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Evo March Spotlight: Tina Xhemalallari

Meet Tina

This month, we’re going to get to know our Project Manager and Scrum Master, Tina, a bit better.

Tell us a little about yourself, Tina.

My background has really shaped me, not just in my personal life but also professionally. I grew up in Albania when it was a communist country. Life was tough. We left the country as refugees when I was 12 years old and moved to Germany and then eventually to the United States. It gave me a perspective on what kind of environment I want to be in and also create for myself and others around me. It let me know how difficult it is to be in an environment that is not nurturing and makes me feel very fortunate to be where I am now.

I currently live in Greece with my husband and my three kids, which keeps me plenty busy. It’s all a balancing act; I’m an expert multitasker!

What do you do at Evo?

I’m a project manager and the Scrum Master for the tech team. I currently work with about 15 people every day. On a daily basis, I help the ETL team, QA team and the development team be more efficient by removing impediments to their work. I protect my team to ensure nothing jeopardises our milestones and progress. Often people will come to them from other teams and ask for new projects or work last minute. I am the filter for all these requests, ranking things according to priorities and ensuring they are as productive as possible with less stress.

I do a lot of things in my role. I help with hiring people and tracking hours. I train newcomers to ensure they are well-oriented. I do the monthly reviews with the CTO Davide, to ensure that we support people from onboarding and on. We don’t want to lose good people, and I help ensure my team has everything they need to succeed. I create milestones and help them with organisation, precision and focus.

My ultimate job is to nurture the team and make them more successful.

You do your work remotely. What is that experience like?

I feel like I was made to work remotely. It really fits my personality. It’s not always easy to work with people of multiple cultures in a diverse, all-remote environment. Everybody brings different perspectives and cultures to their work. But my background and life experiences have helped me to communicate better. Living in so many different cultures throughout my life (including New York in the United States, which is its own melting pot!) has prepared me to interact across those cultural boundaries, empathise with what people are dealing with and help them succeed.

I’ve worked for five years remote for Evo and a few years even before that for another company, and it’s the right fit for me. It’s very convenient to raise a family and work remotely. But more than that, I like that I can make an impact across so many careers around the world.

How’d you end up at Evo?

I started part-time on the QA team. Our CEO Fabrizio interviewed me, hired me, and mentored me. My role has expanded and changed over the years. I was able to grow as a leader in this company and eventually become the head of the team and certify as a Scrum Master. Little by little, this became a good way for me to build my career as I was building my family.

What do you love about your job?

I love my boss and the people I work with. It would break my heart to leave the people I have helped build this company with over the past five years. When I work, I put my whole heart into it. I consider Evo my own company. I’ve worked hard to help bring Evo to where it is today.

When I’m working, I’m taking time from my life and my family to dedicate my time to the success of this company. So it is very important to me. I love working to build a better company that can make an impact, and at Evo, I do feel like my work is contributing significantly to that success.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced at Evo?

I wear multiple hats in my role at Evo. I’m managing a large team, and sometimes that makes it difficult to ensure everyone and everything is taken care of.

I was excited when I started this role but thought it would be an easy transition. Of course, it’s not as easy as I thought it would be when I started! Managing people effectively is a real challenge. You’re not just dealing with the job. You’re also dealing with the personalities on the team. Let’s say you have three people on the team: all of their needs are different. When you’re trying to make a decision that works for everyone, it’s very, very difficult. But I do like to try to do that for people.

Of course, I’ve made some mistakes, but making mistakes is how you learn. And this challenge has pushed me in a positive direction. Now, I love to manage people!

Why do you like managing people?

I like to have a voice for the remote people. I can help improve things when they aren’t going in the right direction. I like being in charge of things.

I guess I’m just a people person! I can be tough but in a kind way. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt and work with people to make them succeed. As a manager, you’re not just there giving orders. You’re guiding. Your mind has to be clear. I may not be doing as many straightforward tasks, but I have to focus on all these things. It’s hard but worth it.

What excites you about Evo’s future?

I’m hoping we can grow and build a stronger organisation. I’m looking forward to everyone developing more skills and having the resources and time to help people grow even further than we are now. Once we invest in people even more, we will build the company to an even better position. It will be exciting to see that pay off as we scale.

What is it like working on the Evo team?

When I was still part-time with Evo, I had another job that wanted me full time. I turned it away because I didn’t like the people. They were not Evo. I couldn’t continue with them.

Here, it’s not a toxic environment. It’s supportive. If I am talking about an employee’s performance with my boss, it’s never a negative takedown. It’s a discussion to try to build them up. Everybody has good intentions. There’s no gossip. If you make mistakes, it’s considered a learning experience that helps you build to more significant accomplishments.

What advice do you have for anyone interested in becoming a part of the EvoFamily?

Be prepared to get your hands dirty. We need dedicated people who are ready to work hard to make Evo a success. From the remote work perspective, it’s easy to feel uninvested in the company’s success, but Evo is willing to invest in you, so you need to be dedicated to doing your work well.

About the author

Kaitlin Goodrich is Evo’s main storyteller who helps communicate Evo’s message to the world.
Kaitlin received her BS in International Affairs and Modern Languages at Georgia Tech and then an LLM in International Trade Law from the University of Turin. She worked in Latin America doing education outreach for U.S. binational centers and has since worked as a content writer for international clients.
In her free time, she likes to travel or curl up with a good book.

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