Side by side series – Oleksandr Volik and Valts Ulmanis


In our “Side by Side” interview series, we invite a Partner and a Consultant to provide insights into their daily activities and offer a parallel perspective on their respective roles. 

This time, we got in touch with our colleagues from the Latvian branch, Oleksandr Volik, Associate Partner, and Valts Ulmanis, Senior Consultant.

What is your perfect morning routine to start off the day?

Oleksandr: I like starting my day with a wholesome breakfast. While eating, I also read the latest from the Financial Times, staying informed about the world of business and current events. If I’m feeling a bit groggy, I find that a refreshing shower helps me shake off any lingering sleepiness.

Valts: Getting up early, as this is my most productive time. Then I slowly start my day with some breakfast and relevant podcasts to keep track of things. Sometimes an early run helps to start the day even better.

What music do you like listening to on your way to work?

Oleksandr: I’m particularly fond of experimental rock and new wave. I like strange sounds and unconventional structures, stuff that sounds like a new take on Pink Floyd, that provides some sort of artistic shock to my senses.

Valts: Typically podcasts on different topics are in my headphones. But if there is music playing, then in most cases it’s way older than me – usually rock bands from the 60s, 70s and 80s. For some reason, this kind of music, created so far away, still does the trick for me.

How do you usually relax during work breaks?

Oleksandr: I usually relax by chatting with my friends and colleagues and enjoying a cup of coffee.

Valts: Usually just going for a snack or taking a small walk.

Do you cook and if so, what is your favorite dish to make?

Oleksandr: Personally, I don’t cook often. When I do, it’s on weekends, and it’s usually pasta! Pasta is easy, tasty and allows for a lot of variety.

Valts: I like cooking and for some years now, I’ve been going through the list of world countries in alphabetical order and making traditional dishes for family dinners. At the time of writing, Lesotho with Butha-Buthe is next in line. But regarding my favorite dish to make – probably pancakes (either the classic or potato ones), as they’re easy to make and delicious comfort food (when I don’t burn them!)

How do you maintain your motivation during the day?

Oleksandr: I have a couple of strategies. Firstly, I find it helpful to split tasks into manageable pieces. Breaking down larger projects into smaller, more achievable milestones helps maintain a sense of progress and prevents feeling overwhelmed. I try focusing on one task at a time. Another tip is trying to strike a balance between working independently and engaging in calls or meetings with my colleagues. Some tasks definitely require concentration and solitude, but I try to find time to incorporate regular interactions with coworkers, for feedback or even simply for some social interaction.

Valts: Setting up a reasonable plan for the day and prioritizing tasks usually works for me. Also, doing things that make some noticeable impact is also a good motivator.

Do you have any hobbies and if so, which?

Oleksandr: I enjoy reading books in my free time, particularly fiction. Before the war, I used to hike a lot. I plan to get back to that after our Ukrainian victory.

Valts: Running. Whether it’s road running, trail running or, in most cases, just running through the forest with a map and compass (orienteering). This also often takes me to some nice places in Latvia or around Europe. But, depending on the season, other activities are on the list too, like skiing, hiking or cycling, or exploring some local waterways with a SUP board. For more laid-back days – just picking up a good book.

What is your favorite weekend activity?

Oleksandr: One of my favorite weekend activities is taking a stroll around the city and meeting up with friends or colleagues. I’m usually too busy to socialize during weekdays, so weekends are a really valuable time for me to catch up with friends.

Valts: Most probably something related to my hobbies, and afterwards enjoying some leisure time with friends and families.

What have you learned during your time at Civitta?

Oleksandr: I’ve had the opportunity to gain valuable insights and knowledge not only about business but also about people. Collaborating with a diverse group of individuals exposed me to different perspectives and taught me the importance of effective communication, teamwork, and adaptability. So I would say learning the nuances of interaction, with both colleagues and clients.

Valts: The time here so far has been very helpful in developing different sets of skills that are quite relevant in the industry, like problem-solving, time management and communication. I’ve also dealt with a range of domains and processes at Civitta, providing me with a broader perspective on our industry.

What do you like most about your team?

Oleksandr: What I appreciate most about my team is their unwavering commitment to their values. Their strong moral compass creates a positive and supportive work environment that fosters trust and collaboration, and shows its effects in real impact. My team is also extremely intelligent. Their depth of knowledge, diverse perspectives, and innovative thinking constantly challenge me to elevate my own performance. Engaging with such intellectually stimulating individuals not only pushes me to grow professionally but also encourages me to continuously expand my skills and broaden my horizons.

Valts: The combination of different backgrounds and experiences, as well as the collaborative nature and nice atmosphere, gives me the motivation to keep going forwards and doing my best. I also feel like such an atmosphere provides a very good foundation for overall success in the future.

How would you describe Civitta in a few words?

Oleksandr: A growth partner for both our clients and employees.

Valts: Challengers. This term can be properly applied to different aspects here.