Employee spotlight: Diana Kostelnik

We proudly present Diana Kostelnik, our Social media and Brand Engagement Generalist and energy lifter of our company. Check out how tenacious she can be to accomplish her goals - even if it demands clashing with a deer to get a good picture.

Reading Time7 minutes

How did you first learn about Barrage, and what has kept you here?

I heard about the Barrage three years ago - I read an online article that called it the biggest secret of Osijek's IT scene.

For me, they seemed to be some weird company interested in things I didn't understand. 

My friend worked there and invited me to work at Barrage because they needed someone like me to cover marketing and PR tasks. He introduced me to the Barrage story and opened the door to the IT world for me.

What keeps me here are the friendly relationships I developed with the people I enjoy working with.

What’s been the most memorable experience with us so far?

When the Barrage guys took me to a rock party after a conference last year, I was the only female person in heels, surrounded by rockers, liters of beer, and music that was not to my taste. It was interesting because such parties are usually tailored to their taste, but I am from a different world. You can't imagine how I felt then. Picture a woman with a completely opposite musical and partying taste, surrounded by metalheads headbanging to their favorite music in a low-key alternative bar with an underground atmosphere.

To this day, we recall that memory and make fun of the fact I couldn’t wait to go home after the party. Nevertheless, I'll go to that same event again this year because the same conference is getting closer. Of course, I will go because I would never let the company down.

What have you gained from working at Barrage?

I made many new friends, which is the most valuable thing for me. In addition, as I got rid of some prejudice that I had before, I learned that many different characters could be formed into a good team.

I used to think developers were shy people who spent their whole lives in front of screens and didn't like socializing with other people. 

Here I realized that there is a great and interesting story behind each of them and that they are fascinating as people, admittedly, very introverted (compared to me), but the fact that they are not talkative doesn't mean that they are boring.

What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t in the marketing business?

This is a complicated question.

I don’t know what I would do if I hadn't chosen this career path because so many things interest me.

I have always wanted to be a sports journalist, to organize various events in a hall, and maybe I would try out being a furniture restorer because furniture restoration is something I am very attracted to. There are so many things that interest me, and I would quickly find something to do because this hyperactive spirit of mine needs to be entertained somehow.  

If you could choose anyone from the company, who would you pick as your mentor?

That is easy, Kristina Mudri!

She is the person who introduced me to work and was my mentor for a while. That's exactly why I would choose her - because I've never had someone who advises me on maybe not-so-easy-to-tell things in a very nice way. On top of that, she praises you for a job well done with pleasure. In addition, she knows how to listen and is a calm and work-oriented person. I have never met anyone like her, so it is a great advantage she offered me her help and advice when I got hired.

If you could be anyone from any period in time, who would it be, and why Princess Diana? :D 

Ugh, I would never be her. Unfortunately, she lived too short; I hope to be at least 100 years old. I was only named after her, and that's enough for me. :) 

If I could choose, I would be some strong woman from the past, probably Catherine of Aragon, Joan of Arc, Cleopatra, or any woman fighting against the system. I have always found inspiration in women who think for themselves, do not allow themselves to be subdued, and do what they want - primarily pursuing justice for the ones who were treated unfairly or bullied in any way.

Diana, on her honeymoon in Giza, visiting yet another interesting historical period.

Describe what you were like as a kid (i.e., at age 10).

You don't want to know this. 

I was a wild child for most of my childhood, full of energy and carefree. I played football with the boys on the street, always in tracksuits and sneakers, and my mother often had to come to school because my behavior was too disruptive -  I was quite energetic. 

I was always the loudest, enforced justice, and fought for others. Because of this, I often suffered punishment because I never wanted to yield if I thought I was right. So, almost the same as today :)

How do you define success in life?

Simple - to be surrounded by positive people, do what you love, and sleep peacefully. No money in the world can replace that. 

Also, success is when you are self-aware and know your strengths and weaknesses while doing everything you can to improve daily.

Given your working experience as a marketing manager in the wine production industry, I guess you’ve developed certain affection towards wines. Which one is your favorite, and why? 

There is no wine like Traminac -  not any in the world. Maybe I love it the most because it is the trademark of Ilok, where I spent four wonderful years, so besides its taste and smell, I also have beautiful memories of it. 

Besides Traminac, I also like Cabernet Sauvignon, my favorite wine when traveling, because you can’t find Traminac everywhere you go. To me, Croatian Traminac is the best. 

Generally, I prefer white wines because of their lightness and taste. 

The wine lover, enjoying her Traminac, selected berry harvest.

Visual proof Diana's working day can turn into a completely new experience.

How tenacious are you to get a good picture? I heard you once clashed with a deer to take its photo!

So much so that one day, I will probably die while shooting good content.

Last summer was dangerous for me when I traveled to the island of Badija, where I saw about 20 deer, and I wanted to take pictures of one of them, and then one specific deer assaulted me. He attacked me with his horns and pushed me so hard that I fell over the stairs and received a lot of injuries on my body. 

It is much more likely that one will win the lottery than that something like this will happen in their life, but since I like to be unique, I managed to be the exception. This is an incident that very few people can boast about.

Behold the photo of the famous deer Diana exposed herself to danger to attain!

If you were to write a book about yourself, what would you name it?

 It’s hard for me to choose between the titles "Where do you turn off?  - Nowhere, nowhere, I just turn on!" and "Pistachio". The story behind the first title is that when I was a kid, everyone told me I talked too much, so I got this question all the time: "Where do you turn off?" and my answer was, "Nowhere, nowhere, I just turn on!". This, I think, describes me in a variety of ways. I don't like to "turn off" my mind; My mind is always buzzing with thoughts and ideas I can eventually transform into something worthwhile - and even more. 

The other title is “Pistachio”; it has been my nickname since childhood. I was on vacation with my family and wanted a pistachio-flavored ice cream which has already been sold. I was so sad that I kept sitting on the stairs in front of the store and waited ‘till the afternoon when the ice cream refrigerator was restocked. Then, my family started calling me "Pistacija" (Pistachio), and they still call me so today.

Let’s finish with some exclusive content. Tell us something that might surprise us about you!

There are so many funny things about me, but the most surprising one is that I am overly emotional. 

People who don't know me think I am too loud and too cold. But I'm so emotional that I can watch a movie and cry to the point where I can't breathe. As a child, I cried on the “Gruntovčani” series because Dudek went to Germany and left his wife and cow at home. I haven't recovered from that scene to this day. 

And, in the end, the most surprising thing about me is that I got married and had a child (even though I always said I would never do that). 

Diana with her son, enjoying the family moments.

Meet the rest of the team!

We love having people like Diana in our collective. Driven individuals are the ones that build the motivational culture we nurture at Barrage.

If you would like to be a part of that culture and get to know the rest of our team, check out our open positions.