Simona Verešpejová – Sloneek and Simona Were a Perfect Match at First Sight

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Simona has been with Sloneek for almost two years. As a Head of Product, she brings order, clear vision and organisation to the product team. She enjoys working with clients in order to improve the app and figuring out what they’re struggling with. Simi is an avid traveller who can’t stand being in one place. 

Why did you decide for Sloneek?

I was looking for a job and came across Sloneek’s ad. While reading it, I was attracted by the rhetoric and it seemed to be a great job for me. An absolute match. I also did brief research and noticed Milan Rataj. I listened to a few interviews with him and when I heard him talking about competency models and work with people, I thought that’s exactly how I want to be treated as an employee. I had never experienced HR working well and I wanted to be part of a company where HR really works. 

Moreover, I was tempted to participate in the development of a tool that will help other companies improve their HR.

At Sloneek, you’re in charge of the product. What’s your typical day like at work?

Every day is totally different. The product position is at the centre of the company so it keeps in touch with other departments. I don’t mean that the product is in the centre of attention. I mean that my work is connected with other parts of the company and it involves cooperation with people around me. 

Sometimes I’m engaged more in development, sometimes customers. I primarily deal with the strategic direction of the product and determine the goal of current task. I try to find out from our clients what they struggle with, what they often have to solve and what activities could be automated. On the contrary, I try to balance that the modifications and innovations will be technically possible and of course, business sustainable for us- i.e. that we won’t invest in something appropriate only for a limited number of clients. 

What do you enjoy the most about your job?

I’m interested in problem solving. I like talking to clients about what bothers them and what news they would like to welcome. It’s a bit of detective work, investigating the areas in Sloneek that need improvement. 

At Sloneek, you work remotely from your homeland Slovakia and also from your trips in Europe and Asia. How do you maintain your work ethic?

Well, this question absolutely caught me off guard. For me, work ethic is totally automatic. It’s not like I don’t work when I’m at home. Actually, I’ve never gone to a traditional office so working from home is natural for me. And what’s more, I work on a product I care about, as well as the company itself. I know I have some duties and I’m responsible for some tasks. 

To be honest, I struggle a bit with work-life balance. It’s difficult to find a system, also because we’re a startup and sometimes there’s more work. However, I know that sometimes if I work longer, other time I can finish earlier and go workout. 

Your husband works at the company too. What’s it like working together in the same workplace? Does it cause any troubles?

My husband joined Sloneek last summer and is in charge of development. We operate on a peer level. But collaboration is nothing new for us because we worked together in another startup before. I really appreciate it. 

We’ve been married for quite a long time and as a result, many of our views and perspectives have evolved together. Even professionally, we’ve reached a stage where we have broadly the same views on the issues. Mutual cooperation is then easier for us. We know each other’s opinions and when we see things the same way. If there was someone else in the CTO position, sometimes I would probably have to explain more. 

So, has Sloneek won you over?

Definitely. I like how we work together and participate in the life of the company and that we-people are at the centre of it. For example, last year we had a lovely workshop where we all together defined company values. They weren’t given to us by a boss. We agreed on them and follow them. I think, it brought us closer together and made us feel good about the company. 

What about your free time? We’ve already mentioned that you like travelling…

I’m really into fitness. I love hard workouts- it exhausts me physically but my head can switch off. That’s really important to me. And of course I love travelling. I’m the person who has to do something, I just can’t sit around. 

I’ve recently got back to reading books too and I’m quite overwhelmed by it. I don’t even know why I stopped. 😀 I read mostly detective and crime books- that’s what my husband has at home so I started with it. I sometimes read non-fiction because of work.

What’s your favourite country?

Italy is the winner for my husband and me. I’m even trying to learn Italian. I’m so nostalgic, I like going back to places I’ve already visited. Like Rome every other year. 😀