Employee Success Story: from Beirut to Ucraft
Design Team Lead Robert Sfeir from our SpringBuilder project repatriated from Beirut and decided to bring his nine years of experience as a designer to his role at Ucraft in Armenia. He shares his thoughts on what it's like to work and lead a team while new in Armenia, especially during the Covid-19 lockdown.
He speaks about the company environment and other essential questions - how do you keep your team organized and flexible? What is success, and how does one achieve it at Ucraft?
Check out the interview below for answers to these burning questions and more.
Our series of employee interviews are an opportunity for our staff to share opinions and ideas on their experiences at Ucraft and show people outside of the company what Ucraft’s office life is like.
- Now that you’ve been at Ucraft for over a year, can you pinpoint the moment when you decided that working here was the right decision?
It was a sequence of specific events that led me to join Ucraft, so I can say that it was somewhat of an intuitive choice. Rather than making the decision myself, I feel like the decision found me instead.
After relocating to Armenia from Beirut, I started looking for local job opportunities. This is how I came to know Gev Balyan, the co-founder of Ucraft. When I got an offer from Ucraft, I was also attending interviews with other Armenian companies.
I arrived in Armenia on a Saturday and was called to the Ucraft office on Monday. Still, with my head busy with moving and packing, coming to Ucraft on that Monday was more of an intuitive decision. It must have been a subconscious step in the right direction because I did not give it much time nor consideration. This ended up working in my favor; I never regretted that decision and enjoyed every single day working at Ucraft since.
- Tell us a bit about your current role. How do you see it evolving?
I was hired for the position of Design Team Lead. By that point, I knew two things about myself: I was a designer, and I enjoyed teaching. However, I did not have any prior experience of leading a whole team. I did have a general understanding of what the role entailed since leading a team is all about communicating, listening, and working with people, sharing my experience, and learning from them. That’s what I am all about. I love being among people, getting to know them, and taking up the challenge of working with very different types of individuals. And it has worked perfectly fine for me so far.
My role at Ucraft has never been limited to leading one team or one project. It has always been bits and pieces of everything: Ucraft, Springbuilder, and several Betconstruct projects. I choose to describe what I have done instead as team building, process coordination, and progress assessment.
How do I see my role evolve? Well, I’ve chosen to come and work in Armenia. A mission of mine is to devote my skills and knowledge to this country. Ucraft is the place that allows me to be creative, share experiences and grow in the process.
- How would you describe the work environment at Ucraft in three words - what is one thing that can only happen at Ucraft?
Flexible, productive, and perceptive. Ucraft is the place where you are seen as an individual responsible for your mission and in charge of deciding on the manner and method of your work ethic. It’s a very productive environment, people that motivate you to work and become better. It’s a place where they are ready to see you through and perceive you the way you are.
The one thing that can happen at Ucraft is the perfect balance and mixture of work and leisure.
- Do you have a specific memorable accomplishment - something you are most proud of that you achieved at Ucraft?
During the one year I’ve been at Ucraft, I’ve been involved in many projects. My professional opinion has been listened to and valued. I see this as a significant accomplishment and am very appreciative of it. When your ideas and opinions are trusted and relied on, there is no higher recognition of achievement.
I feel valued at Ucraft. That’s my most memorable achievement.
- How do you define success? What qualities can make a person successful at Ucraft?
Success is when your ideas create value. Success is being a part of a team that turns ideas into value. My success meter has been triggered at Ucraft.
Being versatile, not being afraid to be yourself, being ready to express yourself will make you successful at Ucraft.
- Is there anything you wish you knew before you started working here?
If I knew that I’d reach this high point before coming to Ucraft, I’d be way more excited about coming to Armenia and joining the team.
- On a final note, can you share some fun facts about yourself that not many people know about?
No one has seen me with short hair for the last 15 years. Also, I have a funny phobia of cutting my own nails.
And on that funny note, we can wrap up the interview. A big thanks to Robert for sharing his story and to you for taking the time to read about and appreciate the people behind the Ucraft team. Stay tuned for more interviews!