Introducing Amy Marcowich, our product manager. She’s also a certified PT, loyal Bikram yogi and a travel junkie! Amy has the ability to spin plates with grace and her positive energy spreads virtually too!
We get cosy with our virtual cup of steaming cocoa and find out what she enjoys about working at Aveni!
Tell us about yourself. What was your career path before you joined Aveni?
My background is in startups, predominantly SAAS companies. Working in startups allows you the opportunity to wear many hats which gives you the luxury of experiencing all aspects of the business. It’s a great way to start your career as it helps you to determine pretty quickly what you enjoy doing and excel at and what you would rather not have to deal with on a daily basis. Throughout my career so far I have worked on both the Customer Relations side and the Product side, Product Management allows me to straddle both and is definitely the sweet spot for me.
Before we start, tell us more about your current role as a product manager and what it’s like working at Aveni
The Product Manager role is still relatively new and somewhat ambiguous, this means that the position can carry different responsibilities in different companies. In addition to that, being part of a small team means that we all muck in, so every day is a learning day and every day brings something new. However, the main focus of a PM is to act as a communications hub between the business, clients and development team and collect and articulate feedback into a prioritised, organised roadmap. In order to do this well, it is important to review the current state of the product on an ongoing basis and follow the market and competitors closely. The goal is to deliver a useful product packaged in a user friendly experience that is aligned with the business goals and client needs.
What drew you to working for a startup and what does Aveni’s mission mean to you?
I’ve always worked in startups. I graduated from Tel Aviv University and started my career in the start-up hub of Tel Aviv. I love the idea of being part of something while it is still in its infancy, something that you can really contribute to and help build into something great. It’s a really exciting time to be working at Aveni, we have a real opportunity to make a difference in the Finance sector and potentially beyond. Aveni’s success will revolutionise the service that financial institutions provide and thus make for a fairer, safer and more accessible environment for their customers and clients.
Take us through what a typical day looks like for you?
Since Corona has shaken up our lives I’ve taken the opportunity to shake up my routine and I have set myself daily goals to accomplish since I now have much more flexibility in my schedule. Some of these are new goals to make sure I don’t get in a COVID funk, like making sure to get out for at least a 20 minutes walk and things like working out and drinking 3 litres of water are there to make sure I don’t let go of my daily fitness priorities. I make a point to learn something new each day, whether that’s watching a documentary, spending time reading articles, listening to podcasts or doing a course on Udemy for example. I write out my personal and professional goals list the night before and review it in the morning first thing post-shower. I then check Slack, emails and make a plan for my day before standup with the development team. Throughout the day I switch between talking with clients, the development team and the business and make sure we are all aligned. The output from these meetings is then divided up into actionables either in the form of tickets for the dev team, elaboration on our roadmap or my own to do list. In our current phase, every day is slightly different, I might find myself pairing with one of the team to look at a new open source tool for developing UI components or doing a little UAT. I closely follow the status of our various live projects and make sure we’re actively working towards our goal and I’m enjoying working on formulating best practices for the team going forward.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I am a qualified PT and a loyal Bikram yogi. I make sure to fit in my daily workouts either at home, in the gym or in the hot room as this is the one and only time I am truly switched off and have quality time to myself. My partner and I love hiking nature trails and climbing Munros so when the weather is good we try and take full advantage of it. Travel and exploring is a huge passion of mine and with Corona coming in the way of our holiday plans this year, we have taken the opportunity to get a few more road trips under our belt and really explore Scotland instead of flying abroad.
What’s your mantra and where did you develop it?
“It always seems impossible until it’s done” – Nelson Mandela. I am always trying to improve the way I react to things internally, there is no need to overcomplicate or add stress to situations as it will only hold you back. How many times have you either put stuff off because you didn’t know where to start or made a mountain out of a molehill and when you finally accomplish the task with flying colours you think “oh was that it?”. This mantra follows me from high school, to weight training to professional tasks alike.
What was the best advice you were given in your career? And is there anyone who admire and why?
“To believe in yourself” and not to be so hard on yourself. If I had a penny for the amount of times I’ve been told that I am my worst critic, I would be going on a very luxurious holiday. A little self-criticism can go a long way to helping you improve, evolve and stay on your toes but there is a fine line between the right amount of self-criticism and imposter syndrome or just being plain mean to yourself. You should strive to find yourself surrounded by inspiring people and those that you can learn from but be fully aware of what you bring to the table too and don’t be afraid to be boldly proud of it. I admire entrepreneurs as they believe in themselves and work hard to bring their vision to life.
Rapid fire round…
Would you rather know every language or know how to talk to animals?
I would rather know how to talk to animals for sure. I am a huge animal lover!
Would you rather lose your sense of taste or your sense of smell?
I would rather lose my sense of smell, food is the greatest joy in life. Although if you lose your sense of smell then that would also affect your sense of taste so this is a cruel question.
Would you rather vacation in the mountains or at the beach?
I would be happy with either as long as there are lots of areas to explore!
Would you rather be able to breathe underwater or fly?
I have my ‘Open Water Diver’ certification so I kinda already can breathe underwater…flying would be a new skill :P
Would you rather be able to see your own future or be able to see everyone’s future but not your own?
This is something I have thought about since I can remember. I think it would be best not to know either. Life is an adventure with lots of highs and lows, the lows can’t always be avoided and they teach us so much and surely we should enjoy the element of surprise that comes with the highs?
Work with the lovely Amy, join our team!
Find out more. Visit our team page