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When accessing the Internet, dialing a phone number or turning on the TV, every day thousands of subscribers see the result of our team's work. To celebrate Maxnet's 15th anniversary, we decided to tell you about the people who are on the other side of the network cable and TV screens, about the specialists who every day try to improve the quality of the services provided and do their best to make our subscribers feel comfortable with Maxnet. Over so many years of work we have accumulated many interesting stories that we can't help but tell.
With this publication we start a series of interviews Maxnet in Faces. Today we will talk to Olena Burnaieva, Head of Television Development, who has devoted almost 10 years to Maxnet. During her tenure, the company has experienced many very significant and interesting moments. What has changed over these years, what our team has achieved and what opportunities Maxnet opens for its employees. About this and more in our interview.
— Olena Petrivna, today you hold a high and very important position in the company, which requires a lot of dedication and implies great responsibility. I'm sure many employees would agree that it's hard to imagine Maxnet without you — you always share your experience, give the right professional advice, and always have answers to all questions. That's now... but what was it like before? Do you remember how you started at Maxnet?
— I've been working in the telecommunications market for quite a long time. I began my work in a company called Pritex at a time when cable television was being introduced in Ukraine. The company, in which I worked then, was dealing with collective antennas. It was interesting to observe and participate in the process of establishing new technologies in television. I had to learn new laws, licensing from scratch, travel to meetings of the National Council, and communicate with the TV channels. This was the basis which allowed me to gain the experience that now allows me to work confidently in this market. At that time, as now, not many professionals were involved in licensing. That is why I was approached for advice, including by the heads of Maxnet, who had already started working in this industry. That is how we basically got to know each other.
— Probably at that time, many of the telecommunications market players would have liked to have you as one of their employees? You chose Maxnet specifically. Why?
— Because, at the time, I had already had experience in consulting with Maxnet's management. I was attracted by their desire to improve, their honesty and their attitude to work. Therefore, when it was a question of choosing a future job, I accepted Maxnet's invitation. I decided that I was more needed in this company, I could give more, and I would feel more comfortable working with the people I already knew well.
— How did you come into the industry? How did you start your professional journey?
— I graduated from the Institute of Radio Electronics as a systems engineer. I worked in computer centres, on computers, creating programs. I came to Pritex as a database specialist — I created subscriber databases and worked with them. At the same time, I had to draw up licences and agreements with the TV channels. I myself began to study the law and understand the contracts: there are a lot of subtleties there, and literally one word can determine the result of the concluded contract. That's how I ended up becoming a multi-tasker (laughs).
— How has your life changed since you joined Maxnet? Has it changed?
— It has. Where I had worked before, we had already gone through the implementation process, but here we had to start from the beginning. And when you start implementing a new service, it's always a bigger workload, it's always a responsibility. And at that time, Maxnet was just introducing digital television. We worked without looking at the clock. We were learning something, struggling with something... Maxnet had to go through this difficult but interesting implementation process from the very beginning.
— What was that beginning like? What was the company like then?
— Everyone was young (smiles), ambitious, enthusiastic, and talented, just like we are now. Back then, we were trying to achieve a common goal — to introduce a service, to enter this market.
— What has changed at Maxnet during this time?
— There are now more creative goals for the company, in addition to those of developing technical capacity. As the company reaches a certain level, it develops not only its services, but also its employees. Maxnet can now afford to improve its employees, give them theoretical knowledge and give them more practical skills. Give them the opportunity to take various training courses. It is a more interesting and creative company nowadays.
— You have a lot of experience, but nevertheless when you come to another company you often have to change, adapt to the existing business processes, learn something new. What have you learned in this company?
— Here I had to learn more about the technical part of our services. It was not an obligation, it came naturally. When you do something you want to know it thoroughly. So we all had to learn a lot of new things together. We tested new equipment together with technicians and installers, learning how it works. And now new specialists who come to the company get some of the knowledge they need from us.
Moreover, the company management motivates us by their example and encourages us to constantly develop. They are very interesting people who are not only engaged in their professional activities, but also in spiritual development, healthy way of life. These people have taught me to love and accept everything that happens to you, to be grateful for it. That kind of interest community promotes development. And when your supervisors give you that opportunity and do it themselves, it's very interesting.
— What have you taught others?
— It is difficult to name any specific people I have taught. But I try to share my experience, to give advice, not to pass by. If it relates to some part of my work, I will advise and share the documents I have developed, I am happy to take part in training sessions.
— Tell us about what the job of a television development manager is like.
— One of the services we provide to subscribers is digital and cable television. This is one of our areas in which Maxnet tries to differentiate itself from other providers and operators. We have an ambition to make the TV service interesting and give our subscribers an opportunity to watch exclusive channels.
