Hey Maria, can you tell us a little more about who you are?
My name is Maria Ciobica, I am 25 and I come from a small village in Romania. I studied at Babes-Bolyai University, the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration in Cluj-Napoca, Romania and currently I work for Yahoo! in Dublin as EMEA Billing Specialist.
Wow, only a few sentences and there is already a lot of exciting stuff to talk about, but I guess we are all interested in how you landed in the country of leprechauns working for one of the major tech companies in the world?
[Smiley face] The change of location didn't happen suddenly. It was actually a complex process that ultimately paid off. I had previously worked as for Yahoo! through an external contractor back in Romania for 1 year, where I started as an OQA Specialist, and after 6 months I was promoted to Billing Specialist. Then Yahoo decided to in-house its finance department, so my former manager recommended me. I had to pass through several stages of interviews and now here I am.
Was your studying experience helpful in any ways?
One thing that helped me was the fact that I was already familiar with the terminology and economical concepts behind the process of issuing invoices, credits, discounts etc.
So what exactly does a billing specialist do?
Mainly, I do invoice generation in accordance with the billing calendar and participate in ad-hoc projects as required. Specifically, in the first week of each month, I deal solely with month-end activities such as discounts uploading, generation of invoices, and printing and posting of them.
Sounds impressive, now let's make it more casual for those to whom finance is not an everyday territory. How does a typical day at the office look like?
The magic happens between 9 am and 5:30 pm, but I come in a bit earlier to enjoy a nice breakfast and, of course, The Coffee. Work starts at 9 am by opening my laptop, corp mail and all necessary systems. Usually, I prioritize the requests and e-mails depending on their importance (for instance, escalations, big clients etc.) then start solving the tickets (this relates to correcting invoices or credit memos). Time flies by pretty quickly in here and soon it's lunch break, a foosball game and after 1 hour I'm back to my desk. The second half of the day seems to be passing by even quicker because most of the time, I don't even realize that it's 5:30 pm; rumour has it this is a good sign because it means you really love your work and you are deeply involved & dedicated to your tasks. After I finish work I head home - or if it's Friday to the pubs.
That sounds cozy and fun, especially the last part which makes me wonder: how is the transition to a new city going?
It's not easy, but I am young with a whole life in front of me. I would say it's exciting, but I am a lucky girl ‘cause I have my best friend with me. She also works here at Yahoo! so the adventure is ten times greater. I wouldn't discourage anyone, moving to a new city gives you a whole different perspective. With the traveling options we have today, it's also easy to just book a flight and visit your loved ones if you ever get homesick. So that shouldn't be a problem.
Any tips for the newbies?
Rain. Rain. Rain. Umbrella, although when the wind starts, you and your umbrella have no chance. Train your kidneys, it’s true: Dubliners do drink a lot. Pack only warm, fluffy clothes, boots, and socks, you’ll need those during almost all year-long. Except during the 3-days summer, yay!
Overall, what have you learned from your job so far, what's the best thing about it?
I’d have to say that I learned to be patient and I have for sure developed a high resistance to stressful situations. What I like about my job is that it allows you to explore different ways of solving an issue, so it’s not entirely a standard procedure that has to be followed. There have been a couple of things which I discovered on my own, so I was able to put my own "signature" on the way I am handling the requests.
On the other hand, are there any regrets that you have?
Pfff, I have plenty of those, but I'll have to say that I regret not having majored in IT classes.
Well, it's not too late for that. As a conclusion, what makes Dublin a "killer" city to work in? What should people consider before going there?
Have some courage and go big 'n' bold for your dreams because you have many, many opportunities and lots of chances to actually turn them into reality. Career-wise, it’s a great place to be. You just have to believe in yourself, because everybody here appreciates you for who you are, what you are and it’s also a great opportunity to meet people from around all over the world.