CREATING QUALITY STORIES ONCE AGAIN
AIESEC + WHYTTEST = GLOBAL ENTREPRENEUR PART V
Not a long time ago we welcomed Camila from Brazil, marking another great chapter and cultural exchange with our friends from AIESEC.
This time we raised the bar and opened our doors for three awesome guys from Greece: Dimitrakakis Charalampos, Antonis Athanasiou & Iliou Giorgos.
Find out their stories in the following interview!
Hi guys, welcome to Team Whyttest!
A.: Tell us about your international experience and background so far.
Dimitrakakis Charalampos: Hi, I am Charalampos, I am 21 years old and I am currently studying Computer Science at the University of Piraeus. I am on my 3rd year of studies, and I also joined AIESEC 6 months ago as a side gig. Basically, I am doing marketing and promotion there, signing people up to go to the many amazing experiences AIESEC offers. So, it was a matter of time before I also chose an opportunity to apply.
Antonis Athanasiou: My international experience is a bit limited, as I have traveled only to Rome, Italy. Thus, I figured it was a good chance to visit another European country and, in the meantime, strengthen my CV with working experience.
I study Finance and Accounting in Greece and I’m about to graduate this year. At first glance, QA testing and Business Administration seem irrelevant, but I don’t have a clear idea of what I want to do for a living, so I view every experience as a plus.
Iliou Giorgos: I am a first-year student of computer science and I didn’t have any work experience until now. I have travelled in 5 countries without counting Greece and Romania, mostly through programs like AIESEC or school trips and I wish to travel more and improve my skills and knowledge.
A.: Why did you apply for QA Testing?
Dimitrakakis Charalampos: I may study Computer science, but in reality, I don’t want to sit all day and write code. I’m not that crazy (kidding of course). Experimenting with things other than coding gives you a more general view of the development of a program/game/you-name-it. QA testing seemed very interesting, besides being also very important. So, AIESEC gave me a real opportunity here, this summer doing something different yet productive and providing real work experience. I was never a “heavy” gamer in my life, but it’s something I really enjoy doing here, while I also explore the more technical side of things, distinguishing the game elements and reporting bugs.
Antonis Athanasiou: I applied for QA mainly because it seemed fun. Also, I view the writing of reports a fun and interesting challenge.
Iliou Giorgos: I applied mainly for the work experience but its also relevant with my hobbies, studies and my desired profession as game developer.
A.: What skills do you need if you want to adapt when working abroad?
Dimitrakakis Charalampos: After the first week, in which you learn how things work basically, everything runs smoothly. But in general, you need to be very solution-oriented, think straight and stay calm. As for work, I didn’t need to really “adapt” because the quality and the standards are pretty good around here. Practicing your English and remembering names is also considered a plus.
Antonis Athanasiou:I don’t think that there are any “special” skills that one needs to learn in order to work abroad. The skills that a job requires remain more or less the same, regardless of country. Here in Whyttest, everyone speaks English and the culture compared to Greece isn’t that much different, if at all.
Iliou Giorgos: Communication, teamwork, socialization and efficiency.
A.: Do you value creativity or efficiency more?
Dimitrakakis Charalampos: To be honest, I am more of a creative person. For example, I have a small youtube channel and I make new videos every once in a while. Editing a video is no small task. It can take all day. It shouldn’t but I make it take so long, because I sit down and edit for 5 minutes and then I make circles around the house for the next 10, watching the progress and thinking what I should add next. Not the most efficient workflow, I know. But great things always take time, right? Seriously though, working at Whyttest has helped me draw a fine line between creativity and efficiency. When we work, we work. When it’s break, we do everything else.
Antonis Athanasiou: This is a hard one, because both are necessary for success in the business world. If I had to choose thought, I would pick efficiency.
Iliou Giorgos: I believe until you have some independence, efficiency is more important but after you get some freedom, creativity is what will make you distinguish from the others.
A.: What do you think about Whyttest?
