Interview with Oleksandr Volik | CIVITTA

CIVITTA Challengers - Oleksandr Volik

At CIVITTA, every project is carried out by a group of individuals that makes the results unique and impactful. To introduce those who are operating behind the scenes, we invite our colleagues to tell their stories.

This time, we asked a Project Manager from our Latvian office — Oleksandr Volik — to share his story with us. Read about what motivates our people to challenge themselves and what it means to be a management consultant — below.

Oleksandr Volik

Project Manager at CIVITTA Latvia

I joined CIVITTA Ukraine in 2017 and spent 2 years working with public and private clients, including startups, in Ukraine. During that time, I understood that advising corporations and other private clients brings me the most joy, so I gradually transitioned to working almost exclusively with private companies. This also overlapped with my relocation to Lithuania/Latvia team. For the last 2 years, I have been doing many international & local projects with private companies, mainly in strategy, transactions support, and transformation programs, with my favorite industry being Consumer Goods.

On why integrity is one of the key values

When I joined the company, I mostly worked with local projects in Ukraine. Then, over time, I started to have more and more international projects or projects involving people from multiple CIVITTA offices. My latest assignment is a good example – we had team members from Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia, and Bosnia. And just imagine how many diverse backgrounds those people bring to the project. You join every check-up call and enjoy this international spirit all the time. So, I think what changed since I joined CIVITTA, at least in my mind, is that I now truly understand how international and global we are.

From the 4 core values that CIVITTA has (Growth, Impact, Integrity, Adventure), I identify myself with Integrity the most. For me, integrity is the start and endpoint of everything. Integrity creates a foundation, a basis upon which you can build relationships with clients, advise or challenge them, and grow yourself. Therefore, though all values are very important for being a successful consultant within CIVITTA, integrity ranks first for me.

On how to be a successful consultant with keeping work-life balance

I think that any consultant should strive to become an intellectual partner to their clients, team members, and community overall. The route to becoming such is a long and tedious one. I would not say anything unique here – you need to invest in your critical thinking, listening abilities, and maybe a bit of empathy. That would be my mix of the key skills for a consultant most likely.

If talking about work-life balance, it depends on what kind of projects you are doing. You need to be prepared to do overtime in certain cases. At the same time, you should also set clear boundaries/rules and follow them – e.g., no work communication on weekends, etc. I strongly believe that you can – and you should – have a work-life balance in the consulting industry – it just requires some self-management and time management from you and your team.

On sources of motivation

The ideal project for me would be doing a growth strategy for a private company in some emerging markets in Africa or Asia. I would be happy to have a large team on-site, especially now after such a long period of online calls or meetings, with all people coming from different countries and regions.

People around me motivate me the most. Both colleagues and clients. All of them are big personalities, and you already grow just by interacting with them. This is the beauty of consulting.

There is no single given recipe for success in consulting. Just don’t be afraid to try it, and maybe you will be the next one to challenge the consulting industry from the inside.

On lessons learned from 2020

From the previous year, I definitely learned how to use probably all online communication platforms – Teams, Cisco, Google, Zoom, etc. – and how to switch between them fast. Jokes aside, for me personally working from home, was a challenge initially – it took some time to accommodate to new ways of working. I miss the everyday interactions that we had at the office, like discussing morning news over a cup of coffee or going for lunch together. No one knows what would happen next, or how COVID would impact our long-lasting working habits, but I personally hope that we will at least have some mix of office/work-from-home setup in the future.

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