“Happiness is when you are understood and accepted for who you are”.
Today we met BGS Project Director - Natalya Kuznetcova - a person, who has been together with us since that time, when BGS Group was just an idea. How the company was growing, why gingerbread cookies inspire, and aliens work here - you will learn from this interview.
Hi, Natasha! You are the first person at BGS. Tell us, how did your story begin here?
Hi! I’ve just understood that I’ve been with BGS for all these 5 years and I saw how the company was born from a simple idea - to conquer the world by top-notch events. My story began in May 2016 when I met Kris (Managing Partner of the company) and she proposed me to participate in a super start-up. I didn’t meet Tanya and Lesha (Managing Partners of the company) yet, but Kristina was someone I know from the scholl times. And I said “yes”, because I trusted her and learned from the past experience, how she works.
Did you worry about leaving for a starting business?
When a person just starts his career, he wants to try himself in many things. That’s why, actually it wasn’t a question of fear. This was a kind of challenge for me - to watch what I can give and what would come of this.
And do you remember your very first working day?
Oh, yes. I came to the very first BGS office - this was an ex-beauty salon. A shower unit staying in one of the rooms reminded me of it. We were only a few people and we started together at zero. And now, looking back, I think that it was straight out of a movie.
How were your first days at BGS?
At the very beginning only Tanya, Lesha, Kris and me were in the office. Together we had lunches in a cozy inner yard - we enjoyed the weather and discussed important issues. Little by little the office was growing, new people joined us. A full team appeared, with whom we went to a basketball court during breaks. I miss very much those times.
Now you are a Project Director and go above and beyond in order for the event to be the best in the industry. Do you have your favourite part during the preparation?
Actually, every period is somehow interesting. It seems to me that when you consciously work and pursue the goal, you should enjoy every step of preparation.
I would mark the very begininng, when you just lay the groundwork for the project and 2 months before the event - it’s a mind-blowing time, when you understand that all your ideas come true and you see the result of your work.
And do you have moments when you get goosebumps?
Yeah. For example, when you register a host sponsor or a company which you’ve been negotiating during the whole year. And finally you’ve explained the value of the event in such a way that they decide to join.
How do you find time to supervise everything? After all you have a million of tasks.
I think that actually it’s love of what you do, love for people and your team. You wouldn’t want to work quickly or sweat it about details without an open heart to your business. And I have a cool team which goes forward together with me.
We are on distance working because of COVID-19 for the fourth month already. Do you miss your team and office atmosphere?
Sure, I awfully miss the office and that energy, which flies over the air. We terribly lack our corporate lunches. I said “we” because my team asks me every week when we return to office. We miss each other very much.
Do you probably have your own traditions in the team?
Yes. For example, when we reach our plan we go all together to celebrate, to share the moment of reaching the goal. We even have “a living plan” - Sofia’s flower (senior project manager), where we put stickers with hot dealings.
Apart from that, we like to play tabletop games at the office in our spare time, and now we organize distant quizes.
As a Project Director, you travel a lot. Which country inspired you most of all?
The fact is, that to me the most important thing is people. All depends on what memories remain. Inspiration comes from those stories, happening in this or that country.
A good example is a trip to ADIPEC to The United Arab Emirates when we decided to take a lot of gingerbread cookies as gifts for business meetings. We were asked on every custom station “Why do you need so many gingerbread cookies?”, and we answered: “We are too hungry” :D
At night, after a flight we packed these gingerbreads in special boxes, which, as it turned out, were difficult to assemble. I think we don’t need any team building after that. And such memories inspire a lot))
And if you could organize the event wherever you want, where would it be?
You know, it would be great to be the first who organized the event in space or in the Mariana Trench. Apart from that it’s cool to reach America. It would be one more step forward for us.
I think everything is in your power. Could you share your strong qualities, which help you at work?
I suppose it’s the strength of will. Even if you feel that it’s impossible to reach a day goal, you just go and do this. And perhaps, it’s multitasking and curiosity - when you can switch over due to different questions and learn something new, not to stay still.
And who motivates you for work?
I would say it’s BGS: including the leaders who are the main motivation, and colleagues who inspire you for work. And, for sure, this is myself. It’s something like when you strive to realize yourself.
We have a favourite advice section. Would you share a piece of advice which became the most precious for you?
I will share the one which is important for many of us - the fight with your fears and inner convictions. In this case, guilt and offence are based on your beliefs and dogmata. If you could understand and work on it - life will become much simpler.
And what a piece of advice would you give to our readers?
One of the main pieces of advice from me is: one should truly work a lot, believe in oneself and know how to relax. Of course, one should also work in a place which he likes and that strikes a chord. Think big toward the goal. And relax. One can’t get a boost for work and new ideas without rest.
Do you have any secrets on how to take rest in order to fully hit the reset button?
I’m sure that one can take rest even without leaving a city or a country. It's good practice to know how to relax. In my case it’s yoga, meditations, and sports. And I can’t imagine myself without nature: for me Ural is a deity with beautiful places where one can put thoughts in place.
Natasha, and now we want to give you a chance to ask yourself the question which you would like to hear, but have not heard yet.
Wow. I would ask: “what is happiness for you?” You know, perhaps I lack philosophical discussions in a kitchen with a cup of tea. A real hearty talk, in my opinion, is built from such personal questions.
And what is “happiness” for you?
Happiness is when you are understood and accepted for who you are. When they support you and don’t want to change. It’s when you are in balance with yourself and realize yourself. It reminds me of the company’s slogan - be yourself in BGS.
It’s a cool slogan because it reflects the reality.
And the last question is: a person of BGS - who is it?
It’s an alien striving for great results and supporting his neighbor. We are like from another planet: very few people believe that we go to work because of people and really love our company.
“Happiness is when you are understood and accepted for who you are”.