Humans of MacKeeper: Felicia, Product Team Lead
Position: Product Team Lead
Random fact: She still keeps her last pair of pointe shoes as she used to dance ballet for 7 years.
Tell us about your first day at MacKeeper. What was it like?
It was August 11, 2016. For me, this day is best remembered by the number of people I was introduced to (nearly everyone on the floor).
I joined the company as a Delivery Manager — the person responsible for managing outsourced teams. It was an entirely new position for MacKeeper, and I remember people looking at me curiously since they didn't know what to expect. My job was hard-to-understand, even intangible for them. I didn't know what to expect either. It was going to be my first experience in B2C.
I was shocked that so many people welcomed me so warmly. It was completely overwhelming.
The most difficult part for me was finding my working place. It took me some time to realize there are huge numbers painted on the floor, and before I noticed that, I'd been using the colors of the walls and the proximity to elevators to find my desk.
Did you hesitate before accepting your job offer?
I applied for this job because I no longer wanted to build a career in project management or delivery management. I wanted to try product management, but I had no relevant experience.
That's why I wanted to find a company that's good at product management. I was looking for a company where product management would be at a high professional level, so I could learn the best practices from experts.
At that moment, there were no open positions in product management at MacKeeper, but there was a vacancy for Delivery Manager, which was something I had a lot of experience in. During the interview, I made it clear that I was ready to work as a Delivery Manager for some time, but in the future, I would like to move towards product management. I'm so glad that both top management and my line manager agreed to that.
When I got the offer, I was screaming. Literally. I was so emotional because I wanted to work at the company so badly. After I came to the office and met people, I felt like it would be the right place for me.
Your nickname is Felicia. What does it mean for you?
There was a strict timeline for me to start working on a new position, so a girl from HR had to take care of my access to internal systems really quickly. To do that, she needed my nickname. So...I had only five minutes to make a decision.
I wanted something special, something that would reflect my personality in a single world — I guess that's what everyone wants. But, I had only five minutes, so I picked the nickname I used at the university. There is an italian world "Felicita," it means happiness. I changed this word to make it sound more feminine. It’s been a time-honored option that brings me good fortune, so I didn't hesitate at all.
Let's talk business. What team you are a part of? What role does your team play for MacKeeper?
We're a product team, and we deliver key functions alongside development and marketing.
I work in a team of professionals, and I am so happy to see it growing. There are three people on my team at the moment.
There is Homer, who is responsible for localization. Adik, our security expert, takes care of our independent Anti-malware Lab. He's doing a great job. Gradually, he is bringing us to a level where we can compete with world-renowned vendors. Then there is Marklv, who used to work in ZoomSupport (ZS) in business sales.
Each person on our team is different in terms of emotions, behaviors, and skills. When one of us lacks experience or expertise in something, another person on the team compensates. It feels like a symphony.
And what about your role in the team?
My role is twofold. On the one hand, my goals are business-oriented. In this regard, my role is to help the company achieve the level and pace of growth we need and do this in a designated time frame. On the other hand, my role is to find the pains and needs of our users and address them with our product. My role is to ensure the product we're producing is valuable.
We all know MacKeeper used to have reputation issues. But I think we're stronger than our current legacy. I believe that with a team we have now, we can make people see the best side of our product and realize how helpful it is. We are working on tremendous changes to the product to deliver value, so users can get a seamless experience working with the product.
Describe your typical day at work.
About 60% of it is about meetings and communication with my team and other functions. Since there are so many processes going on simultaneously, I need to make sure that I am on the same page with everyone and that everyone is on the same page with me.
Something around 10% of my day is about education. No matter how busy I get, I try to read something, look over competitors, find some interesting articles on relevant topics, and share what I've learned with my colleagues.
Approximately 20% of my time at work is about routine, operational tasks. That's when I write specifications, assign tickets to developers, create copywriting tasks, etc.
Plus, I am a huge yoga fan. I try to practice yoga regularly because it affects my productivity in a very good way.
What are your most and least favorite tasks?
My least favorite part is when we call a meeting on some controversial question — when there is a conflict of interests, and we need to make a difficult decision. It happens every now and then and I learn to take it more easily each time. I remind myself that it is work, and we need to make decisions that work best for the company.
My most favorite part is our daily sync with a team. In only 15 minutes, we get a chance to laugh, make some important decisions, see who's in the office today and who's not, and understand the scope of work for the day.
Another thing I love is when I have a chance to focus on writing. I put my headphones on, get myself a cup of coffee, turn the music on, and tell myself “now I have time to be in the flow.” I also like researching.
Name three character traits or skills that are necessary for your job.
Decisiveness. Self-development. Ability to listen to the audience and understand its expectations and needs.
If you could choose any superpower to help you with your job, what would it be?
I'd like to control time. I'd want to have more than 24 hours per day for all the plans and tasks that I have.
May I please have one more mini-superpower? [laughing] I'd like to inspire people in a wizardly way. I'd like to have my own version of a Potter-like patronus, not to protect but to inspire.
Describe your job in three words.
Creativity. Open mindset. Learning.
Is there something about your job you're proud of?
I'm proud that the company expressed their confidence in me and gave me a chance to deliver on their expectations.
I'm proud of the work our team is doing right now. We've developed two new features and are currently working on a third one. And they are not just something we decided to do. It's a well-thought-out decision based on what we learned from communication with consumers.
I'm proud that, at some point, I had a chance to work with the founder of our company. It is an amazing experience that doesn't happen to everyone. He is busy with so many things (I have no idea how he does it. He surely has some superpower, I bet even more than one).
I'm proud that our company invests in education of its employees. Professional growth and continuous education are one of the top values here, and I believe it has a lot to do with the personal values of our founders.
I'm proud that we've managed to release a new, consumer-centric delightful funnel. It makes me so happy, because when you invest your time, energy, and other inner resources into something and it pays off, you can't help but feel happy for yourself, your team, your company, and your product.
What motivates you to get to work on days when you feel tired or lazy?
You mean on Mondays? [laughing] I am easily demotivated by bad weather and Mondays. I am sunshine-dependent, so gloomy winter days are the hardest for me.
On days like this, communication with my team helps me tune in. We talk about the previous weekend, reflect on the work done the week before, and discuss upcoming meetings. Such conversations, plus a cup of good coffee, help me smoothly transition from a weekend mood to a working one.
What is your personal anti-stress recipe? How do you recharge after a busy week?
When I'm exhausted, I need to change my environment. Leaving the city and spending a few days in the countryside with my phone turned off or just having a short trip to another country helps me recharge. When I don't have an opportunity to escape, I do yoga. Seeing friends helps a lot, too.
Describe your perfect job.
I'd love to work at NASA. I'd love to participate in their Astronaut Selection Program. I've watched dozens of documentaries about it, so I know that people there are exceptionally intelligent.
I love everything related to space — planets, interstellar spaceships, etc. This topic is one of my favorites, so no wonder NASA is my dream organization.
Now imagine you've got an offer from that dream company, you are super happy and you're leaving. What piece of advice would you give the company and a person who will take your place?
I'd tell my team to never give up, believe in what they do, and keep thinking out-of-the-box.
As for the company, I'd wish it to find the right partner to grow with. It would be great to build a partnership where we would be able to contribute our knowledge and experience toward and get access to expertise in areas we’re not so strong in. I believe that a quality partnership like that would result in a birth of a completely new, amazing product that will make people’s digital lives a lot better.