want to experience life in such a Megapolis.
I would also like to travel a bit more around the US – visit Hawaii again. I would like to go to Bali, as well – just to get a feeling of the place.
Okay, okay, keep giving us ideas, your birthday will be here sooner or later, we’ll think of something…
By the way, you’re not the first person in the company who loves Italy, so maybe we could think of something in that direction… team-building, of course.
On to the last question. As a child of the sea, where would you want the waves to take you in your life?
I want to have a big house with large windows (laughing).
You’re going to need some big waves for that, surely.
(laughing) Yes. I want to have a family, to further develop myself as a person, and in my career. And I want to travel the world… more. That’s it, pretty much.
Humble wishes… Thank you again for this interview, Hrisi. Would you like to add something before we wrap up?
Thank you for your patience throughout this interview. I’m happy that I work with people like you. Related to one of your earlier questions: at the end of the day, if you see the positive attitude of the people around you, and the way they do their jobs, it’s like a pat on the back, and lets you know whether things are going in the right direction.
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What Is It Like to Work With Hrisi?
“Hrisi is like a rollercoaster of emotions. She is super passionate about her work and as the expressive person that she is, you will always know there is gonna be a new event from the big smile on her face that brightens up the entire office. I am not even sure how she manages to hide surprise parties *laughs*, though in my opinion, she rocks at every challenge she faces.
Regarding the question “What Is It Like to Work With Hrisi?” I am not sure what to say, you can’t really describe it, you just need to experience it. Believe me, she can really move you.”
“It’s interesting to work with her. Hrisi is a helpful, proactive and motivated person. She is passionate and dedicated to her work.”
“Hrisi is a 100% reliable colleague and an amazing friend. I love her emotionality, creativity, and dedication to the team. Working with her is so much fun and a great pleasure.”