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From intern to HR Power User – how to successfully grow your career in 10 years

Over the past decade, Marta has changed job positions several times. Each time, the most important factor for the change was personal development. Today, she belongs to the proud group of Sii Power Women and successfully combines her role as a mother with her professional life, and her career path can be an inspiration for many people. Read the interview with Marta Zięcik-Jurek, a Business Process Consultant at Sii Poland. 

Ten years ago, you joined Sii as an intern. Why did you pick our company?

In 2013, I graduated from the University of Economics in Poznan and started looking for a job that would match my education. At the time, the university launched a project to provide students or graduates with paid internships in Poznan’ companies. The most interesting internship available in HR was from an IT company that I had never heard of before – I can already reveal to readers that this particular organization was Sii. Since I found the job description very interesting, I decided to take a risk and apply as an internship candidate. 

Straight after my first recruitment interview with the Head of Recruitment and HR, I already decided that I wanted to join this company. So, when I received positive feedback after the second interview (with Natalia Buczel, today’s BPO Competency Center Director and Regional Director of Sii Poznan and Pila), I didn’t hesitate and quickly became part of our organization.

Many people believe that an internship is a waste of time, during which a young person makes coffee for senior staff or sorts through piles of documents. Do you share this opinion? 

Certainly, I do not agree, although I realize that there are different internship experiences and often finding a suitable and reliable one is just a matter of luck. I deliberately started my career with an internship – I was aware that I lacked the experience to directly “jump in” into a specialized position. On the other hand, I felt a great need for development. Well, I was indeed making coffee, but only for myself 😊 I also sorted documents, but it is worth remembering that 10 years ago the digitalization of processes was much less advanced than now. Arguably, it would be difficult for current interns to imagine the realities of that time. From the very beginning, I also had a whole range of “serious” responsibilities at Sii – I took part in recruitment interviews, made a selection of applications that flowed to our company, helped to organize team-building meetings and other events. I learned a lot during that period. First of all, I got to know the organization well and gained key knowledge about technology, as well as profiles of candidates and employees, which gave me a solid foundation for further development.

Since the beginning of your career at Sii, you have been associated with the Poznan branch. What did it look like almost a decade ago? 

It was completely different. Some months after I started my internship, we surpassed 100 people on board (now we have more than 600 experts in our ranks!). At that time, our office was much smaller – considering the number of employed Workers, this was of course natural. Today we occupy a space of almost 3,500 sqm, and last year our branch has undergone a major renovation. Now we can enjoy a large, modern and comfortable workspace. 

Ten years ago, I also had the opportunity to be involved in (and sometimes co-host) events that were held at Sii for the first time: breakfasts, St. Nicholas’ Day for Workers’ children, “Let’s code” nightly programming courses, LAN Parties, meet-ups and many others. Even now, when I pass our former headquarters on Glogowska Street, I feel nostalgic about that period. What’s great is that a huge part of the former team is still working at Sii now, although most of them hold other positions. 

After several months as an intern, you took on the position of Junior Recruitment & HR Specialist. Can you tell us more about that?

That’s right, the effort I put into my development, as well as the experience I gained, quickly brought results. After my internship, I was offered to continue working at Sii, this time in a position that was definitely more independent. In 2015 I already held a regular position (so I was promoted from the so-called “junior”), and in 2016 I replaced the head of the department (Monika Tyczyńska-Płaczek, Regional Recruitment Department Manager) during her maternity leave. 

The period between 2014 and 2017 was very intense. At that time at Sii, recruitment processes and so-called “soft HR” were closely interconnected, so the work was very diverse and required versatile skills. My daily duties included not only searching for new candidates but also participating in most periodical interviews and job fairs, organizing onboarding trainings and other various events. 

During those years, the Poznan branch was also developing very rapidly – not long after me, Wojciech Drescher, now the Senior Head of Industry, started working at Sii. Wojtek was expanding our services into Germany and Switzerland, and for my department, this meant looking for candidates with technical competencies that were non-standard but also helping to prepare for, and sometimes even participating in, meetings with clients. All in all, I learned a lot during that time. There’s one thing I can say for sure – I was never bored! 

In 2017, you became a Resource Manager. What was the reason for this change? 

At that time, a so-called Delivery Center was established in Poznan, a form that no longer exists in our current company structure. Each Delivery Center had a Resource Manager, who was responsible for allocating specialists from a given location to projects from other Sii branches. Since Monika Tyczyńska-Płaczek was coming back from her maternity leave and I had proven myself as a manager, I was offered this position. From my perspective, this was another giant step in my career – suddenly I became a Line Manager for several people, and I actively searched for suitable candidates and new projects for our Workers who were on the “bench” or needed a career change. What differentiated the Resource Manager position from my previous ones was working even more closely with the engineers whose team I had to manage. In retrospect, I know that I learned a lot from this position. At this point I can’t help but mention Natalia Buczel (for the second time during this interview! 😊), who acted as my mentor, so to speak, and was a great support and source of invaluable knowledge. 

Currently, you are working at Sii as a Business Process Consultant (already for more than a year). Another big change, another new challenge. Was it worth it? 

Definitely! It’s not a secret that after so many years of recruiting IT professionals, I started to consider moving to the “other side”. The problem was that I didn’t quite see a place for myself in the technical world. So when, during my maternity leave, I received information about open recruitment for the position of HR Power User, I dropped everything and applied. In a few days, I found a daycare for my daughter and made a plan to get back to work!  Currently, I propose and consult changes to our internal applications (for example, I have the opportunity to contribute to the development of mobile application SiiApp, soon to be renamed to MySii), develop HR reports, and participate in business analyses and UAT testing. I continuously use my past experience, knowledge about our company and my education and apply them to our processes and applications. Additionally, I have the opportunity to suggest improvements that I need for myself as a Sii Worker. Although the beginnings were difficult, now I feel fully comfortable here! 

To conclude, please tell us what do you value most about Sii? 

Personally, what I appreciate most about Sii is the possibility to develop in various positions without changing the employer, of which I am a perfect example. I love the fact that we don’t have to meet unrealistic, formal requirements to get promoted – all we need is diligence leading to great work results, willingness to learn new things and taking responsibility for what we undertake. 

Also, I wouldn’t be myself if I didn’t mention the strong Sii Power Women, who prove that it is possible to have a family and be professionally fulfilled! To each of you, I send my warmest greetings and hugs!

Join an organization where professional development depends only on you and your commitment to work. Check out our current offers and apply to Sii today!

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