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The first episode of our podcast is on air. Champaign!

Beyond BEST podcast with Eamon McDermott! He is one of the founders of the BEST Alumni Network!

One of the values of BEST is empower diversity. Eamon is Canadian who studied in Europe, what a better way to show that value.

Interesting takeaways

We think Europeans are diverse, but city to city we are very homogeneous, and this is not the case in Canada, where cities could have nationalities from all around the world.

Another interesting thing is the cultural richness of the European cities, compare to Canada. When we travel from country to country, we can see lots of differences in terms of architecture or predominate religion or political views. In Canada the things are the opposite and the cities look very similar, which makes the need to travel less relevant for the Canadians.

BEST provides a playground for people to explore different leadership positions and culture. We travel a lot and we feel welcomed no matter which country we visit. There was an interesting story about visiting Ukraine for a New Year’s party during the maiden. No matter the uncertainty in this very delicate situation, he still felt safe, even though it was dangerous times.

Advise to your younger self?

I love this question because many of members joining BEST are young and active students. What Eamon’s piece of advice is that our organization is great to enlarge your social circle. To explore the time and socialize with different people and learn what you like and what not.

Also, it is important to find the balance in life, not only to work hard until exhaustion but also don’t be the party animal who goes to events only about the parties.

“Life is too short to not do the things we enjoy!”

Eamon McDermott

What are your takeaways, I would be happy to connect and read what is your point of view!

Extra points from this podcast

A few bonus points from our podcast which Eamon shared with us.

How to keep with friends when you don’t have a social media account

We all had heard the troubles all the social medias are facing at the moment. Too much censorship, lack of free speech and surveillance. Eamon has a different approach to keep up with his wider network. He emails his friends once per year and shares with them what he had been up to.

I find this approach very interesting and even if you use social media accounts, you can try his approach. We think that just because we share something on social media, people watch it and they know everything we do. It happens to me occasionally for someone to mention something and to be surprised that I hadn’t seen it on my feeds.

With too much clutter is very hard to keep in touch with what is going on. Facebook also tends to prioritize news based on algorithms, so if you don’t spend a few hours on this platform it will be extremely hard to catch up with what is happening with everyone’s life.

Inbox zero

Eamon seems to be quite productive, and one of the reasons might be his attitude towards emails. He uses inbox zero approach, where all the emails are processed during the day. This is also one of the pillars of GTD – Getting Things Done.

Final words

I really enjoyed the making of this first podcast. I also learned a lot on how to edit it, and there were issues with the quality which we fixed in further episodes. If you are interested in following our work. You can find us on Spotify or your favorite podcast media. Also, you can listen to our podcasts directly from the link below. You can also check more podcasts by me or podcasts where I was a guest by following this link – podcasts.

Got any comments? I would love to read them, please share them in the comment section below!

About the author

Aleks Vladimriov is a Senior Software Developer, recognized Project Manager and Soft-skilled trainer and a coach.

Aleks Vladimirov

Solution Engineering Manager at Thales | Senior IT Professional | Startup Mentor and Product Manager

Aleks is experienced Product Manager with an engineer background and over 10 years of experience as a software developer. He works with different governments and is responsible for negotiation features and requirements, understanding the customers' needs and supporting the senior management with regular reports and analysis. He held various positions starting as a software developer, moving to a team leader and software architect.

He strives in waterfall and agile environment alike. He is certified Scrum Master and Prince2 Practitioner and he knows how to design business processes and help teams optimize their work.
During his tenure, he had to wear many hats, prioritizing business requirements, delegating work and mentoring team members, creating mockups with Balsamiq, providing MS Project plan to the senior management.

He had worked in many international teams, located in the same city or distributed in different countries and continents. He had been a team leader of cross functional international team of 8 people.

In his current position, he is very much client focused. He has excellent presentation skills.
He delivers training sessions on presentation skills and leadership and he had helped hundred of people to improve their presentation skills.

He is also interested in creating more positive changes in the workplace by using entrepreneurship skills.
He had won startup competition where his team had validated and develop a business idea from scratch.

In his free time, he writes in his blog about effective product development.