Date of the interview
After completing your high school diploma in Kyiv, Ukraine, you decided to come to Kamp-Lintfort to study International Business and Social Sciences. What convinced you to apply at Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences?
My childhood has been rather international: I have had the opportunity to spend 1 year in the US and 3 years in the Netherlands, for example. I was always interested in moving to another country for studies. Mainly, I was looking for a study programme in English and was always interested in coming to Germany for studies in order to be in the same country as my sister. Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences offered a variety of interesting study programmes to choose from. I studied Mobility and Logistics for 1 year, but later switched to International Business and Social Sciences, as I realised that the programme was more in line with my interests and career ambitions.
You graduated in 2014 and went to England for your master’s. What was the main reason you decided to come back to Germany afterwards to work?
The master’s degree that I chose started with a semester abroad in Mainz, Germany, while the main programme was in London, England. It was certainly a great experience to live in another country! In the end, my personal life led me back to Germany.
Accenture is a well-known global player, meaning there is a lot of competition for open positions. How did you convince the company to hire you?
I guess I was a little bit lucky. I was looking for a job and came across an opportunity to do a Jump Start programme (a trainee program) in Business Analysis and Testing at Accenture. My initial aim was to go in the business analysis direction, but there were no open roles in this field after completing the trainee programme and I was open to learning something new. In the end, I ended up liking the field of software testing and stuck with it.
You have been working for Accenture for more than six years. Please describe your typical workday as a Test Engineering Team Lead.
Typically, my working day starts with a daily or a sync meeting with my team where we discuss progress, plans and any blockers. Afterwards I analyze the client’s needs and requirements and brainstorm the next steps: what needs to be clarified, do we have all we need to start testing, are there dependencies on other systems, etc. Every day brings new challenges and tasks: sometimes I interview potential candidates to join the project, other times I investigate technical issues. Overall, I would say that my main role is to make sure my team has everything they need to do their work: access privileges, information, contact persons, clear timelines. Communication is key to success!
What do you find most challenging about your work?
Adapting to quick change is sometimes challenging, but I suppose it depends on how you view these changes. On one hand, it is a very good way to progress in your career and learn many new topics, on the other hand the moment you feel comfortable in your role something comes along to shake things up, either in the project or the role.
I have had the opportunity to handle various roles while working at Accenture. At the start I was a tester where I got to know the technical side of the project. Later I became a business analyst with a focus on the functional side of the project and the responsibility to coordinate directly with the client. Finally, I became a test manager where I lead a team of 10-15 people and support the project managers in estimations and planning. A very quick and exciting progression, looking back.
Which qualifications and skills from your studies do you find necessary to success in your current role?
Truthfully, my current role is not directly related to my field of studies. This frequently happens when a job opportunity comes and you end up liking it. But what I learned in university that helped me become successful was the ability to adapt, to learn independently and to communicate clearly. I speak English and German at work on a daily basis which definitely helps in working in an international environment. Being organized is probably the most important skill for me right now, as I am juggling work and parenthood.
However, in any case it certainly helps if you are genuinely interested in your field, as you are more likely to enjoy the work, do more research, learn quickly and not be afraid to voice your ideas or concerns.
What is your best memory of your time at Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences?
Back when I was studying, the university was much smaller; we knew nearly everyone. The social life was definitely a highlight – we were one happy family! We took trips to cities nearby, went to parties, and had study groups together. I will always remember that.