Kate Zhuravel started working in Dnipro - our first site in Ukraine - when Wix had only 30 people in the country. Today, when they number over 700 and the Dnipro site is growing fast, we talked with her about the site’s special vibe and the opportunities it has to offer
Wix’s Dnipro offices were our first in Ukraine. They were opened in 2011 and throughout the years became an important innovation hub for the company - home for Engineering, UX, and QA experts. In 2016, Wix opened a new site in Kyiv - our biggest in the country - and lately we’ve expanded also to Lviv. But Dnipro is still growing.
We used this opportunity to speak with Kate Zhuravel, who is one of our HR Partners in Dnipro and also in charge of local growth. When Kate joined Wix in May 2014, the company had about 30 people in Ukraine, all working from Dnipro. Today, over 700 people work in the country.
Like many others at Wix, Kate didn’t have a tech background before she joined. “I was a marketing student and worked as a part-time manager of a coffee shop. One day a friend came back from an interview at a company that turned out to be Wix”, she recalls. “The way she spoke about that company made me curious about it”.
What appealed to you about Wix?
“I think it was the opportunity to be a part of a growing global company that has an amazing product and was represented in Ukraine. I liked the fact that if you work at Wix you have the ability to influence the lives of so many people. It was really interesting for me to peek behind the curtain and see how a big tech company operates and how the people inside of it make it so successful and I just wanted to be a part of this group of people”.
Back then, Wix’s presence in Ukraine was still small, but it was growing fast and Kate’s schedule was eclectic and busy – from locating new office spaces and taking care of travel arrangements to helping with growth efforts. “After a few months I understood that what I was enjoying the most was meeting candidates and helping with their onboarding, and since Wix’s focus was on growing the team, I had a chance to fully move into this position in HR – first focusing on recruitment and then also participating in HR activities. Today I’m responsible for our Dnipro offices and I’m an HR Partner for over 100 amazing people here”.
How is Wix different from other international companies operating in Dnipro?
“I think that what’s special about Wix is how much it can still preserve the human touch in everything it does. We will always put people in the center, meaning that the thought of our users, our people and the community are a part of, guides what we do. Besides that, and despite being a large international company - we have more than 4,500 employees worldwide now – we still make sure to keep a start-up vibe and do everything with flexibility. Not many companies manage to do that on a large scale.
“What’s special about Dnipro is that there’s a family atmosphere here. We’re not as big as the Kyiv site, but we’re holding our position in terms of impact on the company. Our site grew very gradually and new experts joined teams with people who have been working with Wix for several years already, so they were really into the company’s culture and were able to infuse their friends with it”.
How did you learn how to do the HR job?
“I was lucky to work with very talented people and I’ve learned on the go. We think a lot about everything that we do but I think many of it is a result of practice - you try, you fail and you learn from it. One of Wix’s values is that we allow failure and I really believe in it. I think that opportunities at Wix arrive quite often and during my time here I’ve witnessed them, and new opportunities just keep coming. We always try to find the best match for people’s aspirations, and luckily for me, while I found out that I’m attracted to facilitate this growth and to bring more talent to Wix, HR also had a need for it”.
Did you personally grow since you took this role?
“Sure. At Wix you’re given much freedom, but it comes with a lot of responsibility so it keeps you growing. Of course 2020 was another big challenge. We had to redesign many of our routines and the way we do things and it’s been an ongoing transformation ever since”.
Do the cultural differences between people in different countries pose a challenge?
“I think that this is the most beautiful thing around diversity. In order to have a broader view of things, you need people from different places and with different personalities and perspectives. They all contribute their share and that’s what makes Wix such a melting pot of people and ideas”.
In Ukraine, is this a type of work culture common?
“It can take time for some people to believe that it’s real since we have a pretty different work environment than what most people here are used to. Some of them have heard from friends that Wix is known for encouraging people to feel at home and grow in order to fulfill themselves and express their full potential. Once you understand the Wix way - and for me it’s the way our values guide us through making big and small decisions - you get hooked and might just fall in love”.
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