Dimitrakakis Charalampos: Whyttest is arguably the best thing about the whole experience here in Romania. What can I say, really. From the office to the people, everything is pretty neat. It gives you great motivation and in the meantime you learn a lot of things. From day one, when we started our training, to the present, you work and interact with people who have years of experience in the field. Also I love the “Recreation Room”, which has a ping pong table, and is the place we spend most of our breaks.
Antonis Athanasiou: Whyttest was a pleasant surprise for me considering I had low expectations. The office is huge, and the atmosphere is friendly. I also really like the events that get organized from time to time, i.e. the Brawhalla tournament.
Iliou Giorgos: Friendly people and work environment, cooperative and helpful colleges and fun events.
A.: What is your favourite videogame and why?
Dimitrakakis Charalampos: Sid Meier’s Railroads. I don’t know why. I really like trains. I have played many similar games but this one has stuck to me the most. It’s one of those games that make you forget to eat all day.
Antonis Athanasiou:That’s such a hard question! It has to be Warcraft III: Frozen Throne. I started playing DotA and then I was playing fanatically the custom-made maps from the community. What gave the game life was the gamers that took time and energy to create customs maps, some of which were really good. I hope someday a similar game will come where the community can create its own maps
Iliou Giorgos: My favorite video game is Hyper Light Drifter. It’s not very popular but its beautiful 2D pixel art graphics, slash and dash action, high skill cap and the deep-interesting story, that’s being told without any dialog, are the perfect combination for me.
A.: What do you like the most/the least about Romania?
Dimitrakakis Charalampos: I really like the car and motorcycle culture of the country. I’m not talking about the national car (Dacia Logan) but the fact that on weekends people gather in front of the parliament and chill with their cars and bikes has impressed me the most. A small sign that people come first and tourists 2nd.
The worst thing is the subway. Ugly, hard to learn, terrible stations. It works, but that’s not enough.
Antonis Athanasiou:One of the biggest things that impressed me is the numerous parks that Bucharest has and the wide streets. In Greece, and especially in Athens, these things are not common -we barely have space for anything.
I can’t say that I dislike anything about Romania, but what I can say is that I miss the Greek beaches and the Greek way of socializing-entertainment. What I miss the most is the abundant cafeterias that sell cold coffee!
Iliou Giorgos: My favorite things in Romania are the parks and a place called Therme. What I didn’t like was the lack of people that speak English.
A.: What are the biggest differences you see between Romania and Greece?
Dimitrakakis Charalampos: Besides the obvious fact that everything is much cheaper around here, the average person you interact with doesn’t know basic English. This is not a problem when you have a Romanian buddy with you who acts as your translator, but it is when you are alone and you are at a bank, a train station, or a taxi. Apart from that, there are a lot of similarities, both as countries and as people. After all, the distance separating the two countries is very small.
Antonis Athanasiou: The way we spend our free time. In Greece we have coffee places in every corner, and it is very common for people to hang around there for 1.5 to 3 hours. In Romania I barely found any. Also the fast food options are very different. In Bucharest there are a lot of burgers, whereas in Greece it’s not that common, mainly because we have better options like souvlaki and gyros!
Iliou Giorgos: The biggest differences are probably the landscape and the people characters.
A.: As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Dimitrakakis Charalampos: When I was a kid my plan A was to be a train driver, and plan B to work with computers. In the end, plan A became a hobby and plan B became a job.
Antonis Athanasiou: When I was growing up, I wanted to become a professional soccer player. Unfortunately, my parents didn’t push me to that direction, and I was never sent to a soccer academy to test my skills.
Iliou Giorgos: I used to want to become a teacher because I am good at teaching and that I have patience, plus the long vacation but a few years ago I decided that computers are my future.
A.: Thank you for the interview! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Dimitrakakis Charalampos: I love you all and I wish I could stay more here. It’s already been a month and the countdown to Greece has already started. I really like Whyttest and I would never imagine waking up every day and wanting to go to work. I wish you guys the best for the time to come.
Antonis Athanasiou: That’s all guys! Thank you so much. Σας εύχομαι τα καλύτερα! (I wish you all the best!)
Iliou Giorgos: I couldn’t ask for a better place to work for the first time. If I knew Romanian, I would definitely love to work here, until I could continue my career. Thank you for having me.