As a TV specialist, I am guided by the demands of our subscribers. We constantly include new channels in the test so that our subscribers can learn about new products. The TV service content is one of the competitive guides of our company.
But these channels don't just appear to us. Licences, which are issued by the National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council, are required. The licenses constantly require renewal and a very competent approach to them. There are laws regulating all activities. This is a huge layer of work. You have to be thoroughly familiar with the legislation, and it is constantly changing. You have to go to the meetings of the National Council and present your position. We must permanently communicate with the management of TV channels so that they could render us the range of services our subscribers are interested in. Such versatile work allows Maxnet to have the most interesting list of TV channels among Kharkiv operators.
— Is it difficult to be the head of such a serious and voluminous area?
— It is difficult. It requires, as I have already mentioned, constant study of legislation, constant business trips. It requires always looking good, feeling good, being able to talk, being able to convince, so it's not easy... (smiling).
— Have you managed to implement all your professional plans in the company?
— I think I am still in the process of development, I shouldn’t stop. But I am, indeed, very grateful to Maxnet for the fact that here I am always supported in my plans and development. There are so many companies that are afraid to show up and go out to expand their capabilities. And here the management understands that there is a constant need to learn and communicate. It is also very important that Maxnet gives you the opportunity to learn additional professional skills. If our management learns something, we all learn. And this is an extremely rare quality of company executives. I know a lot of companies, but I can probably count on the fingers of one hand those that give their employees such development.
— What can you say has been your greatest professional achievement during your time at Maxnet?
— It is difficult to single out my achievements, because all achievements are the result of working together. One such achievement is the introduction of digital television. There were many difficulties, but we didn’t stop halfway, but brought it to the end. And now we have a great competitive service.
I would also point out that Maxnet is now a brand that is also known outside of Kharkiv. We have become members of the Ukrtelemerezha Association and the Association of Content Rights Holders, we are not just part of such organisations, we are invited there. We are known in the National Council as a company that tries to work only in the legal field. We are pleased to say that TV companies also call Maxnet a decent partner. It was a pleasure when the management of TRK Ukrayina pointed out during the negotiations that Maxnet was one of the few companies oriented towards constructive work.
More recently, the National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council awarded our company the diploma For the Development of Television in Ukraine. Before that there was no company in Kharkiv that had been awarded such a diploma. You really need to earn it, so I want to congratulate Maxnet on this common achievement. It proves that Maxnet is really a very good company with a great future.
— I guess when you work in one place for so many years, it stops being just a job... What is Maxnet to you?
— Yes, it's true. When you spend many years in the same company, it stops being just a job. It becomes, perhaps trite, but a second home. The team is very important here — the people around whom you work. You come here and you know that they will help and support you, no matter what happens. It is very pleasant to work in such a good team and you come here with a desire to work, with the desire to do everything on the highest level. The team is one of the main components of this job.
— How would you describe the people who work at Maxnet?
— Maxnet's employees are, first and foremost, very active people. They are keen to learn something new, have an active attitude to life, and are engaged in self-development. We don’t have lazy employees; it is difficult for them to work here.
— The company is constantly growing and developing and therefore it is not surprising that in the course of time there is a need to expand the staff. What would you wish for our people who have recently joined our team and are just starting their professional journey?
— The first recommendation is not to be afraid of what you do. There is nothing you can't master, so ask. Be proactive in asking questions. This is exactly the place to do self-development. That is — you have been given the basics, but you have to learn the material yourself, practice more. Work should be interesting for you; Maxnet is not a place where you can just come, sit back and forget about it.
I think any job values activity and self-development. And we provide that opportunity, because there is constant training, even for employees who have worked here for a long time. You don't get left behind. If a person wants to develop — opportunities abound here. There is something to learn here and there are people who teach.
We have a lot of people who came as apprentices, but they became actively involved in the work and now they are excellent technicians, technical consultants and very competent operators. We have a lot of specialists who really wanted to learn, wanted to stay here — and they did it. Many young guys were able to grow in their positions and realize themselves professionally at Maxnet.
— Do you have your own secret to success?
— Unequal attitude to everything. To your work, to the people around you... I always pay attention if someone is sad. I'm not indifferent to problems. I will never say: «I'm not going to do it, it's not my problem». I will try to help as much as I can if I can. This kind of caring, I think, is the secret of success in life.
— Tell us about your hobbies, what do you like to do in your spare time?
— I've always been involved in sports, wherever I go. I've studied different kinds of sports, I like to try new things and take something interesting from them. On top of that, I have become interested in psychology. I have taken a number of courses in psychology. It helps me to build relationships, find arguments in negotiations and conduct these negotiations calmly.
I also have a country house where I grow flowers, that is what I like very much, I like to make beautiful arrangements. I also like to collect all kinds of interesting recipes on healthy lifestyles and treat my guests to them.