The Humans of smrtPhone

Welcome to the fourth installment of the series that highlights our awesome team members.

This month’s “smrtie” is Support Team superstar Valentina.

Name: Valentina Minzicu

Role in the Company:  I’m a member of the support team. The main thing I do is help clients through the live chat. But, also, when we have new colleagues we help to train and guide them to be successful – to answer question quickly and also how to manage different situations. On top of that, we also get involved in testing everything on our backend so we can get the best result in a short time. 

How long have you worked for smrtPhone?  8 months and a little bit. 

What’s your background? I came to the city where I live for college and stayed. After two jobs in retail, I made a change to technology. I worked in the call center for AOL offering support, primarily for people having issues with their email.

It improved my English because I spoke to people every day. I had about 30 phone calls a day with people in the US, and I got more confident from all of the practice. I also learned how to work with people, to understand them, and help them. 

What was your first job? After I graduated, I worked in a bookstore for one year and then I moved to another bookstore. I love books. Whenever I get a chance to read a book, you’ll find me sitting in the same place until I finish it.

I liked retail as well because I like to work with people. If I get a chance to share my passion for books with other people, I love it. When I recommend books to people and they like them, it’s amazing.

What do you like about working for smrtPhone? Definitely the team. Whenever we encounter an issue, if it’s something new that we’ve never come across before, everyone is here to help. I never feel like I don’t know what to do because we are always chatting between us and sharing ideas. Whenever we have a situation like “hey, I’m not sure..” then I’ll get five answers from five colleagues coming up with different solutions.

I’ve never had to wonder, “what will I do?” Everyone is so supportive. You never feel alone. The teamwork is really great here. 

Describe smrtPhone in 3 words: 

Intuitive. Organized. User-friendly. 

Is there a particular moment/project at smrtPhone that stands out and makes you feel proud?  This past October, everyone from the team, from all over, met up.  We did two days of brainstorming how to improve smrtDialer. We all participated and mixed our ideas together so we could make something awesome.  And those ideas are taking shape now. It’s nice to see everyone’s ideas come to life.

The team, we always write down our feedback and plans and we keep a list. Whenever we meet up with everyone, we always go through the feedback and explain what the client was trying to achieve. The developers hear the issues and our ideas and try to make what the client wants possible. Everyone gets a chance to make a better version of the system.

If the client comes up with an idea that fits our system, we try to make it happen. Sometimes clients come up with ideas that we didn’t think of yet, and we are excited to see them implemented. It’s a great feeling that we can actually do something. If feels like we’re giving them a present – they made a wish and we granted it. 

Valentina on a fall day

What do you like to do in your free time? 

I study Jiu Jitsu. I’m a beginner, but I just got my first stripe.  I also love to play with my cat, Chase. I named him that because he’s always chasing everyone around the house. He knows how to play hide and seek! 

Also, books. I never stop with the books! There isn’t a specific genre I like, but I like mind-bending stuff, like how the mind works. I love books that are a bit unusual – if I can find something that brings together fiction and non-fiction combined, that is the best. I love to find out about new things. I love to learn – I feel like a sponge soaking it all up. 

Name something that is on your “bucket list.” I would like to go to Japan. I recently started learning Japanese on Duolingo. At the moment, I’m just learning words and how to put sentences together, and I’m trying to learn how to write as well. 

I became interested in Japan because I’ve read some books by Japanese authors. Every time they describe it – the cities, the food, the people – I always want to go and visit the cities that I read about. 

What is a fun fact people might not know about you? I love music so whenever I’m meeting up with friends I always play DJ. Not only do I like music, I like sharing songs with people. I’m sort of an undercover DJ.

I find whatever is good from every genre. I listen to classical music when I read. I like jazz, blues, rock, techno. I spend hours on Spotify. I jump from artist to artist or sometimes I listen to every song an artist has.

I know a website that specializes in giving you recommendations based on something you like. If you put a name of a book or a name of a song or artist, it gives you ideas. I also have a notebook where I keep track of things I read about in books or hear about and then I can go back through my notes and research and learn more. I love to discover new things and share them.