Milena has recently become a trained facilitator of the #IamReamrkable workshop and led her first one in our qClub in January. We were very glad to be among the first attending it and to have an insightful chat with her afterwards. Read what she shared with us about the workshop, what else she has done to support the women in the tech community and also what drives her in her professional development.
You are currently a Scrum Master at News UK team at Questers. Tell us how did you get here? What was your previous educational and professional experience?
With regards to my education, I have a master’s degree in Computer Science from Sofia University. I have only worked as a software developer in the first years of my career. After that, I transitioned to the area of project and process management and I have more than 7 years of experience as a Scrum Master.
Before joining News UK, I worked 3 years for Fourth – a UK-based company that develops software solutions for the hospitality sector. I was a Scrum Master for 2 teams, and I was also responsible for the other Scrum Masters in Sofia - hiring, on-boarding, coaching and mentoring.
What’s the most challenging part of your job?
Currently, the most challenging part of the job is to do the communication right. The teams in News UK consist of people from different geographical locations – Sofia and London only in the best case. As communication is essential, we need to have it right and make it work. It is always challenging in the remote environment, but not impossible to make the teams communicate in the best possible way.
What excites you about your work?
My excitement comes from seeing the teams and people in those teams become better in how they work together and as individuals. Realizing our own potential while creating something together is the best part. My job is to facilitate this process.
What do you consider to be your biggest achievement?
Professionally, my biggest achievement I consider to be sharing my experience and helping other people grow in their careers.
With my previous company, I did an internship program for a Scrum Master. It was an experiment that turned into a success story. Also, as part of the Bulgarian Agile community, in the last 2 years I did a series of meetups to help people learn more about the role of the Scrum Master, Agile and Scrum and also to share experience and inspire people for their professional development.
Tell us more about News UK and what it’s like to work in it.
News UK team in Bulgaria is a great place to be. Currently, we are 26 people, and we created a very friendly and supportive environment. The team formed its own culture and everybody enjoys being part of it.
I particularly enjoy being here because the majority of the colleagues are very young people and a different generation than mine. It is interesting and even inspiring for me. I like what I see in this generation and I am very positive for the future.
How do you think more women could be attracted to the tech sector?
The positive news is that Bulgaria is leading in the European Union for women in the IT sector: more than 1/3. Of course, we can always do better especially in the area of career growth and having more women in the leadership positions.
Therefore, recently I became a trained facilitator of the #IamReamrkable workshop – Google initiative to help women and underrepresented people talk about their accomplishments.
The first workshop that we did internally for the ladies at Questers went very well. It was a great experience for me to facilitate it for the 10 participants and lead the conversations around the topics of self-promotion. It made us all think about our achievements and the cultural norms that stop us from talking about them.
I plan to do a series of these workshops to help women practice these skills because a number of researches show that due to cultural stereotypes and modesty norms women find it difficult to self-promote.