Life & work
A good fit - Maggie from PepsiCo talks about her move to Poland
Why Poland? What made you move here?
I get asked this question a lot! Well, I’m from Argentina, and when I decided I wanted to live abroad, I started searching for opportunities in Europe. I soon found out that in Poland there are a lot of options in my career field and the cost of living here is lower than in Spain or the UK, for example. For the price of a one bedroom flat here, I would have to share a flat in Spain. In Argentina I had my own apartment, so I wanted to maintain this lifestyle and I felt that Poland was a better fit for me.
What did you know about Poland before you came here? Did it turn out to be true or false?
I knew very little about Poland and only started to learn some details when I decided to come and live here. Of course I knew the history of Poland during the Second World War, but not much about everyday life. I did expect the weather to be different than in Argentina, I was especially worried about winter and the cold. It turned out to be not that bad, since everything is prepared for the cold, but I had to get used to the fact that in winter it’s night-time at 4:30 p.m.! I was also surprised by Polish people because some say they are distant and reserved but personally I found them really helpful and kind. I’d also heard that Kraków is a beautiful city and I found that to be completely true!
And what about PepsiCo? Does it meet your expectations?
Yes, it does - I’m really happy to work for the company. I’m in finance and I perform mostly accounting tasks related to Control & Reporting for the Portugal market. I feel that here you have the opportunity to learn and grow. And that’s really exciting. So far I’ve learnt that PepsiCo has a great company culture, I really enjoy the way the company works. The focus on collaboration, critical thinking and agility. Diversity and inclusion play a really big role in the company and I really appreciate that. And what we see in the PepsiCo product ads can be experienced at work and that is a cool, dynamic and vivid culture.
You work in a very multicultural company. Does it make a difference to you?
Yes, it really does because I know there are other people like me and I feel supported. PepsiCo makes things a bit easier for expats by organizing courses or sharing some useful tips about life in Poland. Also you get to meet people from all around the world here and that’s always great! At Krakow Business Services we have 23 nationalities which is quite amazing!
Is using Polish necessary in your everyday work? How about after hours?
In my job it is not necessary, because I work only with Spanish or English speaking countries. However, I do think that it’s important to learn the basics of the language and that’s what I’m currently doing. Not because I need it to buy groceries or that sort of thing but it’s good to know at least a little bit about the country you live in.
Do you stay connected with your team despite the pandemic and the hybrid work model?
Due to COVID-19 we are implementing new ways of staying connected with other team members. We have a video call once a week and take part in different team building activities to get to know each other better both in and outside of work. We’ve created this space where we can have office-like conversations, e.g. during coffee breaks, which I think helps us a lot too. PepsiCo is a highly relationship-focused company, so regardless of the communication format, the connection and conversation continues. People make an effort to stay connected and technology helps a lot!
What advice would you give to your friends who consider working in Poland?
I would tell them that it’s a great place to live and an amazing experience, so they should try it! As for advice, I would say that it’s good to know what documents and paperwork you need before you arrive here. Do your research to avoid any surprises and it will make the transition a little easier.