Director of Strategy and Marketing at Xo.gr in Greece
As director of Strategy and Marketing at Xo.gr in Greece, Eirini is Driving the product and operational digitalization of the company, both B2C and B2B, with the goal of making xo.gr the main tool for users to retrieve rich business information for SMEs and Chryssos Odigos, the largest full-service digital agency in Greece serving over 17.000 customers in their digital needs.
She is managing a team of 50 pertaining to the following departments:
Eirini is also a guest lecturer and guest executive trainer on freelance digital communications and training programs and in Google Adwords management.
Q. What is something you try to do every day?
My daily routine as a professional and mom of two under 5 doesn’t allow me much personal time. The few hours a day I am at home I try to dedicate them to my kids. I particularly enjoy the bedtime routine of bathing them ,putting them to bed reading bedtime stories and singing lullabies. Regardless of the fact that it brings an end to an otherwise hectic day, this bedtime routine also relaxes me and it helps me focus back on things that matter.
Q. What have you missed the most during the pandemic?
Greeks are known for their strong bonds they maintain with the families, which offer result in large family gatherings for lunch or dinner. My case couldn’t be any different. Due to COVID concerns, I spent almost 1 year without being able to have any physical interaction with my parents which was very odd and sad. More so then, since we had two babies in the house to whom we could not explain why they can’t see their grandparents. Thank god, the vaccines came along and that put an and to that era.
Q. Did you start any new hobbies during lockdown?
Under normal circumstances, I never appreciated staying at home. I thought I was a waste of time. During the lockdown, going out that was clearly not an option, so I had to discover other activities to do while at home. And actually I started appreciating staying at home.
Gardening, redecorating, cooking. I improved my baking skills. I baked something new every single day. From bundt cakes, cookies, pancakes, muffins, bread you name it. Also, in the evenings I started assembling jigsaw 1000+ piece puzzles, which I then glue and hang on the walls.
Q. What’s your favourite book or who is your favourite author?
I like historical novels and autobiographies, especially ones that are based on real-life stories and that depict the every day life in different periods of time. The last book I read that really touched me was a historical novel called “The Island” by Victoria Hislop that described the life in a leper colony in Greece back the 1930s. Very interesting both from a sociological and a psychological approach.
Q. If you were to write an autobiography, what would the title be?
“Up for grabs” would be the title. I am strong believer that chance helps those who try. All through my life, I tried to take hints from myself to understand what I like and I tried to make myself good at it. Nothing is granted and nothing depends on lack. If you put the right amount of effort, in whatever you set your mind to achieve, you persist (regardless of the obstacles) and you create the right circumstances for yourself, then yes the universe might make it work for you. It never works the other way round.
Q. What is something that people may not know about you?
My handwriting looks like a font-type. A sans-serif one, a Tahoma or an Arial. It has always been like than since elementary school, and probably that helped on pop quizzes and exams as I made my teachers’ lives much easier. Not that many people know that about me, because nowadays we mostly type and do not keep notes by hand. But even today when filling out forms or hard copy applications people get impressed.
Q. What was your first non-desk job?
During my university years, I part-timed as a researcher in a market research company. My job was to random pick people and convince them to come with me to this research venue, where I presented them either with new products or new packaging for existing products and I interviewed them following a script. Gathered their feedback in a questionnaire format and went for the next one. For me being shy at the time, it was very hard to approach strangers and ask them to follow me, but it was a good exercise.
Q. If you could try a different profession, what would that be?
I would have loved to become a teacher. Any kind of teacher, preschool, elementary, executive you name it. I love the process of trying to find the right words and ways to pass information to different audiences with different needs. Actually, even now I participate as guest coach/mentor in an non-profit initiative called 100mentors, where professionals get invitations by high schools around Greece for short 30-60 min discussions about topics of their interest, professional or personal nature. From “what it like to work in a big company”, to “Interview tips”, it is an way to communicate with the next generations in a non-structured way and create a dialog. Along side that, I also participate as lecturer in Marketing oriented youth-oriented project and execute trainings.
Q. What is your favourite meal or comfort food?
I like a greek lasagna type pasta dish, called “pastitsio”. It consists of multiple layers of pasta, mince meat with tomato sauce and it is topped off with a creamy cheezy sauce called bechamel. It’s oven-baked, very tasty but extremely messy, as you need to get many pots dirty to assemble it. I can cook it and I am actually good at it, as long as I have the time and someone else does the dishes. In general, I am a good cook and I like the process of it , because I see it as a way to please people you love and that’s why I enjoy cooking complex recipes for large parties. If I somebody else bought and chopped all the right ingredients and cleaned after me, I wouldn’t mind cooking every day, even with the long hours of work.
Q. If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would you have dinner with?
I would be fascinated to have dinner with Jeff Bezos. I would like to know all the small details on how he built the Amazon empire. How we conceived the idea, how he managed operations as Amazon scaled up, all the failed decisions and obstacles.
Q. If you were going to be a contestant on a quiz show, what category do you think you would win in?
80s-90s cartoons. Back in the day when I was growing up there were only two tv channels available. These two channels would broadcast animated cartoon series for a couple of hours a day. VHS was fairly new and trendy at the time so my parents had bought one and were consistently recording the “childrens zone”, so I used to watch them again and again. Repetition along with my strong memory make me remember pretty much every tv cartoon series that aired back then.
Q. What message would you send to the Siinda community?
Finding the right work-life balance is not easy and it is not always up to you. It’s not that I have achieved it either. And what I have to come to realize now being a working mom of two is that it is not a matter of quantity of time but quality of time. When I am at home with my kids, I try to turn my cell to silent or not to watch tv, when I play with them. Another thing that helps me in the work-balance front is the acceptance of imperfection. There is no point of constantly feeling guilty of not meeting your own expectations for all the different roles you need to play in your life. You just need to recalibrate those expectations and appreciate those small wins when they happen.