Frosina Remenska has been a Senior Software Engineer at Netcetera for more than ten years. She is now leading Netcetera’s onboarding program for all employees. Together with her team of young and engaged colleagues, they evolved a local, engineer-oriented onboarding program into a modern, innovative, company-wide program that enabled all of our new colleagues to familiarize themselves with the history, organization, and culture of Netcetera.
Check out her insights on her journey in Netcetera and how her story unfolds through the interview below.
Tell us about your professional development in Netcetera?
It’s a story that started in October 2008. I was still “fresh baked” from University, and with no previous working experience, I joined the branch in Skopje, which was the only one in Macedonia, with no more than 60 people. Since my bachelor’s degree was in Electrical Engineering, I started with limited knowledge of programming languages and practices. I have to admit, it was scary and not so smooth. But, there was not a single moment in which I felt alone. I learned about the “open door policy” within the company, “the broken window theory,” and “the DRY principle” in the first months. At that time, it was small company culture, not so diverse from a mid-range Balkan family J. Not just the names, people knew which project everyone worked on, which technologies-who knew, and what were our strengths and hobbies. That had an immense help in the growth of all young software engineers.
Over the years, I acquired a seniority role, leading technical teams on projects. Soon after, I got a line manager (team lead) role. And then, in 2016, many things happened, among which – some unwanted. I was offered the role of a Project Manager of the onboarding program we mentioned before, known as “Power Training,” and I still remember my initial reaction was “NO.” I argued that I am a software engineer and do not see myself as a project manager, but the next day, I came back and said: “Listen, in all these years with the company, I learned that I can always trust my coworkers. So if you think this will be beneficial for me, I trust you. Maybe there is something that I can’t see yet, but I think you do, so let’s do it”. The rest is history.
And your personal growth during this time?
I’m a clishé, but I don’t care; I’ll say it anyway. I do feel privileged to be surrounded by such extraordinary people. Even after a decade, I still am amazed by some conversations I share with the people here. For me, Netcetera is a home. I grew up here. I made new lifetime friends, got new hobbies, and learned new sports.
The last two years were challenging; I know that I don’t need to highlight that. But it is in those times that breakthroughs happen. So these years of isolation and distancing pushed me the most as an individual, but my company (I allow myself to call it so) helped me find a balance in my well-being.
How do you feel about your career change?
“If you are not changing, you are not growing.” But although it’s a new thing, I feel I have been there (with my thoughts) for a while. I feel excited but, most of all, thankful for the opportunity I have. I feel passionate about the power of an organization and the fantastic things that an individual can do.
You were also a part of Netcetera’s Innovation team. Your writing about Innovation was and still is quite inspirational. What is happening there?
It won’t be a novelty to say that Innovation is an integral part of learning organizations. The passion I have for developing an organization and becoming a Teal – one starts with my interest in Innovation. As I was going through the theoretical part, I learned that it’s only one aspect of what was something much more significant in my head. We formally confirmed that for us at Netcetera, Innovation is one of Our Key Values. We are already ‘wired’ with the learning mechanism; we need to continue to grow smartly. The Innovation Blog Posts are my way to express the ordinality of Innovation in everyday things and decrease the gap or disbelieve that Innovation happens only in particular circles or occasions. Innovation is a mindset, as well as Continuous Learning and Development.
I want (and will) continue with these posts, and who knows – maybe something new comes out of that initiative.
What will you be working on with Netcetera University (NCAU)?
Of course, the Netcetera Orientation program (onboarding of new joiner Netceterians) as part of NCAU will still be my main focus. We build a program that has changed and grown a lot in the past couple of years. The change was part of the mentorship team’s experience along the path of continuous improvement. With these changes, many new ideas were born, and today there are several distinct parts of the program that contribute to Netcetera University. I am lucky to have so much support and empowerment from great people who helped in the process of planting one great idea in my mind: an Orientation Program for everyone.
Aside from that, Netcetera University offers me many challenging and exciting topics as my resident place. Since I am a learner by nature, education is one area where I can see myself contributing. Being a team leader is one of the dearest roles I have ever had, so looking back might bring some fruitful outcomes.
I mentioned Our Values that are a foundation to understand our culture, the Netcetera culture. Next would be to try to live them actively and expand their potential. I believe in the “bottom to top” approaches, so to be a learning organization, we need to learn to do that on a personal level. Personal growth and learning. You may have heard the ‘PersonalMastery’ term instead. I believe that self-leadership is another area where I will work and contribute.
Do you have some advice for the readers?
I don’t feel wise (and old) enough to give advice (just kidding). But I hope that everyone who will read this will find a personal takeaway, some advice, or maybe wisdom. 😊