Summer’s over, so “Meet the team” is here to nostalgically remind us about the hot weather and warm feelings. Our hero will take us into the world of salsa and show us how great it is to have close friends and family who are always next to you.
Meet our HelpDesk Supervisor – Nevina Kateva. She lets us behind the scenes of her life at iCard and outside of it, sharing all her stories about dancing, family, friendships, and a pinch of poetry.
What is your passion?
I love dancing, and salsa is definitely my passion. When I was little, I was impressed by the girls who were dancing in colourful dresses and high heels. My mom decided I should start attending a Latin-American dance class, but, unfortunately, I had to give it up – I grew up quickly and couldn’t find a dancing partner. More than ten years ago, a former colleague told me she started attending salsa classes, and I decided to try it. Right after the first session, I was so energised that I wanted to continue dancing. Salsa is a social dance that lets you dance with different people rather than a single partner. I often go to parties with dancers from other dance schools, and we’re having lots of fun.
I love attending salsa festivals so much – I meet some of the best salsa dancers in Europe there, and everyone dances almost 24/7 for days. At the last festival that I attended this spring, I slept around 9 hours for three days, but all the feelings and emotions were so overwhelming. Every time I go there, I learn lots of new techniques for making beautiful salsa dance movements, which improves my performances. I can definitely say that my childhood dream has come true. With salsa, I felt the spark that lit me up when I was a little girl. Dancing makes me happy and free.
What is the most valuable thing that dancing brought you?
I met my husband Zaprin thanks to salsa. Now, years later, we live as a happy family together with our son Teo. We met just like in a movie – we glanced at each other at a salsa party, and our love flared up. Both of us had been dancing salsa in Varna for a long time already, but we had never met each other before. It was love at first sight and we danced together all night long. Shortly after that, we became a couple in life and on stage. Before our son was born, we attended many competitions together. Now, we have less time for dancing and we mainly do it at festivals and parties, because of our jobs and care for our son, but our love for dancing’s still there. We’re trying to have some free time for us, but we’re also having some fun family activities aside.
We love travelling together. When I was a child, my parents couldn’t afford to go on holidays. Years later, I realised it was something I missed and now I want to give this to my son so he doesn’t miss it, too. We prefer going to places we’ve been before and sharing those great moments together, but we’re still looking for the place that will make us go back there again and again. We enjoy spending time in the mountains and climbing peaks, and we’d like for Teo to love these experiences, too. I think we’re succeeding because he effortlessly reached the top of the mountain on our last trip. Once he saw the beautiful view, he got speechless and spent a long time looking at it.
I’m glad that, for the past few years, me and my family have been working on a project together. There’s an old house – about 15 km away from Varna, which is inherited from my grandparents. It was broken down, but everyone in my family dedicated lots of time and effort to turn it into a place to share great moments together. We renovated it on our own, and planted some fruit trees, vegetables, and various spices. We were looking for a place where our son could play outside and all of us could feel free, and our love towards the house got stronger during the coronavirus outbreak. That’s exactly when we realised this place was one of our greatest treasures.
Do you have another hidden talent?
I can write verses in rhymes. My passion for writing shaped when I was a child and I was looking after the farm animals that my grandparents had. I was inspired by their looks, how the chicken’s little feathers flew, and how energetic the little lambs were. I stayed for hours near the basket where the new ducklings would hatch to see how they would pierce the eggshell and take their first breath. I was an 8-year-old girl who had just learned how to write and could express the love towards animals only with writing. Back then I had a notebook where I’d write my verses and share my feelings. My granddad considered my talent incredible and showed one of my “works” to a family friend who was an editor. Later, my verse ended up being published in a newspaper. I was young and couldn’t realise what was happening, but my relatives were proud of my achievement. Now I write only for my close friends and family and their occasions. My colleagues at work inspire me and I create personal birthday wishes in rhymes for each one of them. Traditionally, we give one another a GiftCard and my verses are memorised on the package of each card. A fun fact about me is that I can’t even write a single line for someone I don’t know or hasn’t inspired me in a way.
Is there true friendship at iCard?
I met many true friends at the company over the last eight years. I work together with two of my closest friends – Iskra and Zhana. I’m glad I can share everything with them and it’s always fun spending some time together. Our friendship started when we were working together at HelpDesk. Our mutual work and those small moments where we showed our true selves made us really close. I’ll never forget how Iskra and I saved a kitten on a Sunday shift at the beginning of our careers. Then the whole team took care of it and it grew up in front of our eyes. I invited lots of my close friends, working at iCard, to my bachelorette party and wedding – both were unforgettable, too.
Besides our work, the company parties make us even closer. We’re always having lots of fun and form our own “small party” together, which becomes part of the bigger one. It’s always a pleasure for me to participate in the choreography that’s part of the programme, which always cheers the colleagues up. Dancing brings me joy and the best part is that, during rehearsals, I can get to know the colleagues from other departments better.
What is so impressive about your HelpDesk team?
Thankfully, there are different colleagues, each with their distinguishing personality, who have excellent work experience and qualities, and it’s a pleasure working with them. We are the face of the company, and I can say that every agent is well-trained to help our clients in the best possible way. We’re available 24/7 via phone, chat, and e-mail to answer questions on five of the company’s products – iCard Digital Wallet, iCard for Business, iCard ATM, GiftCard, and iCard Credit. We’re flexible and do our best to understand our clients’ needs, even though sometimes it’s difficult. Our work is dynamic because we’re constantly in contact with various people, and the functionalities of the products and services develop more and more.
I started my career at iCard as a HelpDesk Specialist with Italian, and now I’m the team’s supervisor. I was highly delighted when I was offered the position. Whether it was a coincidence or not, this change occurred in January, right after the Christmas holidays. I took this challenge as a new beginning and I believe that the team and I formed a great working environment that I consider my second family. One of my main responsibilities is to train new colleagues on the products and services’ functionalities that iCard offers, and teach them how to communicate with clients. Another important role of mine is to create our monthly schedule. It’s a huge challenge because I have to make everyone within our team happy and consider their wishes for a day off. It’s hard, but I can say that things work great when you make compromises and collectively try to make it happen. I’m happy that I manage to communicate with all my colleagues freely and find an individual approach to each one of them. I’m thankful for the support from my manager – Dimitar Angelov, and my colleagues who successfully developed our virtual colleague – the chatbot Vicky, which significantly makes our work easier.
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