Daiva Vencevičiūtė is a Data Engineer within the Client Services Team who lives in Lithuania. Upon completing her Belfast-based 6-month placement, Daiva returned to Lithuania to complete her degree. Since returning, she works with us on a part-time basis.
We thought we would grab her for a chat to find out all about her placement, her involvement with the company now, how she came across the company, what her goals are and how she navigates working remotely from thousands of miles away. It was an absolute pleasure to chat with Daiva. Let’s dive right in…
Daiva, just to begin, how did you come across Datactics?
It’s a very interesting story! I have an awesome professor (who always has suggestions for students) that told me about a role in the UK. After reading a job description, I thought, why not get in touch? I then proceeded to apply and then an interview was scheduled with Elspeth, Stuart, Ruta, and Josh. I was very nervous, and I was not speaking in my native language! The interview was sometime in October (in Vilnius!) and by the beginning of February, I was in Belfast.
What did you study?
I studied a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics. My educational background wasn’t related to Data directly and I have found in my role as a Data Engineer that I have had to learn from the beginning. Having the background knowledge of languages does help but you can learn on the job. I felt very lucky to secure a placement in Belfast.
Why did you join Datactics?
What attracted you to the role? I was keen to travel, and I thought why not go for different opportunities (I knew that one Lithuanian girl was working in Datactics which made me feel more at home.). Stephen and I joined on the same day, so we embarked on learning the capabilities of Flow Designer and DQM together. I remember one of the projects I worked on involved helping Mattias who was working on a LEI based project, and he needed help with manual review. Settling in took a while, but I loved the patience that was ingrained within the team. I was able to learn at my own pace, and I was supported in doing so.
What parts of the role did you find challenging originally?
When I began, I had no idea what a SQL was! Having people around me in the team that I could ask made a huge difference in the early stages. When I began in my role, I took my first support call, and I was so nervous due to not being able to decipher the accent on the other end of the call. That was terrifying but it got easier!
What did you enjoy the most about placement?
We have the social committee which I enjoy being a part of! I enjoy working with the team. I worked closely with Daire initially on various projects; we do our job, but we laugh and have fun! I keep learning, and the best part is getting to do things I have never done before. Half the battle is starting; learning comes with time.
How do you manage to work from home? Any tips or tricks?
There are advantages and disadvantages to working from home. I enjoy the interaction in person, so this would be a downside to working remotely. However, working remotely enables greater flexibility. It allows you to have your own space. Due to COVID-19, it would be hard for me to travel, but I thoroughly enjoy visiting Belfast (and wish I could visit more!). I love being on the social committee as it allows me to stay connected to the people. Hosting the pub quizzes has allowed me to stay in the loop with everyone. A tip to manage to work from home would be to make sure you are in regular contact with your team members and attempt to get involved with the social activities within the company. It helps you get to know people, and it makes you feel part of the team despite being remote.
So, Daiva, what are your goals? (Long term/Short term)
I want to be able to use the analytical skills I have gained from my Economic Analysis background to improve my ability to program. I also want to actively improve programming. I believe the hard work is in the beginning when you need to prepare the data, it is easier when you have IT skills, so I am continuing to learn. In the team I am in, change is constant so being able to adapt and to adapt quickly is key, but I am glad to be in a team that allows you to take your time to learn. And finally I want to keep my role on the social committee as I thoroughly enjoy being involved with it!
Daiva, you work remotely from thousands of miles away in Lithuania, what are your top tips for remote working?
Have a cat! I would say it’s good to have calls with other people as it helps to ensure you don’t feel excluded. I would also say planning your day is helpful; if you plan your day, it helps you focus as home is full of distractions. If you have an agenda for the day, it helps you to keep routine. When I began working from home, I felt a need to reply to people in seconds and be active 24/7. This was so I always seemed reachable. Over time, I did change this when I realised that I didn’t need to prove I was active all the time. Initially, working from home could feel more distracting but over time I found a schedule that worked for me (my cat even makes a regular appearance in the daily team stand up call!).