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Meet Fernando Judzon – Turning disadvantages into opportunities with Virtualmind

Today we have selected Fernando Judzon to take his interview. He is the COO of Virtualmind.

First of all, how are you and your team doing in these COVID-19 times?

It was a difficult time, but thanks to the willpower and can-do attitude of all of the Virtualminders, we could get through it. I am very proud of what we are achieving with Virtualmind and very happy with the team that we transform into and continue building day by day. I believe that despite the times and the special situation we went through, we could see the opportunities that came our way and take them to benefit us and continue growing.

Tell us about you, your career, how you joined this company?

When thinking about my career and how I started working at Virtualmind, it is impossible not to highlight how thankful I am for the unbelievable growth opportunities I experienced. I started working here in 2008 as a developer, and little did I know back then that I would become COO. 

From the very beginning, when we were just a few professionals, up to now that we are almost 150, every single Virtualminder is committed to maintaining an excellent work environment, leading us to certify as a Great Place to Work for two years in a row.

Honestly, being part of something this great is truly an honor.

How does your company innovate, and how do you plan to stay in the game?

It is no news that the IT industry is very competitive and consequently full of challenges. Fortunately, facing and overcoming difficult situations is one of the things that make us Virtualminders. 

As we like to say, one of our main aims is always to be one step ahead. For starters, we enjoy ramping up nothing but awe-inspiring projects, which pushes us to do our best and constantly be as innovative as possible.

Moreover, to stay on top of the game, we provide our collaborators with a training and certifications program. It is really rewarding to see how Virtualminders themselves want to keep improving to surpass their everyday work results. 

How the Coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?

As a staff augmentation company, we were always in contact with the virtual world. Customer care is very important for us, so we make sure it’s in our yearly plans to go at least once to visit our partners. For obvious reasons, the last few years we couldn’t, but we are confident that at some point we will be able to visit them again.

Hopefully, 2022 is our year! However, in spite of the pandemic, we were able to find new ways to feel as close as possible and overcome the obstacles.

Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?

Leaving the office and doing everything remotely was very difficult because we didn’t know how it was going to work. We were used to the home office once or twice a week, but not being able to share the small things at our HQ was something we couldn’t even imagine.

But it also opened the door to the biggest expansion we’ve’ ever done. When we started hiring people from other countries, we met inspiring new talents and organically incorporated them into our teams, maintaining and, if I can say so myself, improving the level and quality that we already had.

In the end, it was a great choice to make this big leap. Making Virtualmind 100% remote is great, and we noticed that every day we improve in every area, both staff and engineers.

What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?

We also like to generate workspaces between the different areas to keep in touch despite the distance. There are a lot of tools that we use every day, but in my opinion, there are 3 that are the most important. Firstly, there is Slack. It helps our different teams communicate and stay in touch with each other.

Secondly, we use Trello, which is great, especially for the staff areas to stay organized. And finally, we have Happeo, the place where our collaborators can find Virtualmind’s’ information, from benefits, onboarding information, and our training and certifications program to activities shared.

Your final thoughts

After 13 years in Virtualmind, I have always found challenges, a place to grow and enjoy. I like to see people who joined Virtualmind several years ago and still feel this place as their own, with new challenges and creating an awesome but always challenging workplace and environment for new Virtualminders.

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