A linguist at heart, Yuliia Pozniak didn't even suspect she'd become a marketer one day. Nor was she expecting it to be such a thrilling experience.
Like many at UP42, Yuliia was faced with a surprising twist in her career. And if the adage "what you seek is seeking you" holds true, the event may have been somewhat fated.
Let's unearth the rest of the story together, shall we?
Q: Tell us about yourself. What's your role at UP42, and how did you get there?
A: I'm a digital marketer at UP42. My way into marketing was completely unexpected and definitively not an easy one. I studied Linguistics and Literature (English and Spanish) at the Kyiv National Linguistics University, and taught languages for over five years before moving to Germany with my family. Once in Berlin, I tried really, really hard to find a job that had some kind of connection to languages. To be honest, I was already feeling way too comfortable in my role as a teacher and didn't want to work as a freelancer anymore. It took me eight months and over 200 applications to land my first job in Germany...
Q: What kind of job was it?
A: It was a temporary "entrepreneur in residence" role in a small marketing startup with a big idea. I was very excited because it was totally new for me. Suddenly, I found myself dealing with online marketing with no previous knowledge. It only lasted three months, but that's all I needed to get a taste of what marketing looked like. And I loved it! I decided to learn more and took online courses to build my skills. So yes, I'm self-taught, but on the flip side, had I studied these things ten years ago at university, they would have already been outdated by now.
Q: What helped you the most in this career transition?
A: I think my background in linguistics was a game-changer because it gave me a deeper understanding of messaging and all the nuances of copy. I was also very fortunate to have hands-on experience to show me how it's done. In my following job at a tech company, during the first year, I was the only one in my department handling all aspects of marketing. In one year alone, I had to learn everything -- paid search, paid social media, email marketing, landing pages and whatnot. I was overwhelmed, but I chose to work weekends and evenings. It was my only chance to learn more, and I'm really grateful for that.
Q: And that's when UP42 came along...
A: As I said, I was completely immersed in my work and didn't consider looking for another job. About two years later, though, I received a message from a recruiter on LinkedIn. At first, I ignored it, but I felt it was an opportunity to grow. Two weeks after, I scrolled through my LinkedIn messages, and when I opened the UP42 website, I thought: "WOW!" I never knew you could buy satellite data online, and UP42 looked like a very cool company. So I reached out, showing my enthusiasm (and crossing my fingers it wasn't too late!) The interview process blew my mind. I knew deep inside that those were people I wanted to work with and could learn a ton from. And I'm happy to report it's still like this: at the risk of sounding cheesy, I just love my team.
Q: But why marketing? What do you like so much about it?
A: I've always been passionate about business and art. Marketing sits right in the middle. You must be creative when you build a campaign, not just in numbers and metrics. It's also about presenting an idea and amazing the audience.
Q: Did you have a role model growing up that inspired your creativity?
A: Of course, my family and best friend are my biggest source of inspiration. My mom, in particular, played an important role. Every night, she would read me books that took me on grand adventures in faraway lands. As a child, I used to love the Moomins; their characters were so free and independent, and any little thing could be the start of something. I'm still very much like that, inspired by the little things in life. In my free time, I make art, and my best creations are the ones I create with my mother.
Q: You are also a mother. How do you manage your work/life balance?
A: I don't (laughs). But working from home allows me to see my son when he comes from school, and spend more time chatting with him. It would be tough for me to return to work full time from an office as I would miss out on my family. This is the right balance.
Q: What was one of the most difficult challenges you had to overcome at UP42?
A: On the one hand, I was very grateful to have had enough time, in the beginning, to read about satellite data. It helped me build more confidence in talking about the product. I also had access to knowledge through my colleagues, who were always willing to answer my questions. However, when I started working at UP42, I only handled paid social media. I was very familiar with campaign metrics and planning, but the strategic aspect wasn't very easy for me to grasp. Now, almost two years later, I can see how these metrics fit into the bigger picture, and it's an empowering feeling.
Q: What's next for you at UP42?
A: I'm excited to see the platform grow. The more partners we bring to the marketplace, the more our audience grows -- and this adds more flavor to my daily work. How do we target these new businesses we haven't engaged with yet?
Q: Any word of advice for those who are looking for a job in Berlin?
A: Be persistent, and don't be afraid! At some point, I literally had to knock on doors with my CV at hand, and as much as I understand, in hindsight, how that could be frowned upon, I never gave up. If you keep learning and searching, sooner or later, the right opportunity will knock at your door, instead.