SoDA

How to balance marketing, training, and HR and not go crazy?

SoDA continues to interview interesting women who work in our member companies. We strongly believe that women play more and more significant roles in the widely understood industry. We strongly support this trend — diversification means the change of the optics — finally, women will not be treated as strangers in this business — now often perceived as man’s world. That is why we have launched „Women can do IT”, a project presenting female leaders, managers, experts, and specialists from the member companies of SoDA.

We’re talking with Agnieszka Barbara Dąbrowska from SoftServe Poland, who juggles multiple responsibilities in various IT areas from different areas of IT.

What role do you play in your company?

I’m a Wroclaw Development Center Director. I am in charge of Marketing, Training & Development teams, and HR initiatives. And yes, I don’t have time to be bored (laughs).

What is your formal background and education? How did you end up in IT?

I have a Master’s Degree in Sociology and I completed postgraduate studies in Human Resources Management in Wales. When I came back to Poland, I did another postgraduate course in Talent Management. I worked as a Junior HR Manager in a big manufacturing company and then I switched to a chemical company — but it didn’t click. I was bothered by how people were treated — like a resource, not a human capital. I’ve always tried to help people, having costs and the company’s strategy in mind at the same time. So, I thought to myself — where to look for a job if not in IT, famous for people caring? That’s how I had found SoftServe which I joined as an HR Business Partner, and then got promoted to a current position.

How does your typical month of work look like?

Because of the nature of my job I have flexible working hours. That means that tasks vary and are also quite flexible. I have a full plate — that means I take care of everything — recruitment, employer branding strategy and initiatives, corporate culture building, and a few other things. It’s a constant balancing between what the HQ needs and what we can implement locally. I approach these topics with a healthy dose of criticism — not everything that works for other branches of the firm can and will work here. It requires a lot of meetings, presentations, and talks about specific business cases. To sum up, working with people is quite unpredictable. I keep tabs on my calendar but every day something comes up that requires me to react in real-time.

What is your biggest success in the IT industry?

I joined the IT industry just two years ago as an HR Business Partner, learned the ropes with a few career steps and now I manage a big IT company branch in Wroclaw. By the way, it is a very hard and competitive market here in Poland. I can say I understand the industry from both operational and delivery points of view. That’s crucial because everything we do is driven by the business needs of our clients.

What is your biggest professional challenge?

It’s hard to say, really. Not so long ago I dreamed of running an HR department in the IT industry. I did that and then I did some other things. Now I would say it’s about navigating the company through muddy and uncertain waters. We live in times where customer trust and internal motivation is the key to any business activity. I would be proud if we could achieve all local goals while keeping the high-level operational demands of the organizations intact. Given the global COVID-19 circumstances, that would be quite an achievement.

What is your professional goal?

I want to make the DevCenter in Wroclaw the fastest growing business unit in our entire organization. Making it the most profitable as well would not hurt, either (laughs). I also want to keep people in mind, making sure their effort and internal motivation are recognized and kept — out in the open, not in a vault.

Thank you for a very informative interview.

Thank you very much, Jarek!

About the author:

Jarosław Ściślak is an independent branding, marketing, company culture, business scaling, and content specialist. Working mostly but not exclusively with technology companies, he helps to drive revenue and build an image. More on https://www.scislak.com.

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