Hey, hey! It’s time for another interview from our column “Meet the team”. This month we will take you again behind the scenes of iCard – where our colleagues are the superheroes who create innovative financial products and together are making the company one of the most successful in this sector.
The person with whom we will meet you this time is Iliyana Ilieva. Iliyana has been Data Protection Officer in iCard for more than 4 years. She is always trying to do her best in this profession to build confidence in iCard Digital Wallet’s clients, that their information is processed and saved following all best practices, rules, and procedures. Her job is exciting as she works closely with a big part of the team and faces different perspectives of the fintech business.
Iliyana describes herself as responsible, curious, and having a sense of humour and self-irony. See what shared things she told us about herself:
What are your most essential qualities according to others?
It depends on which side of me the person knows. I hope that my colleagues think that I am a professional to whom they can ask for advice when they have a problem, and I think they will confirm that I am punctual and organized.
My best friends would say that I am funny and creative and give them unusual solutions. If someone wants to try something new, I am always available.
Do you have hobbies that you practice often?
I have been practicing yoga for more than 10 years. I still can’t get my leg behind my neck, but I’m doing other things well, and it’s also very calming. In my first yoga practice, I always tried to make everything as fast as possible. Then the instructor told me that the things in yoga are not happening this way. I chose this to be my hobby, as I always want to make things fast and organized, and yoga is the only thing where I want to be slow.
Another hobby is reading books, as I love reading so much that I have even organized a reading club.
How was the idea for your reading club born?
The idea came to me after, together with my company, I watched the comedy “Book Club”. The characters there are doing the same thing – a group of friends is commenting on a book that every one of them has read. We started organizing club meetings during the pandemic in 2020, and initially, we were gathering online.
At first, I thought it wasn’t fascinating to discuss a book with people you know very well. It seemed to me that everyone probably had similar impressions of the text, but I realized that when two people read a book, they see many different things in it.
I can’t help but ask you what your favourite book is.
I would say that I don’t have one, because over time I realized that a memorable book is the one that grabs your attention while reading it.
The book that I’m reading every few years again and always find something different in it, although I have read it many times is “The Little Prince”. I would also like to mention “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” Richard Bach as an exciting book. It affects me very much and shows me that when you have a goal and want to reach it, it is vital to believe in it.
What is the most extreme thing you have done?
I have been skydiving twice so far in my life. The first time I did it was very spontaneous. I was an interpreter at an aviation event at Primorsko Airport. It turned out that there was a free spot on one of the planes, and I agreed to do it. They even had to lend me shoes because I was dressed inappropriately for the jump. It had been no more than 40 minutes from the moment I agreed to do so to the time of the jump. It was impressive and different for me. I realized what exactly happened when we returned to the event after landing.
The second time was a birthday present because I was joking that I would go skydiving every 7 years. I had more time to think before the jump and I was more worried. The scariest moment is right before jumping when the doors are open. I was with a professional both times and there was nothing complicated because you are not responsible. That way is easier not to be afraid. The third time will be on my 40th birthday. We’ll see if I do.
I sincerely wish you to do it. You are a Data protection officer in iCard. Can you explain what exactly your job involves?
Every company that processes the personal data of individuals (customers, employees, partners) has an extreme responsibility by the law. My tasks are related to monitoring the compliance of iCard with the legislation on personal data protection and conducting pieces of training and campaigns for the team. If necessary, I am cooperating with The Commission for Personal Data Protection. I also respond to requests from individuals who want to exercise their rights concerning Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation). Also, every time we start working with a new service provider, I research to find out if it complies with the legislation in the field. I also work with colleagues from the Information Security Department.
How did you choose this exciting profession?
The strange thing is that the idea was not mine. One of my friends, who used to work at iCard at the time, showed me the job ad and told me to apply because it was suitable for me. I was insecure because I did not meet all the requirements. Back then, I was at a stage where I wanted some change to happen, and I decided to give it a try. I am grateful that the company gave me a chance to learn what I am working on right now.
Do you remember how iCard made a good impression on you initially?
During the job interview, I noticed that Yavor, the current CEO, is a highly calm person with whom I can share all the cases I face, and I can have a meaningful conversation with him and learn a lot. The same is valid for Maya Dyakova, who is Chief Risk Officer. They are both great professionals, very analytical and experienced.
I am also grateful to lawyer Atanas Rusenov. We worked with him for a long time during my first two years here. I had read all the possible sources on the subject in advance, but I would not have been able to do it without him.
What is your best memory in the company?
I will tell you about the most unforgettable one. We went with my colleagues on a long mountain hike to Botev peak for 12 hours. I didn’t have much experience with hiking then, and I found it extremely difficult. I remember crying, and I couldn’t wait to hide in the shelter. I thought I would never go to the mountains again, but that trip made me love the mountains.
I discovered my passion for mountaineering thanks to iCard. I am very grateful for that. The instructor then told us, ”As with opera, you love the mountain, or hate it.” Well, I love both.
Learn more about iCard digital wallet and the incredible people from our team: https://icard.com/en/