People at A2 Design: Ksenia, Project Manager

“It’s impossible to convey the meaning unless you understand the working process itself.”

Ksenia Tolkova views management as an art: It’s critical that clients’ first impressions are great and that the project runs smoothly from start to finish. To achieve this goal, it’s important to continue learning and developing. 

English has been a friend for Ksenia throughout her life. She started learning English at school and still recalls how she was afraid of her English teacher—it’s only now that she realizes how great that teacher was. She continued to enhance her language skills and later graduated from the Foreign Language Department of Omsk State Pedagogical University.

— I started teaching at a school at which I had previously studied. I liked communicating with students, but I hated how the majority of my time was spent completing paperwork and adhering to red tape—tasks that didn’t benefit the students.

Ksenia set her sights on becoming a project manager since childhood and is very proud to have achieved this goal. She believes that people don’t choose this profession; it chooses them. She fondly describes how her decision to apply for a job at A2 Design was one of the best decisions of her life.

— I got into the company atmosphere at once. It felt that the company understood the importance of every team member performing a valuable and qualitative function. I no longer felt that a lot of my time was being spent on tasks that didn’t help anybody.

It was difficult at first to deal with all the IT terminology—I often found myself struggling to get to grips with the concepts the project managers were discussing during their meetings. They used the same language as the developers, and it drove me really crazy! Ksenia soon realized that it was impossible to get the message to the client unless she understood its meaning. Ksenia soon realized that it was impossible to get the message to the client unless she understood its meaning.

— When managers were discussing some deep technical aspect of projects, I was afraid I would never get my head around the details. However, I invested a lot of effort in learning the terminology and I soon realized that my IT skills were getting better and better.

— To make everybody understand what’s going on during the project development, it’s important to ask a lot of questions to clarify all the details and then, when everything is clear and each question has been put on the table, it’s time to discuss all the outcomes with the client. Sometimes it takes more than one time to clarify all the details when speaking to a developer. Every now and again, I feel like the developer is sick and tired of all my questions; however, my understanding is important to our ongoing relationship with the client, and it’s only thanks to this that our projects are thriving, and new deals are made. It is all about working as a team.

Ksenia enjoys her life outside work. She loves spending some time with her family, friends, and her dog Charlie. Sometimes she does cross stitch: mainly landscapes and animals.

— I like creating small pictures. However, I am working on a really big project that I want to finish; I just don’t have any time to do that right now. There are mountains in the background of the picture and horses appearing from the sea foam during the sunset.

Ksenia can explain everything to both clients and team members in the easiest way for. As a very experienced manager, she believes that you should never stop learning something new—even if you’re quite successful in your respective field. That’s what makes you outstanding and really successful in your life’s work.

A2 Design Team