What started as an Events Manager job 5 years ago, soon turned into a Global Marketing Manager career for our colleague Teodora, who is nowadays trusted to drive the team's efforts towards creating powerful brand experiences and support demand generation for the business. Read the story and discover how every new height opened for Teodora the will and strength for the next achievement.
Tell us about your professional path within Endava.
In a world of clichés, finding a job that doesn’t feel like work was a high priority for me, and I am very lucky to be able to say that working for Endava is exactly that. Although this role can be busy, as my team and I always are, it’s the people we work with and the contribution we get to make that motivates us to push for things and give our best.
I joined Endava in February 2015 as Events Manager, working together with the sales, marketing and delivery teams to arrange and implement business events for our clients. Endava’s Marketing Team works at a group level with our colleagues across the 20+ offices in Europe and the Americas, to help increase our visibility in the market and attract new clients.
After two years as Events Manager, I stepped into a new role, responsible for all the market-facing activities around Endava's solutions and service offers. But, since Endava never fails to offer big opportunities to me, I was soon covering an interim role leading the marketing team, which has now turned into a permanent position as Head of Marketing. This means I'm trusted to drive the team's efforts to achieve our core purpose for the organisation: creating a powerful brand experience and supporting our colleagues to attract and retain new clients for the business.
I lead a team of 8 people spread across the globe, all of whom have super creative minds and are motivated by the same passion as I am. I truly appreciate the ideas and mindset they each bring to the table, and I know that any result will only be visible through them. To successfully lead my team, I focus on delegating and trusting each person to do what they know to do best.
What are your main drivers at Endava?
Again, some might think it is a cliché, but to me, Endava is all about people. No matter how I might be feeling when I wake up, getting to work and meeting my team always puts me in a great mood. Talking to people face to face or virtually, hearing them out, understanding where they are coming from and finding the best way forward is a challenge I now face many times a day. But it’s a challenge I love and one that drives me to push things forward.
Endava is the only company in my career where I have wanted to stay for longer than one year, and I believe this is because there is a great match between who I am as a person, what I love doing, the organisational culture and the people I get the chance to meet and work with. I am extremely lucky to have a leadership team that is made up of inspirational people, who always made me feel supported and encouraged.
The last thing that really matters to me, and which Endava does particularly well is that I know I am being heard. My opinion matters and had always mattered, even when I was a new joiner. We value the people in the room and encourage their contribution as their background and diversity are what will make the difference. As it happens every time, I am amazed at how the outcome shapes up out of sheer chaos that some things feel like in the beginning, especially with my team of creatives.
How would your colleagues describe you in one sentence?
I've asked some of them and got these replies:
- "This tiny lady climbed the Himalayas, so there’s a lot of strength beneath the surface."
- "Teo is a well-organized, goal-driven person with a passion for hiking. When she set herself a goal, she pushes herself to accomplish it.”
- “She’s the most emotionally intelligent leader I’ve had the pleasure of working within all my 7 years of teaming up with creatives, which makes coming to work not only enjoyable but also a learning experience that goes way beyond professional skills.”
- “One sentence isn’t really long enough to describe how wonderful Teodora is, as a manager, as a human being, as a marketer, as someone who is always calm under pressure.”
Name some books or speeches that had an effect on your career path.
I think my favourite motivational speech is Baz Luhrmann's "Wear sunscreen"
As a young professional, it resonated a lot with me, and often remember the advice in there. "Do one thing every day that scares you", "the race is long, and in the end, it's only with yourself", "read the directions, even if you don't follow them" or "work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle" are some of the things that influenced me since starting my career.
Being also an avid reader, I'd like to also mention some of the most interesting books I've read recently:
- Open, by Andre Agassi - on doing great things when you put your mind to do it, despite adversity and fighting inner daemons;
- Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious, by Gigerenzer Gerd - on how to train and use your intuition in making decisions in both your personal and professional life;
- Grit, by Angela Duckworth - on the importance of persistence towards achieving anything, especially when the initial excitement fades away.
What advice would you give yourself if you were starting work at Endava today?
The first thing that comes to my mind is having the courage to speak up and share your ideas. I have learned in time that I can trust my team with my thoughts, even if I'm wrong on occasions or I don't have the full picture. One of Endava's values is to be open, and many times the outcome of choosing to contribute has paid off in ways I couldn't have imagined should I have decided to keep quiet.
What can you tell us about yourself outside of work?
As a person who's lived in Denmark (the happiest country in the world!) for a while, I'm infected with the work-life blend virus. That's why I read so much on the subject, write about it on my blog, and am a dedicated practitioner. I do my best to maximise how I spend my time, making sure I know what balances me and investing time in that.
When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my dog, a Shih Tzu called Luna who always adds an element of fun to my day, I craft and sew, and I love hiking and travelling. The highest place I've climbed to so far is the Uhuru Peak on Mt. Kilimanjaro (5,895 m), and the furthest is Brazil (10,400 km). My plan is to see one new country every year, including those on the two continents I am yet to visit (Antarctica and Australia) before I get too old. In the meantime, together with a colleague in the Marketing team, I run the local Endava Hiking Club, and we explore a different, beautiful Romanian mountain every month. Like-minded, passionate Endavans join us for weekends of adventure and fun.
Disconnecting while hiking or crafting different creative products or clothes helps me refresh my mind and bring new perspectives into the way we plan and implement the relevant marketing plans. In the end, Endava is an organisation that allows me to stay true to my values and work-life blend principles, while taking on challenges I am both excited about and trusted to overcome successfully.