Ana & Ivana: When Passion & Profession Align

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Ana & Ivana: When Passion & Profession Align

Ana and Ivana have a lot in common – they both work at Newfire, they have similar sounding names, and they also share a huge passion for running. These very fast ladies are equally dedicated to both their “day jobs” here at Newfire and training for serious speed. Yet they still found the time to sit down and share their thoughts on how running helps them to solve business challenges and makes them even more productive. 

This April, business analyst Ana will celebrate her first Newfire anniversary. Her running anniversary goes back much farther to early childhood in her hometown of Varaždin. That’s where Ana ran her first meters as a member of the local running club. After three years, she traded in her running shoes for dancing shoes to become a ballroom dancer.

But in 2016, running made a great comeback in her life and she immediately garnered great results. “I found out about a very interesting and legendary race, the ‘Ljubljana marathon’ in Slovenia, just four months before the race and decided to apply,” Ana recalls.

With just a short time to train, Ana decided to run the Zagreb half marathon as rehearsal for the big race in Ljubljana. “I wasn’t prepared for a long run – I forgot everything about running from my childhood. Also, it was hard to run after so many years without training. I finished the race in two hours and three minutes. I liked it a lot so I ran that race again the next year,” said Ana with a smile.

Ana and her cats

Ana’s cats help her relax and restore between races

"After running, I can... resolve problems faster and more efficiently."

While winning after a race or completing and following such a serious commitment to training seems like the end goal, for Ana it’s more of the process that counts. “Other people only see the race, the final step of the running process. I like the whole journey. The race is just an event. I enjoy the process and seeing that I can push myself to go more and perform better. This is what challenges and inspires me.”

Ana on a victory throne

Ana on a victory throne of a marathon race in Croatia, 2021

With a full time day job and training daily, one of the challenges for Ana is to organize her schedule and stay on top of tasks. She prefers to run in the evening when her body is less sleepy. Ana reports that running helps her to balance her career and her personal life. “I often joke that running and training should be counted as working hours,” laughs Ana. “After running, I can see things more clearly and resolve problems faster and more efficiently. My mind is much more focused.”

Ivana, a UI/UX designer with more than ten years of experience, agrees with Ana and shares similar running beginnings. She chose running as a student and regularly combined it with hiking and cycling. 

Unfortunately, three years ago Ivana was forced to take a long break from her running routine after being hit by a car while biking.

But Ivana is persistent. She eventually returned to running and soon remembered why it brought her so much joy and clarity. “It’s nice to push your limits and see improvements. Advancing in my running reflected in my business life as well. Running boosts me both physically and mentally. I use it as a kind of therapy after a stressful day at work.”

Ivana race Zagreb

Ivana likes running because it boosts her both physically and mentally

As a designer, Ana works with various international teams and with many clients. Although one might consider running a solo sport, Ivana doesn’t agree. “Running is actually not a solo sport. You always have partners on the running track, whether it’s your friends who come out to support you or competitors that challenge you. But for me, the best partner for running is my dog – she runs really fast and I like to compete with her.”

Ana and her dog

For Ivana, her favorite running partner is her dog

“Newfire helps me to stay productive and be flexible at the same time."

Ana and Ivana both agree that balance is very important when combining serious sports training with a daily full-time job. Good organization and sticking to schedules make all the difference. Ivana says, “Newfire helps me to stay flexible and productive at the same time. And on the other hand, running helps me to overcome many difficult situations, at work or personally, and to better problem solve. It’s a perfect combination!”


Wanna join Ana, Ivana, and the rest of our global team? Check out open positions and apply. We look forward to running and working with you!

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