It’s time to introduce you to one more colleague from iCard – Iskra Nedelcheva. The interview with her took place in the beautiful Pirin mountain while she was on a holiday with friends, enjoying picturesque nature and clear air – a perfect moment to chat with her and learn more about herself and her job.
Iskra is a Service and Customer Relationships Specialist in the “Verifications” department, “Business customers” section. Her work at iCard has brought her together with some of her best friends. She often initiates fun events with colleagues. Full of creative energy, she writes poetry and paints with oil. Peek into Iskra’s colourful life and find out what inspires her.
Iskra, tell us more about “Different Kinds of Midnight” and your passion for writing.
“Different Kinds of Midnight” is my first published book. It is a collection of my poetry over the last 10 years. I wrote my first verses in the 8th-9th grade in high school. At one point, I decided that I wanted to share them with others and collect them in a book. The layout, drawings, and photos in it are entirely my work, and I am very proud of the result.
My passion for reading and writing began at an early age. My grandmother taught me to love books. At first, she read children’s books to me, and then I learned to read too. In first grade, I was the fastest reader in class, and I’ve loved reading ever since. I spent my summers reading books, and the desire to write came as a natural extension of this process. People who love to read often love to write. Impressed by Dumas’s “The Lady of the Camellias”, I started writing fairy tales in my notebooks. I started writing poetry a little later, and it was related to my first meetings with love.
What do you love to do more – painting or writing?
I love writing and painting equally, and I can’t say which one I prefer better. Unfortunately, in recent years I don’t have enough time to sit down to write prose. It takes a lot of effort, concentration, research, and creativity to come up with a plot and characters.
I love to create things from a scratch, and that’s how I began painting. It all started with a night out with friends – we went to a “painting and wine” event. It was my first touch with oil paints. Then my painting didn’t look amazing and I realized I don’t like someone telling me what to do and how to do it. However, I really enjoyed using this painting technique and bought oil paints to try it at home.
I like to paint cities. I look for photos on the internet for inspiration. On my last trip, I saw an alluring landscape – sapphire sky, high mountain peaks, and in the valley – sunflowers in bright yellow. I tried to capture it, but unfortunately, it didn’t work. It will definitely be the next landscape I paint.
Do you have favourite books or quotes that you come back to?
A few days ago, I finished a new book that I really liked, and it is already on the leaderboard. It’s called “Daisy Jones & the Six” – a piece of fiction about a rock band from the 70s. An incredibly beautifully and interestingly written book that makes you sit down and write yourself. My hands were itching to grab the pen and notebook. Unfortunately, I became sad not long after that because I realized that at this point, it was too much for me to come up with something this good.
I admire Edgar Allan Poe’s “Annabelle Leigh” and “The Raven” – dark and Octoberish. One of my favourite books is “Gone with the Wind”, which I read back in 8th grade. Another book I adore is “The Bear and the Nightingale” – a wonderful interpretation of many Russian stories and legends. Here’s a quote from it: “I loved you as I could.” One of my tattoos is related to the book – a snowflake on my arm.
How did you get into football, and why is Arsenal your favourite team?
As it usually happens, it all began with a man – Robin van Persie, who was then an Arsenal player. All my friends watched English football. I also got hooked on the World Cup. I didn’t have a favourite team and I told myself that the next game I watch, I will pick it. The game was after my birthday and then Arsenal played.
Years later, I had the pleasure of watching them play on the field. I bought tickets for me and my father, and we went to Sofia where they played against Ludogorets. In the fall I plan to go to one of their matches in London and enjoy their gameplay again. When Arsenal plays, I make sure to watch them. I’m one of those fans who scream at the TV. I am also a member of the Arsenal fan club in Bulgaria, and we gather together to watch matches. Sometimes I’m the only girl in the room, but we always have a great time.
How do you have fun with colleagues outside the office?
I really like going out with friends. In most cases, I’m the one who talks everyone else into going out for a glass of wine and a quality conversation. Over time, some of our colleagues and I became very close and we have fun together on birthdays, bachelorette parties, weddings, and other occasions. For example, last year, a large group of colleagues gathered at Zhana’s bachelorette party, and it was wonderful and memorable.
I can’t help but share that my colleague Stasi (Stanislava Zheleva) and I are very close. We often hang out together on various occasions – listening to live music in nightclubs, going to the beach, playing board games, and much more. I can say that she is one of my best friends and I am grateful to iCard for introducing us to one another. She claims she liked me from day one, but that wasn’t exactly the case with me because I initially saw her as “the other new employee” until I got to know her better. But things went in a good direction, and we have been inseparable for almost 6 years now.
What is your best memory in the company?
For all this time I have been with the company, I have so many memories. The funniest for me was my birthday in 2018. Unlike others who like to take a day off on their birthdays, I prefer to spend it at the office. I always wear a nice dress and receive cheerful calls from friends and family, I treat my colleagues with homemade cake, we drink champagne, and make jokes. On that day in 2018, there was no water in the office, and from the morning we greeted each other with champagne. It was a lot of fun, but I couldn’t put the exact emotions into words.
What does your job at iCard consist of?
I am currently a Customer Service and Relations Specialist and deal with the onboarding of our business clients. I check if their activities and documentation are in order and assess whether they meet the regulatory standards in order to open an iCard account. A job that requires a lot of patience.
What is the most beautiful place you have ever been?
I have many favourite cities, and it often happens that the last place I visited becomes my new number one. I like Paris the most. Also, it is the city I miss the most. The first time I visited Paris, I was there just for a day to go sightseeing and tell the story of being there. The second time I was able to feel the life, atmosphere, and culture of France, even though it was constantly raining. It was very pleasant and beautiful – I walked around the Seine river, looked at the paintings of the artists around Notre Dame, watched the night lights of the Eiffel Tower, and enjoyed my favourite season – autumn. I often travel with my cousin, and that makes vacations even more delightful.
What is your big dream?
My dream is to publish the novel I wrote a long time ago, but I still have a lot of work to do on it. Its name is “Book Lights”, and it has been edited many times. The plot takes place in an English academy where a girl finds a book in which it turns out that an enchanted knight lives. I wrote it in my student years and devoted many sleepless nights to it. Unfortunately, at the moment, I cannot find a publishing house that believes in the success of the novel, and I need to put a lot more effort into its realization.
I also dream of visiting some breathtaking places, such as the city of New Orleans in the USA and Provence in France. New Orleans is my favourite subject to paint – I love the magic it brings. Provence attracts me with its lavender fields, wine cellars, and the beauty of nature.
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