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Next up in our mindit.io success story, we find out more about Irina Velea - an amazing mother who wanted a little twist in her professional life.
Where did it all begin? What drew you most towards mindit.io?
It all started more than 1 year ago. I was working for an ocean transportation company, and one day one of my colleagues told me that she had started a Web Design course. I found it super exciting, so I tried to find out as many details as possible about what this implies. After the child fell asleep, I stayed a few nights in a row to see what the professional reconversion would involve. I called on friends who already worked in the IT industry to find out the most eloquent information. After gathering a lot of advice, I decided that I had to make this change too, so I took some web development courses for about a year, and here I am. After almost 6 years of logistics, I joined the mindit team, where I have been working for only 4 months, but I have the feeling that I have been here for a lifetime. I had heard of super cool culture from the beginning before joining the team, and I felt that it resonates very well with my way of being. So the super positive feedback and the fact that I was given all the support to change the career path brought me here.
You are a devoted mother and wife. How do you manage to find a balance? Do you have time for yourself or your passions?
I am the kind of very involved person, and I usually try to give my best in any project I am part of. Being a wife but also a mother involves some vast responsibilities. Basically, these are the most significant projects of life, projects that you work on constantly. You want to build solid bases, grow them beautifully, and maintain them at a very high level. I try to do the same with my projects at work. Somehow, to maintain a balance, I dedicate myself entirely to work when I am there. Then, when I turn off my laptop, I go home with a clear mind and take advantage of family life.
How does being a mom changed you?
Being a mother, I had to adapt to a new life. I had to change the order of priorities a lot. In the past, I could have a less organized life, but now, there is Anastasia. She needs my time, my attention, my support. She is only 4 years old. She doesn't care about my career, my goals, my future plans. She just wants a happy mother, ready to play with her anytime. So being a mother helped me to be more responsible and to organize my time much more carefully.
How do you balance working from home as a mother?
I have a significant advantage, an advantage that few mothers can take - support from grandparents. Anastasia is not the quietest child, and I wouldn't want that either, but if I had worked from home without help, I think it would have been impossible for me to be as efficient as I am. She goes to kindergarten on a short schedule, but she is pretty demanding the rest of the time. I work from home but not in the house where we live, so I have a well-defined mental and physical boundary between family life and career, and that helps me a lot. I think that mothers who manage to stay home with a child and work simultaneously, at high performance, are superheroines, from my point of view, and deserve all the respect.
What are your top three career milestones?
The first milestone would be to get very good at what I do now, namely on manual testing. Then, shortly, I want to learn automatic testing, and my 3rd target would be to enter the world of Robotic Process Automation. I recently discovered a small part of it, and I find it brilliant.
With mindit.io, you also changed your career path. What made you take this step?
Many people change their jobs in different fields because they reach a level where they feel they can no longer grow. They think that they have learned everything and, trying to imagine their own future, see themselves in the same position in a few years. I felt this, so I tried to enter a field in which I would always be connected to the new, to this constantly changing world. I wanted a job that would keep me active. That's what I like about this area - that you can never say you've learned everything. There is always something new, and you need to stay connected to new technologies. And, moreover, it is not even necessary to change the field. In the IT industry, one thing is clear: the sky is the limit.
If you had to pinpoint a defining moment along your journey in mindit.io, what would that be?
In mindit, I started as a Front End developer. I had taken those web development courses, and I thought I would be a successful FE developer. It took me a maximum of 3 weeks to realize that this is not the case. Starting as an intern, I was given relatively easy tasks that I managed to solve. I had all the support of my buddy and excellent feedback from the team, but I felt that I was not doing what I like. I continued to do development for a few more weeks, I didn't want to rush to make a wrong decision, but it was already clear that I was not on the right track. Then I said stop. I mustered up the courage to talk to Ioana, my Project Manager. I suggested she let me move on to software testing because I feel that's the right place for me. I only had a month and a half in mindit.io, and she accepted. So, I was an intern, who after a few weeks, asked to do something else. And mindit said Yes. That was the defining moment for me. mindit created the context for me to develop and excel. It didn't matter what position I had and how old I was in the company, and I'm really grateful for that.
Where do you see yourself now, career-wise? What else do you wish to achieve?
I see myself at the beginning of the journey. First of all, I want to have organic growth in my career. So, I want to be very good at what I do now and be able to assimilate as much information from the world of software testing and grow beautifully.
How does your current role in mindit.io fit into your career goals?
The role of QA Engineer resonates with my way of being. Being quite a perfectionist but also creative makes me believe that the current role will definitely help me achieve my goals.
What are the most rewarding and dearest moments lived in mindit.io? What about the biggest challenges?
One of my dearest moments in mindit was about a month after my transition from FE to Software testing when I received very good feedback for my activities on the new role. I'm not the type to wait for people's confirmations. I usually know how to evaluate myself well, but that moment was like a celebration of success and another proof that I don't have to be afraid to make essential changes in life.
What is the biggest life lesson you have learned in mindit.io, or during your career in general? How do you apply it in your daily life?
Over time I could say that I have made several significant changes in my life. I enrolled in the Faculty of Land Measurements and Cadaster, a challenging faculty, with the idea of getting rich. That was my dream at 19 years old. I had no idea what this college entailed. I just wanted a college that would bring me financial well-being. I managed to finish it with very high marks. Although I realized after the first month that I don't like what I do, I didn't dare to give up. At the time, I thought it would be a failure for me as well as a disappointment for my parents. Do I regret choosing to do this? Not at all. Did I learn anything from this? Definitely yes. I learned that you need the courage to start certain things, but you also need more courage to give up certain things. To admit that they are not for you, to acknowledge that other people can do them much better, and to have the courage to make choices even if at some point they will prove to be wrong. The lesson I learned in college helped me in mindit, to quickly realize what would make me happy and change the path with courage and commitment.
How do you challenge yourself?
I attended a high school with a profile in Social Sciences to avoid taking the baccalaureate exam in mathematics. I attended an engineering faculty where I did 5 types of mathematics. After that, I took a master's degree in Machine Manufacturing Technology. I worked in road transportation, then in ocean transportation, and now I work in IT. My sister laughs at me and says that at 40, I will most likely start studying at the Faculty of Medicine. I tend to believe that I have finally found the right direction, and soon, I will not make big changes anymore. But who knows?! Maybe some critics would say I'm not a steady person, but that's my way of challenging myself. This has helped me grow so far and become the person I am today.
Lastly, if you were to describe mindit.io in one word or phrase, what would that be?
mindit is definitely the place where the most suitable contexts are created to help you grow.
We're proud of all of our colleagues' success stories — and we'd love to add yours – Check this out https://mindit.io/careers