The Head of Training Department of CIENCE, Kate Hrebeniuk, joined CIENCE in June 2015. Her first role in the company was a researcher just like everyone else. She has Master’s Degree in Sociology. Kate is intelligent, outgoing, and always willing to help. She establishes rapport with people easily. In addition to that, her memory is remarkable. She’s pretty much a priceless library of facts about our company.
I was 21 when I got this job, and I was getting my Master’s Degree at the time. This was one of the reasons why I went to the interview in the first place – the office was located near my University (Kyiv Mohyla Academy). In June, we were working with our first client, FiveStars.
CIENCE development in 2015
Soon enough, the project ran its course, and we began searching new clients. We offered prospects test leads free of charge. My job was to generate them. Finally, we got our second, third and fourth clients: BayPay Forum, Glint, and MatterMark. They were assigned to our first SDRs – Anna, Diana, and Vova, respectively. The company began growing fast, and we hired many people. In December, management introduced a career plan: from a Researcher to a Team Captain and then to a Team Manager. I remember we gave up on our New Year’s bonus so that we could use that money to invite newcomers to a corporate event. The company was growing really fast, and we had many new people.
Turning into a coach
As we were relocating people to new projects, I was still working with FiveStars. I also began training newcomers along with Julia. It was a volunteer job. Nobody paid us extra money for it. However, I liked it. I’ve always wanted to be a lecturer, in order to teach people. My dream was now slowly coming true. In early spring 2016, I was promoted to a Team Captain. I was still working on the FiveStars project and training new staff. In May, I became a Team Manager and had my first Team Captain, Sergey Biriukov. I continued with the research for our first client and coaching. During the summer, I received two assistants. In winter 2017, the company understood that we needed a team of trainers whom would be doing only this job. That’s when FiveStars project was taken away from me and passed on to the researchers. We unified all the coaching practices we had and created unified training courses for researchers, sales assistants, and sales development reps. I became the Head of the Training Department.
Back in 2015, one of our managers called me and said he was going to fire a worker. There were two candidates. He told me to write all the pros and cons of each of them and then pick one. Needless to say, it was very hard. However, I told him that any person could be trained, and I asked him to give them a chance. As a result, they stayed at CIENCE, and eventually grew to Customer Success Managers!
As a coach and Head of the Training Department, I sometimes have to go beyond the mere research or sales development training. Once I gave a master’s class on how to use an electric kettle. It’s because this particular kitchen appliance was very picky, and you needed to treat it in a very specific way to make it work.
CIENCE back then
I remember that the management at Leadware was controlling and authoritative. For example, we had software that tracked how much we were working during the day, and we also had to work on Saturdays from time to time. It was pretty funny but hard. Now we have much more loyal management, and it’s for the best. Total control is rarely efficient.
I’ve learned many things, and I’m still doing it. First of all, I now have knowledge and understanding of people, and how to motivate them. I became more stress resistant, and I don’t take negative feedback personally anymore. I’ve learned how to build something from scratch, and how to work with different types of personalities. As a coach and the Head of the Training Department, I’ve coached many people. I’ve been a gate to CIENCE for dozens of SAs and researchers all this time. I took way too personally and painfully if anyone left, and I tried to retain everyone while I fought for them. This wasn’t my wisest decision. Eventually, I learned how to let go, and how not to give people a “third chance.” I became pickier and started sorting people by their skills during the training. In addition to that, I began to demand more.