Iva Nikolova is part of the Scalefocus’ Мarketing team which hosts a plethora of creative, digital-loving people. She is also the only Event Manager in the company, who takes care of the organization of business-related events and campaigns – now, mostly in a digital environment. Below, she shares a bit of her world, inspirations, and working in the eye of the storm in the Covid-19 era.
On how she ended up in IT
My name is Iva Nikolova and I was born and raised in Sofia. After spending 6 years in Germany studying Economics & Law and working part-time as an intern at a Congress & Events center, I decided to come back to Bulgaria and start my professional career here. By that time, I knew that law was certainly not my true calling and my passion for organizing events was going to be the leading force in my life.
On her role at Scalefocus
I have been working at Scalefocus for two years now. I started as part of the Employer Branding team in 2019, where I have been leading the organization of employee-related events and CSR initiatives. One year ago, I was offered the opportunity to become part of the Marketing team and to take over business-related events and campaigns. Then Covid-19 came and turned everything we know in the event business upside down, so we had to adapt and go completely digital. We needed to think fast in the eye of the storm and adapt quickly.
On her career
I have worked in several advertising agencies throughout the years, and I always wanted to see what it is like to be on the other side – to be the client and do things in-house and following a complex strategy, rather than working on a project base. Scalefocus seemed like the perfect challenge at the time – the biggest software company in Bulgaria, with over 700 employees, in a fast-moving sector with dynamic changes, and a need for fast adaptability.
On her favorite memory while with the company
I got to celebrate my 28th birthday during Scalefocus’ last Christmas party (in 2019). I have never had 500 guests on my birthday before!
On her favorite project
I can’t pick just one. I have favorite moments from each project – these are the times when I see people having fun and enjoying the work my team and I have put for months before the event.
On why she likes her team
Because there are my ride-or-die.
In my line of work no man is capable enough to do everything and deliver on time without the effort of at least 5 more people no matter the project size.
On how she deals with hardships
People. People are my strongest weapon, and they help me get through any struggle I stumble upon in life.
On the best piece of advice for people in her field
To not be afraid of failure, because it is part of the job and it mostly happens in the most critical times no matter how perfect everything has been planned. Crisis management is part of the job and you better have the nerves for it 🙂
On her workday
My workday usually starts with a to-do plan and catch-up on all high-priority tasks for the day. I communicate with a lot of stakeholders and vendors on a regular basis and WFH is not an issue, since all my projects have gone digital. I am currently multitasking between preparation for a webinar, a couple of awards entries, a hackathon sponsorship, and several small-scale event plug-ins.
A few years ago, I discovered yoga and it has been helping me recharge and clear my mind after a long day ever since. When I get the chance, I also do small weekend trips and visit new places, even if it’s just for a couple of hours. The change of scenery instantly takes my mind of the everyday struggles. Wine is also very helpful when the above two fail to deliver. And I like sneakers. I’m kind of a sneaker-addict.
I’m a bit of a foodie and I like to cook as it keeps my hands busy and gets me a lot of compliments as well (heh). I do love the whole process, maybe because it is very organized and neat, and if you follow all the steps precisely – it will inevitably bring you some great results (kind of like the preparation for an event).
My newly-found Covid-19-hobby is painting by numbers. Yeah, sounds like a grandma club activity, but it helps me unwind and turn off, which after a day spent in phone calls with all kinds of vendors (print houses, event venues, guest speakers, PR agencies, etc.) is the best remedy ever.
On the most important lesson of 2020
Take more time and devote it to your loved ones.
It sounds cheesy, but obviously, it takes a pandemic to make you realize that we don’t have so much time as we thought.