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Alumni Stories: Marta Pardyak
“You have to find an idea for yourself. There are many educated people who cannot find themselves on the job market, and there are also many young people without education who do not have to work for the rest of their lives. There are no shortcuts - try, don't be afraid of mistakes, you can learn the most from mistakes. People often think that a mistake is a failure, I changed my view of it through my life experiences - mistakes are for us to learn from and we will continue repeating them until we learn our lessons.(...)"
Name: Marta Pardyak
Place of residence: Cracow, Poland
Stanowisko pracy: Lecturer, cosmetologist, blogger
Field of study: Public health
What are your best memories from studying at the Jagiellonian University?
I have many great memories about my studies at Collegium Medicum. I believe that the faculty is all about the lecturers – they stick in your memory for better or worse, and I had really wonderful instructors who guided and taught me a lot. The greatest memory which sounds somewhat unreal but is absolutely true is related to my social policy professor. I took this course twice. It was due to my dad’s health condition. I had neither the time nor the inclination to learn. You can guess that I was in a bad mental condition. In the social policy re-take exam, after answering the last question, the professor asked me what my dream was. I replied a bit surprised, but truthfully that I dream of my own spa hotel. She looked at me and said that I would definitely achieve my goal because she sees great potential in me. I don't know if she realized this, but these words really empowered me and changed my attitude. The person who was the then-President’s advisor tells me that she believes in me, that I will make it. I've never heard anything like this from any teacher before. I just think that this re-take was just for me to hear these words :)
How did your professional career start? What were the turning points?
My professional career began when I decided to work for myself and not for someone else. It was not an easy decision. With two jobs, I had financial security and few worries. Choosing the then little-known blogger path, I had a very difficult time. It was often hard for me. Everyone wants to blog today, thinking it is an easy job. The truth is, it's hard, much harder work than a full-time job.
How did your education contribute to your professional career?
Cosmetology and public health. I often talk about both these topics on my blog Sekrety Piękna (Beauty Secrets) and on my social media profiles. I studied public health when hardly anyone knew this course. Today, due to the coronavirus, there is a lot of talk about it. Which is good. Especially in this day and age, people should be aware of their health responsibilities.
Tell us a little bit about your current job. What do you do?
There are many sides to my job. There is always something to do and there is always a lot of it. I run a blog with over 2.5 million visitors, a fan page with 35k people and Instagram with 14k followers. It all takes a lot of time, because I write the content, take pictures and work with the brands.
What are your biggest challenges?
There are many challenges. Certainly, the biggest is one the expansion of the blog to an international dimension and the development of international cooperation. Maintaining constant motivation and commitment to work is also a challenge. The work of a blogger takes 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. There is no time off, and you have to know that this is not really a job for everyone.
What is life and work like in city / country where you live?
I currently live in Cracow, previously I lived in Sopot. It is true that remote work allows you to operate from anywhere and that is definitely a plus. I appreciated writing texts on the beach over coffee, now I enjoy the views of the Cracow Market Square or the Wawel Castle. Sometimes I spend my day traveling to the companies I work with. Now the situation is changing dynamically due to the epidemic, each day is different.
Source: private archive of the graduate
What is your definition of success?
Do what I want, where I want and with whom I want.
What advice/tips do you have for students entering the job market?
You have to find an idea for yourself. There are many educated people who cannot find themselves on the job market, and there are also many young people without education who do not have to work for the rest of their lives. There are no cutting corners - try, don't be afraid of mistakes, you can learn the most from mistakes. People often think that a mistake is a failure, I changed my view of it along with my life experiences - errors are there to learn from them and we will repeat them until we have learnt our lessons. This is the case both in professional and private life. Certainly, self-confidence and persistence make it easier to break through, but the most important thing is to do what you love!! I don't know a single person from the front pages who wouldn't do what they love. You have to find yourself first, and then the world. You have to believe in yourself constantly and move forward.
How, in your opinion, could the Jagiellonian University cooperate with graduates?
I am an experienced lecturer with 7 years of experience – I can give lectures on promotion in social media, on how to develop Instagram, how to start blogging, etc. I started my blog from scratch and had no one to help. Anyway, this is still the case today. I don't have a staff of assistants or agencies behind me, so I know how hard it can be at first and how overwhelming it can be. I would like to show students that what for one person is an excellent form of work can be a torture for another.