On the 17th of April, Kiwi.com celebrated 10 years of its existence, however, it wasn’t only Kiwi.com that grew, but Kiwis did too! We talked with 10 of our colleagues who have made a significant impact at Kiwi.com, both professionally and personally, and learned about their successes and how these changed them throughout these years. How did they do it? How did they change 5 positions, and grow from entry-level to VP? What did it take to make this incredible achievement in only 6 -7 years?
Here are the first 5 stories of Stanislav, Barbara, Alia, Ondřej, and Dorota; our hard-working, creative, supportive, and genuine Kiwis, who grew their careers and who continue to score wonder successes every single day. Read on to learn more about them and stay tuned, next week you can look forward to the other 5 incredible stories of our inspiring Kiwis!
Stanislav Štefanič, Stanley, from a Software Engineer and Data Analyst to the VP of Engineering
I joined Kiwi.com in 2015 as a Software Engineer and Data Analyst. After some time I’d been promoted to Technical Team Lead and got a great opportunity to scale up the team of 5 engineers into an organisation of 50+ in less than 2 years across multiple locations. This gave me a good learning experience in building great teams and scalable organisation. In 2019 I was promoted to my current position in our Senior Management where I am responsible for the engineering part of our consumer products as VP of Engineering.
Today I know that joining this start-up seven years ago was one of the best decisions in my life. I am glad I got the opportunity to grow together with Kiwi.com. It required strong adaptability, flexibility and open-mindedness. Paradoxically, change is your biggest constant and guarantee, and it is exciting, because change drives innovation, challenging the status quo, which drives growth and success. During my journey here, I learned many things, but mostly the value of cooperation and diversity of ideas, and different points of view. With a good team, nothing is impossible and there is no problem or obstacle you cannot overcome together. Therefore, I am proud of our teams in the same way I am proud of the product we are building for our customers, and the technology enabling it.
Barbara Tambini, from Customer Support Agent to Operations Manager
I joined Kiwi.com about 5 and a half years ago. I had just finished my Master’s degree in Italy and was looking for a job; that’s when I came across the Travel Consultant position at Kiwi.com.
I began my career at Kiwi.com as a Customer Support agent working primarily in Italian. Within two years, I was promoted to CS Team Manager. After 2 years, I had the opportunity to apply for the position of Junior Operations Manager for the Guarantee team, and over a year later I was promoted to Operations Manager. It has been a fulfilling journey and one that wouldn’t have happened without the support of my colleagues and supervisors who thought I had what it takes to grow and develop within the company. Despite the different levels of responsibility, all positions have inherent challenges that end up pushing your boundaries, but in the end, that’s what makes you grow!
It’s really rewarding to see that, at Kiwi.com, anyone who is dedicated and motivated has a chance to grow and develop their skills as the environment is encouraging and motivating. I believe that one of the main factors for success in Kiwi.com is the ability to keep up with the rapid changes in the industry and the company itself, as they end up affecting our processes and ways of working, that’s why stress tolerance is also key to survive. The best-added value of this company, however, is the people: the atmosphere here is rare to find and not because of all the dogs always running around. You may be having the toughest call or the longest day, but the warmth of your colleagues can really go a long way.
Aliaksandra Arutsiunian, from Customer Support Agent to Head of Account Management
My journey at Kiwi.com started around 7 years ago and I remember how surprised I was to learn from an article about a Brno-based travel start-up. Half a year later I was looking for a part-time job as I was still studying and the moment I saw the job post on Kiwi.com, I applied. I started as a Travel Consultant and up until now, I strongly believe that knowing the product from the inside contributed greatly to future growth. Two years later I was graduating from university with the strong intention to either change the position or, if I could move forward, to change the company. Luckily, at that moment our Business Development team was expanding and looking for interns who might support our Affiliate partnerships. One week after my graduation I was welcomed by my current department!
By that time, Kiwi.com was already known in the industry. Starting from simpler integrations and getting to know more complex ones, I grew from an intern position to the Senior Key Account Manager role. The atmosphere in the team has always been something special. You have all the freedom of choice to work creatively and in your individual manner while having massive support from the team who can provide you with valuable suggestions if you feel stuck. As my expertise was growing, so was the team and recently I took over the role of Head of Account Management at Kiwi.com. Having an opportunity to meet many of our partners, they were always surprised by how young the team is. I heard so many times that in other countries and companies, people my age don’t have a chance to take on leading positions. Luckily, Kiwi.com’s open-minded approach allowed such an opportunity for me and many more talented people.
Ondřej Zerák, the Senior Financial Analyst to the Director of FP&A
I joined the Kiwi team as a Senior Financial analyst almost 5 years ago and so many things have happened since then! Coming from an auditing firm, this was a huge cultural shock for me, a nice one though. There were dogs everywhere and also I liked that I could wear shorts in the summer. During the years, I was entrusted with a team to manage and made my way to the current position as a Director of FP&A. Back then, the whole Finance department fit into the size of a classroom. Now it is spread over the building with new colleagues coming in every quarter.
This is an environment that makes you feel welcome. I’ve also become a father of two beautiful girls, which makes me by far prouder than all the achievements at work. Every day, I am leaving my home with the prospect that there are plenty of things that need to be done at work but also with a feeling that I am leaving for a place where I will feel comfortable with my wonderful colleagues. There are lots of similarly motivated colleagues that are supporting each other and constantly making you better. It was not easy at all but it is really great to see how hard work pays off.
Dorota Žigová, from Customer Support Agent to Content & Creative Operation Manager
I had finished sports studies with a focus on football refereeing. I joined Kiwi.com almost 6 years ago as a Travel Consultant. It was my first full-time job after working as a dealer at a casino. I have held a few roles since joining the company – I was an Engagement Specialist, Internal Communications Specialist, and Event Manager. Currently, I’m Content & Creative Operation Manager and this role is the most exciting for me!
What do I love most about Kiwi.com? Firstly, the endless development and growth opportunities. Many of my colleagues and I started in the Customer Support department, changed positions, and got promoted later on. Being curious, proactive, and positive is a big plus if you’d like to move to another role. Secondly, it’s about people. I got to know so many amazing, diverse colleagues, and many of them are my close friends. Thirdly, the atmosphere! I am absolutely sure that wherever else I may work in the future, I’ll not find the same unique, friendly, crazy-something that Kiwi.com has.
Don’t wait for the opportunity to come to you, make the opportunities yourself. If you are interested in joining these wonderful people at Kiwi.com and making your dreams come true as theirs did, check our open positions and join us in our exciting journey!