Walltopia’s people from around the world – Kim Dao
Walltopia has always been powered by Bulgarians. Started out by 2 of them, and 21 years later, our work is made possible by almost 900 in the headquarters and the factories. In the same time, we are almost completely export-oriented. And although we work with local agents for most of our markets, up until recently, it was only us.
Yet, in the last year, our office at Sofia welcomed more foreign employees than we have ever had before, coming from places like Chiliе, Switzerland, Vietnam, Ukraine, Romania and Ivory Coast. We realized that this inevitably leads to changes. On one side, they bring different perspectives and approaches to work. On the other, there is the cultural enrichment – like sharing stories and exchanging local recipes in our lunch breaks.
And while we’re still getting used to switching to English when we speak to be inclusive, we value the presence of people with such diverse backgrounds. That’s why we decided to turn to them – the non-Bulgarian employees, and ask them about their point of view – both at Walltopia and in Bulgaria. We did it to see what could be improved, and to share their experience with the world.
We got some fun, honest, and sometimes unexpected answers. Here’s what they had to say:
Kim Dao, coming from Vietnam
How long have you been at Walltopia and what is your position?
It’s been almost 3 months now since my first workday – and my position is Sales Specialist for the Asia Pacific region.
How did you get to know about Walltopia?
Through the company website and through my friend who is currently working at Walltopia.
What was your drive to apply for a position at the company?
From what I know before – Walltopia is a company where real work and taking responsibility are appreciated and where people can grow if they have a serious attitude to build a career – and this is exactly what I’m looking for.
How does being a foreigner affect your work life?
Being an Asian is a plus for me at the office as I’m working for the Asian market. I understand the difference between the European and Asian culture and this helps to work better with the clients from that region.
Honestly, since I started, I didn’t feel much different while working at the Walltopia HQ office as everyone is friendly and they’re willing to provide me help and support whenever I need it. Sometimes I’m just curious while other people are laughing or when I’m listening to my colleagues speak with each other in Bulgarian – I wonder what it is about.
And how do you feel about living and working in Sofia?
What I enjoy the most about Sofia while working and living here is that life here is so much less stressful compared to other cities I’ve lived in Europe, like Bordeaux, France. On one side, the living standard is cheaper – rent is cheaper, transportation is convenient for me to go to work – taxies are cheaper and Sofia offers many activities that I really enjoy like music festivals, cooking classes, secondhand shops, vintage markets, etc. On the other side, when it comes to anything related to administration or documents – it’s a nightmare. 😀
What accomplishment are you most proud of for your time at Walltopia?
I just joined the team recently so I haven’t had enough time to bring up and finish any “real deal” yet but I’m already very proud to be a part of the Sales team with so many intelligent and awesome people. I’m looking forward to achieving and finishing many different projects together with Walltopia.
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
So far, the biggest challenge I have is managing the working speed and workflow with the teammates from other departments as we’re a big team. I’m sure I will get there but I just need a bit more time 🙂
How has your mindset changed since you came here?
I think my mindset became really “flexible” as I’ve decided to open my mind to adapt. I’m developing the ability to deal with any kind of situation, whatever happens.
What do you look forward to on a Monday morning?
Waking up – Getting myself ready and being at work on the time that I set up for myself around 8.45-8.50. This way I can have time for a cup of tea.
Then, I review all of my work from last week, I write my “To-do” list and start looking for new projects to challenge me.