Who are you?
My name is Barbora, I am 32 and currently live in Mondorf-les-Bains, a little thermal town in Luxembourg. I was born and raised in Komarno, a lovely town in the south of Slovakia. As a child of socialism in former Czechoslovakia, I have been fortunate to have parents that made my childhood wonderfully ‘Pippi Longstocking’ like – adventurous but disciplined, filled with books, outdoor activities, household chores, and exciting travels to the close and faraway towns and lands :).
Despite how good or less good our financial situation was, I greatly admired their ability to take us on a few trips every year, which considerably contributed to the hodophile I grew into. My wanderlust has fully surfaced during my teenage years and I owe it (and the books) invaluable life lessons on humility, gratefulness, and appreciation of being here and now. Reading about and observing how we humans from different corners of the world live, think, collaborate, love and mourn, (hopefully) taught me to be more open-minded, understanding, helpful, and patient in daily interactions with my fellow humans.
I have always been amazed by the great that can come out when people from different cultures exchange their ideas and openly collaborating. And as no university offered a paid degree in ‘travelling, yoga, reading books and becoming a better human’ ( I strongly hope this has changed since :)), I chose what seemed the second-best option at that time and went to study international business. I spent part of my studies in Tuscany, where apart from travelling, eating, and learning how to relax (a skill I so wish to get better at), I met my travel buddy and partner in crime and life, Alex. After Italy, we lived and worked in Slovakia for a couple of years, but soon felt the need to put on our travelling pants again and move out for a few years. And we landed in Luxembourg.
How did you land at Tokeny Solutions?
I often joke that be it not for Daniel Coheur’s persistence and incredibly charming interpersonal skills (I am sure people who know Daniel will attest to this), I would have been long gone from Luxembourg – most probably some place sunnier 😉
While I was at my previous company, I was handling and wrapping up a service migration project for clients of a telecommunication operator when I received the email from Daniel. At that time, he was actually my client, representing the company for whom we’ve been doing the migration and was on the copy of most of the emails I was sending out. In his email, he complimented me on my working style, congratulated me on a job well done, and told me that together with a partner of his, Luc, Tokeny’s CEO, they are currently starting a new company and looking for someone to manage the clients and the implementation of the technical solutions and thinks I would be a great fit.
I was very flattered, but I thanked him and politely explained that I am not searching for a change at the moment. He wasn’t ready to let it go yet, wrote me a bit more about the company and also mentioned that his wife is also Slovak and that graduated from the same university. What are the odds? I came clean and told him that the job definitely sounds interesting but that I want to be 100% honest and admitted that I am planning to leave Luxembourg in less than a year and wouldn’t find it fair to start in a new position. He quickly responded that if that is my only worry, worried I shan’t be and if I would want, I can move out with my job if I want to. We all met for lunch, had a very good talk, exchanged ideas and expectations, and soon after I started at Tokeny as Account Success/Implementation Manager.
How would you describe working at Tokeny Solutions?
Dynamic, ever-changing, sometimes stressful, but very supportive, open-minded, and fun. The team is everything, a soul of the company, and they are wonderful. I have worked with various tech teams, but never have I ever experienced such a strong commitment to delivering the best possible solution, striving to go above and beyond. This invaluable and comforting feeling that we have our back. When the fit hits the shan, which it sometimes does, we stress later, pull our sleeves up and if possible, get the job done in the best possible way. If not possible, we make sure we learned the most of it so that we can build on it and avoid it in the future. I very much appreciate how very different we all are, speak different languages, have various working styles and cultures that shaped us. Working with a remote team definitely has its challenges and is not always a piece of cake, but a kind Slack message and regular calls are doing wonders.
What are you most passionate about in life?
About learning to live a better life I would say. The complexity of the consciousness, wonders of minds, and the existence of the world as we know it fascinate me. When I can, I read or listen to audiobooks on mindfulness, neuroscience, moral philosophy, psychotherapy, the use of psychedelics in it… I truly LOVE walking (a day without a walk is a day wrongly planned), gardening, and just being outdoors in general.
What is your ultimate dream?
My dream is to be able to say to myself that I did the best I could with what I had, learned how to be genuinely present, undistracted, and most appreciative of the one life I have. I like to think of it as striving to live up to one’s potential and honouring the gift of life. The traveller in me would also say that I wish to work no more than 4 hours a week and dedicate the rest of the time to my family, my human kindred spirits, reading, exploring, walking, and giving back. However, I do hope to become a parent one day, and seeing my children grow into wonderful, engaged, morally strong, and happy humanists would be the ultimate dream.
What would you change in the world if you could?
Oh, so many things. I would love for all of us to be able to feel and acknowledge that helping our less fortunate fellow humans is not an extra, a nice, or big-of-oneself thing to do, but simply our moral obligation. Randomness plays a huge role in where and to whom we are born and hugely predetermines the paths most of us can take, the education we can get, the people we can become or connect with, the jobs we can get. I would love to get everyone from the ‘well-off’ side of the pond which I myself am a lucky occupant to dedicate at least 1% of their net annual income towards shrinking the fast-growing gap between the rich and poor. I am a big proponent of effective altruism myself and hope to be strong enough to dedicate 5% of my net annual net income by 40. I would also ensure that everyone has the same access to high-quality education, which would result in a significant rise in critical thinking and information processing, which would eventually lead to the end of violent religions as we know them now.