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Alena’s story: from Starbucks to the iGaming industry


In the gambling industry, you can see requests for specialists of every kind. Moreover, demand significantly outstrips supply, which is why the gambling industry is generally open to employees with experience in other industries. Today we tell you the story of an HR manager from the Czech Republic. She has been working at Starbucks for 8 years and now looks for specialists in Slotegrator.

Career track

“I have started at Starbucks part-time as a barista 2-3 days a week. Two years later, my supervisor said that she had appreciated my work and offered to be promoted to Training Manager. Each employee during training (1-3 months) needs to learn a huge amount of information about the product, and not just how to brew coffee. After that, I became a Key Partner – in fact, it’s a head of shift who supervises the work of up to 7 people at the same time. Then I took the position of Product Manager, where I was responsible for the purchase of products, making calculations to increase profits and reduce losses – in general, organizational and financial issues. In the next position of Facility Manager, I kept records of equipment and was engaged in the repair of it. After that there was my favorite time at Starbucks – I became People Manager: this is an HR specialist who recruits new employees, distributes shifts, and creates incentive programs. After 6 years since starting work in the company, I was offered the position of Store Manager – the head of a coffee shop. In this position, I did literally everything: hiring employees, sales, marketing, etc. 

Before each promotion, you need to go through an interview. If you pass it, you are sent for training. For example, it takes 2-3 months for the position of Training Manager, after which the applicant takes an exam in English. The exam took 3 hours for the Store Manager position. The first time I did not go through it: I was told that I have enough skills and knowledge, but I am not open-minded enough. A month later, I passed the exam on the second try. ” 

Company’s philosophy

“Every Starbucks employee should be polite, attentive, friendly, positive, and have a sense of humor. If something happened to you, no one should feel it, because, standing behind the bar, the task is not only to pour coffee, but also to be in a good mood. Sometimes it is difficult: for example when a breakup happens in the morning and the last thing you want to smile is, you have to remain professional and not let anything affect your work. The same requirements are for each position, including managerial ones, because your mood also affects the mood of your subordinates. Every day you need to be a star: ignite yourself and ignite others. The hardest part of being a Store Manager is to be an example every day: everyone is looking at you, you are responsible for so many things, and you are to be the best version of yourself. 

Every day you need to be a star: ignite yourself and ignite others.

When I joined the company, there were only 15 Starbucks in the Czech Republic, when I left – 50, and I was the manager of one of them. In a difficult 2020, my coffee shop was one of the best because we had a lot of loyal customers. In fact, we tried to reach the third place for visitors: the first and second ones are work and home, and the third one is a favorite place where you feel comfortable both meeting friends and reading a book alone. 

The employee who communicates with the visitors needs to say more than “Hello, what can I help you with?”. He should ask how he is doing, how his family is, how the weekend was. There are about 100 customers who visit the cafe regularly, and you have to remember what they usually order, what their names are, where they work, etc. It may seem impossible, but we remember much more information about our friends, don’t we? And when you see a client every day, he becomes almost your friend. 

When I was a Key Partner, there were about 30 people employed in our cafe. The majority of them were students who worked part-time. The problem is that students often look for work for the sake of money, and Starbucks has a different philosophy: for employees who seek to build a career in this particular company, this is not just a job, but a place where they live – they make friends, develop, and fulfill themselves. … In the process of hiring new employees, it is very important that they love the company’s product and are motivated to make a career. That is the reason why Starbucks has so many loyal customers: it’s not just the quality of the coffee, but the employees who enjoy what they do. ” 

My job today

“My experience at Starbucks was very versatile, so when I got to Slotegrator it was not that hard for me to progress. I came to the company as an Office Assistant and was responsible for paperwork, but then I realized that I wanted more and moved forward with my candidacy for the position of HR manager, to which I am not indifferent since my last place of work. The HR director noticed my potential and relevant experience, so after 4 months of working at Slotegrator, I moved to the desired department. 

I am highly satisfied with my work in this company. I appreciate the flexibility in decision-making the most. When I have an idea, I come to the management with it and often hear: “Great, let’s try.” At Starbucks, I really missed this: any approval from the management had to wait a very long time since each question goes through many instances. 

Working in a large corporation, of course, was convenient in many ways, but there was no freedom in the implementation of ideas.

Of course, it never happens that everything is perfect. For example, the specifics of HR processes at Slotegrator are not typical for me. However, for me, this is a plus: there is something to do here, and I can make a mini-revolution within my area of ​​responsibility with my own hands. 

I have always loved being an HR manager and today I am exactly where I want to be. ” 

Talentgrator is a young and professional recruitment team for the gaming industry. We help companies quickly find highly qualified professionals at any level, and help job seekers find the best offers on the market. 

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