Sievo Culture

A year in the life of the first Sievonians in Bucharest: Ionut & Abed

Fulya Karacaoglu May 5, 2023

We opened up our third office in Bucharest back in 2022, and it's been quite the journey since then! Emilia was the brave soul who took on the challenge of going to Bucharest from Helsinki to set up our team there. Soon enough, the team grew to almost 50 people. And now they are celebrating their first anniversary!  

We thought it'd be fun to chat with the very first Sievonians to join the Bucharest team - Abed and Ionut. We knew they must have some stories to share, so we scheduled a meeting and hit them up with a few questions. Here are their answers: 

- Before we start, can you introduce yourselves a bit? 

Ionut: Sure thing! My name is Ionut-Marian Pătra. I had a pretty diverse background in fields like sales, recruitment, and web design before joining Sievo as a data management specialist.  

I love playing ping pong. Actually, I even beat our CEO Sammeli in a game of ping pong, so I'm waiting for a rematch. I also love taking long walks with some good music on my headphones. 

Abed: Hi! I'm Abdullah Al-Mutawakel, but everyone calls me Abed. I graduated from the Computer Science for Economics faculty and joined Sievo as a project data management specialist. Our team handles implementing initial project phases, doing data enrichments, and handling workshop meetings with our clients.

Like Ionut, I also love playing ping pong. And I also enjoy cooking.

- And how did you decide to join Sievo? Did you think it might be a scam? 

Ionut: Of course, there were some red flags. Like when I asked for a draft of the employment contract, and Emilia told me "Well... we don't have it yet, but you'll receive it soon." 😊 Things were pretty new, but when I discussed the details with Emilia and talked to the other team members in Finland, I understood the scale of the organization and got super excited. 

- It sounds like an exciting recruitment process. So, how was the first month? Usually, people go to the office and have onboarding training. But without anyone in the Bucharest office, what did you do? 

Abed: It was quite a ride for sure! At first, we shared a common office. Back then, it was only me, Ionut and Emilia. And yes, Mikko from IT and Minh from the People team were also with us at the beginning to support us. Then we switched to a private office. Finally! Several months later, we rented another office because we were growing a lot. I guess we need to look for a new space again sometime soon. 


- Was it challenging? 

Ionut: Each week at least one person was joining to the team. Meeting new people all the time was fun but also a bit tiring. Fortunately, we now have Vlad and Paula on team, dedicated IT and People team members in Bucharest office. They make this process a lot easier.

- Speaking of meeting with people… Camp Sievo was in Bucharest last year, right? How was it? 

Abed: It was amazing to see 200 Sievonians together here in Bucharest. Finally, we could get to see the rest of our colleagues in person. We had fun workshops and events where we could interact and get to know each other after seeing them virtually for such a long time. 

- What's your favorite thing about the Bucharest office? 

Ionut: We play a lot of ping pong at the office. Until we're completely exhausted and fall from tiredness... It helps me feel reenergized, and I find that I'm more productive afterwards.

What about Sievo in general? 

Abed: I really like how people are super helpful. Even when they are working in other teams. They include me in the discussions if we are working on cross-functional projects. And when I'm interested in a certain topic other than my own role, they even set up meetings to share their know-how with me. I also love the flexibility aspect. Your time is flexible, and I love that. 😊

Ionut: Yes, that's true. When we first joined the company, Abed said "did you hear that you can start working at 10 am? Isn’t it amazing?" and my reaction was "why would I do such a thing?" Well, I am a super early bird, and he is a night owl. It is great that we both can exist in the same place with our own schedules.


One last question: You already know our mascot Jaxu. What would Jaxu say about Bucharest office if they visit? 

Ionut: I don't know what Jaxu would say, but probably would never want to go back to Helsinki. 


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