Meet our colleague Veronika Hudzikova, awarded 30 Under 30 for 2021 by Slovak Forbes. As a Product owner in R&D team with an IT background, she brings the world of developers and customers closer together. Currently she’s working on new projects to help make the world better place. Find out what this has to do with 3D animals or VR therapy and how Veronika climbed up the steps from IT student to entrepreneur.
Veronika, as a product owner you work on projects that have a positive impact on society. Can you tell us a bit more about it?
Veronika: The first one, Congity Care is a VR-based solution for training cognitive functions which can be used in hospitals. This solution had been already used by more than 70 patients, that are showing improvements. The procedure requires a headset, but it can be lent to the people who need the therapy. There are gaming elements in there that enable interactive training of the brain.
The second one is called Zvedavo (Curious-LY). We use augmented reality to bring animals to “life”. Kids can sit next to a rabbit or stand by a deer and learn about the animals in a playful way. They can even take a quiz and check what they have learned. We bring innovation to hiking trails and support children to stay active.
Sounds super interesting. How do you bring the startup world and a global company like Telekom together?
Veronika: It all started with a nice idea. I was studying informatics while working part-time in our company. Together with my team from University we attended one of Deutsche Telekom’s Hackathons and we came up with the idea to develop an app for blind people which gives them guidance when visiting a museum. They are navigated by the voice assistant in their mobile phone and can explore the museum by themselves without a companion. We actually won several awards with this project. It was also turning point in my career. Colleagues who helped us with this project challenged us to get involved on a larger scale. We started looking at further business cases. As new projects emerged, I started to cover them from development to a product owner perspective which means I’m taking care of the full process from product vision to realization.
What is the best part of your job working in this fast-changing environment?
Veronika: The best part of my job is to materialise visions into products. I love to experiment with new technologies and brainstorm about possibilities where we can use them. I also like the diversity of our R&D team, we have an Android and IOS expert, data scientist, UX designer, graphics or VR developers. Together we are able to look at projects from different angles and try to be as effective as possible. Understanding the needs of the customers and listening to their desires is crucial for prototyping and development.
In your role you get to know many interesting and fast-growing companies. What makes you stay at Telekom?
Veronika: When I first joined, I really liked the company culture. As a student my colleagues supported me and gave me the room and the opportunities to discover my own talents. I improved my presentation skills and was challenged to talk about my ideas and share them with the team. My voice and my ideas were heard and implemented. I always felt that we are working together for common goals and supporting each other. We are the proof that great things can be done when surrounded by motivated people and trusting environment.