A chat with Ion Gîrleanu and Mariana Pogoneț
If you feel that a successful career in the IT field can only be possible and successful abroad, you will be pleasantly surprised that in Chisinau, the IT field is booming, opening opportunities that make the impossible possible.
Ion Gîrleanu, Principal Operations Delivery Manager, and Mariana Pogoneț, Service Manager at Stefanini, offer us a look behind the scenes of IT management. We discussed what it means to build a strong team, core principles and what inspires them when it comes to cultivating trust in the company.
How was your beginning in Stefanini?
Ion joined Stefanini in 2016, when the company was new on the Chisinau market. Previously having the experience of a start-up environment, the skills and method of an agile and entrepreneurial management helped Ion to influence the Stefanini environment in one that prioritizes innovation and constant development, but also the well-being of the teams.
Ion: “In Stefanini I found the space to put my knowledge to good use and where I was greeted with a fresh openness to new ideas and new approaches. Being a new company in Chisinau, as we were at the beginning, it was challenging. When you are in a challenging situation, you sometimes learn as you go because the service delivery must be successful. Every problem teaches you, challenges you with your abilities until you find a solution.”
Mariana has been part of Stefanini since 2019 and says she instantly integrated with the team. Stefanini’s greatest asset is definitely its people.
Mariana: “3 years ago when I joined there were less than 100 colleagues, now there are 300+. It was a pleasant experience, everyone was friendly and still is. It was easy for me to adapt to the environment, it was very important to have around people who inspire me.”
What does the team look like now and what are your plans for the future?
Ion: “We have definitely grown; we have a much more mature team now, that has developed over the years. Both locally and in the group’s vision, as an entity in the Stefanini family, we are recognized as a mature and independent delivery center.”
Mariana: “I took part in a process of becoming a fully-grown team; the more the team grew, the more we became versatile in the fields that my colleagues mastered. But even though we grew up, we kept the same principles, the same core values of our team.”
Regarding the development of Stefanini in Chisinau, Ion and Mariana agree that the main goal is to expand the portfolio of projects, which bring new challenges but also learning opportunities, the perfect mix to open many doors for new talents from Moldova to start and develop a career in IT.
We also see a generous future in terms of internship programs and many more career opportunities within the Chisinau teams.
Mariana: “It’s important for us to continuously develop, find ways to support growth, leverage our teams’ knowledge and skills, and continue to deliver quality services.”
What management principles are important to you?
The secret to valuable management is finding the meaning and the reason why you act. “Why are we doing this? Why do I go to work every day?”. In the team there must be a sense of community, a common goal towards which all activities are directed. As a manager, you have the power to provide the necessary autonomy to create a space of trust and place of learning.
Ion: “When you give responsibility and autonomy to an employee, you show him that you trust his abilities and are convinced of his potential. This is how you grow strong teams that are not afraid of innovation. Everyone has a place at the table, just be prepared with arguments!”
Mariana: “When people feel that you trust them to make decisions and implement new ideas, you feel the reward of being a manager. That satisfaction empowers you towards even more growth. I don’t believe in the power of micro-managing, I try to explain what the expectations are what is our end goal, and then I take a step back, but I’m always here if they need me. I try to build collaboration and transparent communication.”
After many years in Stefanini, what made you stay?
Ion: “All the time spent so far within Stefanini represented for me a constant learning. I take everyday processes as challenges: an opportunity to gain extensive experience in analyzing situations – is there room for me to do better or is it time for the process to be changed for the better? Leading a team isn’t just about solving problems quickly, there’s something bigger behind it. You need well-established and improved processes adapted to each context.”
Mariana: “We have built a very dynamic and knowledge-sharing relationship within the team, we have a relaxed, collegial atmosphere that helps maintain a balance. I also found at Stefanini an environment of support and continuous learning, the policy is such that there are opportunities for advancement for those who put effort into it. Mentoring has been an important part of my journey thus far and for that I am grateful.”