Ms. Anastasiya Stankevych, originally from Ukraine and now working in the Netherlands, Czech Republic and Switzerland, is the director of the Photon Energy Foundation.
She has impressively worked her way from Public Relations Manager to becoming a Director
in the short space of a few years. Her drive, dedication and ambition is truly inspirational.
Her commitment to sustainable energy is something to be admired, and encouraged amongst
modern business. Anastasiya is also Business Development Manager at Global Investment Protection AG.
As director of the Photon Energy Foundation, what are your main roles?
Photon Energy Foundation is a generous initiative of our founders in Photon Energy aimed at those who are less privileged in life and cannot simply switch on the light at home when they return back from work or school. It is truly mind opening to experience complete darkness without a chance to enjoy all the technological advancements that we are so used to. Can you imagine a life with no socket to charge your mobile phone, to connect to the Internet, to watch the evening news, to light up the room where you read, cook or study?
These are some of the issues, which we in Photon Energy Foundation address and promote worldwide to spread the awareness.
What lead you into the sustainable energy business?
I have discovered my clear passion for and excitement about sustainability back in university. Although I majored in Media and Communications, as a part of general education classes I opted for a course in Environmental studies which involved lots of site visits, traveling to landfills, incinerators, infected national parks, water purification plants, etc. That was clearly more challenging than a regular hour in a classroom in front of a textbook. Nonetheless that gave me an immense insight into the nascent problems of our city and society, thus encouraging me to follow this path and try to influence the status quo by putting maximum of my efforts towards sustainable development.
What are your personal characteristics that have made you successful?
It is definitely my ability to multitask and run several unrelated projects in parallel. I can stay focused on multiple working lines at a time and not stop until they reach completion.
I am also truly devoted to my work, so much that sometimes I find myself engaged far beyond working hours, on weekends and during holidays. I do not differentiate between work and private life. Both are interconnected and keep me tuned and thinking all the time.
Finally, I am very responsible and disciplined. I do not make promises unless I am (at least remotely) confident I can deliver. And then having made them, I make sure I live up to them. That makes it an efficient, yet demanding life style.
How do you motivate people?
People need both guidance and freedom. Exerting pressure and a dictatorship-like attitude has not proved to be successful in my practice. I have noticed that my colleagues are much more motivated and excited about their tasks when they know they have certain space in which they can act, nonetheless at the end of the day it is them, who will stand up to present their performance and accomplishments. Yet, it is crucial that they feel there is someone who would support them in the moment of doubt and provide non-intrusive supervision.
So far in your career, what has been your biggest achievement?
Approximately 3 months after assuming my responsibilities in Photon Energy as a Public Relations Manager I was challenged by a task very new to me. The company used to participate in the largest trade fair in solar energy industry in Europe for several years and now it was my job to oversee the full scale preparation for it. At the point I still knew relatively little about the company and the specifics of the industry, let alone the peculiarities of making our corporate appearance on a European arena and presenting the firm in the best light (and in my slightly perfectionist understanding it meant – a better light than any year before). Nonetheless I did manage successfully and in time. Certainly not everything went completely smoothly, but I will never forget the words of appreciation and acknowledgement from the staff and the senior management that I had received. Being accepted in the new team and acquiring recognition for your skills at an early stage was of true importance to me. And will always be.
Do you have a motto in business/life?
If you have a spare minute, use it to the maximum benefit.
Never put things off, as circumstances change so rapidly and a few days delayed reply may for now be irrelevant, equally as an analysis done last month and submitted today may fail to include the latest findings.
Do not promise if you are not sure you will manage to fulfill it.
No doubt, there are times when things go wrong and having promised something, you may suddenly find yourself in a position that you are incapable of delivering. However never ever promise if you realize it will be hardly doable at that specific moment. There are elegant and delicate ways how to avoid making the promise yet phrasing your “no” in a non-offensive way.
You are very inspirational to others, do you have advice for people starting their career?
Always aim high regardless of your age, social background and current seemingly weighty disadvantages. From my own experience I have come to realize that
• miracles do happen
• it is possible to find the job of your dreams and love it full heartedly
• if you believe in yourself and keep developing, your career may evolve sweepingly just as you have dreamed it
Just make sure you do something meaningful and enjoyable. As my professor used to say, “Now that you are graduating the university, try to find a job that you like. You only have next 40 years to be doing it”.
Finally, I believe in the following definition of the concept of “talent”: having decided to do something, one should ensure three components to be present:
• enjoying it
• being good at it
• bringing benefit to others by doing it
So find you talent and pursue it. Believe in yourself and have role models to help you overcome the moments of weakness.