Come meet a real guardian of data quality! Read the interview with Jowita Kukurudza, a Product Owner at Sii Poland!
With the help of the Job Changer tool, she has turned her career path by 180 degrees! But one thing remains unchanged – Jowita’s greatest driving force and motivator are people. In her own words: Power People is not just a marketing slogan, these are real people with enormous hearts!
Your career at Sii began in July 2018 in the Wroclaw branch. Was it a “lucky shot” or did you actively seek to join our organization?
After graduation (I studied economics and human resource management), I was looking for my first job in my profession. I have to say that at the beginning, I came across very questionable recruitment processes. One in particular is stuck in my memory, especially the person who conducted it. Mainly because she behaved very unprofessionally – she left in the middle of the meeting, asked about private matters, and at the end she made a rather unflattering comment about my candidacy, summing up our conversation with the words: “maybe you’ll hear from me.” Generally, a young person takes such situations very personally, so at the time I started to doubt whether I should look for a job in my profession. I always joke that the rest of the story resembles a movie scene: when I was getting on the train after the unfortunate meeting, the phone rang and as it turned out it was a representative from Sii’s Recruitment Department. I was invited for a job interview.
A few days later I had the interview – the atmosphere created by Ewa Kędzior, who was a recruiter at that time (today she works at Sii as a Junior Consultant), was truly wonderful. I had the impression that I clicked with her immediately. Ewa was incredibly friendly and genuinely interested in the conversation and the candidate. To this day I still smile at the very memory of that meeting. I believe that the recruiter is the company’s signature and, in my case, it was Ewa’s approach and professionalism that influenced my decision to join Sii.
Your first position at Sii was Administration & Billing Department Assistant. How was the introduction to your new responsibilities?
From the first days, I was reminded by the team: “ask anything and remember that there are no stupid questions!”. I really liked this open approach. During the implementation, I was also often told that only the one who does nothing is not wrong. I am very grateful for introducing me to this mindset. Later in subsequent positions, I passed it to my own teams, hopefully building the same sense of security and awareness that it is worth to act and try.
From that period, I especially remember Marta Mazurek, now a Resource Manager, who was then in charge of onboarding and conveyed a lot of great energy and real interest. She regularly made sure I knew everything, that I had found my way around, and that it was all OK. It’s very encouraging to know that your well-being in the workplace is important to someone. After several years of working in other environments, this was unbelievable to me, but of course heartwarming!
I can briefly sum up my onboarding process as “out of this world” – almost literally because the Wroclaw office was then located on the 25th floor of the Sky Tower building 😉
You changed positions twice in the next two years. What were the reasons for these changes and which role was the most fulfilling for you?
These changes were mainly due to the fact that I can’t keep still in one place – it’s just my nature. I’m always looking for opportunities to develop, “take something on” and do it as best as I can.
As a Junior Documents and Business Trips Specialist, I have learned that nothing is impossible. An approaching business trip to China, and the Worker doesn’t have a visa? I roll up my sleeves and get going! It’s 4:55 PM and the Worker can’t rent a car while on an overseas business trip? Hold my coffee! It’s been a really fun time – intense, strongly supporting many people from different departments and in very different positions.
At Office Management, I took on a big challenge: the relocation of the Wroclaw branch. During the course of this project, the COVID pandemic broke out. I had to work with the budget on a daily basis, but then the challenge became even greater – I had to deal with budget optimization, search for replacements, and change the fit-out to a more practical one. Thanks to the commitment of the whole team and a gentle bending of space-time 😉 – we managed. It was really difficult for us, but we look at that project with pride.
It would be very difficult to compare these two positions, but both taught me a lot. I am very fortunate to have worked closely with Aleksandra Kot, Regional HR Operations Manager at Sii Wroclaw and Tomek Omiecinski, Senior Regional Director at Sii Wroclaw – both of them are extremely competent bosses and simply great people who allow others to spread their wings. I wish everyone such superiors, from whom you can learn a lot in a very collaborative atmosphere.
We know that you eventually decided to use the Job Changer tool and completely transform your career path. Why did you make such a decision?
At some point, I felt that I wanted to be even closer to IT. After a few years of working in this industry, a person falls in love with the possibilities that technology offers. It almost becomes addictive – keeping up with the news, and learning about new possibilities. I wanted to develop my strongths as much as possible to support the IT world. For as long as I can remember, I have tried to be an organized, communicative and empathetic person. Sometimes also a bit overzealous.
I tried to be a Project Manager, however, I felt that this is not quite what I wanted and I needed closer work with the team. I like working with people, they are my driving force – I needed a team around me with whom I could build and deliver results together!
Eventually, I got the chance to pursue my career as a Product Owner in the FastTrack team, under the leadership of Jacek Biały (Data Officer at Sii Poland) and Tomek Książek (Chief Financial Officer at Sii Poland). We are responsible for creating reports in the Power BI tool, verifying and analyzing data. You could say that we are the guardians of data quality 😉 Every day I admire the capabilities we have, and how you can use Power BI and a clever combination of data to provide directions and shape business reality.
In retrospect, do you think using the Job Changer tool was a good decision?
I think that in my case it was a great decision. I got a lot of support from Ania Harmacinska, the Job Changer program supervisor. Ania effectively and wisely guided me step by step through the whole process.
I believe that a significant part of my success was in accurately determining my capabilities and requirements. In my opinion, people who decide to use Job Changer should have the so-called objective awareness. They shouldn’t idealize themselves, but also not belittle themselves. I also recommend everyone to discuss their expectations and doubts with Anna, as well as with their Line Manager. If the process is not clear and obvious to our supervisor – this is also where Anna steps in, along with her great patience and precision. In this way, all parties get all the necessary knowledge to smoothly carry out the transition of job, technology and project.
What do you appreciate most about working at our company?
At Sii, I value people and the atmosphere. I always say that Power People is not just a marketing slogan, these are real people with enormous hearts. As I said before, people are my driving force and main motivation. In moments of doubt, I think about why and for whom I am doing something, and it always prompts me to look for the best solution.
I also really appreciate the fact that I felt at home in every branch I visited (I especially salute Sii Lublin here!). I often say that even if you don’t know anyone, you go to the kitchen for a coffee and come back with a bunch of friends – people are very open, helpful, and kind to each other and that’s really great.
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