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From Project Manager to Country Head: Iurii Sukhovii Shares his Dynamic Career Journey at EPAM

Iurii Sukhovii’s career at EPAM has skyrocketed over the last decade. Initially, he started as a Project Manager in Ukraine, then transitioned to  Senior Account Manager, and now also serves as the Country Head of the EPAM offices in Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Spend a few minutes learning more about Iurii’s professional career journey. We hope you gain some helpful insights.

Share with us how you became a Project Manager at EPAM and how that role evolved.

My journey began more than 10 years ago as the financial services sector started to grow their capabilities in the Ukraine. At university, I became interested in investment banking, development and finance. Early in my career, I realized I wanted to become a project manager because I liked the combination of having technology skills (like C++, Java and object-oriented programming) and soft skills.

After working in several roles at other companies, I joined EPAM and initially worked with one client for 10 years. It was an exciting and enjoyable experience, and it was the first time I was part of both a development team and an analytics team.

I enjoy talking with clients who are focused on getting the best results. After several years, I began spending more time with our clients' senior leaders, which led me to becoming the Senior Account Manager. This role allowed me to transition from working with one client to being responsible for many. Then eventually, I also became the Country’s Head of our Czech Republic and Slovakia offices.

What is your most significant professional insight you’ve gained during your career?

You can grow market presence if you understand the business’s needs and transform them into products or services. Of course, you need to deliver excellent results too.

In your role, you combine both technical and soft skills. What is more important in the IT world–soft or technical skills?

The way that developers work is changing. We no longer work individually and instead need to collaborate with other people. This requires both communication and tech skills, which are equally important. To help grow these skills, EPAM offers excellent learning and development opportunities and training programs.

Your career at EPAM began in Ukraine and led to you relocating to the Czech Republic. How have you changed since moving from Kyiv to Prague?

I make decisions based on opportunity versus location. If you enjoy your job and understand how to reach your goals, there is always an opportunity to move to a new location. That’s what happened when I made the decision to relocate. I was intrigued by the opportunity that it presented, not solely the location.

That said, I really like Prague. People are friendly; life is convenient. I like that you can travel easily to other European cities.

In the five years since EPAM has been operating in Prague, our team and client projects have evolved. We started to expand projects in risk finance and treasury as well as in the automotive and retail industries.

We have more than 50+ active EPAM projects in the Czech Republic now and we continue to grow. Financial services remains one of the key drivers of EPAM Prague, but we also have client engagements in retail, healthcare, insurance, business information services and other sectors.

You have 50+ active projects at a time, which means you work on strict timelines. What helps you manage your time?

Planning and discipline. As a Country Head, I need to keep the corporate climate ‘green’.  We apply standard business communication rules, such as being on time and engaged during meetings and completing tasks punctually.

With working remotely, I think we have more meetings than ever before. If you do not plan and schedule time to work on your tasks, you could spend your entire day in meetings. Account managers have a lot of operational work to do as well. They must understand the business and collaborate with delivery to coordinate timelines and staffing plans.

To make sure you know what you are doing today, ask yourself, "What will I do tomorrow?" This exercise can help you be efficient in this fast-paced world. Of course, ad hoc requests come in, but if you have your plan, you can be more prepared to handle those situations.

Even if you work in an agile way, it helps to plan at least some weekly performance checkpoints. This can help you understand what is working well and which areas should be improved.

I also like to change my scope and tasks. When you spend a week reviewing contracts, you get tired! I think it’s important to switch your focus between technology, people and self-development.

What are your responsibilities as Country Head of Czech Republic and Slovakia?

My main responsibility is to integrate our team with the global delivery organization. EPAM is a growing company, and we’ve achieved success because we have a global, collaborative team. EPAMers understand and respect each other.

I spend my days identifying potential business opportunities and setting up new projects. I make sure that the integration between the client’s team and EPAM’s team is running smoothly, and I stay in touch with everyone involved during the delivery phase to coordinate timelines.

In collaboration with my management team and the global organization, we invest a lot in growing EPAMers’ skills by bringing them onto new projects. This helps speed up professional development. We study the business requirements of the project and match them with EPAMers’ goals to ensure people are working in positions they enjoy. We prepare a growth plan for each employee that’s unique to them.

Our People’s Team is also very involved. They receive feedback from EPAMers, we discuss what can be improved and we integrate that into each growth plan. We want to make sure employees are able to reach their professional goals at EPAM.

It’s important that everyone feels empowered in their career journey as part of the EPAM team in Prague and Bratislava.

What motivates you in your daily work?

  • The challenge. I enjoy having challenging tasks every day. When I get up in the morning, I know my plan for the day, and it inspires me. Some assignments are, of course, running for several weeks and even months. I especially enjoy receiving additional requests from our clients. You must spend time investigating and brainstorming to find the best solution on how to implement the ask.
  • The people. I see how we are changing the business landscape in the Czech Republic daily. Every EPAMer ensures they are delivering the best they possibly can. I enjoy that we all have focus and reach goals as a team.
  • The clients. The feedback I receive regularly from our clients is most motivating to me. It’s impactful to see how we’ve helped a client transform their business. For example, I have weekly calls with one of our local clients who is a retail leader not an IT expert. He recognizes the digital work that we’ve done to help his business.

I have all the tools, teams and resources I need to make sure we bring value to our clients, so it’s the challenge, the people I work with and the clients that motivate me every day.

I enjoy my job, and I've been happy working at EPAM for the last decade. The world is changing extremely fast and we face new opportunities (and challenges) daily. I imagine the next 10 years at EPAM will be even more dynamic and transforming–I'm looking forward to it.

If you are interested in a career at EPAM, visit our careers page to apply today or get referred by someone you know who works at EPAM.

For more details and professional insights, listen to our talk with Iurii in this episode of the IT Coffee Break podcast.