Meet Anastasya Fomenko, our Regional Growth Manager. Born in Turkmenistan, Anastasya and her family moved to Ukraine when she was just three months old. Ever since then, she hasn’t been able to stop travelling.
Here, Anastasya Fomenko discusses her background in media and journalism, helping Ukrainian migrants, her love for linguistics and the digital world, the importance of exercise and much more.
What was your childhood like and what did you study?
I’m Ukrainian, but I’ve spent a lot of my life travelling. My father worked as an engineer, so we’d often move to follow his work. We moved to Ukraine when I was a baby and stayed there for a few years before moving to Kazakhstan and later, Russia. Once the work dried up there, we moved back to Ukraine.
I started working in my last two years at school. I didn’t know what I wanted to do for a career, so my father encouraged me to try working at various companies for one or two months, even if it was unpaid. And so I volunteered at a local TV channel, working in tech support for a broadcaster. I worked in the evenings after school once I’d finished my homework.
After a while, I got promoted and had the chance to help journalists, before becoming a journalist myself. I interviewed people and recorded videos for TV and news channels. It was a really nice experience. I would have loved to become a journalist full time but I didn’t have time as I was applying to study Linguistics at university. The course covered a lot—from using language in advertising to defining people’s personalities by the way they speak and pronounce words. It was very interesting.
How did you get to where you are now?
After my studies, I moved to Kiev. I think of Kiev as my Motherland as I’ve spent most of my life there. I worked for an internet portal and it was the first company that introduced search engines, news portals and marketplaces in Ukraine. At the time, we had dial-up internet and nobody had heard of Google and Facebook. We were pioneers. That’s when I realised I loved working in digital. I love how it connects people.
Over the next few years, I worked with media companies, web studios and global websites. At one point, I managed a team of 30 people. I also worked for one of the biggest Polish media holding companies when Ukraine was in the middle of facing another crisis and publishers were really struggling. I started out as Project Manager and left as Managing Director. Later, Ukraine experienced another crisis. At the time, I worked for a programmatic start-up. Nobody wanted to buy advertising at the time. Our digital projects and solutions really helped Ukrainian publishers survive that crisis. At first, I managed Ukraine and then Russia and then I expanded into other locations like Asia and Latin America. My experience there was very successful.
You have to be flexible in this industry and be up to date with whatever’s happening. That’s why I love working at TransferGo. I also love that I support fellow Ukrainians and other migrants. We give them something useful and help them save money. I’ve always wanted to be the bridge between technology and the people in Ukraine. Since my career journey began, I’ve been dedicated to digital media, sales and growth.
What are your key responsibilities at TransferGo?
I started working for TransferGo over four and a half years ago as the Growth Manager. At the time, I was the only person working on growing the Ukrainian hub and it’s grown very well since then. I’m now a Regional Growth Manager and responsible for four hubs: Poland, Ukraine, CIS and Baltic countries. So that’s 13 countries in total. I work on everything from growth and marketing to supporting our product and banking teams.
What motivates you?
I’m very self-motivated and organised. I like to plan things and follow those plans and I’m completely dedicated to what I do. On the other hand, I’m flexible and adapt quickly to changes and new strategies. I always try to give 150%. Simply because I love what I do.
At the moment, I’m particularly motivated by helping Ukrainian migrants. We’ve always helped them but in the past year, we’ve helped them even more. Migration has changed a lot since last year. A lot of men stayed in Ukraine while many women fled to other countries. A lot of these women aren’t thinking about sending money back home; they’re fully focussed on setting up new lives with their children and making sure they have enough money for clothing, food and education. The war changed a lot of people’s mindsets and people stopped taking life for granted. They try to make the most of every day.
Our blog has lots of articles designed especially for refugees to help them find their feet and set up new lives abroad. We’ve also helped support disabled children who have fled Ukraine to make sure they continue getting essential medical or educational assistance. Just one or two months’ break can set them back for years.
In addition, we helped a publishing house translate one of the bestselling Polish kid’s books into the Ukrainian language. We’ve helped to distribute this to libraries and schools around Europe so that Ukrainian children have access to something that they can connect to.
What are your favourite things about working at TransferGo?
I love how you can be flexible and independent at TransferGo. There’s no micromanagement. Your team trusts that you are an expert. On the other hand, if you need some support or shared knowledge or you have questions, there are always people willing to help and give you answers. It’s a great balance.
I’m really proud that I can help and support Ukrainians and migrants by providing a reliable and low-cost and high-quality service. It’s also great that every customer can reach our Customer Support agents by phone and meet the real person behind the screen—not just by email and messaging. They interact with and talk to real people and it pays off. Our customers love our Customer Support team.
What would you like to achieve at TransferGo?
Looking forward, I’d love to see TransferGo continue to grow. I also want to deliver and share our company values and keep our team together. I go to the office a few times a week to meet other people and I encourage everyone to get together for lunch so we can get to know each other on a human level. It really helps people feel more connected; it’s important to have some fun.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself…
If I had to share some fun facts about myself, I’d say that being a Ukrainian born in Turkmenistan is quite unusual. I lived in Kazakhstan and the Far East too.
In terms of hobbies, I love sports and activities. I love to snowboard, skateboard, rollerblade, surf and dance salsa. I love travelling, meeting new people and experiencing new things. Highlights for me have included experiencing a flight simulator, renting a helicopter, seeing Acqua alta in Venice or… washing an elephant.
I once went on holiday to Asia and came really close to an elephant. I was more interested in washing and feeding it than riding it. Elephants are so smart and cute. They gave me a huge thing to wash it with. It was a fantastic experience.
How do you unwind after a long day?
I don’t relax. I tend to do some sports and release my energy through training. I combine different things; one day I’ll do dance and another day I’ll do yoga and so on. I also like having massages but otherwise, sport helps me to relax. I need to do something very active and energetic to run the blood through my body.
And now for the quick-fire round…
My home is where my heart is.
That’s a tough question because I eat everything. I love going to a new country and sampling different street foods. Usually, I look for the vendors with the biggest queue and join them. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s not.
I love Love Actually. I watch it every Christmas. I also love James Bond movies.
Favourite restaurant in Warsaw?
I prefer cooking at home. I don’t have a favourite restaurant but the coffee in our office space is one of the best in Warsaw.
The best-kept secret in Warsaw?
Climbing on the tower of the Palace of Culture and Science. It’s a huge and beautiful gift that was given from the Soviets to the Poles. You can see the whole city from the top. It’s incredible.