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Ioana Însurățelu, our HR and Office Admin specialist

09 Jul 2020 5 min read

This article is based on a video conversation with Ioana. The opinions and wording are the author’s personal understanding of that conversation and not an exact transcript of it.

Ioana is our Human Resources and Office Manager in Iași. Mother to 3-years-old Eric, she has an amazing background experience, is the Marie Condo to our office, and always has the team's best interest at heart. She has been at XWiki for 2 years, and we couldn't be happier to have her as a teammate. 

in 5 things
  • Favorite artist: Freddie Mercury
  • Best book ever read: Becoming by Michelle Obama
  • Dream destination: USA
  • Quote you live by: “Where flowers bloom so does hope.”
  • At the office or remote? At the office, mostly

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hi, I'm Ioana Însurățelu (nee Arhip), 34 years old, and I've been at XWiki for the last 2 years. I'm the second Însurățelu to join the team, my husband being a Project Manager previous to me joining, so I feel like I know the company and people for a lot longer. A florist at heart (I have a Ph.D. in Floriculture) and I'm the happy mother of Eric.

The journey to XWiki

What were you doing before XWiki? Did you change careers when joining our team?

Previous to XWiki, I've earned a doctorate in Floriculture, had a radio segment presenting gig for almost 7 years, I worked in my family's flower shop and organized events. One of the jobs I've always dreamt of was being a teacher in the University (landscaping became my passion in high school) and after an Erasmus placement in Italy and another one in Greece I said that's the one for me. But now I know that my heart is along with flowers, as a florist, as well as with people. As I've always been passionate about people, their needs, their passions, and what drives them, I've chosen to persuade a career in HR - and I'm thrilled I did. I've started with a job in a large corporation and while on maternity leave I got word of the job opening at XWiki, had a talk with Diana (my manager), and I was asked if I would take the job. It was a whirlwind of emotions at first, as I did not expect to get it so soon. I was expected to start as soon as possible, my baby was still... well, a baby emoticon_smile and I felt like I was leaving him. I cooled down when presented with the opportunity to start as a part-time employee at first, with a flexible at-the-office/remote schedule.

I've highly appreciated the support I got along the way - I couldn't have asked for a better onboarding experience. 


Ioana and baby-Eric in 2018, at their first XWiki seminar. 

What is it like to be working in the Human Resources team at XWiki?

I had previous experience at a large corporation, yet only after joining this team, I got to feel like I can pour myself in the job. The past two years have been challenging and rewarding at the same time, I've learned and experienced a lot, I've pushed myself and others to improve procedures, tools, or relationships. I've never had a moment when I felt bored, there's always a project going on in our team. What contributed a lot to my happiness at work is the trust I was given by the extended team. Even though I had to learn lots of new things, I was able to work independently six months after being hired. My skills from previous jobs came in handy, as I got to organize the office space, a seminar, XWiki's 15 years anniversary party, and many more. Our team is powerful because we have adjacent skills that are not requested by the job description but save the day, every day emoticon_smile

Open Source impressions

Was Open Source something you had an interest in prior to XWiki?

Not actually, but I knew what it was and I agreed with its values.

What's the Open Source value you identify with most?

Although it might sound like a cliche, the thing that I find myself enjoying the most is collaboration. Collaboration is what got me here, collaborating is how I do my job every day and I couldn't see it any other way. Some people have a shock when presented to the way we work, especially when coming from a hierarchical organization, but get to love it after a while. I know I did.


Being an XWikier

What has kept you at XWiki so far?

The people and the job, with all the ups and downs and all the new things that I've learned (and I'm still learning). 

If you ever wished for a job change, what made you decide to stay?

Even though it was not the case so far, I think that the stability and trust in XWiki's vision would always convince me to stay.

What were the most drastic ways in which XWiki changed during the years you've been around?

While on maternity leave I felt like losing contact with my passion for work, and I actually thought that I will never find it again. What working at XWiki did for me was breathing in a new passion for problem-solving, organizing, communicating, collaborating, and, overall, working. It does help a lot that it's with people that are unique, creative, and smart.

Working with Ioana is a true pleasure! Result-oriented, determined, hardworking, creative and close to people, Ioana is a valuable member of our team. With her super planning and organisational skills, she impresses us every time. We can always count on her, we're very happy to have her at XWiki and we hope she will stay for a long long time with us!

- Diana Veron, HR & Admin Manager

Lessons learned

What would you say is the most valuable lesson you learned during your time at XWiki?

You can't please all the people, but you can find the balance between your experience/ gut and their opinion.

The XWiki experience

If you could describe XWiki's culture in one word, what would it be?


Favorite memory of your years as part of XWiki?

I don't have just one: the year of 2019 was a great one professionally and I will remember it fondly. 

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