The Humans of smrtPhone
We’ve made it one year into our monthly team profiles! For our 12th installment, we interviewed another “smrtie” who helps you troubleshoot your smrtPhone system: Sebastian Nitu
Sebastian Nitu, aka “Sebi”
Title / Role in the Company
I’m in first level Support. We help customers with smrtPhone issues.
How long have you worked for smrtPhone?
What’s your background?
I have a bachelors degree in electrical engineering and computer science. Tudor, Liviu and I were in the same group in college. We became good friends because we always met up at the exams that we didn’t pass. In the last year of college, Liviu told me that Tudor was looking for coworkers, but I was a bit late. I reached out one day after he hired Cosmin and Valentina. But when he started looking again, I was ready. My parents were happy that I got a job in my area of study, right out of school.
It wasn’t that I knew I wanted to work in software. I actually didn’t know what I wanted to do when I finished high school, so I copied one of my friends. She went to this university and really liked it. She told me, “It will be easy! You’ll find high paying jobs.” Looking back, I would have chosen to get a job rather than go to school. I could have done more with my life than I did in those four years because experience matters the most. I would have started my own business or built up investments. And maybe I still will some day!
What was your first job?
When I was 16, I worked at a restaurant as a bus boy, cleaning tables and filling water. But it didn’t last very long because it was a really toxic team. The waiters who were supposed to coordinate us did nothing but argue with us and complain and they never tipped us out. I also worked for a car wash company for a little bit.
What do you like about working for smrtPhone?
The best things about working here is the team. We’re more than a team: we’re friends, almost like a family. The best thing is that we can wake up and not think “Oh no! I have to go to work.” Also, I really like this schedule. I’ve never been a morning person. So, I wake up late, eat, go to the gym for 2-3 hours, and then I eat again and start work.
But it’s more than the schedule or the team: I enjoy that we care about our clients. We listen to them. Whenever they want a new feature, our team will implement the ideas that are good. It’s really fun to get to see the whole process from the idea to implementation.
Working from home has its benefits, but I like that the company focuses on keeping us feeling connected to each other and the products. We have meetings and team buildings. We go to headquarters and meet with each other, do training, brainstorm new ideas. It’s a really nice balance – it’s work from home but also a lot of togetherness.
Describe smrtPhone in 3 words:
Smart. Intuitive. Customer-friendly.
Is there a particular moment/project at smrtPhone that stands out and makes you feel proud?
I really enjoy when the team comes together to do brainstorming to see what we should implement next. I also liked the team buildings where we all stayed together, ate together, worked together, did activities together. Just being there was a great time.
Also, I really enjoy when our team announces new projects and integrations because I like the feeling that the system is evolving with new integrations, features, and products. We’re growing and there is tangible proof.
One final thing that stands out to me that is specific to the Support team: When we read reviews that the clients leave on the chat conversations, that is a great feeling. You can see the emoji rating, but they can also leave a few words about what went well. It gives you a good feeling. And we learn from the feedback if it didn’t go well. From time to time on chats it can be difficult to read the person’s energy. You may think they are upset but maybe they are not. So after a long conversation and you see a detailed review, you can see what they liked and if there was room for improvement.
The company is always growing and getting better. The product is always growing and getting better. And so is the Support team – we are always looking to be better, too.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I go to the gym. I like sports in general – any sport activity. In the winter I enjoy snowboarding. This winter, I taught Tudor. From time to time I play video games, but I’d rather go outside with friends.
Like most people know, in my free time I like to eat. I really enjoy a good burger or pizza or some sushi. I like also Thai food, Chinese food. I like I bit of everything.
Name something that is on your “bucket list”
Well, I would like to visit a large part of the world – as many countries as I can. I would like to get to know different cultures and different cultural habits. After I went to Thailand and saw the culture there, I was really impressed and it made me want to travel more. The next country on my list is Japan.
But also, I would like to find inner peace. I think a lot about the future and how it will be and if I will be able to achieve my goals. It’s important to me that I can go where I want, do what I want, when I want. That’s the freedom I’m working toward.
What is a fun fact people might not know about you?
When I was younger, I wanted to be a doctor. From 5th grade until high school. I went to the best high school in the region where I live. After that, when I saw how much I needed to study to become a doctor, I didn’t want to do that any more. I spend a lot of time thinking about how to shape the life I want – I like to read books about personal development.
Also, I know I said that sports is one of my favorite things to do in my free time. I cannot see myself without doing sports. But, in the beginning I really hated it. I hated everything about it – the gym, sports, all of it. I would go to the gym maybe 2 or 3 days a month. But one day when I went, I made friends with a guy who started teaching me about techniques, the diet, the exercise. It all clicked. Since then I haven’t missed a day.
I once did a 2 kg (4.5 lb) burger challenge. You had 15 minutes. I almost made it, just some of the bun was left.