Avast is an ideal employer for student workers

Grace Macej 3 Aug 2016

In this Q&A, five of our student workers share why they love working at Avast.

Avast student workers

From left to right: Timofei Semisynov, Nikola Jančiková, Tomáš Flek, Simona Stančeková and Bohuslav Endt.

At Avast, student workers are a special and integral part of our employee base. In order to get a genuine picture of life at Avast through a student worker’s lens, I sat down with five of our colleagues who work in various departments of the company. Although they are each responsible for different functions, there’s one key element that they all have in common: they are the makers and doers behind the most trusted mobile and PC security in the world.

My first question to the group is this: what makes Avast stand out to you as a tech company?

Tomáš Flek is a QA Mobile Engineer who has been with Avast for over two years. When asked about what first struck him about Avast, he responded, “The thing that surprised me the most was the culture inside the company. You can feel a family-like atmosphere in the office, which isn’t often found in large companies.”

Simona Stančeková, also a QA Engineer, sees Avast’s company values embodied by the people who compose it. She says, “I love that our company is not fulfilled by empty industry buzzwords and needless managers, but instead with hardworking people.”

For Nikola Jančiková, who serves as a Web Content Specialist, there were a few decisive points that made Avast an obvious choice. She says, “The company’s greatest mission is to keep people safe, and they do so free of charge. Furthermore, it’s an internationally recognized company that was founded and is situated in the Czech Republic! Lastly, Avast has a truly unique corporate culture that is created by friendly, amazing people.”

If you follow us on Facebook or Instagram, it’s easy to see that Avastians like to have fun. I asked the group about some interesting events that have taken place within the company during the time that they’ve worked at Avast.

Timofei Semisynov joined as Avast’s Social Media Community Manager for Russia earlier this year, and he was quickly welcomed into the dynamic work schedule of the company’s communications team. “I had only been with Avast for a few weeks when my team attended Engage 2016, one of the biggest and most renowned social media marketing conferences in Europe,“ said Timofei. “It was a great experience not only from an educational side, but also in terms of networking. The conference was a great opportunity to get acquainted with both my colleagues who work in other countries and industry professionals from different companies. After this warm welcome into Avast, I promptly realized it’s a great company that provides all employees with myriad opportunities for consistent growth.”

In addition to awesome conferences, teambuilding activities are a regular part of life at Avast. Tomáš says, “The best event I have been to was one of our team buildings. Our team rented an old train exclusively for our group, and we were served beer on tap while we traveled through the beautiful train tracks that led us through Prague and its surrounding areas. In addition to enriching team outings, the company also organizes regular release parties and other conferences, such as mDevCamp or WebExpo.”

QA Engineer Bohuslav Endt has similar positive memories with his team members. “Some events have been purely for leisure, like the time that my team went go-karting together!”, said Bohuslav. “Others are more educational, such as Avast Perspectives, a series of lectures in which industry experts from various fields share their knowledge and mind-blowing work with Avast employees.”

Moving forward, I asked everyone about their favorite aspects of their roles at Avast.

Simona replied, “One of my favorite aspects of my role is that I get to collaborate with multiple teams. That allows me to communicate with a broader audience, discover how other departments in the company work and sort out ways to analyze and resolve certain issues from multiple perspectives.”

Bohuslav then went on to describe the highlights of a day in the life at the office: “As a QA engineer, I like the fact that I can follow programmers‘ thoughts and try to ‘outsmart’ their code. Most of the time, the bugs I discover are not critical flaws, but corner cases or visual bugs. What I also like is the fact that we can contribute to projects from the beginning of the design process, so from time to time, I’m actually able to see my own influence on the final product.”

Although working at Avast is a lot of fun, our employees work hard. I was curious about our student workers‘ biggest challenges in their roles.

Timofei says, “In addition to creating meaningful content on Avast’s Russian social media channels, I receive a lot of feedback and questions about our products and their features. Fortunately, most of these comments are positive, but we sometimes need to solve urgent issues in a quick and organized manner. Building and maintaining values of customer loyalty on social media is certainly a rewarding challenge.”

For Simona, “The ultimate challenge is of course to think outside the box. When I was hired, I had to learn a lot about set up workflows and processes and I had to get used to work with a very predefined environment and assignments. After some time, I was able to follow my own ideas and add improvements to certain workflows, which is a big responsibility for only a student. Working in a dynamic tech company forces you to react quickly and come up with innovative ways to solve specific problems.”

We wrapped up our Q&A on a bright note, discussing the people that serve as our student workers‘ mentors in the office.

Nikola said that she couldn’t imagine having a better manager than she does in her current role. “Richard Barry, Avast’s web director, is a huge support to me. He gives me space for my opinions and lets me make my own decisions -- I can feel that he trusts me, which I truly appreciate. He’s also very patient when I am unsure about something (which can be quite often at the beginning of a new job), so I‘m not scared to approach him with questions. On top of those things, he’s just really fun to work with. He is nice to everybody, smiles all the time (seriously, how can one smile all day long?!) and has a positive and enthusiastic drive that motivates me to do my best.”

Timofei met one of the people he looks up to the most within days of starting at Avast. He says, “I met a lot of great people from marketing, HR, customer care and other teams who support me and who I learn from. One of the first people that I met here is our eCommerce Country Expert for Russia, Sergey Denisov, who is always ready to help me and give valuable advice.”

Thank you all for your responses.  Keep on keepin’ on!