This post was updated on May 13, 2020.
Bigger is better doesn’t only apply to cakes, TVs, wine glasses, and processing power, it also applies to team size! And that’s the case for Meister!
We’ve just added another six team members to our clan, and they’ll be utilizing their superpowers (a.k.a very special skills) in Design, Dev Ops, Development and Marketing.
Sebastian Banzer: Dev Ops
I am one of the few native Liechtensteiners there are in this world. We’re a rare breed with a population count of just under 39 thousand. Born and raised as they say — I lived there my entire life. After finishing middle school and an apprenticeship as an IT Systems Engineer in August 2016, I was taken on as a full-time employee (at the same company where I completed my apprenticeship) and proceeded to work there for another three years. I’ve always been interested in computers. My interest dates back to when my father introduced me to MS Paint on Windows 98. Ever since then, I refer to myself as a “Paint Picasso” even though my MS Paint skills didn’t improve. My focus and interests shifted from MS Paint to automating infrastructure and building platforms.
My Role at Meister
As a DevOps Engineer, my goal is minimize the overhead for code delivery. So once more in English, that means I work to make life easier for our developers whilst simultaneously making sure that security and maintainability is kept at a good level. I’ll advise developers on how to build their apps CI/CD ready and I’ll also assist on designing and building automated code delivery into our test environments.
I really enjoy cooking, taking walks, binge-watching series and hanging out with friends. When I’m bored (and in the mood), I occupy myself with a few “Codesignal” tasks and/or challenges, or playing games either on PC or Switch. I’m also partial to a bit of phone browsing, reading reddit’s superior content on boards like TIFU and AITA.
Maximilian Benjamim-Graf: Head of Customer Success
I was born in a really small town, located in the heart of Austria, called Irdning. With only around 4000 inhabitants, I took the first chance I got to leave and explore the world. Whilst still in high-school, I did a semester abroad in Colorado and the travel bug bit me big time. I then went on to study management and law at the Management Center in Innsbruck, where I did an exchange program in Buenos Aires. After that (I still wasn’t ready to live in Austria) I relocated to London and spent the last four years working in customer service. I gained a wealth of experience within these roles as I took on a variety diverse cases ranging from small all the way up to larger more complicated matters. A quote I really like and that represents my life choices, both professionally and personally, is one by Yoda: “Do or do not. There is no try.”
My Role at Meister
As the Head of Customer Success, I am responsible for providing the best service for our millions of customers as well as guaranteeing that the team’s skills are used in the most efficient and effective ways possible.
When I am not in the office, I spend my time studying and educating myself further. I am enrolled as a law student at the University of Vienna at the moment. Aside from that, my partner and I run a charity that supports members of the LGBTQ+ community in their coming out process. And, if there is still time left after all of that, I like to watch movies, binge watch Netflix or do sports.
Özge Kolay: Performance Marketer
I come from Istanbul, Turkey and I lived there most of my life. After studying a Bachelor’s degree in Economics there, I moved to Germany to study a Master’s degree in Global Marketing Management. How did I end up in Vienna? Well, I didn’t know much about the city before I arrived in 2016 to do an exchange semester, but as it turns out, I fell in love with the city! But, a very interesting job opportunity in online marketing moved me to Graz, where I spent the last two years. But Meister brought me back to the city that I love. Since my Master’s degree, I’ve been back and fourth between Germany and Austria living a nomadic (gypsy) lifestyle. Alas, I think those days are over and I am very much looking forward to settling in in Vienna and at Meister.
My Role at Meister
As part of the Marketing and Growth team at Meister, my area of specialization will be on digital marketing. I’ll work on Google, social media ad campaigns, search engine optimization, app store optimization, conversion optimization, and website landing pages.
I like traveling, theatre, music, reading, watching series and bike riding. I play a bit of electric guitar, and am part of an amateur band in Graz. I sang in a choir, and was a member of a few amateur theater groups. I also love taking little trips to different destinations and my first goal is to conquer Europe, then maybe Latin America or Australia.
Sandra Unterkircher: UI/UX Designer
I come from Salzburg, Austria. I have a diploma in Communication Design from the Werbe-Design-Akademie (Marketing and Design Academy). The quest for more knowledge brought me to Vienna, where I went on to study Graphic and Information Design at the New Design University on top of my diploma. Aside from collecting and visualizing data, I was also drawn to coding. Through my studies, I was able to combine my two biggest passions — coding and digital design.
My role at Meister
I’m a UI/UX designer in the MindMeister team at Meister. One of my responsibilities will be to make sure MindMeister continues to look great. On top of that, I’ll work alongside the Meister design team providing input on design and UX tasks. I want all our users to have an amazing experience when using our tools. Additionally, I’m responsible for web development, which means that I also get to implement the amazing designs we create.
In my free time, you can probably find me out and about, exploring the world, while capturing everything with my camera. When I’m not doing that, chances are, I’ll be sitting in a café somewhere, reading a book or design articles over a cup of decaffeinated coffee. I also love nature, watching tv shows and spending time with friends and family.
Vid Topolovec: Frontend Developer
I grew up in Slovenia. Where I randomly chose to study computer science (which really didn’t resonate with me at that time). After a year, I moved to Prague to study interactive media with a specialization in cartoon making. I planned on bringing my dreams to life through animation. However, due to the intensity of the course curriculum, I spent time reflecting on whether or not it was the right move and decided to move back to Slovenia and pursue a degree in mathematics and computer science. This is where I noticed that pretty much each time I solved a coding problem I experienced a very special kind of joy, which eventually led me to learn everything there is to know about the wonderful world of front end development. Finally, an answer to what I want to do professionally after years of searching.
My role at Meister
As a frontend developer in for MindMeister, I’ll be in the team responsible for the user experience. That means that I’ll look at building the app in the most user-friendly manner.
I’m a hobby writer, birdwatcher, music enthusiast and fan of coding. I’m the type of person that needs to understand why and how different kinds of patterns work — that makes me excited about topics such as: metaphysics, psychology and anything connected to nature. I’ve also started digging into behavioral biology and I’m absolutely amazed by it! On top of all that, I’m also an avid chess player who loves to paint.
Christina Parson: Staff Writer
My sister and I were lucky enough to grow up around the world with my German mother and American father, due to my father’s job as a diplomat. I earned my first two degrees (Bachelor of Music and Master of Business Administration) in the United States and then moved to Vienna to continue my studies in Opera Performance at the Music and Arts University. Somewhere along the way, I started teaching business English and then technical English, and before too long I was teaching a whole range of subjects at FH Technikum Wien. After six years there, I made a side-step to work as a Technical Writer at an IT-security company, and found that the work suited me quite well. I’m looking forward to applying all the things I’ve learned on my twists and turns to my work at MeisterLabs.
My role at Meister
You should start to see my name pop up on Meister’s blog, Focus, in the near future. I’ll be writing posts about various topics, such as new features in our apps, how to get the most out of our apps, as well as some personal favorites; stimulating your creativity and practicing mindfulness while working. I’ll also be working on the content on our websites, emails, and newsletters. Who knows what other interesting projects at Meister might find their way to me!
I’m an opera singer, constantly working towards the next project, production, concert, recital, competition or audition. For me, singing is an addiction and the biggest, best challenge of my life. I don’t think I’ll ever stop, but I very much enjoy the balance I find by working in an unrelated field.