The Humans of smrtPhone

Our “smrtie of the Month” is a well-traveled, hard-working team player with a passion for support.


Gina Velic

Title / Role in the Company

I’m part of the 1st Level Support team at smrtPhone. I take chats, help customers with their problems, and answer their questions. I’m also part of the Trust Center team, which means I specialize in helping our clients with compliance. It’s a new position for me, and I like it a lot. It’s very specialized. I’ve become an expert on this area of the platform, so I can quickly understand what issues might be happening and it’s easy to help people.  

How long have you worked for smrtPhone?

One year and a few months.

What’s your background? 

I finished high school and started college with a focus on languages, specifically English and Romanian. But, it wasn’t the right fit for me, so I left after a few months. When I needed to figure out what my next step was, I decided to make a big change and I moved to Ireland for three years. I chose Ireland because my older sister was living there, so I knew someone who could help me get settled, but I made it my own adventure. 

It’s cold and raining a lot; you cannot wear shorts. I didn’t like that part. But besides that, I loved it. People are not so judgy. Nature is central and important over there. There are mountains and lakes and you can really feel something magical about the land, that the vikings lived there. Somehow the sky feels closer to the earth. 

gina velic standing by the cliffs of ireland and near the sea

At first, I worked in retail, in sales. I was really good at it and very reliable so they made me the supervisor of the store. However, they increased my responsibilities without increasing my compensation and I had to leave because it was too much. I moved over to work at Insomnia Coffee Shop and then I moved to Starbucks. I was promoted again to a supervisor level and I really enjoyed it. But, I had to move to a different region and even though I could transfer to another Starbucks, they wouldn’t let me retain my supervisor status because they didn’t have any openings. At this point, I had a specialization in coffee, so I found a local Irish coffee company that focused on coffee and chocolate. I worked there until the pandemic forced me to move back to Romania. 

When I moved back to Romania, it was hard to find a job because people didn’t see my skills, only that I’d worked in coffee for so long. Finally, I got a job in a call center, working on the Yahoo account. They were excited about my English skills, but I was so nervous. I wanted to back out. I’m a shy person, so talking to the clients was hard at first. But after two years, taking calls every day for eight hours a day – it really built my confidence. I thought I would only last a few months, but I ended up liking it. And for different reasons than I expected. I liked that it helped me to be more patient. You cannot get angry. You learn to be careful what you say and how you react. That job really helped me.

I made a shift within the company to a chat support job that was seasonal. But in the end, that company didn’t have the culture that I wanted. They don’t care about you, only about your productivity. You couldn’t leave if you were sick. There were clear favorites of the managers, who would get the best shifts and never have to work night shifts. So, I knew I had to leave. 


What was your first job? 

My very first job was working in a pizza shop. It was a pizza restaurant and bar. I was a server and a bartender and stayed until three in the morning. You also helped out in the kitchen when it was needed. It’s not like in the US where you have one set of duties, you help out with everything.

What do you like about working for smrtPhone? 

I always wanted a job that would give me freedom. I have always liked to travel. It’s been my dream to travel and see the world. When I was small, I grew up in a rural area and always wanted to see more of what is out there. 

At smrtPhone, the company is supportive of you doing what is right for your life, as long as you get your work done. I take my laptop and my VPN and I can go anywhere. I can go and be in the world, see the world. I visit my boyfriend in the U.K. and continue to work, seamlessly.

And when you’re at home, you are more relaxed. You don’t have to worry about your lunch. You just eat what you have at home. Wear what you want. It’s easier in that sense than other jobs. 

There are some downsides to working remotely. I miss the daily communication with a team, all being together. Sometimes if you work from home, you feel like you don’t talk too much with people. But we’re developing an idea to have an open video meeting once a day so we can work “together”. And I try to make an effort to come to the office when I can. 

Describe smrtPhone in 3 words: 

  • Transparency. I like the fact that we always do team buildings, and we share everything we do. There are no hidden things, no secrets. 
  • Flexible. You can work from any place and have your own life still. 
  • Trusting / Trustworthy. We keep our word and work hard. 

Can I just say: it’s the best cloud phone system?!

Is there a particular moment/project at smrtPhone that stands out and makes you feel proud?  

It felt good when I was selected to be part of the Trust Center team to focus on solving the issues that our clients were facing with verification. When we passed the A2P process and got it all figured out, it was such a relief. Before that, we had been really stressed and overwhelmed trying to help our clients, when it always seemed to be a moving target. I’m happy that we’ve passed that phase and we have it figured out now.  

What do you like to do in your free time?

I clean a lot. I have OCD and I mop twice a day. I don’t think there’s a day I stay in bed all day. Even if I tell myself I’m just going to lay around, a few hours later, I’m up and cleaning. 

But, like I said before, I like to travel. I like to be on the move. Visit new places. Go ATV-ing. See a lake. Any little adventure makes me happy. 

I also like to watch movies and TV series.

Name something that is on your “bucket list”

I have a long list of places I’d like to see. For example, South Korea. It’s in my top 10. I like the culture, and learning about it because it’s so different from what I know. 

I want to live in the forest one day. Go totally off the grid and get a cottage somewhere. I like the countryside. I want a place with no neighbors.  

What is a fun fact people might not know about you? 

I don’t really have one! Maybe that I’ve been living on my own and taking care of myself since I was fifteen years old.