Irina, your GRENKE journey started in February 2020. How do you remember this time?


Oh yes, February 2020… An exciting and a bit anxious period. At that moment, I finished a chapter called ‘’Real Estate’’ and was ready for new beginnings. I got a chance to have an interview with GRENKE, and honestly speaking, knew nothing about what was going to happen. I guess the experience in Administration, Portfolio management, and my personality opened that door for me, and here I am, 4 years later.
However, as I mentioned, the beginning was not smooth. Right after 1 month of training, we got stuck at home offices due to COVID-19 restrictions. My main job was to handle the running contracts with our clients, the 100% interaction, and admin support, but the world slowed down… I remember that everyone was working hard, and still somewhere deep inside, I had this thought – are we going to make it?


The whole world stopped during the pandemic, but not GRENKE. Could you share more details about the challenges you faced during the initial phase, especially with the sudden transition to home offices due to COVID-19? How did it impact your role?


Being a brand new member of the team is always a bit challenging, and when all of a sudden you are not able to work side by side with your experienced colleagues, it can impact, of course. One of the many things I really appreciate at GRENKE is teamwork, and that has been proven many times during that period, even in remote mode.
In addition, we cannot forget that bills don’t pay themselves, unfortunately. And when it comes to collection on normal days – it is one story, but during the pandemic, when businesses were closed, people lost their jobs – I personally considered that time as an opportunity to get closer to clients, to know their stories and support as much as possible. It can sound strange, but I am thankful for these times as it was a great chance for me personally to become more motivated, to improve self-control and self-planning.


In what ways has your role evolved or changed since the initial phase of the pandemic, and how have these changes contributed to your professional growth within GRENKE?


About 3 years ago, I was in the position of Administration Officer, I would call it - years of multi-tasking, organized and busy work. Moving forward, I was offered to move to Accountancy, and it became a great challenge and an opportunity to grow professionally with GRENKE. The experience I took from Administration helps me a lot now in my daily finance routine. To be able to learn every day, to be trusted, and being supported means a lot to me. Not a fan of loud words, but I sincerely feel myself in the right place.


Moving from Administration to Accountancy is a transition that involves different skill sets. Have you encountered different challenges in accountancy than in the administration department?


Returning to my background, I graduated from the Faculty of International Affairs, International Economics. So, very basic knowledge of accounting helped me a lot in the first stage. Still, it is nothing in comparison with the support I received from our CFO - Carolin Kurz. Thanks to her valuable impact, knowledge, and instructions, I have an opportunity to study and work at the same time. Accountancy, like many other fields, requires non-stop improving, enrichment of knowledge, and a specific state of mind, as I think. Starting with basic tasks and digging deeper into the system allows me to grow and cover more and more daily topics at GRENKE. I need to admit it is just the beginning of my journey, and I am looking forward to new challenges and discoveries.


Aside from GRENKE challenges, what do you like to do in your spare time?


My family and I are ‘’Never Bored in Dubai’’ people. I prefer active leisure, and hiking is one of them. Thanks to this hobby, I discovered the incredible nature of the UAE. Now is the perfect season, by the way, so we are very busy. Also, I am passionate about sports and feel happy doing boxing or running. In addition, we all are travel lovers: I have visited so far 31 countries, and more are yet to come.