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Alumni Stories: Krystian Pomorski
"I see professional success as being able to make a living from a business or job that you simply enjoy. To elaborate, it’s the opportunity to live the life you want and not the life you have to live."
Name and surname: Krystian Pomorski
Place of residence: Warsaw, Poland
Position: PR and Marketing Manager/Entrepreneur
Degree subject at the Jagiellonian University: Journalism and Social Communication
What is your best memory of studying at the Jagiellonian University?
For me, the Jagiellonian University is mostly about people – my classmates, lecturers and guest speakers. Those feature prominently in my memories. As for the university itself I have very fond memories of defending my BA thesis. My supervisor was Professor Magdalena Hodalska from the Institute of Journalism, Media and Social Communication, with whom I immediately found common ground. After announcing the decision, the examination board asked what my plans for the future were. One of the board members summed it up by saying that if I ever wanted to finance scientific research, the Faculty of Management and Social Communication at the Jagiellonian University is willing to cooperate (laughs). I also have very fond memories of the journalistic press workshop, where we discussed current events in the media, politics and economy. At university we were also taught to verify all the information. And this skill comes in handy not only in my everyday life, but also in business. It was a fantastic three years that defined my further life choices.
How did your career begin? What were the turning points?
I started working very early, when I was just 16 years old. I was initially involved in sports and motoring journalism. I was earning a small amount of money for my own needs. At the same time, I helped out with the family car business. So I went to university with a certain amount of professional experience. However, the real game-changer was my work at the technology and automotive start-up Joymile, which I started in my second year of university. We created one of the most accurate car inspection centres in the world at this company, and I had the incredible opportunity to see how such a business is created from the inside, what challenges have to be faced, how the product is developed and promoted, and how people are managed. I also benefited from the work in the family company. First of all, in terms of business knowledge and experience in dealing with everyday problems. All this allowed me to then successfully implement more complex projects with an international dimension.
How has education contributed to your career development?
To be honest, I don’t see education as a necessary factor for success, because I believe that the most important thing is the idea you have of yourself. Of course, this does not apply to professions in which it is simply impossible to do a good job without education, such as law or medicine. In my case, education certainly helped. Thanks to classes with top media experts and journalists in Poland, I understand the media better as a PR specialist. Also, I still maintain useful contacts in the media world from college days, which are an important part of my work. That’s why I think it’s important to choose a degree that adds value to you in terms of your dream job. After graduating from the Jagiellonian University, I studied Management (specialising in Management in a Virtual Environment) at Leon Koźmiński Academy in Warsaw. I took away a lot of useful knowledge about management and marketing from there. I tried to get the best out of each university, both in terms of knowledge and relations with people.
Please tell us about your current job. What are you doing now?
I am a Key Account Manager at Proautomotive, where I provide B2B and B2C marketing services to customers in the automotive industry. Our primary place of business is Central and Eastern Europe, the Baltic countries and occasionally Africa. This is my main day-to-day job, requiring a lot of commitment but satisfying. I also help out with the family business which my parents run on a day-to-day basis. On top of that, I started an exclusive online lingerie shop for women – Hotsbe – in 2020. I work on it with a few other people in my free time. The shop is almost 100% automated in terms of customer service and marketing automation processes. Ultimately, I would love to give it to my wife (laughs). As you can see, there is a lot to do, so good time management and the ability to delegate are key.
What are your biggest challenges now?
The challenges at the agency relate primarily to my clients’ businesses and naturally these are our internal arrangements, covered by a confidentiality clause. In short, we face many challenges in marketing campaigns, new product launches and key communication projects such as webinars or online conferences. Incidentally, the pandemic was not particularly challenging for us or our clients in terms of adapting our promotional activities digitally. Despite traditional distribution structures, the Internet has already in previous years been a very important channel for sales support and building brand recognition. We have different challenges at Autolekar, which has a local reach. Here we have to apply a ‘run to the front’ strategy. We must implement further investment projects, diversify our operations and try to maintain the quality despite difficulties.
As for Hotsbe, the goal in 2021 is to scale up sales to the target level. This will allow us to reduce purchase and shipping costs, thus improving profitability. I have such financial goal we are aiming for. We will try to attract more customers, get feedback from them and offer a better shopping experience than our competitors. The idea as such has caught on in the market, so I have no doubt that time is working in our favour.
What is your definition of success?
Success means something different for everyone and there are certainly many aspects to it. It also depends on whether we are talking about professional or personal life. I see professional success as being able to make a living from a business or job that you simply enjoy. To elaborate, it’s the opportunity to live the life you want and not the life you have to live. On a personal level, an important part of success is our environment, which can either support or hinder us on our path to success. It is also about making your dreams come true without making huge sacrifices, financial or personal. Balance is important in life and I encourage everyone to seek it. For me, a successful person is someone who strives for success and tries to grow in all areas of their life.
What tips do you have for students who are just entering the job market?
For starters, go to work while you’re still at university to gain experience, preferably in an industry that you see yourself in long-term. However, I realise this isn’t always possible for financial reasons. I simply encourage you to think strategically about your career from the start. Do work that brings value to your life rather than just money. It’s also a good idea to get involved in the student community. It all matters in terms of gaining experience and self-discovery. I also recommend extra education in areas that interest you. Give more of yourself, absorb knowledge like a sponge and take advantage of opportunities. In the Internet age, this is easier than ever. Success will not find us, we have to go after it.
And if someone is interested in starting their own business, I have unpopular advice for you – don’t rush into it. Work for someone for a few years, gain the necessary skills, see how business processes work from the inside and only then think about setting up a company. We see too many young people in the media who have a great idea for a start-up and after a few years there is no trace of it. Colloquially speaking, money really is on the street, but you need to know what to do with it. I believe that a person with little professional experience does not know this, so it’s a good idea to give yourself time. Of course, I am referring to statistics and my own opinion on the subject, because exceptions to the rule can always be found. But this is just my advice, which I feel increases the chances of success. At the end of the day, each of us follows their own path. My compliments to anyone who decides to start their own business these days, because such people are simply modern warriors.
How do you envision the Jagiellonian University’s collaboration with its graduates? What can graduates expect from the Jagiellonian University?
Pandemic has popularised online meetings. Thanks to them, distances are no longer a problem and it is in such meetings that I see the opportunity for effective cooperation with students. I can’t deny, however, that I miss going out with people. Networking from your desk at home and looking someone in the eye in person, shaking hands or sharing a coffee – these are two different worlds. Let’s hope we live to see a time when it will be possible to combine these methods of communication. The university should look for successful graduates and involve them in individual or group mentoring. I know from experience how important it is to have authorities who have blazed certain trails or who gently point the way. This is the greatest value for students from meeting alumni.
On the other hand, for us - managers or employers - such meetings can be an opportunity to fish out students with the greatest potential. I really count on it, because I love working with people who simply want to do something.