Olesya Chubotaru: how to combine two big hobbies and the position of the head of the acquisition department of Lanius Toys
Our #peopleofgrafit section tells about employees that became successful not only in their work but outside of it, too. The heroine of today's interview is Olesya Chubotaru, the head of the acquisition department of the Lanius Toys project. She told us where she gets her strength and inspiration from for her two hobbies – a decorative terrarium creation workshop and a psychological help group. And, we also found out how she had become a part of the Grafit Holding team.
Who is Olesya Chubotaru and what is her story before joining Grafit Holding?
Olesya Chubotaru is a workaholic :) I love working even more than those 8 hours I spend in the office. As for what I'm currently doing, I am the head of the acquisition department in Lanius Toys. Our project deals with selling the surplus production in the area of children's toys from the large global brands. I am leading a female team that I really love working with. Honestly, I never thought that I'm going to be related to the sales area. The thing is I graduated from the Faculty of Foreign Languages with a degree in Interpretation into French and English languages and planned to become a professional translator.

My first job was rather serious at the moment. The company that hired me as an interpreter was representing an exclusive French brand on the Moldavian market. You could say that my dream of becoming a translator became true just the way I had imagined, meeting foreign delegations in a formal suit and shirt. This made quite an impression on me for the time being.

Although I was a newbie, I managed to communicate with the partners that were visiting during exhibitions and for auditing rather well. This helped me to get better with the language and get rid of the fear of talking in a foreign language. Everyone's afraid of speaking another language with mistakes, but we show understanding when we hear the French or the English speak Romanian incorrectly and we appreciate that they are trying to communicate with us in our language. Foreigners have the same attitude towards us when we are learning to speak.

After a while, I started working on a private channel, where I was doing subtitles for films and serious shows that required special vocabulary. This was a dream job, but it was awfully paid for :) There, I improved my communication skills and trained my patience, which I was lacking, because I'm naturally inclined towards spontaneous decisions.
When did you come to Grafit Holding?
I started my career in the holding from scratch. Everything that I brought with me was the knowledge of French and English languages. This is why I started as a junior manager, like every other person that starts working in the company. Initially, in 2012, I got in the SovaMax project that just started and had just 4 people in the acquisition department, including me.

I was learning absolutely new things on the new job: accounting, negotiation, logistics, and management, all of which helped me to grow as a professional. I will also note that I was very lucky in terms of my project manager/director – Olga Maxim: a super cool specialist and a very strong person that was an example to me and to whom I am very thankful for the support and independence that she had given me. She understood right away that I am a naturally freedom-loving person that has to be provided with liberty, so I could unleash my potential.

The adaptation period in SovaMax wasn't easy for me. In my previous jobs, I worked independently and at my own discretion, but here, I had to work as a team player and carry on the role of a manager, which was unusual to me. I didn't have any results for the first 2 months. I watched how my colleagues were closing deals, how they were already having their customer lists, while I had none of that. I was discouraged and wrote to Olga, saying, "I think I won't succeed." The only thing she wrote back to me was, "I don't want to hear anything like this again." And this somehow magically gave me strength. You could say that I spread my wings wide. From that moment and on, I went through all the stages in 8 years: from a newbie to the head of acquisition.
I was discouraged and wrote to Olga, saying, "I think I won't succeed." The only thing she wrote back to me was, "I don't want to hear anything like this again." And this somehow magically gave me strength.
But since life is not just about work, what are you doing in your spare time? What are your hobbies?
My life after work and on weekends isn't any less active compared to when I'm working. Since 2016 I am dealing with a personal project – a decorative terrarium creation workshop. These are compositions made of glass, rocks, and beautiful plants. At first, I was quite comfortable working alone, modeling, and creating these wonderful terrariums, but it turned out I like teamwork better. Initially, I was working on custom orders, but then I realized that our market might need terrarium creation masterclasses. Since we have culinary workshops and various masterclasses, why shouldn't there be something like that?

I decided to not leave it as just an idea and explored all of the available information. I believe that you have to be competent in the sphere that you want to be a professional in and share your knowledge with someone. Besides, launching such classes helped me to meet a lot of interesting people, improve my communication skills as well as organizational skills.

Being a person that pays attention to detail, I like watching the processes, especially how master-class participants create their works. After I explain what they have to do, I'm giving them full freedom just like I was taught in Grafit. I love watching how each of them focuses, what they do, and how they get involved in the process. And the most interesting thing is how differently people can do the same thing.

A completed terrarium is an individual project. After completing it, the participants return home being very happy – they've created a masterpiece, found peace mind, and relaxed. I like showing people that they are interesting, capable and that they can be proud of themselves.

The second project – the psychotherapeutic support group – appeared spontaneously. I was inspired to create it by Laurent Baffie's "Toc Toc" play, whose characters were people that had made an appointment with a psychotherapist. And while they were waiting for their turns, they were openly telling about their problems to each other. I started wondering, "Why can't we have something like this?" Just as with the previous idea, I didn't leave it be and started examining in detail: what is out there in the world, what do we have, and how is it possible to arrange it.

It turned out that we have various support groups. And this is very good. Right now, especially in the period of the pandemic, we are suffering from a lack of live communication. People started living virtually, but I believe that we have to meet and talk in the flesh. So, I decided to arrange such a group.

Later, I told about the idea to my friend, who was a psychologist. She supported me and we agreed that I am going to be responsible for meeting arrangements and she, as a professional psychologist, is going to support the participants. This is when our "I Have Friends" group appeared with anonymous meetings that can be attended both by people with problems and people that enjoy life and want to share it with others. The thing is that by talking to strangers you can sometimes share something you wouldn't share with your loved ones. I am glad about the fact that people are coming and opening up, telling about themselves, their lives, and successes, and I see that they like it. And what's more important is that this is helpful. No one is obliged to tell anything, you can just come to our meetings and listen to other people.
And why are you doing this?
I can't tell exactly. I am a very open person, I like communicating, and I love helping people. Unfortunately, this world has a lot of people that take something and much fewer people that are willing to give something. Maybe it's like this because we are consumers by nature. We love giving as much as we can give for free :) I am learning a lot from people – even my team of super-energetic and positive girls that I work and communicate with on a daily basis. I like to be surrounded by true professionals that share their knowledge with me and I, in turn, do the same.
What are the 3 things that you learned in Grafit Holding and how they help you in your work as well as in your everyday life?
There are a lot more than three :) The main trait that I learned is discipline. At the moment, I have strongly improved my organizational skills, learned to work proactively, got used to multi-tasking. Due to many years of working and discipline, I achieved financial independence. This is important because it is what brings out self-confidence, which directly affects the ability to take responsibility. And this is a very important capability for any adult person, especially a manager that has a team.

As I already said, I came to Grafit Holding with just language knowledge and minor work experience. Here, I received the necessary freedom and support that helped me to develop professionally as well as personally. And I am offering this support to the colleagues that need it, in turn. And none of this would be possible without the time management skill.
What is the first thing you're going to do when the pandemic ends?
I am going to travel. I hadn't been abroad before joining the holding. I thought I would never leave Moldova. The company frequently arranges business trips to exhibitions in Spain, Germany, France, Italy, and even trips to individual customers in Europe. Due to these trips, I visited Barcelona and other cities of Spain. Besides, I have a personal tradition – I was having city breaks in foreign cities every April. This is important to me because 3-4 days are enough to let my brain relax, recharge my inner batteries, and return home full of strength. So, as soon as the pandemic ends, I am going to go to Switzerland. This was my next goal and I am keen on keeping my promises :)
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