“Continuous improvement is one of my top priorities”. Interview with Dmytro Panchuk, Alumni of A-Players School for Engineers

Last December, together with Dmytro Shcherbyna, co-founder and CTO at Lightspot (ex-Ephy), and Andriy Sorokhan, co-founder and CEO at Lightspot (ex-Ephy), we launched A-Players School for Engineers 2.0. Software engineers had two-course options to develop their skills — Product Track and Leadership Track.

We were so glad to bring together participants and mentors who share our values ​​and impact-driven approach! Many of them have now undergone significant career changes while the A-Players community continues to grow and develop.

Recently we sat down with one of the School’s participants, Dmytro Panchuk, to talk about his impressions of studying and the further history of his career. Check out this interview below to know about the values ​​that unite Dmytro and his current employer, as well as the crucial skills needed to make a career switch.

Dmytro, why did you decide to join A-Players School for Engineers and how did studying at school help you in your further career?

— I joined the A-Players School for Engineers in December 2020. Prior to that, during the whole year, I was considering a career change from engineering to product management. And the school turned out to be a great opportunity for the first steps in the implementation of this switching. However, when I started the learning track, my initial goal was to acquire some additional skills and evaluate the learning outcomes. Later, I concentrated on a career change.

So, choosing between two tracks — Leadership and Product Management Track — I opted for the second. During one month we attended lectures and worked on the project in accordance with the chosen field of study. This helped me to structure the knowledge and start using it in practice.

Even before I started studying, I was wowed by the level of speakers at school — this was one of the biggest reasons that convinced me to join. These are people from the coolest companies in the world holding senior and executive positions, and their experience and expertise are really inspiring.

I also expanded my professional network, which had a great impact on the next stage in my career. Actually, due to the recommendation of one of the school’s co-founders, I met Mate Academy, where I currently work as a Product Manager for Huntd. But even despite it, I would still choose this direction, and I realized this while studying at A-Players School for Engineers.

— Why did you choose Mate Academy and what are your responsibilities on the project?

— Well, it’s difficult to build a career path in product management from scratch without any previous experience. Before that, I had little leadership experience, and to some extent, it is connected to what I’m doing now. However, the founders of Mate Academy were looking for a person with an engineering background and a strong willingness to develop and grow as a professional. From my side, I was ready to immerse myself in the new area, learn from mistakes and give myself as much as possible to the product. In addition, we do have common values, and that’s really important to me.

So, I am now developing a new direction for this product company — we are working on the Huntd platform, which helps engineers get jobs in great companies. As a product manager, I attract new customers, partly do marketing, and, of course, I’m involved in team collaboration. My responsibilities also include defining our next steps in terms of future development.

— You just said that you shared common values. What are these values ​​and why do you like them?

— Yes, indeed, the company’s values ​​resonate with my personal ones, and this is one of the most important factors for me. In general, I consider values ​​to be the fundamental basis for anything. I have spent a lot of time researching this topic; I formed values ​​for myself and now I keep nurturing them.

At Mate Academy, we highly value the ownership approach. Actually, the founders ask us to act like founders, and I like it. As an engineer, I used to do my best to deliver my tasks — and now in my new role, I keep the same approach. This is a personal responsibility, and you have nothing to do in product management if you don’t have it.

Another value is absolute responsibility. Very often, people shift their mistakes and responsibilities onto someone else. And this value says that, first of all, you need to understand what exactly you can learn from a particular situation and how you could impact the outcome. By the way, my personal principle — focus on results — is also related to this. If you are obsessed with something and look only at one point, you will not go far. Absolute responsibility is also about the fact that when you blame someone, you are more process-oriented than result-oriented. That’s why I try to prevent this.

We also have a “be humble” value. No matter how significant the results are, we should not turn up our noses. We should always remember that something bigger is ahead. The next value — be ambitious — directly relates to this. For us, setting high goals is more challenging and thus, interesting :)

— A match on values ​​is great, but does the company’s mission respond to you?

— I really admire that Mate Academy helps people get the job of their dreams in the tech sphere. They prove that anything is possible and that everyone can master a profession that he or she likes so much. The success is enormous — the employment rate of our graduates reaches 90%, and it is very inspiring. Just like the founders, I am very driven by making an impact for the world and society instead of just focusing on money.

— You have accomplished a successful switch between professions and now you work for an impact-driven company. What skills would you recommend to develop for anyone interested in the same path?

— Personal responsibility and results-focus — I have already mentioned it. Also, one of my top priorities is continuous improvement. It goes with me throughout my life! I think this is the first and most fundamental reason for the career I have now.

My curiosity is something that also helps me, and it matches my personal development. In addition, I treat mistakes as another step for professional growth. I also work with my fears. After all, only by facing our fears and letting them go, we can develop and go forward.

This story proves that following their dreams, real top performers strive for personal and professional development, and never stop looking for new opportunities. We appreciate Dmytro’s willingness to help, improve and develop his environment; and we are glad that it coincides with the company’s mission. We are sure that the upcoming A-Players School for Engineers 3.0 will reveal even more stories of positive changes. Follow our announcements on the website and social media to know more!

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