As part of LoopMe’s Ukraine Support Month, August’s employee spotlights will feature Ukrainian employees, who tell us more about themselves and share their experiences of life in Ukraine since February 2022.
Who are you?
What is your name and job title?
My name is Artem Koscheev. I’m a Project Manager in the Data Science team.
What is your role at LoopMe?
My role at LoopMe is to help the Data Science team work effectively on planned projects with no miscommunication between teams.
Do you have any hobbies?
Oh! A lot! Right now I am focused on reading (I prefer sci-fi and fantasy) and board games (and I’m not talking about Monopoly or Alias).
What is your superpower?
Well. As a normal Ukrainian guy I have some not one. But my favorite is my communication superpower.
What is a place that you are most excited to visit in your lifetime?
Hard to say. As of now I’d like to visit the Highlands in Scotland.
Life in Ukraine
Can you talk about your experience the past 18 months?
For the past 18 months, I have been switching between my part-time job at LoopMe and military service in the Armed Forces of Ukraine. As a mobilized soldier in the Territorial Defence of the AFU, I took part in full-scale war in Ukraine, mostly in defence operations. While in service, I reached the rank of corporal according to the NATO classification. I was a detachment leader and an instructor. When I had free time, I spent it helping the Data Science team handle projects and communication with other LoopMe teams. My family stayed in Ukraine, so when I left the forces recently I was reunited with them. And I was very happy to see them again.
What do you want your colleagues outside of Ukraine to understand?
Disclaimer: I do not intend to blame, offend or criticize anybody at LoopMe. This is my personal opinion and message, and does not reflect the opinions or thoughts of other people.
What do I want you to understand? Everything is real. Ukraine and the people in Ukraine are living in a period of war. You read about these periods in history textbooks or in literature. Or maybe you watch them in TV series or movies. For me, all these stories have become reality. I do not want any of you to go through the same experience and to gain this level of understanding. Please just take into account that every day in Ukraine people are killed and injured intentionally and with the blessing of the people of the Russian Federation. And some of your colleagues or their families could be next.
Secondly, I’d like to talk about the emotional aspect of my previous point. For now the question ‘How are you?’ is no longer a polite way to begin a conversation. Be ready to hear the real feelings and thoughts of the person you’re talking to. To give you some context here, we do not have a lot of professional psychological help here due to our history and culture, so some emotional things might be thrown at you. Sometimes it will be enough just to hear an answer which differs from “I’m fine – and you?” and show your feelings or attitude towards the situation. And that’s it. Let’s say it is a Ukrainian part of cultural diversity in LoopMe.
And, lastly, keep in mind that some basic needs here could be unavailable. I mean, rockets are still falling on our homes, so we might be having trouble sleeping, or with our gas, water or electricity supplies, or even suffering with our health. This does not lead to a lot of positive emotions, to be honest. As far as I can tell, we try to avoid bringing these problems to the office, but sometimes we just can’t. If you need to speak with someone in the Ukraine office, please check to see if there have been any strikes in the area.
How do you feel supported by LoopMe?
First of all, LoopMe still gives me a job! It is an amazing thing! Also the people I work with – my team and my manager – give me a lot of emotional support. And I think that’s an authentic part of LoopMe’s business culture. So thank you, LoopMe, for that.
Life at LoopMe
Why did you decide to join LoopMe?
“I was young and I needed money” LoopMe needed a person with good communication skills and a background in both analytics and project management, so I thought why not.
Why did you decide to work in this industry?
There are not many ways to earn a middle class income in Ukraine without dealing with corrupt authorities. IT is one of them.
What motivates you to come to work?
The people around me motivate me to come to work. As well as the interesting, challenging things that happen every day.