An Innovative Mindset + Excellent Self-discipline = Aleksandr, Our 35th Superhero

A fit body and fit mind perfectly characterize this Superhero. Aleksandr Knjažetski is as into triathlons as he’s into being a Jira power user. This guy is a next-level driven innovator at work. So, get inspired by reading the article below👇

Aleksandr’s life’s motto focuses on balance: ‘Work hard & have fun.’
Aleksandr’s life’s motto focuses on balance: ‘Work hard & have fun.’

Bondora Superhero #35 — Aleksandr Knjažetski

👦Bondorian since October 2022

👨‍💼Role: Engineering Manager

⚙️Team: Product Engineering: Servicing

Aleksandr’s journey at Bondora:

I joined Bondora in the autumn of 2022 as an Engineering Manager of one of the dev teams. Bondora has a fast-paced working environment that aims to meet the demands of its customers and follow market trends. Our team has already grown by half and started dealing with one of Bondora’s core businesses – servicing loans ⚙️

Aleksandr’s typical workday

I love the opportunity to mix home🏡 and office🏢 for my working environment.

Sometimes when you need to have “focus time” and don’t have a lot of meetings during the day – staying at home with your home office setup is my preferred option 🏡

Also, half of our team members work and live in Tartu, where the second Bondora office is located. Visiting Tartu once a month, staying there overnight, and having 1-on-1 meetings with team members is a good change of environment.

I am an early bird type, and if I don’t have any workouts planned before the start of the working day, I’ll be one of the first people in the office.

☕ Starting the day with a healthy breakfast and a delicious cup of coffee are two routines I usually follow at work.

On a typical day, I’ll meet with stakeholders on multiple topics. Constantly switching between different teams’ requests is standard in my job. I would mainly improve processes and tools, overcome bottlenecks and foresee possible risks. I also consider customers’ interests (both external and internal) and help take care of team members.

A fit body and fit mind perfectly characterize this Superhero.
A fit body and fit mind perfectly characterize this Superhero.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is seeing things getting done and projects progressing and being completed. Whether it’s shared projects we’re working on with the team or personal side projects I‘m tackling independently. Adding value to the company is a must ⭐

As a Team Lead, I also like to see my people achieving our team’s and their personal goals. I love being able to support those journeys and seeing individual team members develop 😊

And what makes working at Bondora awesome?

Working alongside experienced professionals is an awesome feeling that makes you move forward. It makes you want to look into possibilities to improve. Then seeing the results of your work benefitting Bondora’s customers, the company itself, and your team members is incredible.

How did you find your way into the world of IT? What has the experience been like so far?

I studied industrial and civil engineering at university and worked in supply chain management and manufacturing for 7+ years. I never thought I’d end up in IT, but as software development crosses over to many industries, it was a logical step forward. The challenges that we overcome here daily help me grow constantly and learn new things 🚀

Best meme that sums up being an engineer?

‘I can’t start work before I …’ 

… have a cup of coffee ☕

What’s your best investment advice?

Focus on long-term returns and try to put at least some money into your investments every month. And diversify your portfolio.

Best cybersecurity/IT tip?

Never use the same password for different logins; look for 2FA. In the office – never leave your laptop unlocked.

And now, let’s get to know Aleksandr even better!

What are some of your hobbies? What do you like to do in your free time?

My number one hobby, which takes up all my free time, is preparing for and participating in triathlons (swim-bike-run). This hobby teaches you that dedication, discipline, and hard work will pay off and be rewarded. There are no shortcuts to achieving results, and it’s always 100% fair.

If you’ve been following your training plan, looking after your body and allowing it to recover, and have taken care of your mental state, you’ll see the results in the competition and your overall health and well-being.

Preparation and training on their own are only a part of that – staying active, enjoying the outdoors, challenging yourself, and diversifying sporting activities (cross-country skiing, alpine skiing, running, swimming, cycling, gym, yoga) are why it’s my favorite hobby.

A side-effect of doing triathlons is that I love cycling and am a big fan of bicycles. Even if you already have a new bike with the latest tech, you can’t get enough of checking out the latest models, looking at pictures of beautiful bikes, discussing them with friends, and making plans to get a new one 😀

What are your favorite games to play?

I am not a big fan of computer games, but I would play a football game (FIFA, I guess) with a friend if there is an opportunity.

Bacon: yay or nay? 

Crispy bacon with fried eggs in the morning – definitely yay 🍳🥓

What’s your favorite TV show/podcast?

The last TV show I watched was “Tour de France: Unchained” on Netflix, but the best annual show you can watch is Le Tour itself. I’m always looking forward to those 3 weeks in July to follow the riders, the competition, the drama, and emotions.

Aleksandr loves bikes; can you tell?
Aleksandr loves bikes; can you tell?

What’s your favorite kind of music (to listen to while working)?

All sorts of chill and soft music 🎶 Not the type where you are actually listening to the lyrics 🙂

Do you have any pets?

I don’t have any pets, but I met this beautiful cat last time I visited our friends in Finland. It’s not as serious as it seems in the picture 😸

Lona, the lumberjack-cat.
Lona, the lumberjack-cat.

What superpower would you like to have and why?

I wish I would recover faster from the workouts I do. The older we get, the longer time it takes to recover 💪

What’s something that you want to do but scares you?

Preferably doing the Ultra Trail run, UTMB (Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, a running race of 171km with elevation gain of 10K+ meters). I’ve had a leg injury for the last 3 years that has hindered my running training a lot (but this year, it seems to have healed🤞). So maybe it’s a plan for the future 🙂

What a read! This blog post has been a triathlon of sorts; covering sports, leadership, and the passion for constant improvement. Aleksandr is a high-achieving Superhero, and we’re proud to have him on our team.

If you are interested in becoming the next Bondora Superhero 🦸‍♀️ head over to our Careers Page to check out our open positions. Tune in again next month to meet our 36th Bondora Superhero!

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