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published: 26 Sep 2023 in Expat storiessponsored

I fell in love with Warsaw – Jelco from PwC on his move to Poland

Careers in Poland
Careers in Poland

Editorial Team

Meet Jelco – hailing from the Netherlands, this PwC’s Anti-Money Laundering specialist shares his story. From his professional experiences to his love of pierogi, and – according to Jelco’s friends – affinity to Polish karaoke music, he has quite a tale to tell.

Why did you decide to leave the Netherlands and look for job opportunities abroad?

It is quite a story. In 2021, because of the Covid-19 situation, it was required to work remotely in the Netherlands. I was quite bored of being locked inside the four walls of my bedroom, so I asked my manager if I could work from another location. He agreed as long as I kept meeting my job targets. Therefore, in the summer of 2021, I went to Warsaw for three weeks and I fell in love with the city and its people. Back in the Netherlands, I missed Warsaw and I started visiting the city every four to six weeks. Therefore, at some point I thought to myself: "Maybe it's just better to move there. I want to be in Warsaw." One thing led to another, and I moved to the city in May 2022.


How did you secure a job at PwC in Poland?

In the Netherlands, I used to work in the financial industry, more specifically, in the pension sector. The pension industry is quite different in Poland, but even though this experience didn't transfer perfectly, it was a good starting point. I saw a job offer in PwC on LinkedIn and I decided to apply for it. And here I am today.


Could you tell us more about your career in PwC?

When I joined PwC in May 2022 I started as an AML (Anti-Money Laundering) analyst. My first project was for a Dutch client, so that was quite nice as I understood the language. I began on the KYC (Know Your Customer) part of the project, but after two months I moved to the transaction monitoring part. From a post of an analyst, I became a quality checker after a few months. In the meantime, I also supported other analysts with translations and (basic) knowledge about the Netherlands and the Dutch financial system. Currently, I’m assigned to a KYC project for a Danish client.

Besides my day-to-day work I also support the recruitment team every now and then: when candidates state in their resume that they speak Dutch, the recruitment team asks me to verify this via a short phone call with the candidate.


How do you like working in PwC Poland?

What I like about working in PwC and in Poland in general is that the environment is very international. People of many different nationalities meet here, coming from Belarus and Ukraine, as well as from Greece, the Netherlands, Egypt, and even Zimbabwe. I really appreciate this company culture as everybody benefits from it.


Do you have any useful tips about moving, working, and living in Poland?

My first tip is to move one month before you actually start working somewhere – this will give you some time to settle in.

Another good step would be to look up details on the Internet or find a community that could give you advice. For example, we have a Facebook group called "Dutch People in Warsaw" and another, "Dutch People in Poland". They could answer some questions like how best to move to Poland, etc., and offer some useful tidbits of knowledge.


Does language ever become a barrier in your everyday life?

At times I still have some issues. But Warsaw is a very big city, so nine out of ten people speak English here, which makes it quite easy to manage. Moving here wasn't that complicated because if you know three or four words in Polish then most people will understand you and Polish people are always willing to help you.


Do you like Polish culture?

What I kind of like about Poland – and what could be one of the reasons I moved here – is that the Polish people don't like to plan way ahead of time. As a reference – at the beginning of September I went to the Netherlands for my friend's birthday which he planned back in June. What is more: two or three weeks before I went to the Netherlands, I messaged some friends to ask if they would want to meet up in September. They answered: “No, I already have some plans”. If you asked a Polish person what they are doing next week, the answer would be quite different. I enjoy this spontaneity.

Another interesting thing is that according to my Polish friends, I really like disco polo.

It's not 100% true, but there is a story behind it. Every Thursday I go to a bar, and they have karaoke there, and most songs performed are disco-polo pieces. As there is a screen with lyrics and the singers follow those, there are some Polish words I get from karaoke. I learned the lyrics for "Jesteś szalona" and "Bałkanica" there!

I also enjoy some better bits, like the band Skaldowie.

The food is also something I enjoy about Poland. In particular, I love pierogi and chłodnik. My favorite pierogi are the ones with spinach and pierogi ruskie. As a vegetarian, I appreciate that there are so many vegan and vegetarian restaurants here. That's very, very cool.


If you are interested in a career in PwC, visit:

PwC Poland - Career

the story of

Jelco Jongh
Jelco Jongh
Senior AML Analyst

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