Women in Tech: Maria Karandin
Customertimes is fortunate to have some incredible women on our team. They’re industry leaders, trailblazers, and technology innovators, and they help us deliver outstanding business results day in and day out.
We’re using this series to introduce them and give them a chance to share why they love what they do. Up next: Maria Karandin, Country Head for CT Ukraine.
Title: Country Head
Location: Kyiv, Ukraine
Years with CT: 3
Customertimes: Hi Maria! We’re so excited to talk with you. Let’s start with your career background. How did you end up at CT?
Maria Karandin: I got a master's degree in Physics and started my PhD studies, but I quickly realized that I was more interested in dealing with people than with formulas. Since part of my master's program was related to programming, I decided to try my hand at IT, and after 22 years, I’m still doing it! I started in the IT department at Ericsson Russia, worked at an ambitious Israeli startup, and then joined a small IT outsourcing company that turned out to be one of the key players in the Ukrainian IT market, GlobalLogic.
I began my management career at GlobalLogic and held several roles there, including Test Manager, Project Manager, and AVP, Engineering. Ultimately, I decided to take a sabbatical and then try something new, which is when I discovered CT. CT is an ambitious company, and I loved that they had a versatile and strong mission that allowed me to implement my ideas around business processes.
Since I joined CT in 2018, the CT Ukraine headcount has more than tripled. We’ve established strong working processes, added great new customers, and in my opinion, we’ve been pretty successful.
CT: What are your responsibilities at CT?
MK: I am the Country Head for Ukraine, so I’m responsible for building highly skilled teams of IT professionals that can exceed client expectations. I’m also responsible for planning, risk assessment, and forecasting, as well as project staffing. I’m able to play a significant role in establishing processes and enhancing our approaches so we can efficiently meet the needs of the business.
CT: Why are you passionate about your career?
MK: I love technology, and I love the people who build solutions based on technology!
CT: Were you always interested in a career in technology, or did you have other plans when you were younger?
MK: I had been planning a career in science since I was in middle school, but I’m happy to have switched to IT.
CT: Why is technology an exciting vertical right now?
MK: Technology has completely changed our lifestyle! Modern people cannot live without technology – they need more and more of it, and they need technology solutions that make their lives easier, their work more effective, and their communication more advanced.
CT: What would you tell women who are considering a career in technology?
MK: Be brave and be ready to work hard. Some people are still skeptical about a woman’s ability to build a successful career in tech. You shouldn’t care about that! Just do your best and win.
CT: What sort of training/education do you recommend for tech careers?
MK: A bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, IT, or Information Systems is a great start. You must also be fluent in English, so look for English classes if you’re not a native speaker.
CT: Is there someone who has been instrumental in helping you reach your current position?
MK: I have had several influential mentors over the years. Finding someone who inspires you is an excellent way to advance your career and help you see what’s possible.
CT: How do you maintain a work/life balance?
MK:This has always been complicated, especially since my husband and I have three kids. We’ve established some simple rules to help us survive.
1) Family dinner - This is an important time to get together, discuss the day, and enjoy each other. Of course, sometimes it doesn’t go smoothly in families, but we should keep trying.
2) Free time - Everyone needs personal time that’s free from work, family, and home responsibilities. Even 20 minutes a day is helpful.
3) Hobbies - You must have a hobby to switch up your normal routine. My hobbies are reading, skiing, and traveling – I've visited 44 countries, most of them with kids. Our kids are nearly grown now, and since I have a bit more time for myself, I’ve added dancing! I’m learning the tango.