Employee Highlight: Vessy Stroumsky

Vessy Stroumsky, Head of Product & Data at ParagraphAI, discusses his role, emphasizing speed, collaboration, and his diverse background's impact on his work. He shares insights on managing in the tech industry, his journey as a former refugee, and the importance of culture in the workplace.

Head of Product & Data and ParagraphAI jokester Vessy Stroumsky keeps a finger on the pulse of the mobile and tech industry. We asked him about his experience on the engineering team, what it’s been like to grow here, and what makes ParagraphAI different from other employers. We were blown away with his fun, honest, and insightful answers.

What made you choose to work at ParagraphAI?

Honestly, at first when I met Shail last year I immediately felt his level of excitement and as he introduced me to PAI and GPT. Then as I dove deeper into this world, I became obsessed. As I started using PAI in my own work and getting others to use it the response was pretty unanimous: this is SO freaking cool.

What motivates you?

First and foremost: passion. When a team (or individual) is passionate about something, I'm there 100% all in - (whether I understand it or not). This has probably gotten me in trouble before, but I'm hooked on passionate founders and teams.

What do you love most about working in the tech industry?

Controversial: but I love the ambiguity and uncertainty that follows tech. One day you're working on the latest and greatest and the next week you're obsolete. It keeps you on your toes and keeps you resilient.

How would you describe your management style?

Fast, Collaborative — I think it makes sense to lead with confidence while staying receptive and open to feedback and changes. The "fast" because I like to make data-backed decisions quickly, but collaborative as in I expect the team to rally together to ensure the decision is worthwhile and in-alignment with our goals.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received in your career?

Oof, this is a tough one - there's been a lot of great advice given to me... I think the most helpful day-to-day has been two-part: 1. Only optimize in one area at a time because when you try to in too many areas you get lost quickly; and 2. Avoid keeping it in your head - no secrets. You'll hear me come back to this latter one time-and-time again - write things down. It not only mechanically helps you process information differently, it manifests it which brings other advantages.

How has your diverse background shaped what you bring to ParagraphAI and your career at large?

My interests and attention vary, and I love to tinker/get into things to learn them from end to end. My foundation in math has given me logical/analytical tools and thinking, and my creative side allows me to see and appreciate the world differently.

What do you like to do outside of work?

Right now I'm learning the acoustic guitar, acrylic painting, and Japanese. I play League of Legends (ARAM) with a crew every now and then, and on weekends you'll probably find me at a cafe reading, having a nice bite to eat, or seeing a DJ (house, deep house, trance, psytrance, and recently techno). I also love to row on my ERG and used to post daily rowing videos to social media.

What role do culture and connectivity play in your work experience?

Really, I'm looking at stepping into PAI as if I'm joining a family — so it's very important! This is a magical time for any company and this size of team is when we should feel pretty connected. As we grow, being able to foster an open and connected team is only going to ensure that all of our ideas are heard and we have a space to challenge the status quo.

What’s something fun about you that people might not know?

I'm a former refugee. I wear this badge more proudly than I probably should take credit for, but my family escaped communism in Bulgaria by flying from Russia to Cuba on a plane that stopped in Gander, Newfoundland. There, we got off the plane and became political refugees until we became full-fledged Canadians in '96.

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