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Meet the media monitoring team, part 2: Elevator out of service, use the stairs

Our talk with the people from the team moves to their professional development – building up skills, taking responsibilities, climbing up the career ladder.

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The company is a good place for media-minded folks, who speak languages and are willing to walk the extra mile, the analysts point out. “A Data Pro is a good example of a European company,” Nevena Semova says, adding jokingly, “ironically based in Bulgaria.” She has just come back from a six-month internship in the European Commission.

Her diploma thesis was on reputation management and she is eager to follow her pursuits. The analyst is working hard to build up her skills, write better and faster by setting herself higher and higher targets. Nevena won’t forget her first project, which involved a wide range of searches related to negative information about a company. One of the articles was about a man who assaulted his boss with a gun. “A total burnout!” she laughs. It happened in the Netherlands. The court issued an order that the defendant should stop drinking Red Bull :)

Media monitoring seems a good career match for lead analyst Philip Manev, whose major is international journalism. Not only that, he is tracking automotive giants which goes well with his passion for cars. He has been promoted twice since he was hired in 2013. New projects, clients and tasks require new skills, approaches or solutions and give opportunities for leadership development. “Everything that happens teaches you and contributes to your growth both professionally and personally,” he says.

Stefan Topuzov, a lead analyst, says “I prefer to take the stairs and not the elevator,” that is learning to do what you are doing now well, excelling at it before moving on. What motivates him is the dynamics of working at A Data Pro. “If there is a company that can truly say it’s dynamic, it’s this one.” Unlike any other job he has had, there is no stress – things are well organised and there is no unnecessary fuss. People work together and don’t try to sabotage each other.

The project managers

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Project manager is one of the most responsible positions in the company, but promotion was not an end in itself for Gergana Plachkova. It came in the course of time, with more and more tasks. Gerry, one of the veterans in media monitoring, remembers her rise from indexer to senior. The biggest challenge was the communication with her first client. She was startled by each e-mail received, not to mention having to explain some troubles (i.e. one of the analysts had quit). Now, ten years later she is quite tough :)

Communication with clients can also be fun! Gery remembers a training course on tracking a big telecommunications company held by two representatives of the client. The coaches and their Bulgarian trainees went out for a few nights and had an enjoyable time. What attracted their attention was a T-shirt with a print “Rakia – connecting people” and they had a good laugh. The guests associated it with the slogan “Nokia – connecting people”. Soon they received a parcel from Gerry with the funny T-shirts. They sent her back an e-mail message “T-shirts much appreciated” and a comical photo of the two of them wearing them.

It’s not only the clients. Gerry oversees the projects, the team, the quality, which requires a close watch on the industry and helps her stay afloat in field work. She is a detail-oriented thinker – identifies and focuses on the basics.

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Going up the ladder can be very fast if a senior position is vacated at the time you have proven your worth to take it. The promotion to project manager came as a surprise to Ilka Stoeva in May because just two months ago she was raised to senior analyst. At the same time she was flattered because she thinks she was selected among people as reliable, punctual and hardworking as her. She is still adjusting to her new responsibilities but needs to do some project work, too, because she is one of the few proficient in Turkish and Croatian, called for that reason “exotic” languages. As she puts it, “The managers not only run the business but are also the ‘rapid response force’.”

Our story about the media monitoring people has come to an end. Let’s look through the kaleidoscope again. The bright crystals seem to have got brighter by giving light to each other. That’s the way our people grow, empowering each other to unbundle their talent and strengths.