Coming back to the interview series “Side by side” where we asked one Consultant and one Partner to give us a glimpse into their day-to-day activities and show us a parallel of being in both positions. This time, we asked our colleagues from the Latvian branch. Oleksandr Volik is an Associate Partner whereas Valts Ulmanis is a Senior Consultant.
1. What is your perfect morning routine to start the day?
Oleksandr: I like starting the day with a wholesome breakfast. While eating, I also take the opportunity to read the latest articles 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 and afterwards just slowly starting the day with some breakfast and relevant podcasts to keep track of things. Sometimes an early run helps to start the day even better.
2. What is the music track that you love to play when coming to work?
Oleksandr: When it comes to music tracks, I'm particularly fond of experimental rock and new wave genres. The blend of unique sounds, unconventional structures, and artistic exploration captivates my senses. In particular, I find myself drawn to tracks that evoke the spirit of legendary bands like Pink Floyd, with their immersive soundscapes and thought-provoking lyrics.
Valts: Typically podcasts on different topics are in my headphones. But if there is music playing there, then in most cases it would have to be music way older than me – usually, different rock bands from the 60s, 70s and 80s. For what it’s worth, this kind of music, created so far away, still holds the line for me.
3. How do you usually relax during work breaks?
Oleksandr: During work breaks, I usually relax by chatting with my friends and colleagues and enjoying a cup of coffee.
Valts: Usually just going for a snack or having a small walk.
4. Do you cook and if so, what is your favourite dish to make?
Oleksandr: Personally, I don't cook often, reserving it for the weekends. When I do, one of my favorite dishes to make is pasta. The versatility of pasta allows for a wide range of delicious creations, from classic Italian recipes to more adventurous and unique variations.
Valts: Yes – actually, for some years, I have been going through the list of world countries in alphabetic order and making some kind of traditional dishes for family dinners. In the time of writing, Lesotho with Butha-Buthe is next in the line. But regarding the favourite dish to make – probably pancakes (either the classical or potato ones), as this is usually easy-to-make and quite delicious (if not burnt) comfort food.
5. How do you keep your motivation up during the day?
Oleksandr: I employ 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 overwhelming feelings. By focusing on one task at a time, I can stay motivated and build momentum throughout the day. Secondly, I strike a balance between working independently and engaging in calls or meetings with my colleagues. While some tasks require concentration and solitude, incorporating regular interactions with my coworkers provides a valuable opportunity for collaboration, feedback, and social connection.
Valts: Setting up a reasonable plan for the day and prioritizing the tasks usually works for me. Also, doing things that bring some impact is also a good motivator.
6. Do you have some hobbies and if so, which ones?
Oleksandr: I enjoy reading books in my free time, particularly fiction stories. Before the war, I was also hiking a lot. I plan to restart doing it after our Ukrainian victory.
Valts: Running. Whether it is 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, whether it is skiing, hiking, cycling or exploring some local waterways with a SUP board. For more laid-back days – picking up some good book.
7. What is your favourite weekend activity?
Oleksandr: On weekends, one of my favorite activities is taking a leisurely stroll around the city and meeting up with friends or colleagues. Weekends provide a valuable opportunity to catch up with friends, as the busy work days sometimes leave little time for socializing.
Valts: Most probably something related to my hobbies, and afterwards enjoying some leisure time with the closest ones.
8. What did you learn during your time in CIVITTA?
Oleksandr: During my time in CIVITTA, I 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. Interacting with clients and colleagues provided me with firsthand experience in building relationships and delivering successful outcomes.
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. Simultaneously, it has given me exposure to a range of industries and processes, giving a broader perspective on things overall.
9. 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 values’ compass creates a positive and supportive work environment that fosters trust, collaboration, and impact. Furthermore, the intellectual capacity of my team members is truly inspiring. 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: This combination of different backgrounds and experiences, as well as the collaborative nature and nice atmosphere gives me the motivation to keep going forwards and do my best. It also gives a very good foundation for the overall success in the future.
10. 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.