To kick off things, could you tell us a bit about your career background and current role?
I have finished my bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology and I am currently pursuing my master’s degree in the same field. I have decided to study part-time and work part-time.
Here at CyanoGuard, I am working as a Production Technician. I am producing cartridges, operating a micro-dosing machine, doing robot operations, production and activation of chemosensors, and all the additional tasks connected with the production processes.
You’re also currently studying; how does what you’re learning complement your work at CyanoGuard?
Perhaps my studies are not directly connected with my current role, but what helped me the most was interdisciplinary thinking.
In big companies, you usually work on only one specific task and here at CyanoGuard, I can learn about various fields, which at first sight do not relate to each other. I find the startup environment quite interesting because you have a direct impact on the company’s growth, and you are involved in all processes. Every day at CyanoGuard is different, and I have the opportunity to broaden my knowledge.
Additionally, at the university, we learned a lot about process improvement and efficiency. This methodology is something I can implement in my work and it helped me improve the quality of my work.
What advice do you have for students who are looking to balance work and studies?
I know it is hard to find the right balance between studying, work and free time, but make sure you do balance all three of them. Free time is as important as work and studying, so do not disregard this aspect of life. Don’t overwhelm yourself with tasks and set your boundaries. Learning this now will help you better balance your life in the future.
What excites you most about CyanoGuard's technology?
Even though the mining industry is not yet the most environmentally friendly, new technologies emerging every day are helping in its transition toward better sustainability.
The mining industry is very important for our economy, and we need these minerals and metals. Therefore, I am very excited that my company is making a positive impact on the mine operations, and it can help them to process the exact amount of cyanide they need. Cyanide is a very toxic substance and our sensitive tests can detect even the smallest amounts of cyanide.
It is also quite exciting that our product has a huge potential to be used in many different industries. Anyone using cyanide and needing to detect its level can be our potential client.
It's no secret that there aren't many women in engineering; how can we get more women to join the field?
In the first place, I think it is important to encourage children’s curiosity and support them in studying anything they want and it inflames their interest.
I have been encouraged to study science from a very young age, and that helped me to continue pursuing my career in this field. I believe that a fair, inclusive and transparent system is something that will ensure both women and men pursue careers in fields they like.
What values do you like to live by?
My values would be kindness, interest and justice. I am always trying to be just and fair towards everyone no matter their social status, ethnicity, ideas, etc. Each of us is unique and we should treat all people with respect, even though sometimes we don’t have to agree with them, but we should be open enough to listen to their point of view without judgment. If I see something unfair, I will speak up against it.
What do you like about working with CyanoGuard?
We are a very young team and many of my colleagues studied at the same university as me, and I find it nice as I share many experiences with them.
We also have quite an international team and even though they are working remotely, I still feel very connected to others and up to date with their work.
Additionally, we have a flat hierarchy, our CTO, CEO and Head of Production trust us to do our tasks well. In the team, we also know how to combine well our strengths to get the maximum output. I find our work environment very inspiring, and full of positive energy.
What energizes you?
The team spirit is what energizes me the most.
When I started working at CyanoGuard I had to commute for two hours to get to work, but I didn’t mind because the energy and the team at work were so amazing. I was surprised that a well-oiled team can have such a huge impact. Before I started to work with CyanoGuard, I felt quite pressured with all my tasks, and even though now I have more obligations, I feel more productive.
The people, the energy and the singing in the lab are making my days more productive and energized, I would recommend to everyone such an experience!
What’s your go-to productivity trick?
I try to use my time well while commuting to work. Usually, while commuting I read something useful, I study and I write my thesis while commuting.
My productivity trick would be something simple as good preparation and organization. Because you save so much time if you prepare yourself well. I also love to-do lists, as you can go through all tasks you did, and you know exactly where you have left with your tasks.
What is your favorite podcast?
My favorite podcast is “On Purpose” with Jay Shetty. He is talking a lot about how to find your way after finishing school/university and how to find your life passion and purpose. He inspired me in so many ways both work-wise, and in my private life. One of his favorite pieces of advice to me was to stop thinking about what will happen ten years from now, but rather focus on what I will do next. One step at a time is easier to figure out than how you will organize your life in the next ten years. It doesn’t mean we should not have future plans and dreams, but we should be able to focus right on one thing at a time. That way you can take note of all progress you make.