She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Liverpool, she’s been involved in a community of people interested in smart cities and sustainable urban development, and she enjoys watching political talk shows, but also reading, cooking and travelling. Meet Anca, Modex’s Business Development Manager, our next guest in the #WeAreModex series of interviews.
Anca’s interesting story begins in Romania’s capital, Bucharest. “I lived and studied in Bucharest from 1st to 10th grade, then I moved to the UK with my family and finished high school there. Afterwards, I went to the University of Liverpool, where I got a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication / Media and International Politics. I moved back to Romania after university, but my parents are still living in London, so I go there quite often (at least I used to before the pandemic made it really difficult to travel to the UK).
Anca started working right after returning to Bucharest, in the summer of 2017. “Before that, I had had various summer jobs or internships. My first full-time job was at an SEO agency, but I didn’t work there long, as I came across an opportunity to work as a journalist at Business Review, an English-language business magazine and online news outlet where I spent two great years.
Another project that I contributed to for more than three years and which remains very close to my heart is UrbanizeHub, a community of people who are interested in smart cities and sustainable urban development. I worked on various communication-related tasks within the project, from content writing to social media or event planning / management, but the best part was the fact that I met lots of wonderful people through the project, many of whom are still great friends.”
Were there any particular challenges in Anca’s career she had to deal with, solve them and move on? “I wouldn’t say that I’ve had any difficult challenges to overcome; I think I’ve been pretty lucky in that sense. Maybe the only thing I’ve found hard to explain over the years was the fact that I decided to come back to Romania instead of staying in the UK after graduating from the university – some people raise an eyebrow when they find out. But I don’t regret it. It’s also quite challenging to work in an industry like blockchain, because it is still in the early stages and things are still being figured out at all levels. However, that’s exactly what makes the work exciting, so I don’t see it as a bad thing at all”, believes Anca.
Anca joined Modex in December 2019. How? “I came through a recommendation from a former colleague from Business Review (George), who has since been my manager here. He was – and still is – one of my best friends, which made the transition much easier for me, and being among friends makes the job fun in general.”
Curious to find out more about Anca’s tasks at Modex? She explains: “My job involves all the normal tasks related to business development (building sales channels, market research, presentations, etc.), but since the industry is really dynamic and the manuals are still being written, we tend to also come up with our own ideas and build jobs around people. Within our team, each person tends to work on things that best suit their own strengths and personal traits.”
Anca continues: “My full job title is Business Development Manager – Public Sector, because through my personal interest in politics and government, I tend to be more attracted to projects connected to public institutions, while other colleagues may feel more comfortable on the enterprise side. That doesn’t mean we don’t work together on lots of things, but each of us is also building in-depth expertise in different business segments on top of all the collaborative work.”
What does Anca like the most about Modex as a company, as a leading blockchain database provider? “I like the fact that you have quite a lot of freedom to define your own role and that you are encouraged to choose the approach that you think is best in various situations, from the very beginning. Even if you turn out to be wrong sometimes, you’re allow to make some mistakes along the way in order to learn and get better at your job in the process. I think that’s also inherent to the industry we’re in and it reflects onto the company: we always need to maintain some strategic flexibility because things on the outside sometimes go in a different direction than we might have expected.”
Speaking about the working environment at Modex, Anca thinks that “it’s a friendly and laid-back environment, and the entire team is really supportive. I like the fact that people who join the company are always given plenty of time and resources to learn everything they need to know in order to do their job well.” Would Anca take another path in her career if given the chance to start all over again? “I like the way things turned out and I’ve had some great experiences, so no, I probably wouldn’t change much about it.”
Our pleasant discussion with Anca also focused on what’s next for the blockchain industry and its importance in the near future. “The blockchain industry is already strong, but it’s still in the early stages of development, which means that we’re still seeing frequent major changes related to both technical aspects and business approaches. It will eventually settle down into a comfortable spot on the wider tech market, but that may take a few more years, and we’re really lucky to be able to witness these developments and participate at this stage.”
Anca adds: “The technology has great potential on the enterprise side, but there’s still a bit of confusion regarding what it can and can’t do – that’s one of the challenges we face at Modex, but after two years I can say that things are definitely improving in this regard.
At the same time, I think the financial side of this technology will continue to have a big impact, but it’s still a few years away from maturity. And even if it does become much more scalable at some point, I find it hard to believe that it might totally overthrow the traditional financial system like some are predicting. It will simply be adopted by more companies and institutions already operating in that world and make some of their jobs easier, and hopefully have a positive impact on regular people’s lives as well.”
As always, our chat ends on a lighter note as Anca tells us more about her hobbies. What does she like to do in her free time to unwind? “I’m kind of a politics nerd, so when I’m at home, I watch / listen to a lot of political content like talk shows or podcasts – in addition to a long and varied list of shows and movies from Netflix and other streaming platforms, of course. I love reading, too, and I’d like to have more time for it. Sometimes it’s difficult to disconnect from the world and just focus on a book. Lately I’ve started to really enjoy cooking as well, so I’ve been trying out new recipes and ingredients.”
“In terms of outdoor activities, I like roller skating and playing badminton, when the weather allows it. Travelling is also one of my favourite things to do and I try to visit new places as often as possible. Even though the pandemic has made international travel more difficult, it’s also given me an opportunity to explore Romania more, and I’ve discovered lots of wonderful places over the past year and a half.”