Michal Ogorek is a young and successful professional by Infosys BPO. He moved to Brno in 2007 to gain experience abroad and planned to eventually return to his home country to pursue his career further. However, with a career on the right track in Brno, Michal has decided to extend his stay here for an unspecified duration of time. Michal originally comes from Swidwin, in the north of Poland. At the near-shore center of Infosys he holds the role of solution design consultant and is responsible for quality and risk management at the center level. We have asked Michal a few questions.
What influenced your decision to accept a job offer in Brno in particular? There are probably more known, larger cities you could choose to work in…
I got a job offer from an Indian outsourcing company. The Brno office was growing and I thought there might be good career opportunities. I was graduating with a degree in management and marketing back then and I had to write my master thesis based on a real business case. Frankly speaking I didn`t k now that much about Infosys then and Brno was also a big question mark for me. I was planning to come for a year, complete my thesis and pursue my dream of spending couple of years in Latin America. As company gave me some good possibilities to grow with them I decided to stay in Brno. Anyway, sooner or later I will visit majority of countries in South America.
Would it not be easier for you to start your career in your home country and move abroad when you got experience?
I feel that in Poland it works the other way around. Some years back for a person to have a better position in the market you had to have just a master degree. Nowadays employers are searching for a master degree and international experience. After 4 years of working in a global student organization I was also happy to join a truly international company. In my city I haven`t seen many opportunities similar to what I got in Brno. So within 3 weeks from receiving the acceptance I was in Brno.
Was it easy or difficult for you to get used to living in Brno?
Brno has been treating me well from day one so I got used living here quite easily, especially with a support from the many friends I met here. It would be great if there were more good clubs and greater choice for night life. Also here everything is really “Kometa-centric” and even if Kometa become to be the only ice hockey team I support, I would like to enjoy a proper football atmosphere from time to time Luckily Brno is located between 3 European capitals and relatively close to Poland where we can catch up with all that we miss here.
Do you consider/see that the city of Brno has changed over the years you have been living here?
The standard of services has definitely improved, though one still meets a grumpy waiter now and then. More people speak English and so it became a little easier for a foreigner to get by. The Czech authorities, however, haven’t changed the way they treat foreigners. Sometimes one gets the feeling that it is expected from foreigners to know all the regulations by heart and should even know Czech from day one.
How is your Czech? Taking into account that you are from Poland do you face many situations when Czechs expect you to understand them easily?
Before coming to Brno I was sure that I will be able to speak Czech fluently after 6 months…However it was quite hard to pick up the language in a company which has 40% of non-Czech employees. Lately I am doing much better with Czech and I understand a lot. I must say that I sometimes do make fun of people who force me speak Czech by speaking my fastest English possible back at them. Then I hear some comments about myself which quite often I can understand. It is a common situation especially in shops. So imagine faces of these people when I close our discussion by couple of sentences in Czech…It is always a lot of fun then :-).
Interviewed by: Milada Burianová
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