Meet Ivan, Hornet’s Product Manager Based in Ukraine
Have you ever wanted to peek behind the scenes of your favorite app? At Hornet, we are thrilled to introduce you to the backbone of our company — our fantastic team. We want you to meet our team, and if we spark your interest and you feel the same passion as we do for our product, apply for one of our open positions.
Meet Ivan, Hornet’s product manager from Ukraine, who at one time was just a Hornet user!
Hey Ivan! Tell us about yourself and your role at Hornet.
I’m from Ukraine and work as a product manager at Hornet. Product manager is a role responsible for new features development that involves research, brainstorming, planning, scheduling and overlooking the whole process of new development.
What would you say is special about your time at Hornet?
My story at Hornet is quite special. Around five years ago, I was just a user. I received a message from Hornet saying they were hiring, and I didn’t even expect it to work out. I just filled in the application, and I got an answer. Then I had an interview with Roman [Hornet’s back-office lead] and then Gerry [Hornet’s head of operations], and then I got hired. So it was a very unexpected moment for me.
My story at Hornet started with a different position. I worked on our back-office team as a moderator. Every year I received a promotion, and again, it was entirely unexpected for me. So my story is: I still can’t believe that I could grow into a product manager from a moderator as I had never worked in tech before. By education, I am a manager of tourism. My love for the app and my love for the community just helped me and pushed me forward.
As you know, I’m from Ukraine, and working for a company that not only allows me to be who I am but also celebrates that has been an amazing experience. It has been life-changing for me because I can talk to my boss, knowing that my boss does not dislike me for who I am but is happy that I am me. So yeah, for me, it was very special. And still is, when I think about it. It’s still special until this day.
Like all Hornet team members, you work remotely. Have you been able to meet many of your colleagues?
The first meet-up happened when I had just joined Hornet. It took place in Barcelona; I met our CEO Christof and Gerry, the head of our Support Team. The next meet-up was in Cape Town, where I met all the engineers. The next was in Brazil in 2018, where I met basically everyone who worked for Hornet, because it was an all-hands meet-up. The whole company met there, and it was really crazy and exciting to be in São Paulo. And now, due to the pandemic, we haven’t met in two years, but we will meet again soon.
What do you love most about your job?
This culture of acceptance and working for an LGBTQ app is great because I’m a part of the community. But I also appreciate things like remote work because this is an excellent opportunity to manage our lives the way we want to. Some people travel, some people can go visit their parents and still work. We work from all around the world. We are basically in all European countries and in South Africa and the United States and in Asia, which is great. I think our company gives us a lot of freedom!
What are you passionate about outside of work?
Recently, I started to be very passionate about gardening. Due to the pandemic, I moved back to the town where my grandmother lived, and we have quite a lot of land here. So I decided to plant berries; I planted so many and so many different varieties. I get really passionate about it. Some people in the village have thought I had a business idea because they saw me running around the whole land. It doesn’t require a lot of supervision from my side, but it’s also one more reason why it’s great to work at Hornet. I can just take my laptop and go to work from my garden house.
What do you think visitors should do, see, and eat when visiting Ukraine?
You definitely need to try local dishes, because Ukrainian cuisine is super tasty. Like maybe you’ve heard about borscht. It’s a beet soup, but it’s remarkably thick. We eat it with sour cream. And I would recommend trying potato pancakes, which we call deruny. And also visit the Carpathian mountains. It’s so wild, because we don’t have a lot of tourists in Ukraine. I would recommend meeting the local people, which is sure to be a crazy experience. They will make you eat and drink a lot.