Alina Luchian, our Communications and Marketing Manager

22 Sep 2020 5 min read
in 5 things
  • Favorite artist: It' hard to choose just one - I'm listening to a lot of Morgan James these days
  • Best book ever read: The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • Dream destination: A cabin in the forest overlooking a lake.
  • Quote you live by: It's x km away from Vama.
  • At the office or remote? Remote for productivity, at the office for creativity.


Tell us a bit about yourself.

Although you might know from the title already, my name is Alina, I'm one of the marketeers behind XWiki and I've been communicating about/as XWiki for almost 4 years. I'm passionate about storytelling, effective messages, and appealing design and imagery. When I'm not wearing black and working for an XWiki campaign, I'm wearing black and exploring (by foot, bicycle, kayak, skis), or petting mammals (I would have said animals, but I really, truly, undoubtedly don't like birds). 

The journey to XWiki

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

My first career was as an entrepreneur and happened when I was around 7 or 8 years old. I would trade my story-reading services for chores completion with my younger brother. I was planning to expand it to new markets (neighboring kids), but my parents weren't big fans of capitalism, so I had to shut down my outsourcing operations.

My second career attempt was rooted in my work as a volunteer while in high school. Once I graduated and could legally work, I started as the coordinator of local youth initiatives: YouthBank and Odyssey of the Mind. It has taught me the importance of understanding the different personalities a team might have and how to make things work even when people disagree. Also, it was a fast-track for becoming more responsible - for me, others, and the project, and I consider that it still has consequences: taking myself too seriously or getting involved in tackling difficult topics. 

Through college I took on different internships - editor for a Leo Burnett campaign, marketing assistant for Iulius Management Center, communications intern in the Romanian Ministry of Youth and Sports, and social media manager for the University of "Alexandru Ioan Cuza" of Iași. I had great mentors along the way, and even with my major not being in marketing, I started persuading a formal career in it. After two years of navigating between corporate and startup jobs as a social media manager, I was headhunted by a former teammate and joined the XWiki team as a content specialist. In the meantime, I've learned to manage events (remotely, nonetheless) and organically grow the website visits, underwent a full remake of the website, and focused on building our branding. 

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

The short answer: it's complicated.

The long version: it's equally exciting and overwhelming - an interesting mix that keeps me dreaming while being grounded. At times it seems our small team is a full-house agency, dealing with blog articles, newsletters, campaigns, organizing events, managing events, creating materials, and doing growth hacking, both in English and French.

We are lucky to count on the extended XWiki team for many activities, thus multiplying our efforts. Although it might sound like I'm complaining, I'm actually trying to point out how much can be achieved with a focused team. 

I am thankful for having these strong coworkers to work alongside, pushing me to get out of my comfort zone, accept colors, ask for better, and challenge the status quo on the matter of office dogs.

At XWiki's 15th anniversary (from left to right: JS, Stefana, Alina, and Ioana Mihoc).

Open Source impressions

Was Open Source something you had an interest in before XWiki?

I was aware of the concept but only understood it in its complexity after I joined XWiki.

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

Transparency - I value having all the information, however harsh it might be to process it. I expect it and offer it - it doesn't help with popularity points, yet it considerably decreases the number of therapy sessions. 

Being an XWikier for 4 years and counting

What has kept you at XWiki so far?

As haughty as it might sound, the respect for what was built before me and the duty to fill the shoes I was given - I took over the leadership of the marketing team from Ludovic, our CEO, you can imagine what a tough act to follow that was. 

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

At a point, I was under a lot of (self-imposed) pressure to do everything perfectly, and when it didn't happen I was harsh with me. I considered I'm not enough, but after dealing with my issues, I realized I can achieve whatever I want if I focus on the bigger picture (and still get things done right). It was one of my big epiphanies - don't worry, I'm still a perfectionist, but a more relaxed one. 

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

For sure the most obvious one: Vama-related knowledge has sky-rocketed emoticon_smile I also like to think that we, as a team, are more comfortable when talking about things that bother us, fears, stress, burnout, or emotions. At least, I am. 

Alina's birthplace: the village of Vama, Suceava.

Lessons learned

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

You're only a mistake away from learning something new. 

The XWiki experience

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

Rebellious - for going against the wave by being independently financed, for being Open Source, by choosing to scale organically and so much more. 

What is your favorite memory of the years as part of XWiki?

All of the seminars were great, but if I were to chose a moment it surely is a battle between:

- 2017's assisting Alexandra and a kayak instructor to rescue a dog swimming for dear life in a lake, obviously while outside was raining cats and dogs;
- 2018's saving three kittens (from becoming squirrels) stuck in a pine tree with some bedsheets borrowed from a nearby B&B - an experience shared with Alexandra, Ștefana, Aaron, Kevin, and Paul;
- 2019's trip to the mountains with part of the Iași team - splitting the last papanași in the restaurant after eating blueberries all day.


Part of the team on the Ceahlău mountain, in the eponymous national park.

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