Meet Iurii Synenkyi. Born in Ukraine, Iurii joined Team TransferGo three years ago as a Community Manager before being promoted to Marketing Manager in January 2021.
Here Iurii talks about working with influencers, learning English, why he feels at home in Poland, working from home effectively, his role as a teacher and the 300km walk that changed his life.
“I wasn’t planning to move to Poland from Ukraine but then the job at TransferGo came up…
Before I joined TransferGo, I was living in Ukraine working as a Creative Director at an advertising agency. I was there for 10 years and managed a team of five people. I loved my job—it involved lots of brainstorming and meeting different people. But then I fancied a change. It wasn’t my initial plan to move abroad but then I considered Poland. And that’s when the Community Manager job at TransferGo came up.
I read the description online but thought my English wouldn’t be good enough so I left it. Later that day, I accompanied my friend to the airport and rather bizarrely the first advert that came up on my phone was for TransferGo. I couldn’t believe it! I read it as a sign to apply and took a screenshot of the advert. When I got home, I sent the screenshot and my CV to TransferGo. Anastasya contacted me the very next day to arrange an interview.”
“I feel at home in Poland. I don’t think there’s been a day where I didn’t hear either Ukrainian or Russian being spoken…
My English has improved in the three years at TransferGo. Every day I’m communicating in English and I’ve also taken some classes. I always doubt myself and whether my English is good enough but actually it’s good enough to communicate with everyone so I must be doing okay.
My Polish is so-so. I can understand it and speak it when required but I don’t actually need it in Warsaw. Everybody here speaks Ukrainian or Russian. There are so many Ukrainians here in Poland—they’re in shops, restaurants and even in our coworking office. I meet a Ukrainian almost every day. So when people ask me how I feel here, I say, ‘Like I’m at home.’”
“I love working with influencers. Some of them have even become friends…
As the Marketing Manager for Ukraine, I’m responsible for social media channels like Facebook, Instagram and Tiktok, which we launched last October.
I’m also working with influencers to promote our brand. We have different influencers in Ukraine, Poland and all over Europe. They’re mainly Ukrainian migrants living abroad and they mostly create content about their life abroad. I started off working with 5 influencers a month but I’m now working with around 30-40. One month, I worked with 55 influencers. Their reach ranges from the thousands to the millions so it’s a good mix.
I love meeting new influencers and talking to them. One influencer in Poland once told me that one of our competitors approached her but that she’d rather work with us again. That was great. One of my main goals is to build on these influencer relationships so that they continue long-term. Some of them have even become friends.”
“It gives me goosebumps when I meet people who say they use TransferGo…
Meeting new people inspires me. I also love it when people ask me where I work and they know the company. I’ll say ‘Transfer’ and they’ll say ‘Go’. It gives me goosebumps when people I meet say they use our services. And there’s been a big change in the three years I’ve been at the company. When I first joined, not many people knew TransferGo and I would have to explain. But now they’re like, ‘Ahh yes, I know it!’
Two weeks ago I was in Ukraine for the Orthodox Christmas and I met some friends of friends. When we got on to the topic of what we did for a living, they were like ‘Oh yes, we know TransferGo!’ A few moments later, they realised that they actually recognised me from one of our YouTube videos! It really inspires me when something I’m working on becomes visible. As soon as I came back to Poland, I was like ‘Wow, we need to create more of those.’”
“I love meeting and talking to different people from different cultures. TransferGo is great that way…
When I was working in Ukraine, everyone was Ukrainian and spoke Ukrainian. But when I joined TransferGo, things were so different. It was so diverse. People were from Turkey, Romania, Lithuania, Spain and Nepal and had different cultures. It’s amazing because it makes you understand, respect, discover and accept new cultures.
The TransferGo office in Warsaw is also part of a co-working site so there are a lot of people from different companies and industries. It’s amazing because you get to meet and talk to so many people. You can exchange all kinds of different information and knowledge. It’s great.”
“If my work makes one person feel less alone and more supported, that’s amazing…
I’m really proud of things that become visible. In my previous job, I built and managed a team of five creative people. It was extremely different because everyone was creative and different with their ideas. It was complicated to manage at the beginning, but I managed it and I’m proud of that.
Here at Transfergo, we’ve launched a few projects that have really helped migrants in Ukraine. For example, we prepared a full localisation guide for Ukrainian migrants in Poland, the Czech Republic and Germany. We distributed it for free via email and the feedback we got has been great. If the guide can help at least one person, it means all the things I’m doing here at TransferGo are important and worthwhile.”
“Working from home is great but it’s important to have boundaries in place…
I work from the office 70% of the time and the rest of the time I’m at home. I like the office and I like to communicate with my colleagues. But I also appreciate the blend.
Before Covid, I was in the office all of the time but I spend a bit more time at home now. It was difficult at the start of the pandemic because you didn’t have any boundaries between your home, personal life and work life. You’d start at the laptop in the morning and then you’d still be sitting there on an evening with it before bed. After a couple of months, I understood that I needed some boundaries in place and that I had to make space for my own interests like reading and watching movies. Boundaries are one of the secrets to making working from home more effective for me.”
“I feel like Tiktok is huge at the moment and TransferGo needs to be a part of it…
Looking ahead, I’m really keen to expand and develop our Tiktok platform. I feel like Tiktok is booming everywhere and we need to be part of it. Two years ago, people thought that Tiktok was for kids at school but now all of the brands are on it. I feel like we have to create more bright, funny and useful content for Tiktok. It’s really popular among Ukrainian migrants in Poland.”
“I also teach copywriting at the university in Ukraine. The students are so talented…
I teach a copywriting class once a week to a group of 15 students at the university in Ukraine. It’s a six-month course and at the end, the students have to create presentations of their ideas and I’m always blown away. They’re so talented and creative. I’ve had some great feedback from it. Some students have described it as the best course of their lives, which feels incredible.
I landed the job by accident. My friend was working at the university and asked me if I wanted to teach the copywriting course they were looking to create. I had 15 years of experience in advertising, marketing and copywriting by that point and so I said yes. I was really nervous the first time I taught in person but I’m better at it now. The course is also now online so I run a lot of virtual workshops with the students.”
“I once walked 300km from Portugal to Spain. It was the best experience of my life…
I love travelling. My best experience ever was the 300km Camino de Santiago walk in 2018. It’s a very famous route from Porto in Portugal to Santiago de Compostela in Spain and it took me 11 days.
Walking so much in a day took me a while to get used to and my legs were killing me! But I was determined to do it. I met people along the way but I mostly walked alone. It was like one long meditation; I listened to nature and thought to myself. It was amazing. On the last day when I arrived at SDC, there was a huge storm. The rain felt like it was cleansing me from past events and negative emotions. It was as if I just left everything there in the rain. I still get chills thinking about it.
I’ve also inspired one of my colleagues to do it. She’d been thinking about it and then a couple of weeks later, she called me to say she’d finally booked it! It really was the best experience of my life.”
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