Andreea Barbu (Technical Writer, Bucharest)
Andreea has a varied, dynamic day job - but she doesn’t stop there. Outside of work she’s involved in many activities. That includes being a part of EU based groups, or running a website that supports Armenian diaspora around the world.
How long have you been at FintechOS and what are your responsibilities there?
I’m currently celebrating one year at FintechOS and it’s been incredible! My work, just like my personal interests, is very diverse. At the moment, I handle the Community Portal and the Academy, both of which make it even easier for people to use our technology. I could be working on anything from technical documentation, to release notes, to user profiles, or guides. 2021 sees the launch of our new Community Website Forum, so I’ll be moderating that group too. I’m excited about that aspect of the job, it ties in nicely with my passion for connecting to people.
Could you describe your journey so far, professionally and personally?
My first third level qualification was in languages - English and French actually. Quite a different background. The next step on my journey has been a Master's degree in International Economy and European Affairs. For six years I worked in journalism (Ararat newspaper) and content creation, including for an international TV production (TVR). Then I progressed to working in diplomacy, with a fantastic job in the Indian Embassy.
My personal interests are diverse, and I just love new ideas. That’s probably why I’m involved in so many projects and forums. At the same time, volunteering lets me connect to issues that are close to my heart, like environmental protection, or my Armenian heritage.
Could you tell me a little more about those groups and forums you’re involved in?
I represented Romania in a group of 24 Europeans who drafted an EU youth declaration on digital tech. This initiative, from International Telecommunications Union (ITU), looks at issues like digital inclusion, or the impact of ICT on the environment. My work with FintechOS was part of the reason I was lucky enough to be selected for that. I’ve also joined an Erasmus Youth Exchange that saw the impact of climate change in the Canary Islands. That was a real eye-opener.
At the same time, I feel a strong duty towards my Armenian heritage. It’s something I’m proud of. My great grandparents arrived as Armenian refugees in Romania in 1915. I like to build awareness of the richness of their culture, and indeed my roots. My website, ‘Armenian Tales’ is dedicated to Armenian diaspora around the world. It serves as a point for people to connect, share and get important information in their native language. Every year, I can also be found at the three-day Armenian festival in Bucharest, where I give lessons on Armenian calligraphy. Armenian is actually one of the oldest languages and there’s a very original form of it. To help keep it alive, I show people how to write that script. I’m one of the last few speakers of old Armenian too.
Front-end development is a part of my skill set, and it’s something I really enjoy. It has become a passion of mine”
It sounds like you have a big passion for culture and people, would that be right?
True, those are definitely of interest and Armenian Tales is a big part of that. Surprisingly, the website has also helped me to gain new professional skills. Building it meant learning a lot about user experience and front-end development. To make sure content on the site was accessible for different audiences, I started learning the right techniques from online courses. I’ve also gotten a lot of help with that side of things from a colleague at FintechOS, so my work family helps out.
At this point, front-end development is a part of my skill set, and it’s something I really enjoy. It’s safe to say that this discipline has become a passion of mine, I believe in its power as a gateway to your client.
And looking at your place of work, why FintechOS?
Moving to FintechOS was a complete leap of faith, but having read about the company and its tech, I couldn’t resist! It might sound a little cheesy, but this job has been transformational for me. It’s the point where I entered into the world of digital tech, and I’ve never looked back. Funny enough, I found the position by accident, while browsing jobs for a friend. I checked out the job description and read a little about the company. I felt that they were building the future with their tech, and I wanted to be a part of that. So, I applied and got an offer. It was scary though. I was in a really good place already, in a job I loved. Moving from the public sector into a private scale-up was new for me, even risky. I needn’t have worried though, my colleagues at FintechOS Community and Learning made the transition a smooth one, and the digital world has proven to be worth it.
So, what’s in the future for you?
There’s a lot! I feel like I’m on the cusp of so many amazing opportunities, and I’m going to grab onto all of them. Every day in work I mix with talented experts. I get energy from being around a diverse group of passionate people who are creating something new. It’s like being a part of a dream team, every day. The tech I’m working with at FintechOS has so much potential and I’m going to experience that roadmap. At the same time, my volunteering work will continue on the issues I care about personally. I’ll be helping organizations like GEYC (an EU youth group for change) and ACYO, (the Armenian Church Youth Organization) to run conferences.
What are you most proud of?
If I was to pick one thing I’m really proud of, it would be taking that leap from one career path to another - leaving safe, established diplomacy work to take on the dynamism of digital. It was a tough choice, I was literally up all night thinking it over before leaving my previous job. Taking that leap has been life changing though. I’m so glad I did. From here, I want to be involved in as many projects as possible, help my team in any way I can, and contribute to this innovative product. If I can drive change in this way, it will feel like a huge accomplishment for me.