Olesya, could you let us know briefly about your background and your journey into Additive Manufacturing?
I have majored in Linguistics and Interpretation in English, German and French and worked at the British Embassy in Moscow for almost five years.
My employer was highly interested in the staff’s learning and development, and I regularly attended training courses delivered by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in-house training specialists and contractors.
These were amazing people – really into what they were doing, they seemingly enjoyed traveling all over the world facilitating their courses. That’s a dream job, I thought, but I did not pursue the dream at that time – my next workplace was as a Business Assistant to the COO at Herbert Smith Freehills.
When at some point I saw a Training and 3D Scanning Specialist job vacancy open at Artec 3D, my first thought was: “They won’t hire me” – I knew nothing about 3D scanners! So I closed the website and opened it again a minute later to try and apply after all.
Can you share more about your role as the Training and 3D Scanning Team Lead at Artec 3D?
We’ve got 4 training specialists in 3 different locations – Luxembourg, Moscow, and Shanghai, and I manage this small but super-efficient team, as well as deliver training sessions to Artec 3D partners and colleagues, review and modify training materials, work with the 3D scanners and software testing out new exciting features and creating new 3D models for the website.
Besides that, I lead the Partners Certification program – after every yearly software release, I create a set of rigorous tests that all our resellers are supposed to go through, receiving Gold Certified/Certified status and more client leads – or training, based on their results.
To date, what would you say is your greatest achievement in Additive Manufacturing?
Covid-19 truly tested everybody’s ability to adapt and embrace the change.
Throughout pandemics of 2020, our Training and Tech Support team organized, performed, and localized into 4 languages a series of webinars and training sessions for the company’s resellers on different topics, including a webinar about how to deliver Artec 3D scanners demonstrations online.
According to our partners, all of these were not only a valuable source of information but also a source of inspiration!
They felt a part of a bigger family united by common goals even when we could not travel for work and hold in-person meetings and conferences like we used to.
Do you have any (fun or not) stories about your career to share with us?
Sometimes I got funny requests in the partners’ offices where I delivered training sessions from people who were not part of the training like “Can I bring my pregnant girlfriend to you tomorrow so that you could scan her belly and say if it’s a boy or a girl we are expecting?” (For reference: Artec Eva 3D scanner is not an X-ray!)
Have you run into any challenges from being a woman in 3D Printing?
Overall, most people have been absolutely welcoming and willing to share the knowledge – and receive information too!
Still, for the first couple of years in my career, I would occasionally hear from engineers after they have attended my training something like “It actually turned out to be great! So interesting and much more informative than what we have expected from a young girl”.
It used to irritate me a bit until I realized that if some people choose to doubt the professionalism of others based on gender/age/appearance – they can do that. I keep doing my job regardless.
What is the most impressive or impactful use of 3D printing you’ve seen so far?
Artec 3D scanners used in combo with third-party 3D printers or on their own deliver magnificent results in historical preservation, reverse engineering, movie making and so many more. But personally, I am left speechless and breathless every time I see what a difference we make in healthcare.
Doctors use our scanners to help little patients with microtia and create a perfect thought-controlled 3D printed bionic arm.
We often hear nowadays that technology made us more vulnerable and stressed – those two cases above are a perfect example to me of how our technology made people happier.
What advice do you have for women looking to get started in 3D Printing?
At first, I wrote: “Do not be afraid to start”. But it is not going to stop the fear if it is there, right? So – please be afraid to start if you wish, but start anyway :).
If I had not sent my CV five years ago to the Artec 3D HR team because “I am a woman, I have zero knowledge in the 3D sphere, what if, etc” I would have missed out on one of the greatest opportunities in my life.
In your opinion, how could we encourage more women to become involved with Additive Manufacturing?
Leading by example. “Women in 3D Printing” is a great initiative.
Also, there are conferences, hackathons – anything where women who aspire to a career in the “technical sphere” can see not only men, and may start thinking: “If she can do that, I can probably do it too!”
Favorite 3D tool?
Artec 3D Space Spider
Favorite moment in your day job?
Live training sessions (missed them sooo bad during the lockdown)
Another inspiring woman you’d like us to interview?
Irene Tsalimi, Sales Manager at JGC, Greece. She’s a great specialist with impressive expertise in 3D scanning and one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met in my life!