Meet Kseniia Stolbovaya, Co-Founder & CEO, DAN.IT

Kseniia Stolbovaya

Kseniia Stolbovaya is the co-founder and CEO of DAN.IT EdTech, an organistion that helps young people break into tech. The online courses are available in the metaverse, and the programs are designed to prepare people for the future of tech.

Kseniia is also a trailblazer for other female entrepreneurs who want to use the metaverse for their business.

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

I’m the CEO of the international EdTech company, DAN.IT, and we provide tech training for people who want to switch to tech from other industries. I have a Master’s degree in psychology and a Bachelor’s degree in law. Initially, I planned to continue as a psychologist after graduation, but in my last course, I was invited to work for a large publishing house in the position of learning and development specialist and I took that challenge. In a year, I became the head of the subdivision, and in two years I started my long journey within the international car rental & leasing company – first as an HR, after HRD and for over 7 years as the COO. At that time, I realised that mentorship/ training and tech are fascinating fields for me. So I started to look for opportunities to combine those two great passions of mine – and this is how I got to DAN.IT. I still provide training for some groups, conduct educational webinars and career consultations. But most of all definitely, I am involved in our company growth and our Metaverse centre launch.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career? 

I feel like a more intuitive person and didn’t chase to get a career promotion. I was interested in the job itself, mastering new skills and always curious about the business I was working for. When I was the HR manager for a car rental & leasing company, I thought it was crucially important for me to understand the standards of service, operational flow, and understand the bottlenecks of the process. This is how I got appointed for the COO position.

Have you faced any career challenges along the way, and how did you overcome these?

Mastering a new role is a great challenge because you need to learn something new and perform new tasks you didn’t encounter before. I  suppose that my whole career path is about challenges, but I take them gladly and continue learning even now.

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

Switching to tech was my biggest career achievement. I believe it was the greatest challenge I have ever met, and it took me months to find the right company with values and corporate culture I share. Tech companies prefer to hire from inside the industry, and it takes time and effort to prove that you are worthy of the position, learn and get acquainted with the industry.

Level Up Summit 2022

Don’t miss our Level Up Summit on 06 December, where we’re tackling the barriers for women in tech head on. Join us for keynotes, panels, Q&A’s & breakout sessions on finance, people management, negotiation, influencing skills, confidence building, building internal networks, maximising the power of mentorship, and much more. 

BUY YOUR TICKETS

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success? 

Actually there are two of them – passion and persistence.

What top tips would you give to an individual who is trying to excel in their career in technology? 

  • Learn more about tech companies
  • Get acquainted with the industry
  • Discover tech jobs in demand on the market, find out what skills are required for a specific job
  • Define what is your personal skill gap for the role you want
  • Find a good mentor or course and get ready to fail a couple of first interviews

This is what I call a 5-steps guide for tech industry starters

  • Be ready for constant learning
  • Devote time for reskilling or upskilling
  • Keep the focus on your target
  • Be ready for failures
  • Keep motivation to go further

Do you believe there are still barriers for success for women working in tech, if so, how can these barriers be overcome?

The key barrier I can see refers to personal persuasions or even superstitions which keep a woman from taking on new challenges or roles.

What do you think companies can do to support to progress the careers of women working in technology?

Show case studies of  women who are happy in their technical role.

Educate about tech. Most people still think that Tech is about programming only ) It is far from the truth. Very talented UI/UX designers, Product Owners, Digital Marketers are women. And great FullStack developers as well, for sure )

Encourage women to try themselves in Tech. This is about short courses or long programs which can help master tech skills or professions.

There are currently only 21 per cent of women working in tech. If you could wave a magic wand, what is the one thing you would do to accelerate the pace of change for women in the industry? 

Eliminate all superstitions in the heads of women ) But definitely, as I have no magic wand, I will continue using education. We need to trust ourselves and start believing we can achieve success in the field we choose as long as we are motivated and continue learning.

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech?

 https://www.amazon.com/Future-Tech-Female-Achieve-Diversity/dp/1479875171

https://medium.com (perfect articles on Data Science)

https://www.amazon.com/Zero-One-Notes-Startups-Future/dp/0804139296