How a Young PC Gamer Became a Product Manager – a Superhero Story

Readers, you’re in for a special treat. In this special Dev edition of our Superhero series, you get an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at the world of Product Managers at Bondora! Without further ado, meet our 31st Superhero – Eva-Stina.

P.S. Be prepared for a lot of cute cat pictures 😻

Eva-Stina’s life’s motto is wholesome and stoic: ‘There is this saying: What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul. So, laugh often and don’t take life too seriously, for there is humor in even the most unexpected situations. And remember, laughter is the shortest distance between two people.’

Bondora Superhero #31 — Eva-Stina Turovski

👧 Bondorian since: June 2022

🎯Role: Senior Product Manager

🔋Team: Core Group

Eva-Stina’s journey at Bondora:

I started part-time at Bondora when my youngest kid was barely a one-year-old👶. I’m thrilled that Bondora genuinely values work-life balance, and I’m glad to have had such a warm welcome and flexible working arrangement.

Once my son was old enough for daycare, I started working as a full-time Senior Product Manager. I’ve already been able to make some significant changes, mainly focusing on topics like AML and KYC, but also working on lots of other topics in our Core team 👌

Eva-Stina’s typical workday

I love having the option to work in a hybrid environment. I do some of my best analytical work alone at home. But I also love coming to the office sometimes for face-to-face meetings, lunch with colleagues, etc. I feel that having the possibility to choose where to get my work done makes me more productive📈

When it comes to my setup, I have a MacBook Air💻 that enables me to dash around from meeting to meeting, easily. Other times I have it hooked up to a second monitor. I also always have some water or coffee handy.

Although I love to use Notion for pretty much everything, I also use the good old pen and paper to scribble down some ideas and take notes in a hurry.

When working from home, I usually also have one of my cats😻 nearby, begging for attention, especially when I need to make a video call. 

On a typical day, I have some meetings, like daily stand-ups and other scrum rituals, and meetings with different stakeholders and colleagues. I also spend time on analysis and research-related tasks, writing Jira tickets, documentation, or working on the roadmap. No two days are truly alike, and that’s what I quite enjoy about my job. 

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is feeling like I have figured something out, like a detective 🔍 So, if there’s some bigger challenge or a bug or a problem to be solved, and I finally manage to crack it – that always feels amazing. I used to be a tester for a short while, and I still love the ‘Aha!’-moments you get from it.

Secondly, it’s super rewarding when, at the end of development, you see that the product or feature works as it should and makes a difference for someone using it. For example, as I’m mainly focusing on internal customers, it’s lovely to get positive feedback from a colleague, saying that the feature we built makes their work simpler and faster.

And finally, it’s gratifying to see the whole team develop and improve week after week. To really start getting this ‘one team’- feeling and going from Storming to Norming and then Performing😊

And what makes being a Product Manager at Bondora awesome?

The people, the challenges, and the possibility to drive change. And obviously, the free cakes 😀

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

My love affair with technology began at an early age. My first computer was an old Atari that my mom snagged from Sweden, complete with a floppy disk drive and a box of games. I was instantly hooked! I upgraded to a ‘modern’ P.C. in middle school, but my addiction to computer games (like Heroes of Might and Magic 3) seriously derailed my schoolwork.

 To keep me in check, my mom had an I.T. guy slap a BIOS password on the computer. But, being the curious kid that I was, I figured out how to bypass it by taking out the battery – and the rest is history!

I worked my way up from customer/tech support to Tester and Scrum Master to Business Analyst to Product Management. I love the challenge of this industry, and I’m always learning something new 👩‍💻

‘I can’t start work before I…’ 

… get a good sip of coffee☕ It’s my one vital ritual that helps me get cracking on with my work. I’m terrible at remembering to drink the rest, so that first sip is extra essential.

What programming language is your favorite and why?

To me, it seems that it’s like asking if one prefers a screwdriver or a hammer 🔨 It depends on the job at hand. As someone who’s not a developer, the most important thing to me is clean, well-tested code that works smoothly and provides value. Regardless of the programming language, I always hope we’ve reduced tech debt instead of creating more!

What is your best investment advice?

Start yesterday and embrace the boring! Max out your third pension pillar to maximize that tax incentive. Then, put the rest into some index fund and resist the urge to check on it – especially during a recession constantly. If you want to add some excitement, set aside a bit of ‘fun money’ to play with, but treat it like a lottery, and don’t rely on it as your primary investment.

Best cybersecurity/IT tip?

If you’re looking for a surefire way to keep your digital life secure, my top tip is to become a hermit and never go online. Just kidding! In all seriousness, using a password manager and practicing good cyber hygiene, like not clicking on suspicious links, using two-factor authentication, and avoiding public Wi-Fi, are great ways to keep your data safe.

Also, educate your elders and kids about good cyber hygiene and phishing schemes. One quote I like about data privacy is: ‘If you’re getting something for free, you are the product ‘ – be sure to remember that.

Best meme that sums up being a Product Manager?

Let’s get to know Eva-Stina even better!

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

Having free time as a mother of three is a challenge in itself. However, I mostly enjoy watching some Netflix or hiking with my husband. We also love trying out new restaurants as we’re total foodies😋 I also occasionally play some video games.

What are your favorite games to play?

To be honest, nowadays, I am mostly playing some PS4 Lego games with my son. Otherwise, I’ve always been a P.C. gamer, and some of my favorites are Heroes of Might and Magic 3 & 5, Civilization 4 & 5, Dragon Age 1 & 2, The Witcher 3, Skyrim, and Neverwinter Nights 2.

Which game have you clocked the most hours with on Steam?

Civilization 5

Bacon: yay or nay? 

If it’s good bacon 🥓✨ then yay!

What’s your favorite TV show/podcast?

I’m watching the second season of Clarkson’s Farm on Amazon right now – it’s highly entertaining, I recommend it. Other favorites include Scrubs, I.T. Crowd, Severance, Sinner, and Comedians in Cars getting Coffee.

I recently started listening to a new podcast called The Huberman Lab – it’s super exciting and educational.

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

Lo-fi hip-hop channel is a recent favorite. During work, I avoid listening to music with lyrics to concentrate better. Pärnoja has some amazing instrumental music that’s just perfect for brainwork🧠

Do you have any pets?

I have 3 cats. Yes, you read it correctly, three🐈🐈‍🐈 It wasn’t exactly planned like that, but life is funny that way sometimes. They are horrible rascals, and I love them dearly🥰

Editor's comment: prepare for cat cuteness!
Editor’s comment: prepare for cat cuteness!

What superpower would you like to have and why?

The ability to learn and memorize anything at a glance or to get the effect of 8 full hours of sleep in just a few minutes would be amazing. There would suddenly be so much extra time.

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

Going on long plane trip✈️ with all of my three kids🧒🧒🧒.

If you made it this far, it’s sadly time to say goodbye. Eva-Stina is a true superhero, and we’re thrilled to have her on our team!

Bondora supports remote work (with a smartwork badge to prove it) and welcomes Superheroes from around the globe to join us. If you’re interested in becoming the next Bondora Superhero 🦸‍♀️ head over to our Careers Page to check out our open positions. Join us again next month to meet our 32nd Bondora Superhero!

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