The interview with Ana Kilian, the Affiliates Manager at our Barcelona office
The Kiwi.com office in Barcelona is situated in the heart of Barcelona, near Plaça Catalunya. Not only do our colleagues get to enjoy what’s in the neighborhood but they can also plan evenings in other parts of the city, and be there quite quickly. Moreover, they do all of it in a city that has on average 2,500 hours of sunshine per year!
Ana Kilian, the Affiliates Manager joined our company in January 2019 when we had roughly 15 employees in the office. She started as an Office Manager juggling multiple tasks related to people and office space, and recently she has switched her role to the Affiliates Manager.
“The feeling at our office when I started was much like a startup environment, with a very small and pretty empty office. This was changing over the years and we grew significantly since then,” said Ana.
We talked to Ana about her work, the office atmosphere in Barcelona, the people she is surrounded with, and the challenges at work.
Hi Ana, you are one of the employees that is with us for a long time at our Kiwi.com office in Barcelona. Can you tell us what your day-to-day job looks like?
Being an Office Manager in Barcelona meant being able to juggle multiple tasks. These can vary broadly each day since I was the point of contact for all operations in the office, and sometimes being the hands of other departments such as Finance, Legal, HR, and similar. Of course, my main focus has always been to provide the best possible work environment for the Barcelona employees, so they can focus on their job and be as productive as possible.
What is the main focus of the Barcelona office in terms of teams, projects, and technology?
I’d say the focus is on pretty much everything. From the Engineering teams, we have, for example, the Payments team, Mobile teams, and a lot of designers. There are a lot of people from the Product teams also, and a big part is in the Strategy, most of them in the Revenue team, we have BizDev teams too. You can work on pretty much anything from our Barcelona office. However our team’s focus is mostly on improving processes and creating standards within all the remote offices, but still respecting that thin line that divides each site’s identity based on location.
What is the most important thing at work for you?
The most important is to reach all Kiwi.com standards while also reaching all Barcelona employee’s expectations. Sometimes, this is quite a challenge. For instance, the new office move that happened in September this year. Our team grew a lot in the Barcelona office and there was a lack of space, we were missing more proper meeting rooms and phone booths.
We had a dream office there and we loved it so much but we had to give it away and search for more spacious offices. We found a way to compromise and now we are doing our best to make this new office like the old one: cozy, friendly, and beautiful.
In my opinion communication and attention to detail are the key skills to master to achieve a compromise and that all sides are satisfied.
What do you like the most about working in the Barcelona office?
Apart from the role itself, the team we have in Barcelona is the best of it all. I think we’ve always been really lucky to have a great team environment. I appreciate the diversity we have here in the office in terms of nationalities, teams, and generally, personalities, and I also think this is the main reason why the team in Barcelona is so amazing.
How is the Kiwi.com culture shaping the atmosphere in the Barcelona office?
Our relaxed culture has always been a nice thing that we all appreciated a lot, somehow it was the approval that was giving people the chance to be themselves. Having time to network and having so many people engaging in activities in our office makes the team come regularly to the office. It naturally happened that our atmosphere is in a great state and it’s keeping that level for some time already.
What does cooperation between Barcelona and other offices look like?
Many people working in the Barcelona office have the rest of their teams across our other locations. We all regularly sync online with our teammates, we tend to participate in activities that are organized across all locations and we all gather once per quarter in our HQ in Brno, Czech Republic. This initiative called All Kiwis Week is reserved for planning but it’s also full of happenings that are organized for the whole company. In my opinion, it’s definitely a great initiative to enrich our employees’ experience.
What are your favorite moments in the life of the Barcelona office?
We all really enjoy the community events we have, such as breakfast, after work’s time where we gather on our rooftop, chat, have fun, and plan some activities during the weekends sometimes. Also teambuilding. We tend to have an activity such as axe throwing, bubble soccer, laser tag, city tour, or bowling… and then we all go for dinner and talk.
I personally enjoy seeing people come to the office on a regular basis and how they welcome newbies into the Barcelona squad. When we get new people in our office team, we are all excited to hear more about them and make them feel comfortable in the office. A very important part of the day for us is lunch. We tend to go for lunch in groups and always make sure newbies are invited and are present so they don’t feel alone just because they are new.
How has Kiwi.com helped you grow and mature on both a personal and professional level?
It helped me grow, especially professionally. I’ve been absolutely independent in managing the office and that has given me a lot of experience and self-confidence as well. I was given the freedom to make decisions, I learned how to prioritize my tasks, and best of all learned how to communicate with the team and receive their requests and feedback.
What’s one piece of advice or recommendation you’d give to someone considering working in our Barcelona office?
We already talked about people and the atmosphere we have, so apart from that, I would mention that our office location is as best as it can be. It’s the very center of the city, close to all transport options and our team is open and always excited to connect with new teammates. We’re all very happy with the environment and team we have, and there’s always room for feedback here.